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How to Copyright Your Puppets  (Read 30421 times)
Puppets by Cher
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« on: July 08, 2007, 07:29:36 am »

« Last Edit: August 21, 2007, 10:08:50 am by Puppets by Cher »
Billy D. Fuller
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2007, 08:16:02 am »

Thank You Cher, that was a very valuble tip. We really appreciate you sharing your professional tips with us. I would like to add that even though Chers work is copyrighted and she has shared many building techniques with us. This means that this information is for you to use and help better understand and develop your own style of building techniques. It does not mean that you can build a replica and sell it. I'm not much worried there , for Cher has a unique talent that no one is capable of reproducing, but just in case a copyright " is a good thing. " As Martha Stewert would say.

Billy D.
Ron G.
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2007, 02:25:09 pm »

Thanks for the info Cher! thumbsup

I seem to remember reading somewhere (here? Puptcrit?) that one person would batch her work before sending it into the copyright office. Rather than sending in one of her scripts she would collect them into a book and copyright ten or twelve scripts or stories at a time. I'm not sure if you could copyright groups or sets of puppets, or if each puppet individually requires its own $45 fee and application. I'll do some more reading to see if it says anything about that anywhere.

These pages have more info on exactly what needs to be submitted for visual art works...




Ron G.
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2007, 03:14:47 pm »

The law here in the UK and EU is different from the US, although equally subject to International Law and the copyright, publishing licencing laws and trademarking laws are a minefield.  (Trust me on this one I worked in publishing for a long time)

For those in the UK the following organisation can provide help and advice if you are interested in copyrighting. 

They are a membership organisation and probably charge fees but the site looks very helpful and they have pdf files of introductions to law and process.
Ron G.
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2007, 05:28:59 pm »

Some of the copyright laws in the UK actually seem to be more lenient that the current batch in the US, though apparently people are trying to make them tougher over there now, too. The more I read the more complicated it seems.


Ron G.
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2008, 10:53:53 am »

The original message in this thread seems to be gone.  I only see ..

Does anyone know what it said?

Shawn Sorrell
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2008, 04:13:42 pm »

Sorry that information was lost. The original poster decided they wanted to remove all their post on the forum.
Billy D. Fuller
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2008, 08:08:38 pm »

Maybe this will help.................... Just start from the begining  Undecided

Billy D.
The Lady
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« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2009, 06:26:22 pm »

Now this is on my to do list as well! Thanks for those links!

I was referred to a site once after I asked how to copyright a personality. It the US trademark place. http://www.uspto.gov/teas/ TEAS, they call it.

I am certain it is different and that it will take time. I gotta get on that.
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2009, 06:28:35 am »

I was told once that anything you write is automatically your intelectual property and therefore copyrighted.  I had assumed that this was also true of things that you build.  From this discussion I gather that that is not necessarily true.

How necessary/important is it to copyright your creations and how complicated and costly is the process?
StiqPuppet Productions
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2009, 10:26:46 am »

I think it would only be important to copyright if you have a method or look that is very unique to what is out there already.  Cher had a unique and special method to make her puppets and the look was so unique to her that you could tell it was her puppet a mile away.  Also you may want to use it if you develope a certain character that is becoming popular so that others can't make copies of for profit.  It would then be important to copyright it then.  I think most puppeteers do not worry about copyright issues because our work usually goes to the public eyes such as using them for shows, utube, or other such events.  I think it is something to be aware of but not necessary for most puppet makers.

Just my thoughts......

Daryl H
The Lady
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« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2009, 06:42:37 pm »


I am not sure how necessary it is. But if you intend to do e-commerce (shirts, stickers, swag etc) it might be important to you. And who knows? If your puppet goes big then holding the trademark could be very beneficial financially.

I found this for TEAS filing fees : http://inventors.about.com/od/inventing101trademarks/f/Fees.htm

And this about how to copyright something: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_do_you_copyright_something

From that ^ it appears you are right about a creation being automatically copyrighted as yours. However, if you ever have need to defend the copyright it must be officially registered among other things like proving the infringing party had access (which may or may not be worth it). It also appears that copyrighting is less expensive for the protection. Trademarking is more about profiting from the images/personality.

Copyright isn't important to me personally as I don't have the talents to create the puppets and register all vids with Creative Commons license anyway, but should the day come that I want to sell swag or for some reason the puppet+personality is desired by a substantial entity, having the trademark to sell or transfer could ensure a kind of ownership.

I've thought in the past that it was either paranoia or dreaming too big to consider doing either given the costs; however, more times than I can count I have been asked if I have the trademark for the one puppet I do use.  And he's not even on the radar in the big picture given his page hits and view counts.  I figure when the time I invest mounts and if his exposure continues to grow, I'll do it. *eyeballing tax refunds*  Smiley
No Avatar
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2009, 10:11:43 pm »

I think it should be clear that there are three different things we're talking about: copyrights, trademarks and patents. Copyrights (as far as I know) are automatically created, but patents and trademarks aren't. Patents and trademarks must be applied for with your relevant government/business body.
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« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2009, 10:31:37 am »

I realize this is a very old thread but...

You write it our you make it and you automatically own it and all the rights to it.

The purpose of the copyright is to establish the date that you created the work.

That date protects your ownership should someone claim they did the same thing before you did.
Ron G.
« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2009, 08:22:52 pm »

The purpose of the copyright is to establish the date that you created the work.

That date protects your ownership should someone claim they did the same thing before you did.

That is an excellent and important distinction, and the reason why some people are willing to jump through all of the hoops involved with getting an "official" copyright rather than being satisfied with the automatic kind. Na also made an important point by indicating the difference between copyright, trademark, and patent - something that isn't crystal-clear to everyone.


Ron G.
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