I need advice on my indie book

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  • #273825

    Hello all I want to make my own indie comic book however there’s things that I’m a little confused on that I could use some advice or help with.

    How do I own the rights to my characters and how do I own them? do I need registered trademarks if so I can’t afford a registered trademark for every character plus I can’t spend every six months showing proof I’m using the trademark somehow (I’m not DC or Marvel) I’ve seen a lot of Indies use the little “TM” but I don’t know if that will protect me.

    What documentation do I need to show I own the characters?

    Do I actually need to register anything with the United States government offices?

    Are registered copyrights and/or trademarks actually worth anything help wise?

    I tried using google to help research this but I’m not being given a straight forward or clear answer, I just don’t have a lot of money and I’m just very paranoid somebody out there is going to steal from me and there would be nothing I can do about it.

    #273848
    Victor James
    Premium

    Hello, I was in the same boat with my stories, so I created a paper trail of ownership. I did a copyright of my visual work of my characters so I own their likeness. I see you can copyright literary work as well. https://www.copyright.gov/registration/

    Also I published chapters to substack and scribblehub which brings a level of protection as published work.

    I also claimed sole propriety, so I am basically a business unto myself, so anything I bring out under my Megacosm banner is my property. You can get more information of that here.

    https://www.legalzoom.com/business/business-formation/sole-proprietorship-overview.html#products

    Hope that helps. Keeping sole ownership of my characters was very important to me, so this was some of the things I could come up with.

     

    #273849

    But how do you do a copyright of visual likeness and work? Do you do that at that link copyright.gov?

    #273885
    Victor James
    Premium

    Right. Create a account here https://eservice.eco.loc.gov/siebel/app/eservice/enu?SWECmd=Start

    and then submit your images or work for copyright.

    #273900

    Have you registered your stuff as trademarks or ® or did you go the unregistered trademark or ™?

    #273902
    Victor James
    Premium

    No I haven’t gone through the trademark process yet, so I use the TM, but I will probably register federally. As a sole proprietor, my business name is registered with the state however.

    #273948

    Note that besides a copyright, one thing I’ve heard you can do to protect yourself is mail yourself a copy of your work (via registered mail, I recall), and don’t open it. :)

    I have no idea how well that would hold up in court, though.

    I think you can also submit your work to the Library of Congress.

    #274483

    Thank you for your help, how much are the fees if you remember and how long does the whole copyright process take? When it comes to registered trademarks I hear it takes 6 months for official registration, is that the same for federally registered copyrights?

    #274519

    This is usually not necessary if your works are published. You generally get common use rights. I had this issue with a band name of a band I used to play in. Suddenly another popped up with the same name and even registered it. But we could prove that we had used the name before them, so we got the rights to the name.

     

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