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  1. LordKyleOfEarth
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    LordKyleOfEarth Contributing Member Contributor

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    Story naming question

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by LordKyleOfEarth, Sep 29, 2009.

    If I were to write a story in the style of a famous director (as a mock-tribute) and then include his name into the title, would there be legal ramifications to consider?


    As an example (which I am currently working on):
    Michael Bay's: Frankenstein
     
  2. Nobeler Than Lettuce
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    Nobeler Than Lettuce Contributing Member

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    If it's done as a parody it should be fine. If you're doing it for any other reason I don't see that as being a good idea. Not because of the legal ramifications, but because it would sound stupid. You are supposed to be an independent writer, one who doesn't have to use someone's name to make their work sound better. Though I suppose I've forgotten what classical examples there are of this but am sure there are some.
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I'm no lawyer, but it sounds damned risky to me.
     
  4. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    I wouldn't use their real name, if I did it at all.
     
  5. baillie
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    baillie Member

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    It does sound risky, but as previously mentioned, if you did it as a parody, it could work.

    Besides, if you were going to use a famous director in your title, would you not be better using a decent director ;-)

    "James Camerons : Frankenstein" for instance. Now THAT would work!
     
  6. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    I would be more impressed if it was obvious from the writing who the director was, rather than from his name being planting on the cover (which, on the other hand, would give lots of attention during the lawsuit).
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it's not against the law to use anyone's name, if they're already in the public eye...

    but if what you write is not to their liking, you can be sued for defamation of characater and a slew of other costly stuff... and certainly, if it appears you're claiming to be that person, in writing the piece... keep in mind that the rich and famous can afford to sue a lot more easily than you can afford to defend yourself from a suit...
     
  8. Atari
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    Atari Active Member

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    Obviously, he intends to parody Michael Bay's style of many explosions, ignorance of fundamental physics, and negligence to developing interesting characters.

    It wouldn't be much of a parody if it was "James Camerons," since. . . since it would just be a good story.
     
  9. LordKyleOfEarth
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    LordKyleOfEarth Contributing Member Contributor

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    Pretty much spot on.
     
  10. baillie
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    baillie Member

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    No...I knew that.

    "negligence to developing interesting characters"... Did no one else think that John Patrick Mason (Sean Connery) the ex-sas/ wrongfully imprisoned/ only man to escape from Alcatraz in "The Rock", was an interesting character??

    All other films he's sucked!
     
  11. MarchOfMephisto
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    MarchOfMephisto Member

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    Maybe you could somehow try and ask him?
    In my book I'm writing, I mention a famous person's name and I wrote to him for permission and he replied back saying that I could.
     
  12. sprirj
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    sprirj Contributing Member

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    Oh I would do it, the riskier the better, that is after all how you sell stuff, a bit of bad publicity, everyones doing it nowadays and certainly any law suit would be minimal compared to what your making. See: Dan Brown/James Frey

    :)
     
  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    terribly bad advice!... you seem to be ignoring the fact that a person who is sued must pay for a high-priced attorney before a judgement is rendered and my well have to pay damages, the suer's attorney fees and court costs, if s/he loses...

    so, if the writer isn't independently wealthy, following your advice would be suicidal... and if the book never sells enough to cover said expenses, what's 'minimal' about the suit?... besides which, the suer could even get an injunction to keep the book from being sold, till a verdict is handed down and the book may be pulled by the publisher, to avoid further damage...
     

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