Writing about a deceased person

'Is it legal', 'can I do this' type questions and discussions.
Post Reply
New Member
New  Member
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2021 4:48 pm

Writing about a deceased person

Post by DDDD »


I want to write and stage a musical about the life of a deceased person. They were relatively famous.

In UK law, do I need any permission, perhaps, from their estate?

And if I go ahead and tell their story accurately, do I run the risk of breaching copyright law of some kind?

I know that its not possible to libel the dead (although is certainly not my intention), so presumably that gives me an element of poetic licence. But if my script and songs are factually accurate, could there be any grounds for someone to object.

Any guidance or advice really would be appreciated.


User avatar
Posts: 2906
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 12:43 am

Re: Writing about a deceased person

Post by AndyJ »


There are no copyright implications in depicting someone's biography, even in a musical. As you mention, the most relevant law would be that of defamation, and that doesn't apply to a deceased person. And similarly you won't have any problems over data protection or privacy law where a dead person is concerned. Just be careful about how you deal with any living relatives or friends.
Advice or comment provided here is not and does not purport to be legal advice as defined by s.12 of Legal Services Act 2007
Post Reply