Can you copyright an avatar name?

Nope. The Copyright Office will not register a short name, phrase, or expression, such as the name of a product or service, even if it is novel or distinctive. 37 C.F.R. § 202.1, a regulation issued by the Copyright Office under 17 U.S.C.S. § 702, states that short phrases such as names are not subject to copyright protection. While the use without compensation of one’s labors may seem unfair, this is not some unforeseen by-product of a statutory scheme. It is, rather, the essence of copyright, and a constitutional requirement. The primary objective of copyright is not to reward the labor of authors, but to promote the progress of science and useful arts.


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