Real people in fake stories
May 20, 2005 12:55 PM Subscribe
What are the legal ramifications of using a real person in a fictional story? Do you have to have their permission?
posted by bjork24 to Writing & Language (22 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
For instance, what if a character accidentally bumps into a celebrity on the street. No words are exchanged, just an acknowledgment of the fictional character's brush with fame. Or, even more involving, what if a story centered on the completely fictional account of a celbrity's kidnapping... or a love story involving a fictional character and a celebrity.
NOTE: When I say "celebrity," I don't mean celebrity in the tabloid sense... necessarily. It could be anyone of notable significance.
Do the legal issues focus on the extent of the real person's involvement in the story? Is the only way around this to create characters who are obviously similar to their real-life counterparts... only with a slightly changed name (i.e. Brunt Springstein)?