YOUR money: BIZ BUREAU - I WANNA SELL YOU A STORY.
I HAVE an idea for a cartoon or book that would appeal to children. I'd appreciate your advice on whether I should copyright the characters now or get some feedback first?
P Smith, by email
YOU need to ensure your characters' appearances are specific and unique or someone could create one with similar attributes.
Geri Halliwell is writing a series of children's books about her character Ugenia Lavender and the first has just been published.
There are various areas of protection you need to consider to cover your work - copyright, trademark and registered design may well all be relevant to your characters.
Copyright protects original literary works.
It is an unregistered right and there is no official action to take.
Copyright comes into effect as soon as something that can be protected is created and "fixed" in some way - on paper, film, via sounds or on the internet.
You can mark your work with the international copyright symbol, followed by your name and the year of creation.
Deposit a copy with a bank or solicitor or send yourself a copy by special delivery, leaving the envelope unopened on its return.
A trademark includes words, logos, pictures or a combination of them. A registered design distinguishes a product from its lines, contours, colours and shape.
Visit www.ipo.gov.uk for details.
ORIGINAL Geri's book