Pen Names

Advice for those new to the concepts of copyright
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fabben
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Pen Names

Post by fabben » Tue Dec 31, 2013 12:09 pm

As you may know some authors choose to publish under a pen name. There's no problem with that as far as I know annd there are various reasons why you might want to do this.

My question is, is a pen name copyrighted? Or can anybody use it?

My example would be - I start to publish books under a pen name XYZ. I gradually become more and more popular. XYZ becomes a household name. - What's to stop someone writing a book and using my pen name?

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AndyJ
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Post by AndyJ » Tue Dec 31, 2013 2:02 pm

Hi fabben,
Names cannot usually be protected by copyright, for two reasons. They are 'facts' and secondly they are generally too short. A better way to protect a name would be to register it as a Trade Mark. However even a trade
mark cannot prevent someone whose real name is the same as your chosen pen name from using their name, although they may be prevented from trading under that name in a similar field.
Of course if you become popular and well-known under your pseudonym, and someone else starts publishing under the same name, there may be a cause of action for passing off.
Advice or comment provided here is not and does not purport to be legal advice as defined by s.12 of Legal Services Act 2007

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