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if your writing a book do you have to have someones permission to use their name in the book?

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  • 1 month ago

    Not unless the character is a direct representation

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  • 2 months ago

    I think it depends on who that person is and whether your book would be detrimental to them. I did use friends in a book I wrote, but I asked for their permission. I didn't get it in writing and I didn't use all their last names, just some.

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  • Marli
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    It's not illegal, but if you know that person, you should ask permission to use their name.

    If the use of the person's name causes harm to the person (eg. his business suffers, he loses his job, he or his family is ridiculed) that person has a case for libel against you unless you prove he is what you wrote.

    • Steve2 months agoReport

      what state or country are you in ?

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  • Logan
    Lv 5
    2 months ago

    If it's about that person then yes. If the person is dead and it's about the dead person it is courteous to ask the descendants for permission as it is their family.

    But, if you're just using the name cause it fits your character and a friend or relative whatever happens to be named the same thing then no. You don't have to have permission.

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  • Andrew
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    If YOU'RE thinking about writing a book, you ought to know the difference between YOU'RE and YOUR. If you haven't got the distinction sorted out, then YOU'RE nowhere near ready to write a book. 

    And yes, you do need to obtain permission before you can write about someone, but only if what YOU'RE writing about is factual. If it's fiction, then you don't. But if what you write is deemed to paint that person in a negative light, there could be repercussions if there's enough evidence to prove that you based the character on them. 

    I don't know where you live. It would probably be a good idea for you to research the laws in YOUR country instead of asking a group of strangers from all over the world. 

    • JerryL
      Lv 6
      2 months agoReport

      andrew i agree

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  • 2 months ago

    Why don't you research the laws concerning what you can and cannot use when writing a book? 

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  • Speed
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Is the person a public figure (say an actor or politician) who's doing what the real person does, with no negatives that don't exist in the real person's public life? Then you're in the clear--and if you read a lot, you'll see it. Senators, athletes, musicians, heroes of WWII, student leaders, Playboy centerfolds, protest organizers and more have appeared as themselves in fiction without having given permission.

    You cannot have them doing anything they don't do in real life unless it's 100% good. You can't assign them sociopolitical opinions they haven't voiced, have them swear more than they do, neglect their kids, cheat their employees, cheat on their wives, be cruel to their mothers or rude to waiters, etc. If you do, you open yourself to a lawsuit.

    Where you get into the worst legal trouble is people who are not public figures. They have a right to privacy and you cannot publicly expose their shortcomings (even if you can prove they're true) because it's considered proof of malice. Don't ever use the real names of the people who inspired your characters, including some variation of the real thing. You can't turn high school bully Loretta Barrett into Laurie Barlett and get away with it.

    And if you make up a character who holds a specific job (a small-town sheriff, an aspiring cellist, a Sicilian mobster, a crazy murderer--anyone who is less than perfect, as all characters should be) you'd be foolish not to google that name in quotes and their job or defining characteristic so you can avoid naming a real small-town sheriff, aspiring cellist, etc. It's surprisingly easy to do.

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    • Marli
      Lv 7
      2 months agoReport

      If a producer wants your story, then you really should get written permission from the people in your book to use their names.  If I was one of them, I would withhold mine until after I approved what you wrote about me.

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  • 2 months ago

    not if you made up the name out of the blue

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  • 2 months ago

    sometimes you do

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    research your laws and figure it out

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