Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1

    Default Using Real Names in a Work of Fiction

    My question involves defamation in the state of: GA although the real people are all over the world

    Hello All,

    I was planning to write a fictitious account on a real life situation and involvs real people. Although 60% of it will be fictitious, a good 40% will be real. Also there are several real people who will be part of this. If the disclaimer says, the book is a work of fiction, can I use the names of real people without any legal threat? I dont intend to write anything insluting, but you never know how people react. Even if the book is fictitious, could I be in threat because some parts of the story actually happened in real life and involved other people's real names and they felt it was insulting? I could change names, but dont want to if it is not illegal.

    Thanks for your suggestions,
    NS

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    8,649

    Default Re: Using Real Names in a Fictitious Book

    Disclaimers usually don't do much. It depends what you are doing. If you're mentioning some famous person doing something well known to have happened, then it's not usually actionable. If your "fiction" somehow taints what really happened you can very well be in trouble.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Using Real Names in a Fictitious Book

    Hi,

    Thanks for the reply... none of the people I was planning to incorporate are famous by any means. also the book will not be about any incidents known to many people. you could look at it as an autobiography... narrated in single person but largeley fictitious. So the people would be the ones I know, and if they happen to read it, they would be able to associate the characters to themselves. please let me know if my question makes sense.

    thanks and regards,
    NS

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    16,119

    Default Re: Using Real Names in a Fictitious Book

    I can't give you a legal answer but just as a point of comparison - I am currently writing a novel that is 100% fiction. I am still googling the names of all my characters. While it would be ridiculous to expect that there is no one out there with the names I have chosen for them, I want to make sure that there is no one out there with these names who is even marginally famous, so that there can be no possible mistaking the real from the fictious. In additional, I will be using the standard disclaimer.

    Given that your book is not entirely fictional and some of the characters are indeed based on real people, I would be very worried about using the actual names. I can promise you that however you view and portray these individuals, at least some of them will find your portrayal objectionable.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Using Real Names in a Fictitious Book

    cbg,

    thanks for the reply... helpful... i guess i'll avoid any risk and go with fictitious names... now, my last question... I change the names, but since parts of it is real, and the person reading it is able to say for sure that the character is represnting him/her, will that be trouble?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    16,119

    Default Re: Using Real Names in a Fictitious Book

    No offense intended, but my crystal ball is out for cleaning. I can't say it WILL be trouble, since I don't know how you plan to portray the person or how the person will feel about it. But I also sure as heck can't say that there WON'T be, either.

    Best I can do, sorry.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Using Real Names in a Fictitious Book

    Quote Quoting cbg
    View Post
    No offense intended, but my crystal ball is out for cleaning. I can't say it WILL be trouble, since I don't know how you plan to portray the person or how the person will feel about it. But I also sure as heck can't say that there WON'T be, either.

    Best I can do, sorry.
    Fair Enuf, thanks for the respones

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Using Real Names in a Fictitious Book

    What law or statute would publishing information about someone violate? Is it criminal or civil. People in this thread are saying that there will be 'trouble,' but what would be the legal basis for the trouble or repercussions?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    16,119

    Default Re: Using Real Names in a Fictitious Book

    Start with defamation and go from there.

    1. Sponsored Links
       

Similar Threads

  1. Defamation: Writing Book, Fiction or Non Fiction 'Suspected Abuse'
    By excusesbgone in forum Defamation, Slander And Libel
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-31-2011, 05:00 AM
  2. Shady Contractor Did Not Finish the Work, No Real Contract
    By listnyc in forum Construction, Repair and Renovation
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 02-02-2011, 03:12 PM
  3. Defamation: Is It Slanderous to Use Real Names
    By Sparrows95 in forum Defamation, Slander And Libel
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 03-26-2009, 01:26 AM
  4. Copyright Law: Fan Fiction
    By Tindytim in forum Intellectual Property
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 05-10-2008, 02:32 PM
  5. How to Transfer Real Estate into Heirs Names in Texas
    By tma_dba in forum Estate Administration and Probate
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 10-25-2007, 01:22 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
 
Forum Sponsor
Find A Lawyer - Free, confidential referrals.
Legal Forms - Buy easy-to-use legal forms.




Untitled Document