I want to start a comic series about my pets living in a universe without humans. This would include their interactions with my neighbors and friends pets. I only use the pet’s first name and the animal’s breed. In one case were I use half of a last name of the owner. Do I need permission?

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    Do I understand it correctly that the pet that you have in mind has not only the first, but also the last (and possibly middle) name? In most jurisdictions it wold be very hard for you to get into legal trouble for using this name, but imho it's always nice to ask. – Alexander Jun 3 '20 at 17:46
  • No. Most characters have the first name only. One character I used part of a last name. – Kay G Jun 3 '20 at 20:04

Yes. If you plan to publish, you should get written permission to create a character based on someone else's physical and intellectual property (their pet's likeness and persona). Otherwise, that person could sue you for infringement and damages.

The Hollywood Reporter has this article about the Grumpy Cat lawsuit.

The Nolo Press has legal self-service resources such as articles and its Getting Permission - Using & Licensing Copyright-Protected Materials Online & Off book that might be useful to you.

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    This is the correct answer, OP. It probably won't be an issue, but just in case it is, you want to plan ahead. Get written permission if you can so you have it on paper. – Sciborg Jun 10 '20 at 14:14
  • @Kay G You probably want to get permission up front or as early as possible, before you invest time and energy in building up that character. The more well-known the character, the bigger the pet owner's licensing fee or claim might become. Seek written permission even if the person is a close friend or family member. These types of relations often break down when sums of money are in question. – rolfedh Jun 10 '20 at 16:58

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