Q. I’ve have a web site for my mystery novels, and I link to many other author and publisher sites. I’ve heard there can be liability for trademark or copyright infringement for such links. Can this be true? A. There have been numerous attempts to hold linking sites responsible for copyright and trademark infringement, and … Continue reading Q&A: Web Linking Liability
Q. Some writers have formed limited liability companies (LLCs). What’s the advantage? A. An LLC is an entity with the advantage of limited member liability and flexible tax structure. Although a single-member LLC by default is treated by the IRS as a sole proprietorship, a single-member LLC also may choose to be treated for tax … Continue reading Q&A: LLCs For Writers
Q. I heard about the libel lawsuit against “Law and Order.” I thought fiction was exempt from defamation claims. What gives? A. Making a libel-in-fiction claim in the U.S. (other countries may differ substantially) has historically been very difficult for several reasons. First, the Supreme Court has ruled that an author or publisher … Continue reading Libel in Fiction
When you write about real, live people you can expose yourself to legal liability in multiple ways. And simply changing the names is no solution if the person can be identified by circumstances, appearance, or setting. There are essentially three types of “real persons” protected by the law — living ordinary people; living public figures … Continue reading Real People in Novels
It’s a lawsuit-happy world out there, and even fiction writers need to be aware of the dangers. If you write true-crime novels, for example, you might be sued for defamation, invasion of privacy, or violation of the right of publicity. Or your novel may be too close to someone else’s novel, and you could be … Continue reading Do You Need Liability Insurance?