Legal ramifications for writing about fictional relationships with celebs?

Asked by: Amanda Olson

Can you write a fictional book about a celebrity?

The good news is that celebrity names are not copyright protected, just used as a name. If the name is only used to describe the person, it is not covered. However, we do need to cover something called secondary meaning.

Can you write a play about a famous person?

First, a simple rule. If what you write about a person is positive or even neutral, then you don’t have defamation or privacy issues. For instance, you may thank someone by name in your acknowledgements without their permission. If you are writing a non-fiction book, you may mention real people and real events.

Can I mention a character in my book?

Simply evoking a character doesn’t quite rise to the level of infringement, and if the reference is positive, the owner of the copyright would likely see it as free publicity.

Can you sue someone for writing a book about you?

Understanding Invasion of Privacy

Even if everything you write about someone is completely true, you still need to consider her privacy. Invasion of privacy occurs when you publicly disclose private facts not related to public concern. As with defamation, only living people can sue for invasion of privacy.

Is it illegal to base a character on a real person?

Using real people in your fiction—whether they are correctly named or not—can be legally hazardous. If an author includes enough details that a specific fictional character is identifiable as an actual person, that person could possibly pursue legal action.

Can you sue someone for using your life story?

The offense of injuring a person’s character, fame, or reputation by false and malicious statements.” The term covers both libel (written) and slander (spoken). Only living people can sue for defamation, so someone can’t file a lawsuit against you for defamation through an estate or relatives.

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How can I write without being sued?

12 Ways to Avoid Getting Sued When Writing Your Memoirs by Angela Hoy, WritersWeekly.com and BookLocker.com

  1. Change your name. …
  2. Change the names of everyone else in the book, even pets.
  3. Change the descriptions and even the gender of some of the folks portrayed in your book.
  4. Change all locations.