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J.Hazelbaker, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4385
Experience:  Attorney and small business owner with 10 years experience in the general practice of law.
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I wrote a book, I acknowledged the names of six people in the

Customer Question

I wrote a book, I acknowledged the names of six people in the introduction, who have helped me, one person was from my past. I just let him know that I acknowledged him and apparently he didn't want to be and is wondering if it's legal to mention his name. I said it was a public thank you. I have 100 copies printed. I will remove his name from additional copies, but can he take any legal action if I sell the first 100 copies with his name in the acknowledgements? It cost me $500 to have them printed.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  J.Hazelbaker replied 4 years ago.

J.Hazelbaker :

Hello. Thank you for using JustAnswer.

J.Hazelbaker :

You have no obligation to remove the name.

J.Hazelbaker :

There is no legal prohibition in publicly thanking someone by name, whether they wish it or not.


Ok, thanks, XXXXX XXXXX I should have kept in better touch with this person, totally did not expect this.

J.Hazelbaker :

As long as you are not using the name is XXXXX XXXXX manner, which you are not, there is no legal claim against you.


What do you mean commercial manner? Do you have an example of that.

J.Hazelbaker :

Take the name and using it as a brand. For example, XXXXX XXXXX's Muffins.


OK, gotcha. Thanks for your help.

J.Hazelbaker :

Or using the name as an endorsement (e.g. "XXXXX XXXXX says this is the best book ever written").

J.Hazelbaker :

Please let me know what follow-up questions you have. If my above responses have been helpful, please click Accept so that I get credit for the time/effort. You may always restart the thread and ask follow-up questions at any time by clicking the “Reply” button at the bottom of the question/answer thread. You can access this thread later in your profile under the “My Questions” tab.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi there, just a follow up question. My disgruntled "friend" texted me back saying this...


"Just talked to my lawyer. He said that if one book is ever found with my name in it after requesting that it not be, it is definately grounds for a law suit."


So again, I just want to make sure. I already have 100 copies (I paid $500 for), that I have not sold yet (but intend to), I will certainly remove his name from further copies. Are you certain I am OK to sell the copies I have without any danger of him (Chris) taking legal action?


This is what the Acknowledgement reads...


To my teachers:

While horses have been my greatest teacher, I am forever indebted to Jodi Greenley Lundberg, Chris Hepp, Paula Fowler, Holly Marsh, Lynn Kohr and Kim Kizzier for so kindly sharing their wisdom.


THANK YOU! Just looking for some additional peace of mind. :)

Expert:  J.Hazelbaker replied 4 years ago.

You are perfectly entitled to use the name in that regard. He has no legal claim against you.

Even so, I think you are wise to revise the future printing. Even though there is no legal claim here, that doesn't mean he won't sue. You would win, but you still have to spend the time and energy defending the frivolous claim.

Congratulations on authoring the book. I wish you the best success.

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