It has come to my attention recently that a lot of people are simply unfamiliar with United States copyright law.

I've developed this simple primer to help educate and inform on the matter, and hopefully answer some questions along the way.

What is "Intellectual Property" ?

Intellectual property is something created by the mind, which can include literature, artwork, advertising graphics, and more.

The world of Redwall, inclusive of all characters, is a literary work conceived by the mind of Brian Jacques, thus it is his intellectual property.

Why is this important? Essentially, it means that because Brian Jacques created this world, any iteration of it without permission results in a violation of the law. The law states that he should be allowed to profit off of his work, if he so chooses.

A legal entity, The Redwall Abbey Co., Ltd., was created to maintain and protect Brian Jacques' copyright. You can see this referenced on the first page of any Redwall novel.

The Redwall Abbey Co., Ltd. must be contacted for licensing requests.

What is "Licensing" ?

Licensing is the act of granting legal permission; in the case of a literary work like Redwall, licensing authorizes the usage of that work.

Licensing must be requested from a copyright holder before derivative works are created, especially if one intends to profit off of said derivative work. (And even if one does not intend to profit.)

Noteworthy examples include sculptor Julie London, who received licensing to produce Redwall Figurines and Soma Games, which received licensing to develop Redwall: The Warrior Reborn.

If you do not have licensing and you go about creating a derivative work anyway, this is copyright infringement, and you may be subject to legal action on behalf of the copyright holder. This is not something good, and could quickly become very expensive.


  • Q: Is it legal to write and publish my own book, and include places and characters from the Redwall series?
  • A: Without proper licensing/rights, no.
  • Q: Is it legal to produce t-shirts/laptop cases/coffee mugs with Redwall characters and sell them?
  • A: Without proper licensing/rights, no.
  • Q: Is it legal to develop an internet webisode series, and include places and characters from Redwall?
  • A: Without proper licensing/rights, no.
  • Q: Is it legal to write a screenplay to produce/pitch a Redwall movie adapted from a Redwall novel?
  • A: Without proper licensing/rights, no.
  • Q: Is it legal to develop an app or video game with Redwall-inspired places and characters?
  • A: Without proper licensing/rights, no. (Soma Games received official legal permission.)
  • Q: Is it legal to record a Redwall audiobook adaptation with my own cast members?
  • A: Without proper licensing/rights, no.
  • Q: What if I want to distribute my own Redwall movie/audiobook/video game for free? Then it's OK, right?
  • A: Without proper licensing/rights, no.

Simply put, you must request licensing/legal rights before creating/starting/producing/developing any work derivative of Redwall (or any copyrighted work).

If you don't do this, are you wasting your time? Likely.

Remove Redwall from the equation entirely. Replace it with another major fantasy work. You can't make your own Harry Potter movie, Lord of the Rings audiobook, or Watership Down animated series without legal permission either.

Learning more

If you'd like to learn more about U.S. copyright law, the best resource is the United States Copyright Office, located at I also recommend the website of Mark Litwak, an entertainment lawyer. If you wish to create a work derivative of Redwall, please pursue the correct legal path.