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Mascot Rights

I have recently had my mascot ripped off, and I am a tad concerned.
I would like to know if there is any way I can trademark my character to be my business mascot
My character is here: http://www.furaffinity.net/view/6921917/
And the Watermark: http://www.furaffinity.net/view/7270444/

I would also like to know how to file a DMCA to websites such as DeviantArt and FurAffinity

Thank you for your help.

Edit: This is for the character, not the species. Also, the journal on my FA page has nothing to do with this entree.

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Comments

( 45 comments — Leave a comment )
koisnake
Apr. 27th, 2012 12:08 am (UTC)
So..where's the link to the ripped off picture?
thornbeast
Apr. 27th, 2012 12:10 am (UTC)
I am only asking for advice at this point, the issue had already been resolved
(no subject) - koisnake - Apr. 27th, 2012 12:16 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - thornbeast - Apr. 27th, 2012 12:20 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - koisnake - Apr. 27th, 2012 12:25 am (UTC) - Expand
kayla_la
Apr. 27th, 2012 12:23 am (UTC)
I don't think this was meant to be a tracing post, just an advice post.
kayla_la
Apr. 27th, 2012 12:24 am (UTC)
Sorry, didn't see you'd been answered already!
ljmydayaway
Apr. 27th, 2012 12:13 am (UTC)
You'd have to speak to a copyright/trademark lawyer - they'd be the only ones able to speak with any certainty on the subject.

From my understanding, you'd be able to trademark/copyright your logo itself, but that would not copyright/trademark your character itself.

How was it ripped off? Just curious, I'd like to see examples (you can send them privately).
thornbeast
Apr. 27th, 2012 12:19 am (UTC)
Thank you for the advice
By chance do you happen know if there would be a difference if the character was used to represent a business for multimedia art(Fursuits, animations, comics, etc similar to the way Disney is able to sue for likenesses of their characters?

The character being ripped off is not the issue at hand, I am simply asking advice in general.
(no subject) - ljmydayaway - Apr. 27th, 2012 04:45 am (UTC) - Expand
koisnake
Apr. 27th, 2012 12:20 am (UTC)
That's what I thought. The person cannot steal the character but if he or she changed a few aspects of the character, then if I'm not mistaken, nothing can be done. That's how companies get away from putting 'familiar' characters in their advertisements, selling them.etc (ex. Dora the Explorergirl) or Dr. Peper instead of Dr. Pepper as seen in South Park.
(no subject) - poizenkat - Apr. 27th, 2012 12:21 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - koisnake - Apr. 27th, 2012 12:22 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - fionacat - Apr. 27th, 2012 09:45 am (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
thornbeast
Apr. 27th, 2012 12:21 am (UTC)
Thank you so much, this helps a lot.
copper_curls
Apr. 27th, 2012 12:35 am (UTC)
Other posters seem to have covered the main items, but just to remind you that copyright and trademark can differ in subtle ways from one country to another. I'm not sure about trademark, but an example on copyright is differences in copyright lengths. For example, while Canada and the US are both signatories to the Berne Convention on copyright and their respective national copyright laws meet the requirements of that convention, IIRC, the US recently enacted legislation to extend the period of copyright further. So it's entirely possible for something to be copyright in the US but not in Canada. As for trademark, to the best of my knowledge, trademarks must be registered in each nation where you do business; if you don't, you can't claim infringement in that country. As with others, I am by no means a lawyer so get professional advice, but if you anticipate doing business outside your home country, it's another question to ask.

ETA: Something else - I don't know about the US, but I'm reasonably certain that in Canada, trademarks have to be registered on a province-by-province basis, for example. This is why intellectual property lawyers make bucketloads of money :-)

Edited at 2012-04-27 12:37 am (UTC)
ikirouta_fox
Apr. 27th, 2012 07:56 am (UTC)
"---trademarks must be registered in each nation where you do business; if you don't, you can't claim infringement in that country."

