I have a few simple questions, thanks in advance for anyone who is kind enough to assist me.
I'm interested in starting a "satirical newspaper" web site that focuses solely on making fun of celebrities. It will be something of a "fake tabloid" featuring extremely outrageous stories. The stories may be INCREDIBLY insulting and completely tasteless (including fake quotes, badly photoshopped photos, and ridiculous allegations) in addition to being completely false. I have written a good amount of hilarious fictional stories featuring the names of real celebrities and am anxious to launch the site, but I'm afraid that I'll be sued for libel because the site intends to "cross the line" in terms of political correctness and good taste. The site would clearly be something of a "startup," so I don't really have money to hire an attorney on just an idea. Here are my questions:
1. Is it illegal to write fictional stories about real people if you disclose that the article is completely fabricated? If so, is there an "opinion loophole" that I could use?
2. Assuming I have a legally acceptable disclaimer in plain view (which claims that the material is intended only for humor) on every "page" of my online newspaper, will it protect me from being sued by an angry celebrity who claims I crossed the line?
3. What can I do to properly protect myself against a lawsuit? If a lawsuit is inevitable, how can I bulletproof my site so that I will have the best chance to win any lawsuit brought against me.
Thanks for your time,