Copyright Protection of Fictional Characters in Films: U.K. and U.S. Perspectives

Authors: Bashayer Al-Mukhaizeem Published date: 29-10-2017 Status: Published

Copyright law grants a commercial monopoly over original expression embodied in fictional characters for a specific time. Thus, the copyrightability of created characters depends on their originality. However, free speech, fair use, and the public domain should not be affected by copyright protection. Conversely, the ideas which the characters are based on are outside the sphere of copyright protection. Problematically, it is not always easy to draw a clear, consistent line distinguishing between the elements of fictional characters which are protected, and those which are not. This paper scrutinises the U.K. and the U.S. Jurisprudence in order to clarify their perspectives on this matter.

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Corresponding author. Bashayer Al-Mukhaizeem

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COPYRIGHT: © The UK Law and Society Association, 2018