What are the legal issues relating to naming living people and passing negative judgment on them? In a novel can I hypothetically write something like “Paris Hilton is a whore” or “George Bush is a fool?’ What can I get away with? Does it make any difference if my derogatory remarks are placed within a frictional work rather than a serious critique? A second question; I saw a book on the shelves called ‘Barry Trotter’. It was a comical spoof based on ‘Harry Potter.’ How far can you push this kind of parody without being liable for plagiarism?