I am considering starting a video series discussing real life issues including real people. It will be not for profit at first but eventually would like to end up making money from it. I would be utilizing YouTube and other social networks such as Twitter and facebook. My main question: Is it legal to use the names of others in such videos? Is it legal to use only the first name? I would t be giving anything else about them out except for there name. It would be used to describe situations nothing else.
2 Answers from Attorneys
Hello. In my opinion, it will be in your best interest to first obtain permission of those whom you intend to feature in your series. In this way, you can avoid any possible slander or liable claims. I adhere to the "you can never be too careful" legal philosophy. I hope my comments have been helpful. Can be available to answer any additional questions you may have on this subject.
It seems you are missing the real legal liability issue in making videos using real people and their names. You need their permission to use their image in this way unless the video relates to news or in certain excepted situations such as satirical works, certain educational usages, and the like. Tieing the name to the picture would be even riskier. There is a way to do these videos using real people and real issues without liability risks. Call and I can for a fee advise you.