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Copyrighting a Fursona

IAN

Member
This thread may have been done, but I'm curious.

As funny as it sounds to ask, and as many jokes may be made over this, is it possible to copyright a design of a character you created?


Granted, my 'sona ain't all that special. A red fennec with the colors of a red Stratocaster and long hair. Regardless, everything latched onto him isn't identical to every other red-colored fox. He's still MINE, and I even plan to use him for band/promotional art (my band is anthro-themed). He's also highly based off of ME and wouldn't want him to be stolen for that alone.

In other words, say some TV show creator wants to create a cartoon, wants the main or sigificant side character to be a heavy-metal loving fox with long hair. One of the first search results on Google for "heavy metal fox" could be of my fursona, and he finds the character appealing. He doesn't get what the furry fandom is about and assumes it's all okay and decides to use it for the show, all while I'm assumed to be a ripoff.


Okay, VERY extreme example. But it COULD happen. It HAS happened with fanart for Sonic games before (because Sega is known for being a bunch of twats) so I wouldn't doubt it could happen with a fursona. If it's a strong enough power, they wouldn't give a shit because they know there's no copyright attached to it.

However if I had one on Ian, I could fight back should his design be used and proven that it was stolen.


Any thoughts on this?
 

Misomie

Lazy Artist
You can only copywrite a character if it has a significant amount of lore attached to it or it is part of something (ie. Pikachu is to pokemon). You can copywrite art though. If you did make your fursona a mascot to a band, I'm pretty sure the character can be copywritten because it then directly is linked to your job and profits.
 

StrangerCoug

Stranger Than You!
(insert obligatory "I am not a lawyer" disclaimer here)

Basically, what Misomie said. I'm certain you can trademark your character if you so chose, though, so try looking for your answer in the law there.
 

Gnarl

The Arcane Sage
Actually, all you need to do is create a story around the character, add a ref sheet as the illustration and file the copyright on the story to include the artwork. It would cost $35.00 and can be filed electronically with the U.S. copyright office. But if anyone steals it, it would be totally your expense for the lawyers to go after them and prove that they stole it.
 

CobaltTheDragon

Fluffy Dragon
In most cases, prove that you had posts sooner and that the characters in question are identicle. You can usually prove you own the character, and make action for yourself.

You cannot directly copyright a character design though, that's my understanding.
 
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Brazen

Terrorist Scum
No, however you can trademark it. Paxilrose and myself tried it once, we were trolling this furfag a few years back and we had the brilliant idea to just put in a trademark on the guy's purple sparkledog fursona so we could DMCA his Furaffinity and Youtube presence.

Don't think the paperwork got finished in the end but you can totally do it.
 

Kimjoy

Member
Not see why you would want to for a fursona but for an actual well thought out character then I guess yeah but I have yet to see one worthy of that.
 

IAN

Member
No, however you can trademark it. Paxilrose and myself tried it once, we were trolling this furfag a few years back and we had the brilliant idea to just put in a trademark on the guy's purple sparkledog fursona so we could DMCA his Furaffinity and Youtube presence.

Don't think the paperwork got finished in the end but you can totally do it.
That's just awful. While simultaneously beautiful. xD


Actually, all you need to do is create a story around the character, add a ref sheet as the illustration and file the copyright on the story to include the artwork. It would cost $35.00 and can be filed electronically with the U.S. copyright office. But if anyone steals it, it would be totally your expense for the lawyers to go after them and prove that they stole it.
Do you have a source for this?

I know for sure it works this way for copyrighting music but I haven't heard of this for character design.


You can only copywrite a character if it has a significant amount of lore attached to it or it is part of something (ie. Pikachu is to pokemon). You can copywrite art though. If you did make your fursona a mascot to a band, I'm pretty sure the character can be copywritten because it then directly is linked to your job and profits.
That's a good point, although my band has yet to upload our material officially.

Then again I could use the "mascot" excuse as a means of getting my foot into the legal-copyright zone.


My other concern are also those newfag furs who don't know how the fandom works that steal images from FA of characters they like and repost them saying "this is my fursona" or some shit. I see it more than regularly on Facebook and other misc furry sites and it drives me up the fucking wall. Especially when they refuse to take it down when you ask them to.

Of course, if stealing my fursona had the threat of legal repercussion attached to it that would be an incentive for any irritating little akward furry twat to not do anything with him. C=
 

funky3000

Galactic Overlord
From what I was told by my friends in school, all it takes is to write the symbol and people can't use it without permission. This was brought up when one of my friends was saying that he could steal my idea if I don't copyright it, and if I turned it into a business, he could sue me.

Apparently it seems its not quite that seeing what's written here, but even then, I don't see why you couldn't make it so people require legal permission.

I've been thinking through some possible lore for cybercanines, and even have a story idea that isn't super fleshed out, but nevertheless I still might make it a species that requires credit. Kinda like sergals (if I've got that correct) and more free to use than angel dragons (which appear to need permission last I remember).
 
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