Pull up a chair by the fire and I will tell you about ghost stories. I mean, of course, stories written by ghosts not stories about them. Recently, the specter of the monkey copyright caused a change to the Compendium of the U. S. Copyright Office Practices. The change addressed monkey selfies directly but also clarified other haunting questions such as “can divine or supernatural beings hold copyrights?” The answer, without a shade of doubt, is no. So now we know that other beings like angels, vampires, and zombies do not have a ghost of a chance to get their works copyrighted. Does this mean supernatural ghouls and gals cannot get copyright protection for their work? Luckily, there is the apparition of hope.
The Compendium says that it will grant copyrights still to works merely inspired by a divine spirit. Where el chupacabra may have to fight for either personhood or being considered a divine spirit to be granted copyright protections, other creatures will have a much easier time. Many supernatural creatures have ways of “inspiring” people to make their work. A ghost can use a simple possession. A vampire can glamour someone to make their work. A zombie can pick someone’s brain. These sparks of creativity inspired on another may allow these supernatural beings to get their works made and perhaps protected from copying by others.
Assuming that these creatures that go bump in the night do exist, they would have to argue that they deserve protections as with this change to the Compendium, it is clear that the only works created by current human beings will be afforded a copyright. The law requires a human being to put time and effort into a work for it to be eligible for copyright protection. Someone cannot use something they find as is and claim a copyright nor can they claim a copyright in a non-human’s work. So, if you see a writing wraith, a poetic poltergeist, or a banshee brandishing a bagpipe, tell them it’s better to have them “inspire” you because if they make the work themselves, their copyright will be as incorporeal as they are.