Great question! Yes and no. You might want to check and see if these spells and other written work is protected it could be, check out the title page or other introductions and see if the author list a copyright number or simply states copyrighted by author or uses the copyright logo. If so the work is protected. Even if the author did not formally copyright his work it is covered under the Berne Convention rules and agreements covered under any published work.
In the United States, since 1978 there has been no formal requirement to mark your work with the copyright symbol in fact, and with the Berne Convention in play no formalities at all. Copyright is created in a work once it is fixed into a tangible medium of expression.
This means once your story, casting, ritual, spell or story is protected the second you hit the “save” button. This saves the formality of being registeted with the U.S. Copyright Office in Washington DC, but if you want to enforce that copyright in a court, you need to register it.
However, copywriting your work is an easy process and you can do it online with both the government office in question or others that provide that service and protects the original authorship.
I would encourage people to put formal copyright notices on their sites it is something that is free and easy to do that prevents a lot of innocent infringement. It may not have any legal standing, but it can definitely save some headaches as enforcing copyright and intellectual property rights and laws and statutes is near impossible and costly.
Is there any chance that an author of an obscure occult text will come after you? I would doubt it. But there are other consequences for plagiarizing someone’s work that could go against you.
If there is a violation of copyright the owner of the copyright may be entitled to damages, penalties and reimbursements if the owner’s work is duplicated without authorization a copyright owner supposedly may be able to get damages and the profits an infringer has accrued. However, if there is no money involved with the copyright violation which is how they add up damages technically there is no suit. The author could still come after you in court by asking for declaratory relief by asking the providor to forcibly take down the online posting of his copyrighted work. But with the huge costs involved that is also unlikely.
The author could potentially get websites pulled down, blacklist competitors from advertising and draft “cease and desist” letters to help scare off infringers. There are many complications finding the guy who is using someones copyrighted work or intellectual property is near impossible to get him served so they would probably go after the provider. However new laws prohibit this as the provider is no longer responsible for various individuals posting online.
Copyright does not apply to names or short phrases. If you are using that for the purpose of identifying yourself or your casting or ritual.
Many simply change or reworked short stories and even screenplays thereby hoping to side step copyright provisions. Writing something or creating it yourself does not automatically mean that it is not a copyright infringement. For example, if you write a story based upon another book or take a photograph of a painting, even though you created a new work, it could be what is known as a derivative work and infringement.
This is a very tricky that simply doing your own work does not protect you from copyright infringement so long as that work is based heavily upon the work of someone else.
Lastly the Fair Use Act. This is used by many students to display copyrighted work for school or in an educational setting. Fair use is a very narrow exemption under copyright law where an infringer is not liable for using someone else’s copyrighted work without permission.
Fair use strongly favors uses that are transformative, meaning that the copy is a new work, one not designed to replace the original, and that the fact your use was or was not commercial i.e. you are using film clips from a Hollywood A List film for a student documentary film on making it in Hollywood.
A know this is long but i think it covers all the bases.