Goshen, IN asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Michigan

Q: Can someone make a documentary about a segment of my life without my permission? I live in Michigan.

I produced a film in Michigan in 2018 and now someone is attempting to make a documentary about the event without my permission. Do I have the legal protection to ask them to cease and desist? They are a resident of Ohio and are attempting to interview not only myself, but members of the cast and crew to create said documentary.

1 Lawyer Answer
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: You would be wise to speak with an intellectual property attorney. If you are a producer of a commercial film, you may be considered a public figure, which affords you less privacy interest. Even if you are not a public figure, if the documentary is based on truth, I'm not sure what recourse you have other than to not participate and exercise your intellectual property interests in anything tied to the movie you produced that they seek to use.

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