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Writing Books/Real Settings


My question is relatively simple, however it is one for which I have no answer. Does an author have to get permission to use a real place in a setting? For ex: If a writer uses Yale University as a setting, does he or she have to get permission from Yale?

Thank you,


David, that is an excellent question. The answer is yes and no.

Each university has their own and unique copyright rules and laws within it's statures...

Some universities allow use of their name and mention, others definitely do not.

Contact Yale University directly and ask, or, if they (and probably do) have a web site, their policies of copyrights should be viewable.

When in doubt-- don't. Or at least, check it out first. Most copyright laws can be found at the National Copyright web site, but regarding name and reference usage-- contact that source directly.

I hope that helps.

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Jannie Balliett


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.


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

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

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.

Some college, creative writing, fiction writing

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