Monterey, CA asked in Copyright for California

Q: I have already asked this question. How do I use a person's name in a screenplay without asking for permission?

I need to mention this person in the screenplay I am writing. Can I change the name and use it?

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II
  • Newport Beach, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: You have asked this same question on at least 7 postings on Justia. First, it is not Copyright. A private person's name is not copyrighted. So when you post over and over and over again in Copyright, the notices of your posting never go to attorneys handling claims of defamation, which is your real issue. If you are talking about "Prince" or "John Wayne" (when he was alive), these names may be copyrighted because they were stage names. But the real issue for your purported plan is whether you expose yourself to a defamation lawsuit, which is what Mr. Cogan was addressing in the answer to your other post on this the same day. So here is the deal, several attorneys have gently told you there are potential problems. I will be more blunt, DON'T DO IT. You are asking for more problems than you seem to be ready to handle. DON'T DO IT because if you have to pay an attorney to defend the defamation lawsuit, you will spend more than $100,000.00.

Justia disclaimers below, incorporated herein.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.