Character IP/Copyright and costs involved

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  04 April 2013
Character IP/Copyright and costs involved

Does anyone have guidance on :

Character ownership/copyright and IP of a designed character.
Costs involved in releasing complete IP/Copyright and ownership of a designed character for both National and Worldwide use.
Are there differences if so how (which I assume there is) how do you associate a value/cost to the character usage ?

We are designing a character for one use (internal company usage B2B). If the company then wish use the character for a worldwide advertising campaign for instance what rights do we maintain over the image usage of the character ?
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  04 April 2013
In the states, we would consult an IP attorney. Are there any IP solicitors in your area?

Other than that, there are a couple of decent books on the matter that layout all the options. Many may be based on US law unless you can find some that are originated in the UK
  04 April 2013
Hi - yes I've contacted one, I'm just awaiting a call back.

Any idea on what costs characters can expected for worldwide usage as opposes to domestic (single country ?)
I very much doubt that the character will go world wide or even outside of it's intended usage but I've been asked to provide for the client.
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  04 April 2013
In the UK and Ireland it's much the same as for photographers. That is the copyright belongs to the person who took the photo (or created the image), until he or she assigns copyright to another party.
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  04 April 2013
If you are referring to Exclusive Rights, 1st usuage Rights, 2nd and so on, it really depends on your character's marketability and what you can negotiate.

Back in the day, I believe Charles Whitesides III made out like a bandit with the Joe Camel smoking character, that is until the US govt banned using cartoon characters to promote smoking.

Snoopy is another character that is doing well with MetLife. Of course, that was a very established IP being used for commercial purpose.

Last edited by XLNT-3d : 04 April 2013 at 04:50 PM.
  04 April 2013
A project I am working on of a single character, the total cost is almost $300,000 total for complete coverage and lawyer costs and that is only for one category (clothing) for any additional category (like posters, lunch pails, merchandising, etc...) you are talking a additional $200,000

It is heartbreaking for anyone starting a business and wanting to cover their behinds to have to deal with all the costs, but until there is a fair system that doesn't involve lawyers and thieves, you have to do what you have to do.
  04 April 2013
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