You are here:

Writing Books/Using a famous person's name.

Advertisement


Question
I'm a medium, and I've written a book which mentions John Edward (he did a reading for me). I've sent him my manuscript and I received an e-mail which appears to be a standard rejection stating I can't use his name. Although it is copyrighted, I'm wondering if I can still use his name. Everything in the book about him is extremely complimentary and in no way could be considered slander. In fact, his reading, changed my life for the better, and I want to share this with the world.


Answer
No, you can not use his name.

You have a letter telling you not to. Abide by it- it means he will sue you for copyright infringement- and using a real name in a book is a BIG NO-NO LAW SUIT WAITING TO HAPPEN ESPECIALLY NY A WEALTHY MAN! He will win hands down.

This means not to use his name!!!

He will sue you and he will win. You will loose. Period!

Do you want to loose the shirt off your back?

Copyright is copyright. His name is his trademark. His name is his livelihood. You can not interfere with that. He chooses not to have his name; his trademark used by any one, and I don't blame him.

He can sue you for liable, slander, copyright infringement, character infraction, and sue you on top of that for any potential income that he feels you caused him to loose by using his name in your book= after he said not too! What is confusing about that?

Go to the copyright laws website and read the US Copyright Laws.

Sorry-- the book is a no deal. If you can't write it without his name and identity-- scrap it. Change the name, change the location, change everything- make it fiction.

No one will publish it anyway WITHOUT seeing and having in their hands- a signed and notarized contract by the name you used for permission- by his attorney nonetheless- and that usually is for a percentage of the sales of the book- IF published.

No one does it for free.

But, it will never be published.

Writing Books

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Jannie Balliett

Expertise

I am a published writer, Chief Editor and own A1 Editorial Service. I teach writing, specializing in novel writing, and creative writing. I can answer most any question concerning writing a book, plot and characterization, tighten the prose, and the editing process, and help advise with publishing and the requirements of obtaining a literary agent.

Experience


I'm a published writer, freelancer, and Chief Editor and own A1 Editorial Service. I teach writing for my two Online writer workshops.

Organizations
Sisters In Crime Internet Chapter, The Short Mystery Fiction Society, and Brazos Writers Group.

Publications
Writers Post Journal magazine, May 2006 issue, Augusr 2006 issue, Nov/December 2006 issue and soon in 2008, On A Whim, flash fiction anthology, offered in Barnes & Nobles and Amazon.

Education/Credentials
Some college, creative writing, fiction writing

Past/Present Clients
I have numerous clients using my service through my editorial service and numerous members in my Online writer workshops.

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.