1. SunnyDays
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    SunnyDays Member

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    Non-fiction account of illegal subsistence

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by SunnyDays, Jan 11, 2012.

    I have a book written to be published. Looking through it I wonder will the people in it get in trouble down the road if I mention them using marijuana. I want to keep the book as real as possible, but I don't want to give people jail time.
     
  2. Kallithrix
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    Kallithrix Banned

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    If it's a non fiction account based on real people and you use their real names, you need to get their permission first. Otherwise you can leave yourself open to all kinds of problems, including being sued for defamation of character.
     
  3. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Theoretically if the statute of limitations hasn't expired, charges could be brought. The likelihood of that happening is slim, in my view. Also, if you are writing about real people you'll want to be cognizant of defamation laws to make sure none of those people themselves have grounds to sue you.
     
  4. astroannie
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    astroannie Member

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    The accounts are real -- the names are not.
     
  5. SunnyDays
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    SunnyDays Member

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    Well the cool thing is we all had trail names, so they were their real names at the time. The people have names like Ducky, Smurf and Scavenger.
     
  6. Kallithrix
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    Kallithrix Banned

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    If they're only nicknames anyway then why not make up different ones? If their identities can be traced back there still could be a problem.
     
  7. Flashfire07
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    Flashfire07 Active Member

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    YOu shouldn't get in too much trouble. I'd reccomend keeping the names vague as well as not explicitly naming the location. That way if people try to charge them you just say "Ah, dude. This story is set in country x. Pot is legal there" unless that's not an option for your book.
     
  8. astroannie
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    astroannie Member

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    People only sue if you have money. And if you have that kind of money you can afford to pay them off.

    If you don't want to go to the trouble of changing the names, you're probably okay unless it becomes a best-seller.
     

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