I like to (attempt to) write stories. I have lots started, but none finished. But my question is if I were to write a story about Captain Kronos (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Captain_Kronos_-_Vampire_Hunter), would I be able to get it published? Now I doubt I will ever finish it. And if I do, I doubt it would be good. But how do the laws work? Would I have to get permission? Or are such things in public domain?
It depends on what you mean by “published”. There’s lots of free fan-fic circulating on the internet using copyrighted characters. Technically most of these stories are in violation of copyright, but as long as no one’s making any money and the source of the characters is openly acknowledged the copyright holders ignore it.
However, if you were to attempt to make money off your story you might get sued. The movie is only from 1975 so it’s almost certainly still under copyright. And it’s pretty unlikely that the owners will give you permission to use the character if you can even track them down.
Why not write your story and then change a few details like the name of the main character and his physical description? The idea of a “vampire hunter” isn’t copyrightable, only that movie’s particular expression of the idea. Change the character to make him more original and you should be fine.
I could do that. But I love the movie, and there is just something about the character. If I change the character, then the idea dosn’t even interest me.
Thank you for the reply.
I’m sure you could think of ways to improve the character. Making him even better would make for a better story.