1. Oasis101

    Oasis101 New Member

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    Do you need permission from famous people before writing about them?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Oasis101, May 18, 2019.

    Hi,

    I plan to write a book on the band Oasis and one of their tours in the late 1990s. The members who were on the tour are all still alive.

    The research I’m doing is all based on secondary sources such as newspapers. I may talk to some fans as well for recollections.

    Would I need to seek permission of their management?

    Things I’ll cover are slightly touchy like an alleged assault which was settled out or court and an airline banning them for bad behaviour.

    All these events are public knowledge already so my book will be a summary of stories and resources for this particular tour.

    Just in early stages of gathering information at this point.

    Thanks
     
  2. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll Loved by a Sweet lady. :) Supporter Contributor

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    Might be a wise decision to avoid getting copyright infringement, or
    worse a libel suit against you.

    I'm not so clear on all the ramifications that could happen, but I am
    sure someone around here may know the finer details of the law and
    how it can affect writing about such things.
     
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  3. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    You don't need permission, but when writing a nonfiction book like this, you need to show or convince a publisher that you are the best person to write this book. Nonfiction books like this are usually sold on proposal, which needs to provide why you are the one to write this and the answer has to be a lot more than because you've done the research. If you want to contact the manager and maybe line up some interviews with band members, that could help. Proving you have inside access isn't something that everyone has. But if you are just compiling public information that's already out there, is this book really needed? I would give it some more thought before putting too much work into this project.
     
  4. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    What @deadrats said. To sell something on spec the publisher has to believe you can deliver. The main legal risk is probably defamation if you write things that aren’t true.
     
  5. Oasis101

    Oasis101 New Member

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    Hi. Thanks for all the replies. A lot to ponder.

    I was thinking it would be self published as I don’t think any publisher would care So much about the topic.

    From what I’ve gathered so far, 1990s photo and press archives are pretty hard to find. Not much was retained as a lot of it was kept as negatives.

    I plan to license all images accordingly and not make any wild accusations. It was more of a step by step account of what happened in a 2 week period on the tour which hit headlines worldwide but it pretty much forgotten now.

    I plan to approach band management once I have a solid base of source options. Not cost me anything so far to see what is available.

    Not many books have been written about the band and im a total outsider. Just a big fan who wants this tour to be remembered.

    Maybe I am being too bold. Hard not to get excited when you think it’s possibke to complete the project but, as you say, don’t want any lawsuits.
     
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  6. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    bear in mind that all the images will be copyright and by the time you've licenced them you arent going to make a lot of money even if the book sells moderately well

    also when you say not much has been written about the band you've got "from childhood to oasis" by paul gallagher and "Oasis the truth" by tony mcarrol, and oasis whats the story by Iain robertson - all of whom offer inside info that you can't hope to match through secondary research
     
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  7. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Hi there, and welcome to the forum, by the way!

    It might make it easier for you to decide how to do this, if you come up with an angle. What is the focus of your book, or the angle you want it to take? Oasis as seen through the eyes of the media? (Friendly media, versus unfriendly media?) The public Oasis? What the fans think/thought of their heroes? Mainstream media versus music-oriented magazines?

    My feeling is that if you stick to only published secondary sources, you will be okay in terms of libel, etc (as long as the source hasn't been sued! And you correctly document your sources.) You won't be digging into the band members' private lives. If you can find some particular aspect of all their press coverage that's interesting in hindsight, I think you might have the story's focus that would interest a publisher. What's the specific purpose of your book? And what will make it different from other books about Oasis? That's what to decide upon.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2019
    Oasis101 likes this.
  8. Oasis101

    Oasis101 New Member

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    I’m going to draw up a big list of what I want to cover. Chances of me getting inside intel are low but fans I can do thanks to social media connections.

    The idea is that this type of tour and coverage doesn’t happen any more as rock music isn’t so mainstream at the moment. This was just before the internet became the norm so it was the traditional media outlets that covered the carnage. And the band are long forgotten in Australia which is where i’d focus. Thats the point of difference in that most books on them cover the Uk.

    I’ve had quotes for licensing images and it’s around $200AUD for the good pics! Wouldn’t expect to make any money on this. But I would estimate 5kAUD to get this done properly and hope to break even.

    There has been an unofficial biography on Noel Gallagher which was terrible in my opinion. So many facts wrong and that’s a big thing to us Oasis fans such as chart positions etc.
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16115369-noel-gallagher

    At least I’d have my facts right and well sourced!

    Thanks for all the replies. Definitely helping with my thought processes.
     
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  9. Damage718

    Damage718 New Member

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    Semi-related sub-question here...

    What about writing fiction about a real-life dead person? For example, if I were to take an 18th century ship captain, or an old baseball player from 100 years ago and put them in a fictional situation/world, that's ok, correct?
     
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  10. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    its fine so long as you don't libel them in a way that relations still alive might object to ... obviously you have a lot more freedom with Julius Caesar or Spartacus than you do with Winston Churchill or Ronald Regan

    in my book day of the eagle I've included Air Vice Marshal Keith Park and Squadron Leader Douglas Bader in the supporting cast (leigh mallory and hugh dowding are also reffered to but not actual characters) - and i reckon i'm fine since their behaviours etc are closely modelled on their own autobiographys
     
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  11. Damage718

    Damage718 New Member

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    Thanks Moose. I've been careful not to change the characters themselves from how they were in real life. Obviously their dialogue and setting of the stories are made up, but generally speaking the ship captain still did captain's duties, and the ballplayers were still playing ball - both in manners related to how they were in real life - in my stories :)
     
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  12. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    I read a wonderful short story about Ronald Regan. It was completely fiction and published by NPR when they used to have their three-minute fiction contests. It was fiction and not a real-life account of anything. But it was quite moving and beautiful. You can probably find it online somewhere. But, obviously, they had no problem with him being the main character in a fiction piece.
     
  13. ECgirl19

    ECgirl19 New Member

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    This is interesting because I put a line in my potential book about watching the notebook mentioning Ryan Gosling, I wondered if that sort of reference was allowed? It's very surprising what we all have to find out to bring our characters and stories alive.
     
  14. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    titles aren't copyright so that sort of thing is fine - don't quote lines from films unless its very short
     
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