Youtube copyrighting

'Is it legal', 'can I do this' type questions and discussions.
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Youtube copyrighting

Post by Xelius »

Hello, I am Dakota

I want to use a character of some sort in my videos, but I dont know who is copyrighted and who is just TM'ed. If someone with this knowledge could help me out I would be grateful. Thank you for looking and please help me out. Her are the characters I would like to use;

Master Hand (Smash Bros.), Doctor Neo Cortex (Crash Bandicoot), Heihachi Mishima (Tekken), The Master (Fallout), Zachary Hale Comstock (BioShock Infinite), Zeus (God of War), Fleming (Shadows of the Damned), Dessan (Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast), Donkey Kong (Donkey Kong), Origami Killer (Heavy Rain), Dr. Robotnik (Sonic the Hedgehog), The Joker (Batman: Arkham series), Kerrigan (StarCraft III), Andrew Ryan (BioShock), and Ganondorf (Legend of Zelda)
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Post by AndyJ »

Hi Dakota,
Generally speaking names, even of fictional characters, are not subject to copyright protection, but I assume that you want to use the physical appearance of a particular character. If that is so, then all of these will be protected as artistic works and any copying of the artistic representation of the original would be infringement, and the only way you could safely use the characters would be to get a licence from the company which produces the game. To that extent, whether or not the characters are also registered as trade marks, is probably less relevant.
As trade marks have to be registered, protection only applies within the jurisdiction and for the particular products or services for which they are registered. So on that basis, you would need to check with your local registrar to see which if any of those on your list had been registered. If you are in the UK you can do this at the IPO website. The chances are that if a name is registered as a trade mark then it will be in a class which includes film and video (classes 41 and 42) and so you would be well advised to seek a licence from the trade mark owner before using that particular character.
Advice or comment provided here is not and does not purport to be legal advice as defined by s.12 of Legal Services Act 2007
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