Maybe I should have named my blog Potpourri or Pastiche or simply a Savory Stew because I aim to throw a lot of different things into the pot, mostly about reading, writing and art, but many other things, too, because I’ve lived a long time and have a lot of interests. I also will include here thoughts of others I come upon who share my loves. Including those of you who care to share your thoughts and impressions.
Can You Use a Book Title Already Taken?
posted by Ed Farber on June 17, 2013

Being a relative newcomer to indie publishing, I was under a basic misconception when I selected the title of my first book. I really wanted to name it, Looking Back Laughing. When I Googled that title, I discovered that it had been used before, primarily as a song title. I thought at the time that I couldn’t use it because of copyright law or something. I was dead wrong. If I wanted to I could write a book and name it, Taming of the Shrew, or Hamlet or Gone with the Wind. Titles are not copyrighted, even current titles. Of course, it would be a mistake to do so, but if I wanted to I could. I know that now, but back then I changed the preferred title to Looking Back with a Smile. I think I’m stuck with that title (yes, I do know I can change it if I want, but the change is complicated and I think not worth the effort.) But I can change the cover design as I mentioned in a previous  post.

Here are a few more things you can't copyright:

Titles and names, short phrases and slogans; ideas, concepts, procedures, familiar symbols or designs, color combinations, common story plots. You do copyright your own written book with the story and characters you create. You can be accused of plagiarism if you use other people’s published work as your own without permission. But if you like a book title that someone has used, go ahead and use it safely. I wouldn’t. But you could if you like.

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