Q: Hello, can i ask a question here? am I speaking with a real lawyer?
Okay. I'll explain what i need some advice about - it pertains to copyright. This will all sound a bit odd, so i apologize.
Im a writer. Im writing a fantasy prose story - something with a diesel-punk aesthetic. I'm using publicly free domain fantasy races - goblins, elves, dwarves, gnomes, half-giants etc. In my story, the main character is going to have a profession as an artificer.
Wizards of the Coast has a copyright on "The Artificer" as a class.
If I, in no way tie my artificer to their defined class (no spells, abilities, lore, etc - nothing in common with their class) am I okay to say my character is an artificer?
bare in mind, the word and profession of artificer has existed and predates DnD.
WotC has a fan content policy - ill provide a link here
But again, i want to stress my work is original and in no way related to Dungeons & Dragons.
Yes, real lawyer here.
Although the copyrights for the DnD games and fiction are owned by Wizards of the Coast LLC, that does mean that the word "Artificer" by itself is the subject of copyright. "Artificer" is just a word in the dictionary and its use in original works other than DnD is not infringing.
No one can claim exclusive rights in words alone, except to the extent they are trademarks for goods or services. There is no trademark registration for ARTIFICER.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.