Could I get into trouble for this?

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Matthew Brown 9 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #751

    Danny H

    In no way could I describe myself as a cartoonist, the last time I got close to being one was the doodling I did in my school books decades ago. Despite my lack of expertise in the area I have an idea for a cartoon strip which I would post on my blog. The problem is it revolves around real people and the cartoon characters would (to the best of my ability) resemble them.

    Could this cause problems? The subjects of this cartoon are a friendly bunch and I wouldn’t want to upset any of them by publishing anything they might take exception to.

  • #755

    Matthew Brown

    Obviously, I am not a lawyer. All this is not legal advice. And other disclaimers.

    The very short answer is: it depends but it might be okay.

    My understanding is that Satire is always a safe harbour. After all, newspapers print political satire cartoons all the time. To an extent, it depends on if you are saying this is real and/or if you are portraying the person or persons in a negative light.

    The other thing about basing characters on real people is that those real people have a hard time identifying themselves.

    So my advice would be this – draw the cartoon and then imagine you are the people in question and try to see if you would be offended.

  • #922


    Could you get written permission from the persons in question to use their likeness?

    • #934

      Danny H

      There’s possibly a lot of people involved, and I suspect if I asked permission from each of them I’d be flooded with questions about it.  Probably won’t happen anyway, I’m lousy at any form of drawing.

    • #941

      Matthew Brown

      If you do make it you could always bring it to a writers’ group that you trust (he says knowing we both attend the same one) and get some feedback in person.

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