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  1. #1
    Lori Taylor
    Guest

    Using real names in writing a book without their permission, is it legal?

    Is it legal to use real names in a book without the person\'s permission or knowledge? What can happen if you do use real names without permission? What happens to the book that\'s on the self?



  2. #2
    Steven L'Abri
    Guest

    Re: Using real names in writing a book without their permission, is it legal?


    "What can happen if you do use real names without permission?"

    It can result in a lawsuit.

    "What happens to the book that\'s on the self?"

    Any number of things. It depends on the person. It can be pulled, destroyed, used as evidence.

  3. #3
    Frank Baron
    Guest

    Re: Using real names in writing a book without their permission, is it legal?

    What kind of book? What kind of name usage? A famous person or someone you went to school with?

    If you say "Mrs. Cohen was my 2nd grade teacher" - that's not a problem.

    If you say "Mrs. Cohen, my 2nd grade teacher was a harridan who dipped her fingernails in acid and then scratched the naughty kids" - you'd better be prepared to prove it.

  4. #4
    Steven L'Abri
    Guest

    Re: Using real names in writing a book without their permission, is it legal?


    "If you say "Mrs. Cohen was my 2nd grade teacher" - that's not a problem."

    Absolutely not true. The statement may be benign, however one may not want or like their name associated with the book or in print.

    It is always best to not use a real name. Maybe something close? Mrs. Conan rather than Cohen?

  5. #5
    Jena Grace
    Guest

    Re: Using real names in writing a book without their permission, is it legal?

    I think it depends on the context. Authors mention real people in their novels all the time--movie stars, public figures, et cetera--without that person actually playing a role in the story. I highly doubt they write to each one and obtain permission.

  6. #6
    Jude Thompson
    Guest

    Re: Using real names in writing a book without their permission, is it legal?

    I have been asking the same question because I'm writing an autobiography. The way I've handled it is to change the names of people who I may have sounded a bit negative about, but kept the names of good friends. The most difficult thing is that because a big chunk of the book is to do with my past relationship, even if I change the name everyone who knows me will know 'him'! I have thought of asking him to read the book before I ever try to publish it. Maybe I'll just change his name? Any suggestions or advice would be much appreciated.
    Jude

  7. #7
    Jude Thompson
    Guest

    Re: Using real names in writing a book without their permission, is it legal?

    Thanks for asking this question Lori!
    Jude

  8. #8
    Frank Baron
    Guest

    Re: Using real names in writing a book without their permission, is it legal?

    Sorry Steven but you're incorrect. If our mythical Mrs. Cohen was a someone's teacher and that someone said as much in a book, that, in and of itself, is a proveable fact and the author would have nothing to fear.

  9. #9
    Steven L'Abri
    Guest

    Re: Using real names in writing a book without their permission, is it legal?


    Unless you have your law degree and are familiar with intellectual property laws and HIPAA compliance issues, I would not take your advice. Personally, I would be cautious and change the name. I will stick with my original response;

    The statement may be benign, however one may not want or like their name associated with the book or in print.

    It is always best to not use a real name.

    Honestly, it is not that big of a deal. Change the name and be safe.

  10. #10
    Frank Baron
    Guest

    Re: Using real names in writing a book without their permission, is it legal?

    How utterly absurd.

    If people followed your advice the biography sections of bookstores would be empty.

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