RE: About Themes for Fake Names

Subject: RE: About Themes for Fake Names
From: "Dick Margulis " <margulis -at- mail -dot- fiam -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 22 Jul 2002 09:34:13 -0400


bryan -dot- westbrook -at- amd -dot- com wrote:

>
>And, as has been stated before, names can not be copyrighted. They can only be trademarked, and even then you probably can't trademark a normal name.

>
>In the Austin, TX, phonebook I found:
>
>Bruce Wayne
>Clark Kent
>Clarke Kent (I've seen trucks from his business around town)
>Diana Prince
>Barry Allen
>
>All of which are the secret identities of members of the (original) Justice League in DC Comics, three of which I have actually used in internal documentation (after checking the employee directory to make sure that none of them worked here). This is not to say that you couldn't end up spending tons on defending yourself against a groundless lawsuit by some entertainment company.
>
>

That's a partial answer, Bryan. The people whose names you used did not have to sign releases because nobody who cared noticed your use of them.

One of the great Broadway producers of decades past (name escapes me at the moment, but you'd recognize it) used to plaster his ads and theatre marquees with rave reviews from famous critics--even if those critics had panned the show.

The way he did it was by finding people in the phone book with the same names--your trick. But then he went to those people and got them to sign releases for the phony quotes. Maybe he paid them a few bucks. The ruse worked and was entirely legal. Without the release, you could be skating on thin ice if you use the names of certain cartoon characters.

Dick

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