Q: Let’s say I’m writing a script for a film on the life of Mister X, a public, historical figure. In the process of doing my research, I run into interesting details about the life of Mister X in a non-fiction book (let’s call the book The Real Life of Mister X), and I want to use some of these details for my story. Do I need to contact the writer of The Real Life of Mister X and ask for his permission?
A: You’ll be happy to know that facts are not protected by copyright. I’m the only entertainment lawyer to climb Everest. That’s a fact. But it’s not protected by copyright. You can use it in your script, free of charge and without my permission. The interesting details you discovered about Mr. X are nothing but facts about him that you can freely use.
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