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A question about a book...
Mattiah Offline
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#1
A question about a book...

Hi guys, I'm writing a book base on the videogame SOMA.
But I have some questions... I mean, I need to know if I can publish that book. Cause I'm afraid to fall into the copyright abyss. Yes, because...

My book, named "The Afterdeath" (in english, the book is in italian for now), is a sci-fi novel about a guy called William Duck. This guy is doing some research in an agency called LSDU (in english: LSCD), an underground place where people study death and what could the humanity find after it. William is doing those research for his dead father, Christopher Duck, who has already worked down there.

So, William finds out that a mysterious guy is getting in William's way to stop him for some reason. This guy, you will found out later, was thinking about a machine able to explore the cosmos. He wants to do this to...

Take ARK back. Yes, ARK, the machine in SOMA where all people, once dead, find themselves inside this thing.

So, I ipotized that ARK, after a couple of years, crashes on the Sun.
And so that guy was trying to create a robot able, as I said before, to reach where ARK is, because he thinks that ARK is still in function on the moon. But that experiment will never see the light, because nobody supported the guy. So, after that, I never mentioned ARK again.

And it isn't that important for the story, I mean, it was an example for saying that this guy is doing experiments about machines and the space.

So, the question is...
Will I get reported for publishing this book, though I credit our lord Frictional Games and their work?

Edit: Okay, so... To be sure of my actions, maybe I might change some things such as ARK's name, but I don't know if I can use its story (life after death and the launch to space).
(This post was last modified: 11-22-2017, 02:52 PM by Mattiah.)
11-21-2017, 10:40 PM
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Mudbill Offline
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#2
RE: A question about a book...

I would say highly unlikely. Not only would that put unnecessary pressure on the community, but they'd get nothing in return for doing so. If anything, it would be positive promotion.

However, I can't say that for sure. Had it been a bigger company, I would be wary, and so the possibility might always lurk, unless the book is released under fair use (and abiding by fair use's requirements). I'm not 100% sure if this qualifies as fair use considering it's a piece of FG's original lore that you're incorporating.

I think a big factor is whether you plan on selling this book or releasing it for free. If it's the latter, you're much safer, but if you plan on making money off it, FG might have a say in the matter.

Those are my two cents anyway.

11-22-2017, 12:25 AM
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Romulator Offline
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#3
RE: A question about a book...

I'm sure you can base it off the events of SOMA, but I would recommend against referencing things by their direct names. The ARK is an acronym of the term Augmented Reality Capsule (with the C being changed to a K), which simply is another imaginative construction of putting humans into unusual environments which has been done in many science fiction media for long since before I was born.

You can take the idea of a floating computer-like object which has preserved humanity or basically anything else (environments, science, etc), have it crash into the sun, but make no reference whatsoever to the ARK or Pathos-II or other terms used in there to avoid potential plagiarism.

Furthermore, while I don't see too many issues with setting the story in the same universe as SOMA, you do have to deal with some continuity problems. For example, supposedly Sarah Lindwall in Tau is the last living person on Earth, and there aren't too many living conditions available on the surface according to a range of logs, distress calls and conversations.

If you're coming up with a narrative, but want to avoid plaigiarism and copyright, then use rely on subtle references and don't use names. Shape the events of SOMA, or some of the ideas in SOMA, to suit your narrative better. Smile

Discord: Romulator#0001
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11-22-2017, 01:22 AM
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Mattiah Offline
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#4
RE: A question about a book...

(11-22-2017, 01:22 AM)Romulator Wrote: I'm sure you can base it off the events of SOMA, but I would recommend against referencing things by their direct names. The ARK is an acronym of the term Augmented Reality Capsule (with the C being changed to a K), which simply is another imaginative construction of putting humans into unusual environments which has been done in many science fiction media for long since before I was born.

You can take the idea of a floating computer-like object which has preserved humanity or basically anything else (environments, science, etc), have it crash into the sun, but make no reference whatsoever to the ARK or Pathos-II or other terms used in there to avoid potential plagiarism.

Furthermore, while I don't see too many issues with setting the story in the same universe as SOMA, you do have to deal with some continuity problems. For example, supposedly Sarah Lindwall in Tau is the last living person on Earth, and there aren't too many living conditions available on the surface according to a range of logs, distress calls and conversations.

If you're coming up with a narrative, but want to avoid plaigiarism and copyright, then use rely on subtle references and don't use names. Shape the events of SOMA, or some of the ideas in SOMA, to suit your narrative better. Smile

I perfectly understood. The point is: I took an existing alphabet (the Cthulhu alphabet of H.P. Lovecraft) and I did a picture of three characters that form the word "ARK", referred to fg's ark.

So, could I simply change the machinery's name for not falling into the copyright or I might change litteraly everything?
11-22-2017, 12:29 PM
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SteveR Offline
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#5
RE: A question about a book...

