Making up user names

Subject: Making up user names
From: Mike Sawyer <msawyer -at- CALLWARE -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 24 Sep 1996 11:58:49 -0600

We get to make up names plenty for our doc here at CallWare. We've used
several methods, keeping in mind we want both male and female names, and
"international" names.

1) Look through any white pages. Sooner or later, you will find names
sufficiently "foreign"-sounding. You can mix and match, if you want to.

2) Use names of employees at your company, and ask their permission. If
your company has a sufficient international "representation," you'll
have all the variety you need.

3) Sometimes I've used mixed names from my favorite recording artists.
(first name of the ZZ Top drummer, last name of the vocal soloist in the
Empire of the Sun soundtrack, etc.)

Keep in mind that nobody has a copyright on their personal name. For
your company to get in trouble for using someone's name without their
permission, that person would have to prove that (1) the literature was
attempting to refer to an actual person, (2) that the actual person was
the accuser and _only_ the accuser, and (3) that damage was actually
done. The burden of proof would be on the accuser, and (1) and (2) can't
be proven, although the accuser may succeed in presenting a case for

Go ahead and use real names. The only reason I ask permission of the
employees at my company is that, although they'd have no legal grounds
for complaint, I'm a technical writer and I have work relationships to

--Mike Sawyer (c) 1967-1996 Mike Sawyer, Inc.
"Mike Sawyer" is a registered trademark of Mike Sawyer, Inc. Any
unauthorized duplication of this name, whether by print, broadcast, or
other electronic means, is strictly prohibited.

Mike Sawyer o-
Technical Writer
CallWare Technologies, Inc.

Note: This post may contain misspellings, grammatical errors,
disorganized sentence structure, or may entirely lack a coherent theme.
These elements are natural to the process of writing, and will only add
to the overall beauty of the post.

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