Can I use the same character name or book title as another novel?

1. Can I use the same distinctive name as another author's character? 2. Can I use the same book title as another author?

I'm guessing the answer to #2 is yes, but I'm not sure about #1 and less sure about both factors combined.

I want to use the same character name(and probably book title as well...that's less important) as William Gibson's "Count Zero". I've never read it, and my story is a different genre than Sci Fi or Cyberpunk. More of a modern urban fantasy. Although, my character does use "Count Zero" as an alternate name/pseudonym/username/etc.

As some characters and even writers do. Particularly when interacting within/outside of a certain community.

Update:

Damon: Oh yes, to be clear, it is not the same character at all. Just the name/title.

to others: it's sort of like you write a character who chooses to go by "Tom Sawyer" or "Huck Finn" when using an online handle, or within a secret-ish group.

Update 2:

Okay, so it's not really important to use the same BOOK title..it just seemed to me that was the obvious choice. But I'm more concerned with the character title than the book's title. In this situation, anyway.

8 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    The answer to #2 is yes. Though I would not recommend reusing "Count Zero". You may not know much about it, but it's a bit of a cult classic. An awful lot of people would look at your book and either think "I've read that" or "I've heard of that, I'm not into cyberpunk". Either way they would then not read your book.

    However, you _really_ can't use it together with the name of the character from the same book. It's illegal to try to make people think that your work is associated with someone else's copyrighted work, and there's no way you'd get away with using the same character name and the same title.

    It's a character name. Just pick another one.

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  • 3 years ago

    Novel Of The Same Name

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  • 9 years ago

    Generally speaking, yes, so long as they're not too distinctive. For instance, calling a character 'Oliver Wood' or a story 'Sphere' is unlikely to get you in trouble. Calling a character 'Anakin Skywalker' or a story 'The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe' is a lot riskier. See what I mean?

    • Sam6 years agoReport

      So if I used the name Everdean, From the "Hunger Games" (Katniss Everdean) Would that be okay,

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  • 9 years ago

    Ya it can probably have the same title but not the same story line or really have any thing to do with the other book w same title. But you can't "steal" someones elses character, plain and simple. Hope I helped :)

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  • Raven
    Lv 6
    9 years ago

    I don't think you should have the same name and book title as the other book. I suggest you try and come up with something else.

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Yes as long as you don't use the actual character.

    Yes you can also use the same book title. I have seen five different books with the same title.

    Here's an example of many books with the same title

    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-...

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  • .
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    I think this might "worry" you if you do. But if you don't use it you won't have to spend time "worrying".

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    I DO NOT ADVISE SUCH THING.

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