View Full Version : Real People in Memoirs

07-04-2014, 11:18 PM
What are the rules about using people's real names , and real people, of course, in a memoir? Almost all of those people are dead, (conveniently) but they will have descendants who would recognise the names.
Do I have to change everyone's name, or change their identity, to be safe? There are a few events which are serious, but the instigators are dead and from other countries. However most of the happenings are mundane/safe and normal.

Siri Kirpal
07-05-2014, 04:08 AM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

If the person isn't dead or famous, you're wise to get permission or change the name (and other identifiers). In that case, put a disclaimer before the text stating that some names and identifying details have been changed.

If the person IS dead or famous, legally it's supposed to be okay to use the name. But if you think you might have problems anyway, change the name and use a disclaimer.

BTW, we have a Memoir section of the forum and this question comes up there a lot.


Siri Kirpal

07-05-2014, 03:50 PM
Thank you for that prompt reply, I was thinking some disclaimer might be the way, plus changes of names. Will go over to the other forum for more!