1. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Using a Man's Name

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by psychotick, Dec 26, 2012.

    Hi Guys,

    Just a quick question. Any issues (legal or moral) with using a famous man's name in a work. In my case I just wrote a short time travel novella about the first time ship's greatest adventure and because he just died recently and I have tremendous respect for the man's achievement, I called the ship the Armstrong. (And not for the cyclist!) It seemed an apt name for the first time ship, but isn't used in advertising the work in any way.

    Thoughts?

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  2. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    There are two sides to this coin. On one side there is the point that 'Armstrong' is quite common (in Great Britain there are over 37,000 people with the surname of Armstrong) and there is no actual proof that your ship's name is inspired by the astronaut. However, the flip-side is that legalism is extremely irritating and people may not like you using it. I think you should ask around - email that would deal with that sort of thing and ask them about it. Hope I helped. :)
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    there is no legal risk in using neil armstrong's last name for a space ship named in his honor... there could be, if you used his full name in some denigrating manner...

    people who are public figures can be and are used in fiction all the time... it only becomes a problem if what you write about them puts them in a bad light [unless they're there already, as with famous mobsters and serial killers, that is! ;) ]
     

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