Protection of ‘Characters’ under Copyright Law: Critical Analysis


Prateek Tripathi*


Published on September 30, 2021 | Manuscript Number: 2021/LNLR/30040 | Page Numbers: 40-53

Abstract: The ever-engaging fantasy of the fiction has always been a part of IP regime. The question related to the protection given to the characters which are associated with the fiction puts an imperative obligation on the makers of such fiction that, whether they want to protect such characters independently of the work in which they are being imbedded or not? This concept goes beyond the normal protection given to the works of the author under the copyright regime. Generally speaking, the very aim of defining this kind of protection is to facilitate the authors to get the additional benefits which may arise in the independent utility of the characters. The courts are of the view to define such rights on the basis of the relevancy of the characters with regards to their description that they can be identified independently and their association with the story. The main issue in the copyrightability of the character is the application of the tests given by the courts and are they sufficient enough to provide protection to the characters? This paper analyses the evolution of protection given to characters and gradually goes into the intricacies of the concept. Later it delves into the Indian court’s interpretation and implications of such protection. Moreover, the scheme of paper also analyses the tests being evolved by the courts and their applicability in the respective fields which puts an obligation on the courts of other jurisdiction to be cautious before following precedents related to protection of characters under IP laws.

Keywords: Fictional Character, Copyright, Trademark, Copyrightability of Characters, Copyright Issues.

*Faculty of Law, University of Lucknow, Lucknow

Cite as: Prateek Tripathi, Protection of ‘Characters’ under Copyright Law: Critical Analysis (2021) 1(2) LKO. L. REV. 40