Emory Law Journal


Sydney Altman


This Comment defines what qualifies as a character and what makes the character eligible or ineligible for copyright protection. This Comment proposes placing characters on a spectrum, from those that are granted full copyright protection to those that are denied legal security. When the line is not clear regarding whether a character is an original expression or is a persona of the actor, this Comment suggests utilizing the merger doctrine as a personal affirmative defense to eliminate a studio¿s inflexible copyright control and to release the character into the actor¿s shared control.