Intellectual property rights to fictional characters

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Who doesn’t know  superheroes like superman, batman and spiderman. The superhero is a fictional character created only for the benefit of comics and films. Quoted from wikipedia ” A fictional character is a person, persona, identity, or character that comes from a work of fiction”.  These fictional characters have enormous economic value for film and comic companies. But is there a law that regulates the protection of creating fictional characters?

If you look at article 40 paragraph 1 of Law number 28 of 2014 concerning copyright, protected works include works in the fields of science, art and literature, consisting of:
a. books, pamphlets, appearance of published papers, and all other written works;
b. lectures, lectures, speeches, and other similar works;
c. teaching aids made for the benefit of education and science;
d. songs and / or music with or without subtitles;
e. drama, musical drama, dance, choreography, puppetry, and pantomime;
f. fine arts in all forms such as paintings, drawings, carvings, calligraphy, sculpture, sculpture or collage;
g. work of applied art;
h. architectural works;
i. map;
j. batik artwork or other motif art;
k. photographic works;
l. Portrait;
m. cinematographic works;
n. translations, interpretations, adaptations, anthologies, databases, adaptations, arrangements, modifications and other works resulting from the transformation;
o. translation, adaptation, arrangement, transformation, or modification of traditional cultural expressions;
p. compilation of Works or data, either in a format that can be read by a computer program or other media;
q. compilation of traditional cultural expressions as long as the compilation is original;
r. video games; and
s. Computer program.

From the contents of the article above, there is no law that specifically regulates fictional characters, but does this mean that fictional characters are not protected by copyright? To answer this, we have to look at another article.

In article 1 paragraph 1 of law number 28 of 2014 concerning copyright, copyright is the exclusive right of a creator that arises automatically based on the declarative principle after a work is manifested in a tangible form without reducing restrictions in accordance with the provisions of laws and regulations.

Based on the information in Article 1 paragraph 1 of the UUHC, only a work is entitled to copyright. then is a fictional character including a creation?

In article 1 paragraph 3, it reads “A creation is any creative work in the fields of science, art and literature that is produced based on inspiration, ability, thought, imagination, dexterity, skill, or expertise which is expressed in a tangible form.”

If you look at article 1 paragraph 3 of the UUHC, a fictional character can be said to be a creation, because a fictional character is
1. Art and literature
2. The results of inspiration, ability, imagination, dexterity
3. Expressed in a real form

Although a fictional character is a creation, it should be noted in Article 41 letter a of the UUHC, that the work will not be protected by copyright if “the work has not been realized in a real form.”

The conclusion is even though there is no article that specifically regulates fictional characters. However, a fictional character is a creation that can be protected by copyright because a fictional character is a depiction of a character or character made based on the creator’s imagination for the benefit of a script or story. However, the copyright is only obtained if the fictional character is original (does not imitate other people’s work) and has been manifested in a real form, which can be seen, heard and read as if it was made in the form of a doll, film, comic or drama.

To find out more about copyright protection, please visit another article on the website.

Undang Undang nomor 28 tahun 2014 tentang Hak Cipta

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