what about real personal names, so for my movie I need actors and I need names, what if I accidentally use already existing name, I mean someones name can He/She do something against me?
It's unlikely that anyone would sue you for defamation or whatever if you used a name that coincidentally
was his or her name, especially if the character in your movie bears no resemblance to the individual and
doesn't have the same job or characteristics as the individual. If you created an evil rapist character,
depicted him as fat and freckled, and named him Gill Bates, it's unlikely that Bill Gates would think you
had chose to use his name, thinly disguised. But if you created a character who headed a software mega-
lopoly and then went into philanthropy, depicted him as nerdy with glasses, and named him Gill Bates, then
Bill Gates would think you had created the character after him. He might not sue you for that, unless you
then made your character an evil rapist multibillionaire.
If you created a character named Tom Sloper, no matter what your character did, I'd assume you did it
intentionally, because my name is not that common and we have had this conversation, so I know you are
aware of my existence. Would I sue you for that? I don't know - depends on a lot of things.
I'm going on too far afield with this question. In general, you can make up random names in safety, since
there are so many people with similar names and it's unlikely that someone could prove malicious intent
on your part in using the name.
I am not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice.
Edited by Tom Sloper, 24 July 2016 - 07:33 AM.