So here's the deal. Basically I have used characters I'm going to use in my books in my role-plays for fun. I basically want to know if that's risky or dangerous in any way. I've been told a few times by people that if they aren't copyrighted, someone can steal my characters and my story and make profit of it unless I have an official copyright. I don't think this is the case. Isn't intellectual property rights, documents and pictures I have of my characters proof enough I made it first, and enough to protect my content if someone were to try? I feel like it would be absurd if my creating them suddenly doesn't count just because they aren't officially copyrighted/trademarked. I personally have never heard of something like that happening ever and might just be a fear based thing thats the status of: "Fan-fiction is dangerous! Remember Marion Zimmer Bradly!?" What do you guys think?