Someone needs to make an index of concepts/things/creatures/etc that are in fantasy or sci-fi

But indexed by copyright status

E.g. [Talking to snakes] Found in many common Public Domain mythologies; however avoid the terms "Parselmouth" and "Parseltongue," as they are under copyright until 2118 (estimated)

Β· Web Β· 4 Β· 13 Β· 24

Kinda dark 

JK Rowling's birthday: 1965
+ UK women's life expectancy: 83
+ Copyright term: 70
= 2118

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Like, I just saw "hedge witch" go by on the timeline and I honestly don't know if that's just a reference to The Magicians

Or if there's something that pre-dates The Magicians that The Magicians is referring to

Wikipedia redirects from Hedge Witch to Witchcraft, but control-F for "hedge" doesn't turn up anything so

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@bgcarlisle I know I've seen "hedge wizard" in Swords and Deviltry by Fritz Leiber, published 1970

@bgcarlisle apparently "hedge witch" in 1908 referred to a fungus which looked like a boner. Go figure.

@bgcarlisle anyway copyright of ideas or words is very tricky; in general you can't copyright an idea or a term, only a longer work. You can *trademark* a term, but the protections offered by trademark are very different from those offered by copyright. The concept of "character copyright" broke the "you can only copyright a work, not an idea" rule to some degree....

@bgcarlisle .....Bottom line it would be *extremely* difficult to nail down the copyright status of these things; for a lot of them it would justbe be "you won't find out till somebody sues somebody" and often "even then you won't find out because somebody will settle so no legal precedent will ever be established."

@edheil I'm not interested in the legality

I'm imagining a scenario where I wanted to put a fantasy/scifi concept into something, but wanted to make sure that I wasn't just importing a concept from Supernatural into my story that I forgot about

@bgcarlisle Ohhhhhhh ok. Maybe TVTropes would be useful for that?

@bgcarlisle Eh? You can't copyright words, can you? Does a single word exceed the threshold of creativity required for copyright?

@JordiGH Imagine you wanted, on principle, to populate your brand-new fantasy fiction with stuff that isn't tainted with other people's "intellectual property"

Let's put the legal matter aside

And just imagine that you want to write a story about talking to snakes, and you just don't want to be making a book that accidentally has a whole bunch of references to another work that you maybe aren't familiar with or don't want to be associated with

@bgcarlisle Eh, that's kind of impossible. Everything is derivative.

And the legal matters matter. Leguin coined "ansible" and the concept was used in lots of other works. Gibson coined "the matrix" and that spawned a huge franchise. It's okay to reuse single words, it seems.


> Everything is derivative

Yes, that's my point. I just want a reference so I know know what is making a reference to what.

> the legal matters matter

Yes, but I'm not interested in pinpointing the origins of fantastical stuff for legal reasons, per se

@bgcarlisle Hm, I don't understand what we're talking about anymore, so let's leave it at that.

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