When books, movies, television shows or other productions are based on someone’s factual life story, it is important that the writer own or have permission to use those facts, especially if the writing will be used to make a profit.
“Life-story rights” are the rights that an individual or an entity owns in regards to the factual story regarding someone’s life. One of the purposes of obtaining these rights is to protect the writer from the future risk of the owner of those rights bringing a lawsuit against the writer.
Before someone’s life story makes its’ way to a movie or television production, they are often created as stories that are written either as books, scripts, screenplays, or other literary works. The process of how these literary works make it into a visual-arts production is another story, but even before that happens, the writer must either own or have permission to use the facts within the story.
While the facts themselves may not be owned by a particular person, acquiring these life-rights will protect a writer against a person’s claim of invasion of privacy, defamation, misappropriation, and the potential violation of a person’s right to publicity.