Tampa, FL asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Florida

Q: Can a non trademarked character be remixed and sold for profit?

I have found somebody who has changed a character that is not specifically trademarked to either be skinnier or shorter and is selling both versions online for profit. The character is fundamentally identical in all three versions, so would someone using the character for profit be a blatant disregard for intellectual property? They never said it was their character, but obviously it isn't really their work aside from drawing it.

1 Lawyer Answer
Walker Weitzel
Walker Weitzel
  • Trademarks Lawyer
  • Seattle, WA

A: This would be a copyright issue. The case is also fact-specific, meaning that without more information, it will be tough to speculate about whether infringement is likely. If you would like to assert a copyright, you will need to register it. Copyright registration is straightforward, and can likely be done yourself, although many people also choose to have a lawyer do it for them. Once registered, you should talk to an copyright attorney. Copyright law can provide for lawyer fees, so it's a little easier to find a lawyer to take the case than some other types of law. Good luck.

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