Can a movie use your name in the credits without your permission?

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Can a movie use your name in the credits without your permission?

I was recently made aware that a movie that I had nothing to do with listed my name in its credits under “Special thanks to” and this information is now on a public site, IMDB and being sold on DVD with this as well. This movie is quite vulgar and I in no way want my name attached to it or have my name on this site, especially since I had nothing to do with this movie or anyone in it. What are my rights here ?

Asked on September 29, 2010 under Business Law, Minnesota

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Since you had nothing to do with the movie, is it possible that someone with the same name is being listed in the credits?  If that is the case, you might want to contact the responsible party and inquire if there could be a clarification included such as listing a middle initial with the name of the person in the credits; assuming that the middle initial is not the same as yours.

If the above is not applicable, you may have a potential lawsuit for invasion of privacy.  One aspect of invasion of privacy is appropriation of one's name or likeness for commercial purposes.


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