I recently read a non-fiction work about a little known historical event in the US. The story was facinating to say the least. The author intertwined historical and scientific facts at such a high level it made Michael Crichton look like a picture book writer. I had to wade through a vast amount of data to dig out the heart of the story which is the people and how their lives were changed as well as the greater impact on the nation as a whole. The author did his research taking information he found in historical documents, publications from the time, personal diaries, oral tradition and local folklore compiling them all into story of triumph and tragedy.

I used to teach elementary school and always classics to my class The Secret Garden; The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; Island of the Blue Dolphins; Bridge to Terabithia no matter what age I taught. I feel this non-fiction compilation of facts could be turned into a compelling Historical Fiction story for elementary readers.

Here's my question: Can I use the research from this book to create a fictional account and characters for my own book? Is it piggy-backing or plagiarism?

Views: 40

Replies to This Discussion

No, only about 30%. This book was deep and heavy.

The basic copyright issue...is you cannot copyright a fact. So if u are using those facts for your own version of events, you are fine.

However, a publishing company can copyright a book of facts, for instance, a dictionary or similar. So if the book was a list of facts, and you copied those hundreds of facts exactly, you would be on dangerous territory. However, if you gathered facts and presented them in a new way, you would be fine.

But personally, i would want to do some of my own research to add to what you know from that source..it would make it more interesting.

Hope that helps

Thanks, John. That is the way I was leaning. I am wanting to know if anyone felt the same or had a differing opinion. This work was genius arranging of facts. Only the last page and half was the author's opinion.

The challenging thing for writers is there is not much legal law..its all case law. So your best instinct is always to try to keep a sense of fairness and respect for the others' creation in your mind, and try to be creating something new. That way you are not only protecting  yourself, but creating a new work of art that is interesting on its own.

RSS

Latest Activity

John Muir added a discussion to the group The Great Debate
Thumbnail

A Time To Kill

     For some reason - perhaps it's just the years stacking up on me - when I look at world news lately as presented online and on television I have a hard time understanding the motives behind a good chunk of the killing and dieing going on, and more troubling to me is the cheering from the sidelines.    In Syria, a revolution started when police tortured and killed children just because they'd spray-painted some words on a wall. When a father went to the police to ask about his son, the…See More
55 minutes ago
Dom replied to Matthew Perry's discussion Where to start a collection? in the group Fountain Pens
"Other brands: Pelikan and Faber-Castell (German), and Cross"
1 hour ago
Native Son replied to Harry Mcgrath's discussion Finding a Taylor
"Not only does virtually every dry cleaner in my area do some tailoring, but last time I looked, mens wear stores, I'm thinking of Mens Wearhouse for one, have tailors on staff to alter clothing, especially pants to fit.   Oh, and please…"
4 hours ago
Native Son replied to Daniel's discussion Decorating my apartment medieval style?
"OK, I had a few snarky comments, but seriously, for your furniture you're going to want the crude, California Mission style stuff from back in the 1920s at the latest.  And it would tend to be stained very dark, almost black to look…"
5 hours ago
Native Son replied to Native Son's discussion Ukraine. in the group The Great Debate
"Apparently the routing was simply because it was a shorter distance, and therefore less expensive to fly.  I've seen reporting that the FAA prohibited that particular airway to US airlines back in April, on a "just in case" basis."
5 hours ago
Daniel Rodriguez replied to Daniel's discussion Decorating my apartment medieval style?
"Nothing wrong there, but yes, antique shops. Chests instead of Metal Footlockers, wooden tables out of planks than metal and glass, the like. Browns and reds come into mind as the primary colours. "
8 hours ago
Daniel Rodriguez replied to Jack Neulist's discussion Finding the "Old Ones": Who really settled North America first? in the group History Buffs
"For the sake of history, it's a footnote. Nothing special. The Current Europeans took Europe from the Indo Europeans who took it from the Nearanderthals. Europid peoples spread from North Africa to Siberia and now during the Ice Age populated…"
8 hours ago
Michael J. K. replied to Jon's discussion Friendships in the group Male Survivors
"Finding good male friends is not easy.   I have a few and they are like gold."
8 hours ago

© 2014   Created by Brett McKay.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service