Monterey, CA asked in Copyright for California

Q: I am writing a biographical screenplay about my mother, Rosemary Rogers. She was a famous romance novelist.

In my screenplay I am writing about her first husband. Not my father. Her fist husband cheated on her. That is why she divorced him. Her first husband was a man of fame in Sri Lanka. He was once known as 'the fastest man in Asia'. Can I use his name in my script? I need it.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Robert P. Cogan
Robert P. Cogan pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer
  • San Diego, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: The answer depends on many factors. The first, of course, is what you write about him. It is sounds like you would do more than simply mention his name. There are other points of interest. The legal issues include defamation, right of publicity, invasion of privacy to name a few. Whether your use of his name would be problematic requires a legal review which considers a great many facts. There are a few ways to do this right and many ways to do it wrong. I wish you the best in optioning your script and in getting it produced.

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