Names changed to protect privacy?
January 7, 2006 7:18 PM Subscribe
Scenario: Linda, an author, is at a party. Linda says that she is writing a book about near-death experiences. Sarah, a guest at the party, says, "Oh, I had one!" and proceeds to recount her experience to the assembled guests. Linda finishes writing her book and includes Sarah's story in it, using Sarah's real first name and some details from Sarah's life (profession, husband's first name and profession, Sarah's religious background). Is Linda legally allowed to do this without changing Sarah's name in the published book? Did Sarah waive her right to privacy by telling the story at a party? What about Sarah's personal details, which were not revealed at the party, but known to the author because of their shared social circle? Legal citations are appreciated.
posted by xo to Law & Government (25 answers total)