How to register a Character

Hello, I was wondering if anyone knows the steps to register a character, I have a cool character and I want to register it, just in case. My goal is to create a series of little animations and possibly to license him for other uses.

Thanks for the help.

Javier F

I’m not aware of any formal site or system to register a character or series. Copyright law, as I understand it, mostly requires you to be able to prove that you created your character(s) well before somebody else says they did.

To that end send an email to a friend, CC’ing yourself, with images of your character and the date it was created. If there ever is an issue you can reference that email as proof.

Thanks Calico, I found a web site complete with a form to register artwork in the US, they charge 45 bucks.

I think I will do that and the e-mail is a good idea, plus the old trick of mailing and envelope to myself by certified mail.

All of my coworkers saw me design this character from scratch for our 2007 Christmas card and I have all the sketches and files, plus tons of characters that prove that’s my style.

I’m planning to animate this guy, but if there’s any commercial interest, I need to be ready.

Right now he is starting to walk, I can’t believe how powerful and easy to use TBS is, let’s see how far can I get.

Thanks for the help.
Javier F

Excellent! I’m sure we’d all love to see the final animation, be sure to post about it here when it’s finished.

Hey there Javier,

Just my 2 cents, but I’d strongly recommend getting yourself an official copyright - it is very much worth the $ if you are serious.

I’m familiar with the “poor man’s copyright” & have mailed myself many tapes & cd’s when I was playing in a band. I always thought they were proof enough, but I’ve since been told many times over than any half decent lawyer will eat a poor man’s copyright for breakfast in court. So basically, unless you get very lucky or are facing an incompetent lawyer, it won’t hold up as proof when you need it to. The only way to truly protect your work is to register an official copyright.

That said, I think I remember hearing that copyrighting a character can be fairly tricky. Not sure on the ins & outs myself, but all the stuff under “intellectual property” is a bit tough I think, since someone in the US & someone else in China could theoretically have almost the same idea around the same time.

I’m positive there are people with much more knowledge of this stuff than I have, just passing along things I’ve heard & picked up. Ultimately I think you can copyright a char (not 100% sure) but you’ll need as many details about personality, looks, story they are involved in etc., as possible to really protect your work.

Hope that’s somewhat helpful, best of luck with your project.

Thank You Kdog, I do have all the story of my guy and his mission in life, he’s very well thought. I’m going to keep researching, but I know that everything has been done and sometimes better… I’m planning to sell my character as I already sold my soul (Graphic designer for 15 years) and I want to have all the rights, maybe nothing will ever happen but I prefer to be prepared.

In the meantime I’m learning TBS, which is great!

Thanks for all your help.

Javier F

Keep us posted, if and when you find out any more about copyrighting your character. I and i’m sure a few more of us are also interested in this.