This is correct, I checked all the laws some time ago. If you register a trademark in USA it is registered ONLY in USA and nowhere else. You will have to register it in every country separately and that is extremely expensive.
(no subject) - shukivengeance - Apr. 27th, 2012 02:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
greenreaper
Apr. 27th, 2012 12:38 am (UTC)
Be careful here. If someone created their own original pictures of "your character", a DMCA filing is probably not valid, and could cause you to be legally liable for a false claim. A character design is an idea, and only the concrete implementations of that idea are subject to copyright.

Trademarks must usually be applied to something you are selling or providing as a service. The basis of their justification is that by using the particular mark, someone will be passing their goods off as yours. A watermark works as a trademark. A character design is more dubious (the name of the character might be fine, though).

If you seek to protect the non-functional features of a functional item (such as a fursuit) from duplication, you might want a design patent instead.

Speaking more generally, if nobody's making money off it, and no measurable harm has occurred, it may be hard to get the law involved.

Edited at 2012-04-27 12:39 am (UTC)
poizenkat
Apr. 27th, 2012 12:52 am (UTC)
Thorn had said above that the character was a mascot for multimedia art. Such as fursuit making, animations, and comics.
(no subject) - greenreaper - Apr. 27th, 2012 12:58 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - poizenkat - Apr. 27th, 2012 01:28 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - greenreaper - Apr. 27th, 2012 01:41 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - poizenkat - Apr. 27th, 2012 01:43 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - greenreaper - Apr. 27th, 2012 01:49 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - poizenkat - Apr. 27th, 2012 01:51 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - greenreaper - Apr. 27th, 2012 03:14 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - poizenkat - Apr. 27th, 2012 04:19 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kayla_la - Apr. 27th, 2012 08:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - excessdenied0 - Apr. 27th, 2012 03:16 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - greenreaper - Apr. 27th, 2012 03:23 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - excessdenied0 - Apr. 27th, 2012 08:53 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - leahtaur - Apr. 27th, 2012 02:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kayla_la - Apr. 27th, 2012 08:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - greenreaper - Apr. 27th, 2012 02:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - leahtaur - Apr. 27th, 2012 11:06 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - poizenkat - Apr. 27th, 2012 11:11 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - leahtaur - Apr. 27th, 2012 02:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - marus_puppy - Apr. 27th, 2012 06:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - neolucky - Apr. 27th, 2012 08:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - serious_mccoy - Apr. 27th, 2012 08:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
fuzzwolfie
Apr. 27th, 2012 09:31 pm (UTC)
After looking over the comments and such, I think you may be best off taking your concept and keeping it as a singular one-of-a-kind character.

It's obvious this character/species is highly personal to you, and you are protective of her. By limiting it to a single character, you will help eliminate people wanting to make spin-offs more so than if she was representative of a species. That plus a polite message telling others to keep their paws off should do the trick. (Well, for the most part, anyway.)

Also, I'm not sure how much you can gain by trademarking her. Unless someone like Disney or Pixar is trying to steal her, you will probably end up losing time and money with very little to show. Not to mention as stated above, you HAVE to defend the character every time it is used without permission, otherwise your trademark will be useless.

My 2 cents.
copper_curls
Apr. 28th, 2012 01:49 am (UTC)
If my lay understanding of trademark laws is correct, there also needs to be, well, trade being done using that mark, because the point of trademark is to protect against business losses caused by deliberate or accidental infringement of one's business identity. If one isn't doing business, then by definition there can be no loss incurred. And, as you note, in order to protect against that infringement, the trademark holder MUST defend it or risk having a court decide the trademark has been abandoned. Those are two reasons why Disney is so adamant about taking even fan art to the courts; they make far too much money to risk any decision that might allow someone else to make money off Mickey, Donald, etc.
(no subject) - thornbeast - Apr. 28th, 2012 04:34 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - fuzzwolfie - Apr. 28th, 2012 06:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
( 45 comments — Leave a comment )

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