Do I need permission to use a friend's name in my autobiography?

by Ellie

In my autobiography I am telling about my experience of attending seminary and the friend's I acquired during that experience. What I need to know: "do I need to attain my friend's and fellow classmates permission in order to use their names in my autobiography" ?

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Mar 21, 2010
by: Audrey

The short answer is no.

We don't own our names the way we own copyright on our creative works. And if names could be owned, it would be the parents who owned them, but only if they created them. And I've never heard of anyone owning a name in that sense. Trademark, yes, copyright, no.

What you will want to be sure about is that you avoid libel. Be sure you are telling the truth, and that you do not harm another person.

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