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thedarkwithin
July 20th, 2004, 11:32 AM
Hello everyone,

New here. I've always wondered if adding elves/dwarves and other certain creatures are a "no no" to add to your book unless authorized (...by whomever). Someone created them at some point in time so I don't have the rights but does someone own them? Sounds a funny question to be sure. Thanks!

Holbrook
July 20th, 2004, 11:40 AM
Hello everyone,

New here. I've always wondered if adding elves/dwarves and other certain creatures are a "no no" to add to your book unless authorized (...by whomever). Someone created them at some point in time so I don't have the rights but does someone own them? Sounds a funny question to be sure. Thanks!

This might answer some of your questions.


http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Elf

PaxNoctis
July 20th, 2004, 11:48 AM
Depends.

Elves, dwarves, gnomes, goblins, etc. are all drawn from some sort of mythology. Taking them and putting at least a somewhat unique spin on them is all that is required to use them.

However, races like Kender, Drow, etc. are (I believe) owned by their respective creators and cannot be reused (Not that i can imagine why anyone would want to put a Kender in their book).

Basically, stick to either fantasy mainstays or make up yer own races.

-Pax

choppy
July 20th, 2004, 12:06 PM
I think this is a question that's easily solved by a little research. If you want to incorporate some kind of a race, then go an look them up. As with Holbrook's link about elves, you'll learn about where the ideas for that race came from, and most-likely, you'll be able to put some kind of unique spin on them to make that race unique to your own writing.

I wouldn't worry so much about the legal aspects of copying other races, unless you're writing the next Harry Potter (in which case a horde of fakes will claim that they invented what's in your book anyway, because they can smell the money.)

What I would worry about, it simply looking too much like another author. The last thing I want is someone reading my work and thinking - this guy's just a Tolkien copycat.

And welcome to the forums, by the way!

Chlestron
July 20th, 2004, 02:37 PM
I agree, generic elves, dwarves, and such fantasy creatures are fair game. Unique race names such as Drow, Kender, and even Hobbits may be something you want to avoid and not only for the legal issues (which I doubt anybody would pursue) but for the already built-in stereotypes that these names have.

Elf is bad enough for stereotyping, but Drow is a hundred times worse.

thedarkwithin
July 21st, 2004, 08:35 AM
Thanks for the replies. Just an odd question that lingered in my head.

Expendable
July 21st, 2004, 02:35 PM
One thing is to look at how the races are being presented too.

Some characteristics belong to a particular race but it doesn't mean that everyone is just another 'cookie-cutter' dwarf or elf. Give them some character, make them stand out from the norm. Dwarves are people too!

And don't forget the other fantasy races like goblins, gnomes, trolls, fairies....

Wildeblood
July 23rd, 2004, 12:23 AM
I've always wondered if adding elves/dwarves and other certain creatures are a "no no" to add to your book unless authorized (...by whomever).
Daleks. Note all the will they or won't they appear speculation around the new series of Dr Who because of the protracted negotiations between the producers and Terry Nation's executors. Anything that had its first appearance in a movie or on television is likely to be considered valuable "intellectual property" by someone.