Forgery, part four: no copyright in titles

According to today’s Guardian, Jacqueline Wilson’s 86th novel, out this autumn, looks at student/teacher relationships and is called ‘Love Lessons’. Sound familiar?

I’m assuming that despite the huge (by my standards) sales of the 1998 David Belbin Scholastic novel, ‘Love Lessons’, not to mention all the press, prize short listing, million plus library loans and all the five star reviews on Amazon, Jacqueline and her publishers aren’t aware of my novel, which is still in shops. No publisher or novelist would deliberately publish a book with the same title, subject matter and target readership as another recent novel.

There’s no copyright in titles, or ideas, but I’ve written to Jacqueline asking her to change her title to avoid confusion with my novel, a state of affairs that would clearly be far more to my detriment than hers. Her publishers (and mine) have also been informed of the problem. Watch this space and I’ll let you know how the situation pans out. I’ve no desire to fall out with the new children’s laureate, or her publishers, so that’s all I’m saying about the matter for the moment.

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