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Copyright for fairy tales? Anyone know about this?

(5 Posts)
fuzzpigFriday Tue 14-Jun-11 19:42:09

I know that lots of classics are free online, like on the kindle etc - does that mean they are completely free of copyright?

Or is there a difference between specific classic novels like Pride and Prejudice, and fairy tales which while generally having a named author like Grimm/Andersen have lots of different interpretations and retellings (so it's more the theme of the story, as opposed to the specific words which make up a book like P&P)

Basically I have a very little idea for a game which would overtly use the themes from a well known old fairy tale, so I'm wondering if there are any legal implications for this, or if fairy tales are completely public domain...

Any legal folk around to give me an idea please? smile

Collaborate Tue 14-Jun-11 22:26:39

I think that the basic stories themselves are long out of copyright. Interpretations of them may still be in copyright.

fuzzpigFriday Wed 15-Jun-11 11:29:43

Ah I see so if I was just using the character and main theme - not any quotes - it would be ok? Confusing... I studied a bit of law in college but not anything to do with copyright etc.

Emzar Thu 16-Jun-11 08:40:37

The characters and themes from classic fairytales would not be in copyright. In the Uk, copyright expires 70 years after the death of the author, hence Grimm's etc. being freely available online. The text of a modern retelling of even classic tales would be protected by copyright, so for example, using the character of Red Riding Hood would not be a problem, but using text from Angela Carter's retelling of the story would be. So it sounds like what you want to do is fine. smile

fuzzpigFriday Thu 16-Jun-11 08:45:09

Thank you very much smile

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