I am not a lawyer, but I am pretty sure you'll be okay. It wouldn't be the first time someone has written a sci-fi story inspired by someone elses work. As for the ARK? I don't know the answer to that - again, not a lawyer. But, I would strongly encourage you to write a story based on what your imagination comes up with. There are a whole number of influences on SOMA for instance. Philip K Dick, Asimov.

I think legal problems only arise when you start making and selling "The wonderful adventures of Catherine Chun and Simon, through PATHOS 2".

Romulators advice here about continuity (given Lindwall etc) is probably the best. Rather than limiting yourself to the SOMA universe, putting a note that your universe is inspired by so and so... that will probably help you target the right readers?

Just my 2 cents... again... not a lawyer!! If you are really worried about such things, please seek professional legal advice!
11-22-2017, 01:52 PM
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Mudbill Offline
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#6
RE: A question about a book...

If you write it so that it influences SOMA but isn't strictly declared as the same thing, I don't think anyone can prosecute you for it. By leaving out the details that explicitly connects your story to theirs, it could always be something completely unrelated (lore-wise) and just happens to be 2 similar ideas. Easter eggs seem to travel through different companies and products freely.

I once read that no one can copyright an idea.

11-22-2017, 02:21 PM
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Mattiah Offline
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#7
RE: A question about a book...

(11-22-2017, 02:21 PM)Mudbill Wrote: If you write it so that it influences SOMA but isn't strictly declared as the same thing, I don't think anyone can prosecute you for it. By leaving out the details that explicitly connects your story to theirs, it could always be something completely unrelated (lore-wise) and just happens to be 2 similar ideas. Easter eggs seem to travel through different companies and products freely.

I once read that no one can copyright an idea.

Hm. The point is, I used ARK and its story (that is, ARK's launch to space, life in the ARK after a human dies, and all the things you find out by completing the game) for speaking about that mysterious guy's project. This project, named by me as Z390-AJ7, is a little orange-white robot able to travel space. My idea was that ARK crashed on Sun, but this guy thinks that it might be situated on the moon, and wanted to use Z390-AJ7 to do some research for ARK. But people didn't want to support this guy, and so the robot never saw light.

(11-22-2017, 01:52 PM)SteveR Wrote: I am not a lawyer, but I am pretty sure you'll be okay. It wouldn't be the first time someone has written a sci-fi story inspired by someone elses work. As for the ARK? I don't know the answer to that - again, not a lawyer. But, I would strongly encourage you to write a story based on what your imagination comes up with. There are a whole number of influences on SOMA for instance. Philip K Dick, Asimov.

I think legal problems only arise when you start making and selling "The wonderful adventures of Catherine Chun and Simon, through PATHOS 2".

Romulators advice here about continuity (given Lindwall etc) is probably the best. Rather than limiting yourself to the SOMA universe, putting a note that your universe is inspired by so and so... that will probably help you target the right readers?

Just my 2 cents... again... not a lawyer!! If you are really worried about such things, please seek professional legal advice!

Big problems I've got... Ah, well, at least I'm not selling that book with SOMA's characters. And hey, the book is still WIP. I'm only writing page 141 for now. And I'm not selling it to anyone til is perfectly salable without falling into the copyright dark abyss.

I think I will need to change some things about the story, but first I want to know at best what I need to do.
(This post was last modified: 11-22-2017, 02:50 PM by Mattiah.)
11-22-2017, 02:45 PM
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pacman33 Offline
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#8
RE: A question about a book...

I think it won't be a problem because you are giving them credit and your book is not based on the story but just using a machine and the history of the machine. I think you have to check this with a layer but I don't feel like it should be a problem.
11-24-2017, 02:27 PM
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Mudbill Offline
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#9
RE: A question about a book...

Some lore things though: I don't see why the ARK would crash into the Sun or the Moon, since it was set on a straight travel direction far out from the solar system from what I understand. I don't believe it was set to orbit the Sun at all. Of course, your characters may not know that, but they somehow know of the ARK project itself, even though Pathos-II believed they were the last living humans, so how did they get that information/misinformation?

11-24-2017, 06:47 PM
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Mattiah Offline
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#10
RE: A question about a book...

(11-24-2017, 06:47 PM)Mudbill Wrote: Some lore things though: I don't see why the ARK would crash into the Sun or the Moon, since it was set on a straight travel direction far out from the solar system from what I understand. I don't believe it was set to orbit the Sun at all. Of course, your characters may not know that, but they somehow know of the ARK project itself, even though Pathos-II believed they were the last living humans, so how did they get that information/misinformation?

That is. The story is based on the story, but isn't set in the same universe. So the humanity's still there. I only used ARK as a reference, so there isn't any Phatos-II or Simon Jarrett or any Catherine.

Ah, I've changed the name of the machinery, so I think I'm no more in trouble since I've changed the story of it(?)
11-26-2017, 09:43 PM
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