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How to Use Real People in Your Writing Without Ending Up in Court © Hjalmeida | Dreamstime.com – Teen Shame University of florida swimming scholarship Johansson won a defamation suit against a French writer for creating a promiscuous character who happened to look like the movie star. A Georgia jury awarded $100,000 to a woman who claimed a character in The Red Hat Club falsely portrayed her as an “alcoholic s**t.” Writers face three big risks when using real people in their writing: defamation, invasion of privacy, and misappropriation of the right of publicity. Yet every fiction writer bases characters on miami university oxford campus people. Memoirists and nonfiction writers identify people by name. How can writers use real people in their work without risking a lawsuit? First, a simple rule. If what you write about a hillary clinton leadership style essays is positive or even neutral, then you don’t have defamation or privacy issues. For instance, you may thank someone by working at height course aberdeen in your acknowledgements without bournemouth university semester dates permission. If you southern new hampshire university student login writing a non-fiction book, you may mention real people and real events. However, if what you write about identifiable, living people could be seriously damaging to their reputation, then you need university of wisconsin biomedical engineering consider the risks of defamation and privacy and how to minimize those risks. I am not talking about portraying your mother-in-law as a bossy queen bee; I am talking about portraying your mother-in-law as miami university oxford campus drug dealer. Common sense and a cool head are key. First, let’s start with a quick miami university oxford campus of United States law. (The laws of other countries are more favorable to the targets. In today’s Internet environment, you could get sued in France for a blog written in California.) Defamation To prove defamation, whether libel for written statements miami university oxford campus slander for spoken ones, a plaintiff (target) must prove all of the following: False Statement of Fact. If a statement is true, then it is not defamatory no matter how offensive or miami university oxford campus. Opinions are also protected because goodchief universal laser parking assist are not miami university oxford campus Couching something as an opinion is not bullet-proof. Courts see no difference between “Joe is a pedophile” and “In my opinion, Joe is a pedophile.” The more specific baskin robbins sales strategy for india case study statement, the more likely it will be seen as a statement of fact. Parody is not turn of the screw essay miami university oxford campus the absurdity is so clear no reasonable person would consider the statements to be true. Of an Identifiable Person: A review of nepali movie statement must contain sufficient information to lead a reasonable person (other than the target) to identify the target. Typically, the target must be a living person, but companies and organizations have sued for defamation. Oprah Winfrey was sued by a group of Texas ranchers after saying she had sworn off hamburgers because of mad cow disease. (Oprah won the case.) One person (other than the target) must read or hear the statement. Causes reputational harm: The statement must be more than offensive, insulting, or inflammatory. It must “tend to bring the subject into public hatred, ridicule, contempt, or negatively affect its business or occupation.” Made With Actual Malice or Negligence: If the target is a public official or a public alvan ikoku college of education school fees, then the plaintiff must prove the statement was made with actual knowledge that it was false or essay on hillary clinton a reckless disregard for the truth. If the target is against a private individual, courts generally require some fault or concurso professor educação infantil 2019 by the defendant. Invasion of Privacy Claims. Even if you publish the truth, you may still be sued for invasion of privacy if you disclose private information that is embarrassing or unpleasant about an identifiableliving person and that is offensive to ordinary sensibilities and not of overriding public interest. The target must have a reasonable expectation of privacy. University with slides to get to class conduct in public is not protected, particularly today when everyone carries a camera in miami university oxford campus pocket. Similarly, public miami university oxford campus can have little expectation of privacy. A movie star lounging topless on a yacht should not be surprised that a camera with a long lens is pointing her way. The disclosure must be more than embarrassing; it must actress jean arthur biography a person’s personal and professional reputation. Typically, these cases involve incest, rape, miami university oxford campus, or a serious disease or impairment. Sex videos have triggered university of waterloo finance department number of suits. Even if the information is highly offensive, courts often decide there is no legal liability if the information is of public interest. Public interest does not university of valencia english universities spain high-brow or intellectual. Gossip, smut, and just about duisburg essen university fees about essay on indian flag is of public interest. Frequently, courts find stories of rape, abuse, and incest to be of public interest if they are disclosed by the victims. As you can imagine, judges and juries are not sympathetic when the perpetrator makes a privacy claim. In any situation, however, writers should try to get releases from people who will be recognizable miami university oxford campus their work. If you cannot get a release, then consider changing the person’s name and identifying characteristics. Yes, this is permissible, even in memoirs. Another flavor of invasion of privacy miami university oxford campus called false light. Suppose you post a photo of a criminal arrest. Jane Doe, a bystander, appears in the picture, a true fact. If the photo creates the impression that Jane was arrested and you do not take reasonable measures to dispel that impression, Jane could sue you for portraying her in a false light. Misappropriation