Copywrite for an animation series

I have a series I would like to promote publicly without having to worry about my work being stolen. I would like to know what all information I should submit for an animation? Does a drawing of one character cover all resemblance’s of that character. For example: If I submit my original pen sketches, will I be covered in 2D, 3D, claymation, and other form of media? The name of my animation is also original; consisting of miss-spelled words that sound like the original words. How do I protect the name so that no one else gives their animation the same name? Their has to be a way to do this because I pretty sure if I named my animation The Simpsons, South Park, or Family Guy; there would be a major broadcast company sending me letters to stop immediately. Basically I just want to make sure that when I submit my materials that I am submitting the essentials. I would like to get this rolling a.s.a.p and put up my website so I can reach the masses and those who can make my dream happen. I am looking for direct answers and not links to web pages where I have to figure out this information because I have looked at the US Copyright site and have not been able to figure out this specific information. Thank you for input on this and be ready for a show that should easily be on Adult Swim.

It is complex and don’t take this as legal advice but here are a few things I know.

Just cause you copyright something in the USA doesn’t mean it is covered in every country. Each country has it’s own copyright laws, while some acknowledge copyrights from other countries.

What you are talking about with a name is trademarking it.

Techincally the moment you create it you own the IP and copyright. Making a legal document to say this is an additional layer of protection which you can hold to the courts.

One nice example of a trademark was duff beer from the simpsons. An aussie company tried to sell duff beer and got sued (and lost).

If you want to be sure, engage a lawyer that specialises in IP and copyright law.

In addition to “The Raider’s” excellent reply…
You might like and have a look at the following article, copied from “Empty Easel”…

“Copyright laws for visual artists are pretty simple. . . so if you’ve been worried about your artwork being copied without your permission, or you’re not exactly sure how to use the copyright symbol ( © ) next to your art.

First off, the moment you create ANYTHING visual—paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures, etc—the only person who is allowed to copy that art is you. If you decide to sell prints of one of your paintings, you can. If anyone else does, without your written permission, you have the right to take them to court and sue for damages.

In fact, copyright laws are so strong that your family or legal heirs will still own the copyright to your artwork until 70 years after your death.

Artists that display their work online or allow their art to be published in books or magazines often put a copyright symbol (along with their name and the year the artwork was created) next to the reproduced image. This practice isn’t actually necessary—you still own the copyright, even without using the symbol—but at least this will remind people not to copy your work.

Additionally, if you find out that someone HAS “infringed” on your copyright, and you can prove that the copyright symbol was next to the image of your artwork that they copied, you’ll have a very strong case against them if the issue ever goes to court—which is exactly why so many artists choose to put up that copyright notice.

You should also be aware that even after selling an original work of art to a collector, you still hold the copyright to it. The buyer cannot make prints or sell copies of your art unless you’ve given them that express permission in writing.

Now, even though you own the copyright to your art immediately after creating it, there are still ways to officially register your copyright claim with the US government and most other governments (if you live outside the US) as well.

Some of the reasons to officially register your artwork are:

1. Registration creates a public record of your copyright (more proof in court).

2. Registration is the first step required before you can sue someone for infringement.

3. Registration often increases the amount you can sue for

If you don’t plan on suing someone, here are a few other reasons to register.

1. You’ve created something especially valuable (ie, the next Mickey Mouse).

2. You plan on selling the copyright of your art to someone else.

3. You’re very, very cautious.

In the US you can register your copyright with the US Library of Congress Copyright Office by filling out an application and paying a fee.”

Thanks but I don’t believe either response answered my questions. I know a lot about copyrighting but when it comes down to what materials I should submit for copyright protection, that I do not know and is what I would like to know. For example; if you had an animated series and wanted to submit it for Copyright protection, what materials/information do you give them? I would also like to know that if I submit my animation’s characters in hand drawn form, are they also covered in other forms of media such as 2D & 3D? Or do I have to submit each character in multiple medias?

For that you should see a lawyer, any advice you get here is just that and can’t be relied upon.

It also depends where you live and how much you want to be covered.