On Copyrighting a Species
I would direct the person who asserts that species can be copyrighted to this article, which is a thorough discussion of copyright of fictional characters. The salient passage is a quote from Paul Goldstein:
- "Fully realized characters in literature are little different than fully defined personalities in daily life. ... A literary character can be said to have a distinctive personality, and thus to be protectable, when it has been delineated to the point at which its behavior is relatively predictable so that when placed in a new plot situation, it will react in ways that are at once distinctive and unsurprising."
I would interpret this to mean that you may assert copyright over the character Dimruthien BloodSinger, but not the felupus shapus species. Because of this, I'm going to revert to the edit and remove the assertion of copyright. If you feel that this is in error, please provide an alternate viewpoint on the matter here; edits replacing the assertion of copyright without discussion may very likely be reverted by the administrators. --Duncan da Husky 18:41, 6 Dec 2005 (UTC)
what could be done if someone did use my species?
so what exactly could i do if someone made a Felupus Shapus character without my permission? Could I actually have grounds to tell them to stop?
- It is hard to see what you'd do it under. An idea is an idea - it is the implementation of such ideas that are copyrighted. Trade dress comes close, but it is not clear that you could reasonably expect a random person to think that someone else's were in fact yours, because your "brand" is not well-known enough for that. It might be possible to apply for a design patent, but again, you'd run into the question of how specific you would have to make it. Dimruthien could be, but the definition of Felupus Shapus would be tricky (and I'm fairly sure it's been done before - common markings are a reasonably common way of telling people that the character concerned is the same one despite different forms).
- I think your best defense is to ask people not to, before they make an investment in doing so. You don't have to be blatent about it - just a small note on your website. It's obviously not nice to steal an idea, and I think anyone who did so deliberately against your express wishes could expect social reprecussions for doing so, but be aware that coming out "guns blazing" generally just puts people on the defensive. :-) --GreenReaper(talk) 19:25, 18 Dec 2005 (UTC)