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What do you make of the Charles Bukowski novel, Hollywood? If you're unfamiliar, it's a scathing lampoon of the making of the movie Barfly (which was also penned by Buk). The book includes the laughable disclaimer, "This is a work of fiction and any resemblance between the characters and persons living or dead is purely coincidental." The book clearly makes fun of Mickey Rourke, Madonna, and includes Sean Penn and Faye Dunnaway characters. Bukowski changes everyone's names but it's pretty clear to anyone who has seen Barfly just who he's making fun of.

To my knowledge he didn't get sued for writing Hollywood. Why do you think that is?

Linda Corby

Writing about another authors life in my book without permissiion is a no no!
If you would like further details about why I say this please go to my website. Thanks and have fun, Linda

Aretha Townsend

I am in the midst of a writing project and completed two. I've done the mail copywriting but I need to know is it necessary to put the copywriting verbage on the bottom of the draft of my plays and screenplays?

Crawford Kilian

Oops--I had to read your post twice, Aretha. You wrote "copywriting" when I think you meant "copyrighting"! In general, your work is copyright by the act of writing it down in almost any medium except beach sand at low tide. If you're feeling anxious, put a "Copyright 2005 Aretha Townsend" on the title page of your manuscript. But that's about all you need.


What about historical fiction? Say I did a fictional tale about a soilder in WWII who has an encounter with George Patton or Harry Truman? Would a disclaimer be enough?

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Some of My Books

  • : The Fall of the Republic

    The Fall of the Republic
    In a parallel timeline, 1990s America discovers the chronoplanes: parallel worlds at different points in history.

  • : Rogue Emperor

    Rogue Emperor
    The hijacking of the Roman Empire, 100 AD, by 21st-century Christian fundamentalists, in the second of the Chronoplane Wars novels.

  • : The Empire of Time

    The Empire of Time
    My first novel, published in 1978, but the last in the Chronoplane Wars trilogy.

  • : Gryphon

    "Write a space opera," my editor said. So I did, with some nanotech thrown in.

  • : Tsunami

    A companion novel to Icequake, set mostly in California.

  • : Icequake

    A disaster thriller (Antarctic ice sheet surges into ocean), dated but still fun.

  • : Eyas

    Originally published in 1982, and still the novel I'm most proud of.

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