And to the 20 or so people saying "yes Characters cannot be copyrighted" I would recommend reading the previous comments below that are featured or do some research please. I am rather convinced that the writers of these comments know what they are saying, not to mention what my Civics teacher had stated.
Anything you make becomes your intellectual property. Therefore they are automatically copyrighted to you unless it contains something copyrighted by someone else. Technically something only has to be 70 some % different to be considered copyright-able. So if a character is 75% different than superman let's say. Then that mostly different character belongs to you.
For characters it's a little the same. You own the character drawing but not the character until you draw it A) More than once B) Give it some detail. Even a tiny amount works. C) as long as it isn't more than 75% similar to any other copyrighted character that you may get in trouble with. If it is 75+% more similar to another character but you never knew about that character, there is a chance you may be asked legally to alter your character in order to continue using them. The system works on a first come first serve basis.Also you won't get in trouble if you can prove that there is a way you couldn't know about this character.
Also, characters that are generic such as "A white horse" or "Dog with a red bandanna" Cannot be copyrighted. If you make a dog with a bandanna, special markings, name, history, draw it only in a specific style different from other dogs with red bandannas then you would have a likelier chance of getting it copyrighted.
So if you want to make a super hero for example it can't be anything similar to a character in comics personality, traits, story and looks combined. Robin's are all their own individual characters because they aren't twins physically, have different personalities and stories behind them.
Monochromera is completely correct. A character is only copyright protected as a part of a larger variety of work. The same is true of a character design. Although in both cases, the original artwork portraying the character/character design is automatically copyright protected to the artist.
Characters can also be trademarked protected, although that has to be applied for and paid for through your country's trademark and patent office.
I'm pretty sure you have a claim over your own characters worlds, etc. It's got a a name, but I can't for the love of it remember it. Intelectual copyright or something like that... or was that only for art and not what you created itself... Hmm...
Anyway, I'm pretty sure there's way around it if you really wanna go there and hire lawyers or something or by changing a minor detail so you are bot technically claiming to have created the exact same character, but that's just loop holes in the law and will be frowned upon. There's also sites that take away your rights by agreeing to their terms of service eg. Facebook . Don't like that very much...
I'm not really knowledgable about it, but if copying words without telling where it came from or who you quoted is plagiatrism, I'm pretty sure our "intelectual property" is protected too by the law.
You are making me confused too! XD But I think I got it! Else please slap me with a wet fish LOL.
Lets take this lovely character you drew (love it) This picture is copyrighted to you, as you drew it pixel for pixel. Now Merle is white, with brown markings, frog like feet and a round head, that is the description of the character. The description of her is a concept/idea/design of how she looks, and that is not copyrighted, aka people are allowed to take the exact description of her and draw her however they like. But the original picture of her is copyrighted to you as you drew that picture, so is everything else you draw. Do you see what I mean? The drawing is copyrighted to you, but the character design is not.
Anyone can draw something completely different after hearing "white, with brown markings, frog like feet and a round head"
But when you make it visual like in a drawing, this is my way of interpretating "white, with brown markings, frog like feet and a round head" (or in this case Oniongrump since they design her CX ) And that is copyrighted to me. Merle has a personality too in her ref:
Personality: Merle is a very quiet yet cheerful character. She loves to play around a lot and is most commonly found hiding in a glass of milk. When someone is ready to take a sip of the milk, Merle pops out and gives them a small kiss on the lips. She's the real charm of Akai's shop~
Likes: Cookies, milk, her scarf, new people, her tail, Akai Dislikes: Getting boxed in, darkness, being alone
This makes her developed and rather unique other than just a simple word description of her appearance. THIS is copyrighted.
EDIT: And I'm planning to write a back story for her soon, making her even more unique >3>
Characters can only fall under copyright if they meet a number of qualifications- first and foremost, they need characteristics that set them apart from other characters in the realm of "creative commons" - stuff like unique combinations of traits in their personality and appearance and mannerisms they also must constitute a large enough portion of the story/book/game/movie/etc that the story in question would be VASTLY different or even nonexistent without them. That, or they represent it, like an icon. (for example- a flying hero in tights is not copyrighted- a flying hero in tights with an "S" on his chest who's weak against kryptonite and lives in metropolis, would give his life for his people, and was raised by some folks in kentucky after his kyrpton parents were killed or something like that *coughs* I'm not a superman fan so I don't know much here WOULD be copyrighted.) OFTEN TIMES - that character must also be iconic to the point they are recognizable among the public. In fact, the batmobile has character copyrights o_o
There is no debating these facts. I wouldn't recommend listening to many other people on here because the vast majority of deviantart has little to no knowledge on copyright I: especially the people who think you have to pay for it... that's TRADEMARKS AND PATENTS- NOBODY HAS TO PAY TO GET COPYRIGHT. we are granted it as artists or writers u_u
I don't think copyright stops people from drawing them. If the person drawing them credits the owners (ex. I draw Baymax and I say Disney owns Baymax, not me) that doesn't count as me breaking the law. Something like that o3o