A Copyright Question, Important

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    • #23304 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      The first King’s Quest game I ever played was King’s Quest VII.  We also owned King’s Quest V.  Now I own one through seven.  But I have a serious question concerning copyrights.  I wasn’t sure who I should contact with my questions of concern.  Maybe someone could point me in the right direction or find an answer for me?

      Anywho, my concern is: Is the land of Etheria a copyrighted item of Sierra On-Line?  I’ve heard many stories concerning some of the inhabitants of Etheria and I tried to research Etheria online but didn’t find anything.  I am currently writing a book in which I planned to use Etheria as the name as the land in the clouds.  Etheria seems like another term for Olympia, in the sense of mythical stories.

      Is Etheria the creation of Roberta Williams and her colleagues?  Or has it been used before in other works?

      I’m just wanting to clear up some small issues to avoid lawsuits and problems.  Thank you for reading this.  And I hope I can find what I seek.

    • #23303 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      The first King’s Quest game I ever played was King’s Quest VII.  We also owned King’s Quest V.  Now I own one through seven.  But I have a serious question concerning copyrights.  I wasn’t sure who I should contact with my questions of concern.  Maybe someone could point me in the right direction or find an answer for me?

      Anywho, my concern is: Is the land of Etheria a copyrighted item of Sierra On-Line?  I’ve heard many stories concerning some of the inhabitants of Etheria and I tried to research Etheria online but didn’t find anything.  I am currently writing a book in which I planned to use Etheria as the name as the land in the clouds.  Etheria seems like another term for Olympia, in the sense of mythical stories.

      Is Etheria the creation of Roberta Williams and her colleges?  Or has it been used before in other works?

      I’m just wanting to clear up some small issues to avoid lawsuits and problems.  Thank you for reading this.  And I hope I can find what I seek.

    • #23305 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      As far as I know, as long as the name Etheria does not have a copyright protection, you can use the name freely. In addition, I don’t think that Sierra holds the rights to that name so I think you’ll be fine Smiley

      Ofcourse I’m not a lawyer or anything, but I AM a technical writer Smiley and deal with issues like this on occasion…

    • #23306 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      Oh thank you!  I was afraid no one went on this forums anymore.  I contacted Sierra On-Line about it just in case no one here could answer it for me.  But they haven’t replied yet.  I was hoping I could find an email address to Roberta Williams to ask her since she made it.  But I didn’t find one.

      Thank you so much.

    • #23307 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      Fortunately, this forum still has a group of ‘regular’ posters Smiley

      I don’t think Roberta Williams answers a lot of emails anymore, but Ken is a regular poster so he still might answer your question.

      As for contacting Sierra… Don’t bother! A friend of mine bought the new KQ collection and had some questions about the manual like why are there instructions in the game manual for games that aren’t IN the collection?

      He never received an answer…

    • #23308 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      Well, I’m glad to see that people still keep the site active.  How could I go about getting Ken’s attention to this matter?  I have never done anything like I am doing now, in terms of seeking out permission to use the said material in my book.  So, I’m quite new to contacting companies and people in the like.  Actually, the inquiry I made at Sierra’s website, I got a reply in my email today.  The guy, named Ken (ironic, lol) said that he has forwarded my inquiry to a different department that would be able to assist me further.  But I’m not counting on a reply anytime soon.

      How often does Ken come on the forums?  Should I try to email him or something?

    • #23309 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      You’ve found me!

      Sorry, I would have responded sooner, but I’ve been on a boat the last few days and unable to check email.

      You’ve stumped me on this one. I’m usually fairly good at the legal stuff, but I honestly don’t know the answer. Personally, Roberta and I own ZERO rights to any of the copyrights associated with our games. Sierra controls everything.

      Clearly, you can not step on Sierra’s copyrights without their permission. Historically, they have been very reluctant to grant these rights.

      -Ken W

    • #23310 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      Well, I’m glad that I did find you!  I thought I’d never be able to get a hold of anyone.  But I understand completely that you and your wife have no ownership of it, and I apologize for stumping you.  If “Etheria” and “the dragonnets” are under Sierra’s copyright law, I’ll be certain to omit their presence in my book, unless given permission.  And I also understand that Sierra would be very reluctant in giving me permission, so I’m prepared to have my request rejected from them.  But thank you so much for your reply.  If, by chance, you find out anything about this case, could you please email me?  It would mean so much.  And I understand that you may be busy and might never come across the answer in this case.  Working around the copyrights, I’ll have to omit and change a lot of things in my book if they refuse to give me permission.  But then again, a very important part of my book would be lost.  I guess that’s the way businesses work.  I’ll be crossing my fingers though.  Thanks Ken!

