Are Wrestling Names Copyrighted?By Coder| September 1, 2023 Wrestling Are Wrestling Names Copyrighted? When it comes to the world of professional wrestling, a wrestler’s name plays a vital role in their character development and brand recognition. Many fans wonder if these unique and creative names are protected by copyright laws. In this article, we will dive into the fascinating topic of whether wrestling names are copyrighted or not. The Importance of Wrestling Names Wrestling names are more than just a way to identify a wrestler; they are an essential part of their persona. These names often reflect the wrestler’s personality, gimmick, or background story. Whether it’s the flamboyant “Nature Boy” Ric Flair or the intimidating “Undertaker,” these names create an emotional connection with the audience. But are these wrestling names protected by copyright? The Copyrightability of Wrestling Names In general, copyright laws cover original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression. However, when it comes to wrestling names, they fall into a gray area. While there is no specific provision for protecting wrestling names under copyright law, they can potentially be protected under trademark law. Trademarks are used to protect logos, brand names, and other distinguishing features that identify and differentiate goods or services in commerce. Wrestling names can be considered trademarks if they meet certain criteria: The name must be distinctive and not generic. The name must be associated with a particular wrestler or promotion. The name must be used in commerce to promote goods or services. If a wrestling name meets these criteria, it may be eligible for trademark protection under federal law. Trademarks provide exclusive rights to use the name in connection with wrestling-related activities and merchandise, preventing others from using a similar name that could cause confusion among consumers. Enforcing Trademark Rights Once a wrestling name is registered as a trademark, the owner has the right to enforce their exclusive rights. This means they can take legal action against anyone who uses the name without permission or in a way that may dilute its distinctive qualities. However, it’s important to note that not all wrestling names are registered trademarks. Many wrestlers use their names without seeking legal protection, allowing others to use similar names or even adopt the same name if they enter a different promotion. This lack of protection can lead to confusion among fans and dilution of the wrestler’s brand. The Role of Contracts In addition to trademark protection, wrestling names are often governed by contracts between wrestlers and promotions. These contracts may include provisions that grant ownership or rights to the wrestler’s name during their tenure with the promotion. It is crucial for wrestlers to carefully review and negotiate these contracts to ensure they retain control over their brand identity. By doing so, they can protect their wrestling names from unauthorized use and maintain their marketability even after leaving a particular promotion. In conclusion, wrestling names are not automatically protected by copyright. However, they may be eligible for trademark protection if they meet certain criteria and are registered with the appropriate authorities. Wrestlers should also pay attention to contractual agreements regarding the ownership and use of their names. By understanding these legal aspects, wrestlers can safeguard their brand identities and maintain control over how their wrestling names are used.