Using Fairy Tales In COG works. Any Copyright Issues?


#1

Hi all, just wondering if anyone can tell me the story with using fairy tales as a base for a COG storyline, specifically this one The Sea Maiden

I’m thinking it’s ok since:
a) It’s a fairy tale and was “collected” into the books referenced.
b) The books they were collected into were written in the 1800’s and any copyrite I think should have expired if ever present in the first place? Public Domain Info

Thanks :slight_smile:


#2

Well dont take my words too seriously because I am not an expert on these types of things but if you ask me it seem like the copyright should be gone by now. I mean, disney used the little mermaid but I also saw many little mermaid movies that were not affiliated to disney.


#3

The copyright for the original material will have expired in the case of old fairytales - what you need to be looking out for is copyright on the translation. This is far more likely to still be valid.

So: if you’re using a book, you should be find the date of first publication inside the front cover.

If you’re using the internet you’ll need to track down the reference - unfortunately in this case the internet is not old, and unless something is a direct transcription of an earlier book translation (so the copyright resides in the earlier work), then you’re probably infringing copyright.

Commonly copyright is removed where a work is altered (the degree is defined in each countries law and is pretty easily looked up - but may be confusing, as its often a set of guidelines and precedents, not a hard and fast rule.) Creating a CS game is likely to reasonably constitute that, (with all the choices, additions and changes of person), so long as the fairytale isn’t transcribed verbatim.

The copyright law of the country of publication will apply and with translations that will often be US or UK, simplistically 70 years after the authors death in both cases, (this is easily looked up and if you check you won’t be caught by exceptions). :relaxed:


#4

Ok thanks for that :relaxed:, I wasn’t sure but I think I should be safe then. I did some looking and the original author died in 1885 and the book itself was first published in 1860-1862 (probably the first since it’s in the first of it’s series). archive.org has a copy from 1890 that says it’s not in copyright and is in readable english.