Monterey, CA asked in Copyright for California

Q: Using a person's name in a screenplay without asking for permission?

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

Related Topics:
2 Lawyer Answers
Robert Philip Cogan
Robert Philip Cogan
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer
  • San Diego, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: You can do this by using the person's name and hoping that (1) the person never finds out or (2) finding out later that you did not need permission in the first place.

(This is simply a straightforward approach to the issue. It is not a flip answer.)

Steve Charles Vondran
Steve Charles Vondran pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: How were the answers you got lost time? You always have to be careful using a persons name, image, or likeness without their consent. Many states have "right of publicity laws" (for example, California where I practice). There are some exceptions to the rule (in California I am speaking about), such as:

1. Statute of limitations

2. First amendment (privilege for matters in the public interest)

3. Waiver

4. Parody

5. Copyright pre-emotion

6. Incidential use (see Aliso v. Time Life books)

But before you just "flip a coin" and take your chances (it's always best to seek permission from the person), its always good to discuss all the facts of your case with entertainment counsel. I know its redundant, but if you want an answer you can rely on, you need to pony up and get the advice. best of luck!!

1 user found this answer helpful

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.