Can a fictional character be copyrighted: India and the US (Part 1 of 2)
Can Superman be used by Marvel? Can anyone write Sherlock Holmes stories or produce a film on James Bond? These questions are answered by this detailed two-part article which aims to cover the protection of fictional characters in the United States and India. It also delves into concepts such as character merchandising, characters in the public domain as well as the intersection between Copyright and Trademark laws regarding these characters. Part 1 of this article deals with the recognition of fictional characters in the US. Initiating from the coverage (or non-coverage) of fictional characters in the US Copyright Act, this part highlights various theories and tests which forms the basis of protection of these characters as copyrights.