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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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The author Jeff Kinney has used my unique family surname for

Customer Question

The author Jeff Kinney has used my unique family surname for a dislikeable character in his "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" books and movies. He claims he made up the name because of the character's features. I was friends with his sister, his mother was my Confirmation sponsor, and my mother used to check on his elderly grandmother, so it's virtually impossible that he never heard my name when he was growing up. He also attended the same high school at the same time as my younger brother. He says he's sought counsel both here and in the States and that I have no legal right to sue for damages or stop him from using my surname. Do I have any rights? There is no one in the United States or anywhere else, as far as I know, with that name who isn't related to me.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.What is the surname used please?Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The surname is***** used to spell it that way in "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" posts online. He spells it Fregley in his books, a common misspelling of my name that almost everyone has made at some time or another. Since I mentioned a possible suit to him in a Facebook message, he has changed the online spelling to Fregley. He claims he named his character Fregly/Fregley because the character has freckles, but again, I was friends with his sister in school; his mother was my confirmation sponsor and our group met at this house; and my mother used to check in on his grandmother, who lived in our neighborhood. Does my family have any legal rights?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Our group met at his house, that is.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
the characters are not similar? It's just the name?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
it's just the name, unfortunately. So many people with kids have teased me about it that I've lost count. My brothers have gotten a hard time about it, as well. One of my cousins, who's a teacher, is constantly teased by her students about it. I get the feeling from your question that I can't stop him from using the name.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
It's bad news I am afraid, sadly there is nothing you can do. You can't stop someone using a name that is the same or similar.As long as they don't base the characters on real life there is nothing you can do.I am sorry if this is not the answer you want and certainly not the one I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest.Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?Alex
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
If this answers your question could I invite you rate my answer before you leave today.If you don't rate then the site does not pay me for the time I have spent answering your question.Please bookmark my profile if you wish for future help: http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-alexwatts/