Other Copyright Questions

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  04 April 2013
Other Copyright Questions

I know the basics of copyright, since they're spelled out on the U.S. copyright office's website, and reiterated here and elsewhere whenever somone asks. I've even registered stuff before, so I know how relatively easy the process is. What I'm interested in is a more specific case, that so far I haven't been able to find any information about.

I registered a bunch of my artwork at the start of the year, and got a response last night. Rather than a simple "your work is now registered" message, it said my claim might not be processed, because "Names, titles, words, short phrases and slogans, etc. are not copyrightable". Looking at my images, some of them do indeed have text... Because they are single- or multi-panel comics, which are covered under form I had used: form-VA.

So it sounds to me they're focusing on the wrong thing, here. Or maybe they want to cover their bases, or need clarification on what's being registered. The email did say they could register the artwork... Which was the whole point of my filing in the first place.

Now the questions - how are, say, monthly comic books handled? Are the publishers required to register the scripts and text-less pages separately?

Do they register new books each month? Quarterly? Yearly?

Are new issues of "Batman" registered individually, or simply added to an existing an all-inclusive "Batman" collection? Do "Detective Comics" and other Batman-related titles go into the same collection, or their own?

...this is probably why there are copyright attorneys. At the very least, the answers might be helpful for anyone who draws/writes web comics.

  04 April 2013
Well they already have all characters copyrighted so if anything I would think they just send in the story for each comic?
  04 April 2013
Originally Posted by Lomax: Are new issues of "Batman" registered individually, or simply added to an existing an all-inclusive "Batman" collection? Do "Detective Comics" and other Batman-related titles go into the same collection, or their own?

The Batman character, likeness, specific design (including Titles, logos), and image is trademarked by DC. Each variation (like Batman Beyond) is another trademark or trademark attachment.

Therefore EVERY page made by DC that has the character is automatically protected without DC having to send any pages - Because Batman IS the Trademark.

It overlaps because it's the same for Robin, Nightwing, Catwoman, the Joker, etc. etc.

Individual titles like "The Dark Knight Returns" and its particular titling style are also trademarked so automatically protected once used on covers...

So it's not per page per artwork.
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  04 April 2013
A friend of mine said something similar - aside from the trademarks, they likely only update the copyrights whenever they redesign the costumes.

In my case, the issue was cleared up a little: the text in some cases was deemed "insufficient" to count as a copyrightable comic, so they needed my permission to remove that text so just the artwork could be registered, which was what I wanted in the first place. If I'd known it would be this much of a problem, I would've removed the text myself.

Still, it's not quite clear just where the line is drawn between sufficient and insufficient text.

  04 April 2013
I guess it makes sense how strict and picky they have to be about what is being copyrighted given how much bickering takes place over copyright issues both legitimate and easy money seeking.
  04 April 2013
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