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Proper Names and Permissions : Writers' Block Party • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

Proper Names and Permissions

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JessicaLeigh
Lieutenant
 
Posts: 542
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2006 8:57 am

Proper Names and Permissions

Postby JessicaLeigh » Mon Feb 06, 2006 6:52 pm


JessicaLeigh
Lieutenant
 
Posts: 542
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2006 8:57 am

Proper Names and Permissions

Postby JessicaLeigh » Mon Feb 06, 2006 6:52 pm

I've read two threads dealing with the use of actual people, places, things and whether or not they may legally be used. I have a question for those of you who have published novels. If you use the name of an organization, or of a musician (for example, Bob Dylan), actor, etc.--do you have to acquire the legal right to use it? I mean a simple reference, not the manipulation of the person, place or thing.

Example:

“Pearl Jam,” he says aloud, picking up a vinyl copy of Ten.

Ellen
Sergeant First Class
 
Posts: 283
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 6:49 pm

RE: Proper Names and Permissions

Postby Ellen » Mon Feb 06, 2006 8:05 pm

I once read an article long time ago which was talking about using real names of people or companies in novels or screenplays. I remembered that it said that you may use real names as long as you do not defame them. I forgot where I found the article. Sorry, can't give you much info.

Jamesaritchie
Commander in Chief
 
Posts: 8276
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 12:11 pm

RE: Proper Names and Permissions

Postby Jamesaritchie » Tue Feb 07, 2006 1:22 am


deedee1
Corporal
 
Posts: 176
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2006 6:18 am

RE: Proper Names and Permissions

Postby deedee1 » Tue Feb 07, 2006 4:53 am

If I needed permission to use the names of real people in my humor columns, I'd never get a column published. Ha! Ha! Everyone is fair game. Can you imagine approaching your children and saying, "I need your permission to print this?"

Diana
www.DianaEstill.com

Jumbie
 

RE: Proper Names and Permissions

Postby Jumbie » Tue Feb 07, 2006 5:46 am

If you mention a company I think you're okay too. But if you mention a product you need the registered trademark symbol or what ever they use. For instance, in one of my stories I'm using Fruit Loop(R) and I have the symbol after it. They also want you to use the whole name which can be cumbersome. Like instead of Grape Nuts, you have to say Grape Nuts Cereal. I still have to check on the Fruit Loops - if I have to add "cereal" I'll probably use something else, as it changes the flow and I don't like it.


JessicaLeigh
Lieutenant
 
Posts: 542
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2006 8:57 am

RE: Proper Names and Permissions

Postby JessicaLeigh » Tue Feb 07, 2006 6:25 am

Seriously? So, if I refer to 409 cleaning spray while a character is scrubbing her kitchen cabinets, I need to type the little R with the circle next to it? I was reading Alice Hoffman's Practical Magic the other night and she mentions Snickers bars and Butterfingers sans little R with the circle. So, when do I do this?

As for song lyrics...I know they are copyrighted--and that makes complete sense! I was wondering about the name of an organization. I am using Musicians on Call in my new novel and I e-mailed their NYC office to ask permission to use the name of the organization but no one has replied. I guess I'm wondering what to do next?!?!

yudelka
Captain
 
Posts: 1171
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2005 7:12 pm

RE: Proper Names and Permissions

Postby yudelka » Tue Feb 07, 2006 8:27 am

I agree with James. People are not copyrighted--haha, but their songs and such are. I just recently read, "The Prince Nextdoor," and I was amazed by the author's ample usage of famous names.

As for trademarks and things, I just recently learned that companies can actually lose a trademark if it is used by the public for a long period of time in a way other than to portray the company or item that trademark "word" or whatever represents. Like "aspirin"--it used to be a trademark, but the company lost it because people began using it in their everyday speech so to speak.
Isn't that horrible? To lose a trademark like that!
Anyway, bye for now.

abqwriter
Vice Commander in Chief
 
Posts: 7123
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2005 7:49 am

RE: Proper Names and Permissions

Postby abqwriter » Tue Feb 07, 2006 8:33 am


yudelka
Captain
 
Posts: 1171
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2005 7:12 pm

RE: Proper Names and Permissions

Postby yudelka » Tue Feb 07, 2006 11:11 am


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