I have a question about using famous names and brands in works of fiction.If a character is a huge fan of, say, Rod Stewart, or the specific show The Twilight Zone or the Detroit Lions football team, is it legal to namecheck the real band/show/organization?
I wouldn't make Rod Stewart a character, but he would be the object of a character's fandom. (Maybe not the most marketable example, I just realized. Anyhow.). Could I quote his lyrics?Bits of them.
Or quote from a real movie or tv show?Short quotes.
It feels kind of cheesy to me when writers make up a fake famous person but now that the issue has come up in my own writing (which I hope to publish) I wonder if it's done for legal reasons.Sometimes, but more likely (as in your Rod Stewart example) it's for the reason that you're writing for people to whom the 1990s are history. The past may not be dead, but the present has a really short attention span. Why date your book to its detriment?
Still, unless your plot hinges on the use of a particular artist / song / movie / tv show, this is not the sort of thing that will stop your manuscript being acquired. You may need to have a conversation with your editor (and maybe the publisher's legal department) about this, though.