How can fictional works present unflattering portrayals of living people without legal comeback?
November 5, 2008 11:45 AM Subscribe
Recent dramas have used (without ambiguity) the name and image of real living figures and events in fiction and film. How this is legally possible? Is it covered by Fair Use
posted by Hugobaron to media & arts (17 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I have searched as well as I can on the internet and previous posts, but can't find a succinct or clear answer. I understand that the relevant laws vary internationally, but I'm confused about some recent dramas that include real, living historical (and presumably litigious) figures, not in an entirely flattering light, though clearly avoiding libellous portrayal. How are writers able to do this? I'm thinking of W.
, The Queen
, even the Tom Cruise "cameo" in American Psycho
(the novel). Fair use
(for parody or satire) doesn't seem to apply to these. How does it work legally?