    • #23311 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      With all due respect, Lindsey, Sierra (Vivendi) not only has no knowledge of King’s Quest VII or passion for it, they probably won’t read your book, and even if they did, would never put together Etheria in your book and KQ7.

      Basically, unless you mention King’s Quest or Rosella or whatever, you’re home free.

      Excuse my seeming callousness, but really- Vivendi won’t care unless you actually write to them and alert them of your work, in which case you’ll probably get a ‘Our copyright’ email. What else are they going to say.

      – Alistair

    • #23312 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      “Excuse my seeming callousness, but really- Vivendi won’t care unless you actually write to them and alert them of your work…”

      Another case in which they would care … if the book makes millions $$$…

    • #23313 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      Oh, don’t worry about it.  *sighes*  I’m taking care of everything.

    • #23314 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      That does make a lot of sense, money wise.  But if what the original poster of that thought said was true, they probably wouldn’t even notice.  I’m still a little hesitant on just continuing my book with the writing still intact.  I want to make sure I’ve got all the possibilities in mind.

      I guess if anyone has any advice for me and my writing this stuff personally, I’d appreciate the help.  I do appreciate everyone’s replies, even if they don’t please me.

    • #23315 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      If it makes you feel any more comfortable about using the name ‘Etheria’, it is also the name of the planet that She-Ra lives on in the ‘Masters of the Universe’ line. My assumption is that if that has been copyrighted, then it is owned by Mattel.

      A quick check of the US govt Trademark Database shows that there are no live Trademarks for Etheria. Which is good for you. Trademarks are generally harder to get around than copyrights. Copyrights tend to be context based. If there is no troll king and evil fairies in your Etheria.. or a girl who transforms when she holds aloft a magic sword then you’re pretty much set. Its just a name afterall and there are only so many letters that you can work with.

      I’m not a lawyer so if you’re really worried you might want to check with one. But this is how I understand the laws to work.

    • #23316 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      It was very kind of you to look into that for me.  But I have another concern… I’m wanting to use the concept of KQVII’s Etheria.  I mean that I want to use it as it appears, a land in the sky.  The dragonnets are there and so are the Winds.  But the Winds are not the same.  I’m using real Greek Mythology for the contents.  But is using Etheria as the land in the sky and Oberon and Titania alright as well?  I know that they cannot get a copyright on Oberon and Titania, for they’ve been in Shakespearian works and mythology.

      Am I correct in this statement?

      I apologize to everyone if I seem needy and a fountain of endless questions.  I’m just trying to get my facts straight.Smiley

    • #23317 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      I take it you haven’t heard from Vivendi yet Smiley

      I don’t know what names you want to use in your book, but I know that there is a publisher named Oberon and afaik they haven’t been sued yet…

      Also, the names Oberon and Titania have been used in Disney cartoons and other stories. Disney doesn’t own the rights to the names so I think you’ll be fine.

      If you get in trouble, you could always pull a “Dan Brown”! He copied and used so much material from other resources (like Holy Blood, Holy Grail) and he still won the lawsuit. Smiley

      All kidding aside, if you really want to write the book and are really commited to finishing your project, you might want to contact a publisher or lawyer. All we can do here is speculate.

      We don’t want to get you into trouble you know!

       

    • #23318 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      Titania and Oberon comes from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. Etheria appears in publications much earlier than Sierra has existed. http://www.ccel.org/m/mcclure/etheria/etheria.htm

    • #23319 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      It’s true, Vivendi hasn’t contacted me again.  XD  I’m not expecting a reply at all.  I was pretty sure that Oberon and Titania weren’t copyrighted or anything.  They are two mythological people that are used frequently.  The only names I plan to use are “ETHERIA” and the “DRAGONNETS”.  But’s that’s pretty much it.  I don’t think I’d be putting in Oberon and Titania because I’ve been getting serious about my book and the way things have turned out, they don’t fit anywhere in Etheria.  More or less, Etheria has shaped to become an image much that of Olympia, but not at the same time.  I’ve got the gods of my book residing there, so it’s pretty different.  I have planned to use the description as Etheria as the land in the sky, with the elaborate scenery but not the same as the KQ version, and the fact that Etheria rests on the clouds.

      I think it’s still way too early for me to be contacting a publisher or anyone like that.  Even though I’ve been working on this book for around five years or so, it’s far from finished.  I’ve just gotten my inspiration again and am working around the clock on it’s details.  I’m not even writing the story at this point!  I’m still trying to flesh out the world since I did a crappy job of that at first.

    • #23320 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      I know that and I have mentioned it in a few of my replies, so I’m not so much worried about Oberon and Titania anymore.  Plus, at this point in my book, they don’t fit in with the world.  But thanks for the link.Smiley

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