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Is Young MacDonald able to be used for a children's book?

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Hi Folks! I wrote a book about a "young macdonald," as Old MacDonald is in the public domain. However, I've come across at least 2-3 other Young Macdonalds--in a song and in one or two books. Do you think I can still use the name "Young Macdonald?" Or can you advise as to how I can find out?

Thank you--your help would be very much appreciated!
#1 - May 21, 2018, 10:16 AM

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That you're finding a number of references suggests you can unless they are all from the same publisher. You might want to double check with a copyright attorney.
#2 - May 21, 2018, 06:00 PM
« Last Edit: May 22, 2018, 08:09 PM by Debbie Vilardi »
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I know that there are kazillion variations on Old MacDonald (because I did some research before working on a manuscript of my own) - so I imagine the same is also acceptable for Young. If you are a SCBWI member, you might try a question on the Ask A Lawyer thread on these boards too.
Best of luck with it.
#3 - May 21, 2018, 07:44 PM
I've Got Eyes! - Amicus Ink (August 2018)

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I agree with Julie. A term like Young MacDonald could probably not be protected by copyright or trademarked since there are already multiple versions. You do need to make sure your characters and situations are unique -- not just for legal reasons but to stand out in the marketplace.
#4 - May 22, 2018, 11:32 AM
Kell Andrews
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THE BOOK DRAGON, Sterling, October 2, 2018
MIRA FORECASTS THE FUTURE, Sterling, 2016

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