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Legalities of writing about True Crime

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by ash1ey, Jan 17, 2014.

  1. ash1ey

    ash1ey BANNED BANNED

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    Not really sure where to post this so I'll drop it in the lounge :)

    I am currently writing a kindle book for my http://www.blackhatworld.com/blackhat-seo/my-journey-discussions/639732-my-new-kindle-adventure.html and was wondering if a) anyone here has any experience in writing about true crime or b) someone knows the legalities regarding it.

    I've done a little research but can't really find a straight answer. Basically I am from the UK and I'm writing about a UK criminal gang that was jailed a few years ago. So far I have the rough draft all written up.

    In the book I am not going to mention the names of any of the police officers involved and I won't name witnesses or basically anyone that either isn't one of the gang jailed or the victims they murdered. All information I have used is publicly available. As far as I know I shouldn't have any problems with this?

    I would like to use the images used by the police force that are either the criminals mug shots and the publicity photo the police used after there convictions. Would I have any problems using these? Do police copyright any of the images they publicly release?

    Any thoughts or comments would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks
     
  2. ash1ey

    ash1ey BANNED BANNED

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    After more research I've decided it might be best to write about the story and say its "based" on a true story and just change all the names etc but keep the facts of the story true.
     
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  3. neuroplastic

    neuroplastic Junior Member

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    Can I give you some advice? This might not be the best idea if the criminals in the organization haven't given you permission or might not take too kindly that you have written such a book. You should be worried about them and not copyright images for now IMO.

    Most true crime books, especially Gangster stories, have been approved, and sometimes coauthored, by the criminal or with the criminals themselves. The True Crime books written about Gangsters, without their permission, are either dead and/or in prison for life AND the organization they were associated in has been 100% destroyed.

    Sir or Madam, if your going to right this book and this criminal origination is still active with members still on the street, tread with caution please....please.
     
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  4. ash1ey

    ash1ey BANNED BANNED

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    Yeah I guess you could be right. I might just scrap it all together or turn it in to fiction and write a short story (changing pretty much all details).

    Thanks for the reply.
     
  5. ChapoGuzman

    ChapoGuzman BANNED BANNED

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    probably be you best bet, just dont be writing about some murder you did like some of these ghetto wannabe thug rappers.
     
  6. ash1ey

    ash1ey BANNED BANNED

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    I'm still kind of swaying on keeping it about True Crime and not using any names of anyone (police, criminals or victims).

    It's going to be published under a 'pen name' and most of the guys are doing life sentences. Although we are talking about a criminal gang, they are still street thugs who would surely find it difficult to find out who is the real publisher of the book.

    We are not talking about the mafia type gang but a small gang who although probably still active, are not as active as they previously was.

    I honestly can't see why they would want to hunt me down me lol. Like I said no names would be in the book and everything in the book is factual public information. Most of it i wrote while watching a documentary on the subject :) Nothing im writing can't be found else where on the internet. Is the gang killing bloggers and other journalists writing about them? I'm 99% sure they aren't.
     
  7. kideze

    kideze Elite Member

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    Changed all names and change locations. Change even where the crimes happened and you should be fine to write the book. Also use different photos or get a artists to draw new photos. People that did this stuff wouldn't like their images in your book unless you get consent.

    People love these type of books though, it could end up being a best seller. Good luck!
     
  8. ash1ey

    ash1ey BANNED BANNED

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    Thanks for the reply :)

    I guess I will change the locations as well. I'm also going to change the names of the gangs just to be extra safe.