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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Discussion of...    Things you are looking for  ›  Is it legal / proper / off limits... ?
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William
Posted: September 11th, 2015, 1:45pm Report to Moderator
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Are there any legal or dark social problems associated with depicting a member of the British Royal Family (Prince Harry in particular) as a part of a story line?

Prince Harry is kidnapped. Bad guys offer to return Harry in exchange for the Crown Jewels. Our Hero rescues Harry - saves CJs and Harry. And Harry becomes a Hero by wasting one of the BGs who survives and is about to 'push the button' that will ruin everyone's day.
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eldave1
Posted: September 11th, 2015, 8:03pm Report to Moderator
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I think the short answer is - who knows?

Here are two interesting links on the topic:

http://www.writing-world.com/rights/realpeople.shtml

http://helensedwick.com/how-to-use-real-people-in-your-writing/

Unless it is satire, (e.g., Kim Jung Il in The Interview) there is an element of risk in terms of libel and defamation. Seek others, but IMO no one would touch the Prince Harry character without a legal team.


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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William
Posted: September 11th, 2015, 9:05pm Report to Moderator
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Sir...
thank you. no..., really! thank you! you caused a couple of synapse to fire up
with a new thought.
If the story is so freaking far fetched that any 18 year old would recognize
as a fantasy,,, that might do the trick. Or! just call the little f***** Prince Richard...
As WG would say.
what do you think?
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Dustin
Posted: September 12th, 2015, 2:36am Report to Moderator
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One has to tread carefully with the royal family, especially the British section. People have died in mysterious circumstances before, but I'll say no more about that.

So long as it is shown in a good light and the family agree to it, you should be fine. Just write it, and if it is so amazing that somebody just has to make it, they will decide what to do with the royal characters.
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William
Posted: September 12th, 2015, 6:22am Report to Moderator
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Thanks, Dustin.
I have forwarded a request to B'ham Palace, requesting Prince Harry's approval... subject to... bla bla bla
If I get body slammed I think I will simply go with the anonymous name, i.e. Prince Billy Bob (humor implied here).
Back to the keyboard.

William
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eldave1
Posted: September 12th, 2015, 11:47am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from William
Thanks, Dustin.
I have forwarded a request to B'ham Palace, requesting Prince Harry's approval... subject to... bla bla bla
If I get body slammed I think I will simply go with the anonymous name, i.e. Prince Billy Bob (humor implied here).
Back to the keyboard.

William


I'm liking Billy Bob Thornton of Sling Blade for this.

SCOTLAND YARD INSPECTOR
Prince Billy Bob, should we pay the ransom?

PRINCE BILLY BOB
Uh-huh - I reckon.


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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ReaperCreeper
Posted: August 15th, 2017, 3:33pm Report to Moderator
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Generally, if the real-life person is still alive, you're supposed to tread very, very carefully. If they're long dead, though, I don't think anybody would care. If they're recently dead, change the character names.

-Julio
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Bogey
Posted: August 15th, 2017, 4:41pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from William
Sir...
thank you. no..., really! thank you! you caused a couple of synapse to fire up
with a new thought.
If the story is so freaking far fetched that any 18 year old would recognize
as a fantasy,,, that might do the trick. Or! just call the little f***** Prince Richard...
As WG would say.
what do you think?


Obvious satire is protected speech. I remember the landmark case well. Larry Flint had an advertisement in his Hustler magazine called "My First Time". It was an ad for Wild Turkey bourbon, and the ad depicted the Rev. Jerry Falwell describing the first time he had sex - with his mother in an outhouse! Of course Falwell sued Flint, and Flint won. Obvious satire is protected speech.

As for keeping it real and asking for permission from B'ham Palace...zero chance if you're not an established writer. Less than zero if you're writing a story about kidnapping a royal.
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WritingScripts
Posted: August 19th, 2017, 8:02am Report to Moderator
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also on scriptdrive.com. Was on W2R.

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Satire is protected in the U.S. You can write and post it to the net with no problem. If you want to try your luck in a contest with it, check their rules. Writing the script using Prince Harry as a character and trying to sell it probably would get a lawyer or two after you.
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