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Publishing "imaginary" quotes by someone else
Thread poster: idealistico101

Jul 23, 2014

Hi guys!

I am writing a book and to spice things up I´d want to add some funny quotes.

- John Doe is a presenter of a big tv show and famous for his witty remarks.
- I would write similar to this - "if mr John Doe commented on this he would probably say "yes this is a bunch of baloney" (or similar).
- I would clearly state in the beginning of the book that these quotes are fictional
- The quotes would of course not be defamatory, include hatred/racism or whatever offensive material.

Do I have to ask for permission etc to do this?


Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:05
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Why do it at all? Jul 25, 2014

I think you would be best advised to make it clear in the text each time that it was not a real quote.

As John Doe might say, 'you are on dangerous territory here.'

Even with a note at the beginning, it would be difficult for readers to remember that quotes were supposed to be fictional. If you look as if you are quoting real people, then you should be courteous enough to quote them correctly.

Otherwise you need to underline that you are speculating, so that you are not misunderstod.

I wonder what John Doe's comment on this would be? That he did not like being misrepresented, even if he partially agreed with what he was supposed to have said?

Of course that sort of thing is not as funny.

Why not simply add your own punchlines and take the credit yourself?
You could also invent a fictive commentator, if you want to use different identities to present different sides of an argument.

Laws on libel and misrepresentation vary round the world, but my gut reaction is that even if it is not illegal, it is unethical.

Or else yes, you should certainly ask permission and agree if you can with the person mentioned on every comment.


Phil Hand  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:05
Chinese to English
Under which law? Jul 25, 2014

As I understand it, under US law, if someone is a public figure, then their name can be used in the way you suggest. However, that is only relevant if you are publishing in the US. If you're publishing in the Philippines, you must check the law in your country.


Hi Jul 29, 2014

Actually there´s no problem revealing who the persons are. They are Jeremy Clarkson and James May from the super popular tv series Top Gear. Especially the former is known for his quotes - Google him and I am sure you will have more than one chuckleicon_smile.gif The show is shot in England but broadcasted almost everywhere. The book would be written in swedish but there would probably be an english/international version aswell.


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