UPDATE: Troubles and plagiarism charges grow for LaBeouf as Clowes contemplates legal action

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LaBeouf-Gate—in which an A-list young actor continues to dig himself deeper and deeper after cluelessly ripping off a Daniel Clowes comic as the basis for a short films because SQUIRREL!—has been developing on several fronts.

Did Shia LaBeouf rip off a Daniel Clowes comic for his short film? UPDATE: YEP

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If you look at the plot of Shia La Bouef’s short film Howard Cantour, it sounds exactly like Daniel Clowes’s short comic Justin M. Damiano, which appeared in Zadie Smith’s Anthology of Short FIction, The Book of Other People. La Beouf: Jim Gaffigan gives a perfect deadpan performance as movie critic “Howard Cantour”, spending his […]

More legal shennanigans in Archie Comics co-CEO sexual haarassment suit — with filings

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Archie Comics complaint against co-CEO Nancy Silberkleit for sexual harassment has been going around for a while. New information includes recent filings in which Silberkleit asked to dismiss the case because the white men she was accused of harassing aren’t members of a “protected class.” Archie lawyers affidavited back with claims that…this motion to dismiss […]

Ed Kramer pleads guilty and now under house arrest — UPDATED WITH VIDEO

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Yesterday was the long awaited trial date for the notorious Ed Kramer, and it was a bit of an anticlimax– after avoiding charges of child molestation for over a decade, he entered the type of guilty plea that does not admit guilt on three of six counts, and was sentenced to five years in jail. […]

At last – Ed Kramer’s trial begins NEXT WEEK!

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Accused child molester Ed Kramer will go on trial next week after more than a decode of legal delays and stalling. More than a decade ago, Kramer was accused of molesting two teen-aged boys. In addition, Atlanta magazine has more details on Dragon-Con officially dissolving its relationship with co-founder Kramer: “‘DragonCon’s relationship with Mr. Kramer is […]

Heirs of Joe Shuster lose appeal

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The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed a lower court ruling giving WB the copyright to Superman and setting aside a 1998 copyright termination notice filed by the heirs of Joe Shuster. The court agreed that a complex 1992 agreement gave WB the rights to Superman in exchange for a lifetime compensation. The ruling […]

US looking to extend copyright to life plus 95 years

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Oh WikiLeaks, the gift that keeps on giving. Yet another fascinating finding from the papers is the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership agreement, which covers copyright law. The US has been negotiating it in secret, and several of the provisions are very noteworthy. Among them, a continued emphasis on SOPA and PIPA type legislation–both very restrictive […]

Court tells Stan Lee Media to get the hell away from Conan

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Stan Lee Media—the creeping zombie of a company that no longer has anything to do with Stan Lee, but loves to say they have the rights to everything Stan ever came near—has just lost an appeal in another of it lawsuits, this one, a claim that they had the rights to Conan, saying that current […]

More legal woes at Archie as employees file lawsuit against co-owner Nancy Silberkleit

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I’ve lost count on who is suing who in the brutal ground war between Archie Comics, and their controversial co-owner Nancy Silberkleit, but it seems a new lawsuit has been launched, with the employees of Archie suing Silberkleit: The employees, including longtime editor Victor Gorelick, say the suit is a “last ditch effort” to eject […]

Internet Meme Shocker: Did Grumpy Cat Rip off Kate Beaton?

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In a story on how Grumpy Cat—the dwarf cat that people (including The Beat) will line up for hours just to see—is worth $1 million, it’s revealed that one of her signature catch phrases first appeared in a cartoon by Kate Beaton. Which wouldn’t be so odd except that Grumpy’s manager, who is a “meme manager”, is very litigious about other people stealing his own memes. Beaton, who hasn’t received any money from the cat or her manager, is philosophical about the whole thing, writing:

Ed Kramer is staying in jail until his trial

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Bucking the trend of over a decade, a Gwinnett County judge has ruled that Dragon*Con co-founder Ed Kramer will have to stay in jail until trial in December, the Gwinnett Daily Post reported. Kramer has sued to be released on habeas corpus, but “After having heard evidence and argument of counsel, the Petition for Writ […]

13 years later, Ed Kramer is finally going to trial this December

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After delays, house arrest and an endless sucession of lawsuits, former Dragon Con co-founder Ed Kramer is finally going to trial After a hearing, discussing Kramer’s health issues, Judge Karen Beyers announced Kramer’s trial for child molestation for Dec. 2 and 9. Following accusations by two teenaged boys that he had acted improperly towards them, […]

Must Read: Jeff Trexler’s Taking Back the Kirby Case

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I’m late linking to this, but it took a while to get through it since it’s full of legal reasoning. Frequent Beat legal contributor Jeff Trexler has jumped over to the Comics Journal for an essential look at the Kirby Case, its ruling and what might have been the thinking behind some of them. Warning, […]

Good site: PD56, copyrights that should have lapsed but didn’t

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In one of his comments, frequent Beat commenter Jason A. Quest linked to his websitePD56 | works that should have become Public Domain after 56 years, and people who are interested in copyright should check it out. It lists works created more than 56 years ago that should, in theory be in the public domain now […]

Marvel wins appeal in lawsuit brought by Jack Kirby’s heirs

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Another chapter in the long battle over Marvel’s characters ended today when a three-person New York appeals court upheld Marvel’s victory in a lawsuit bought by Jack Kirby’s heirs over copyrights to iconic characters such as the Hulk and Captain America. The court ruled that Kirby’s work for Marvel had been done under work-for-hire conditions and that “Marvel’s inducement, […]

Marvel is free from paying web shooter toy inventor royalties

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Chalk up another legal win for Marvel Enterprises. