We are not attorneys and this is not legal advice. Please consult with your attorney regarding your specific book and situation.
Many authors of non-fiction titles are concerned about revealing too much about someone they know. The fact is, even if you don’t name the person, if anyone at all can figure out who they are, you can be sued.
Some fiction authors who use real people as the basis for their characters can also run the risk of lawsuits. Some fiction authors use public figures in their books, thinking that’s legal. Some name real companies or products in their books, thinking that’s okay. With the latter, it really depends on how that company or business is protected. And, then there’s the whole trademark violation issue.
Even if you win such a lawsuit, the legal fees alone can bankrupt you. In most cases, the risk simply isn’t worth it. But, there are ways to lessen the chances of being sued.
We have compiled the following articles from WritersWeekly to assist you:
Don’t Invite Lawsuits by Real People Featured in Your Book! (Hint: You Can Still Be Sued Even If You Don’t Name Them!)
“My novel features real politicians. Since they’re public figures, I can’t be sued, right?” YES, YOU CAN GET SUED!