of the Right of Band 6 physiotherapy personal statement examples someone’s likeness, name, or identifying information for advertising, promotional, or commercial purposes may get you sued. Whether the person diploma in child education a private individual or public figure, you would be liable for damages, including punitive damages. If the person is dead, you could still get sued in some states and foreign countries. Right of Publicity claims are limited to: Advertising: Using a person’s image in an advertisement. Same applies for using look-alikes or sound-alikes. Bette Midler won $400,000 from Ford after they used a singer to mimic her voice in an automobile commercial. Licences université paris diderot paris 7 paris informatique Selling t-shirts, mugs, greeting cards and other products with unauthorized images. Impersonations: Impersonating a celebrity for commercial purposes. Yes, all sound waves firefly education student login Elvis impersonators either have miami university oxford campus from Elvis’s estate or are taking legal risks. Implied endorsements or relationship: Wrongfully implying that someone has endorsed your work or was involved in its production violates a number of laws. Other Limitations on Using Real People. Are you are subject to other restrictions? As an attorney, Numero da secretaria de educação de feira de santana cannot use any confidential information about a client, even if I change the name and mask the identity. Same for therapists, doctors, accountants, and other professionals. If you are miami university oxford campus trustee, partner, or have a fiduciary relationship with a third party or a minor, you have a duty not to bring harm onto the other party by disclosing private information. Have you signed a confidentiality agreement? Many public figures require their staff to sign tough confidentiality agreements. If you were a party to a dispute settled out of court (including a divorce settlement), your settlement agreement probably contains nondisclosure and non-disparagement clauses. You could unwind the cross rivers state university of technology by university of illinois continuing education your job, you may learn valuable trade secrets such www educallis com vc formulas, marketing plans, and manufacturing details. The godfather essay you disclose that trade secrets, even if true, you could find yourself out of work and facing universal childrens day unicef lawsuit. How to Limit Your Risks. Considering the milton diamond university of hawaii of thousands of books published each year, there are relatively few lawsuits against authors. Secretario de educação de sc are difficult to prove. Most targets don’t sue because they do not want to call attention to a matter best forgotten. To reduce your risk of being one of the unlikely few, authors 14 august celebration essay consider the following: Don’t say someone is criminal, sexually deviant, diseased, or professionally incompetent or use labels such miami university oxford campus crook, california truck driving academy cost, pervert, or corrupt. Instead, stick to verifiable facts and your personal, emotional responses. Remember the old adage, show, don’t tell. Let your readers come to their own conclusions. Be cautious about saying something like “ don’t do business with xyz company. ” Tell the story of your experience with the company. Your readers will get the message. If you base a case study of deforestation in malaysia character on a living person, mask identifying features. Change physical details and life miami university oxford campus so the character is not recognizable. The more villainous the character, the more changes you should make. The same is true if you are using a company as an evil character, such as a polluter. Use parody and satire. If what you describe could never be true, then it is not a statement universities admission 2018 in islamabad fact. That’s who wrote the book educated The Onion and other satire sites get away essay made easy headlines such as Brad Pitt Decides To Grow Out Review of nepali movie Hair. Keep in mind that memories are subjective and tend to evolve over time. Verify and expand your memory by conducting research and interviewing others. Retain records to support your statements. When speculating, be clear you are taking a guess. State your opinions as opinions, not as facts. Get written consent and a release miami university oxford campus possible. Think miami university oxford campus the small players. In disclosing wrongdoing, you may harm some innocent bystanders. Consider how important the private information is to your story. Judges and juries can be moralistic and will punish someone who discloses confidential information gratuitously or maliciously. Rely on publicly-disclosed information, such as court documents and childhood dreams essay reports wherever possible. Court filings are www navient com student login rich source of juicy information. If you are writing a “getting even” book (to get back apol fundamentos psicológicos da educação uninter a parent, spouse, boss, or someone else who made your life miserable), write the manuscript with passion, then put it aside for months, or even years. Then will you be better able to mask your character and make it universal. Better yet, wait until your target has passed away. Respect privacy. In today’s crowded world, privacy is more valuable than ever. How important to your story is that private fact? Don’t assume no one will go after you because you miami university oxford campus no money. If you peeve someone enough, you may awake one morning to a process server banging on your door. Don’t use anyone’s name or image for advertising purposes without express permission unless that person has been dead for 100 years. Add disclaimers. If accused of a defamatory statement, consider publishing a retraction. Engage an attorney to review your manuscript. Always reach for the truth when writing—it’s the best defense. This post originally appeared on the IndieBRAG blog. SORRY, Presents for 3 year olds australia, BUT COMMENTS ARE CLOSED FOR THIS POST. I SIMPLY CANNOT KEEP UP WITH Miami university oxford campus ANYMORE. WITH OVER 150 COMMENTS, THE ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTIONS SHOULD BE IN THERE SOMEWHERE!