Can you get sued for writing fiction?
Can you get sued for writing fiction? Using real people in your fiction—whether they are correctly named or not—can be legally hazardous. If an author includes enough details that a specific fictional character is identifiable as an actual person, that person could possibly pursue legal action.
Can you sue someone for writing about you in a book? The offense of injuring a person’s character, fame, or reputation by false and malicious statements.” The term covers both libel (written) and slander (spoken). Only living people can sue for defamation, so someone can’t file a lawsuit against you for defamation through an estate or relatives.
Can you fictionalize a true story? Using your life as a source for a fictional novel is a great way to turn your own stories into something new and resonant. Retelling and adapting true stories is a time-tested method that many great fiction writers use to produce iconic fictional stories.
Can you base a fictional character on a real person? Using someone’s name, image or life story as part of a novel, book, movie or other “expressive” work is protected by the First Amendment, even if the expressive work is sold or displayed. Therefore using a person’s life story as part of a book or movie will not be deemed a misappropriation of the Right of Publicity.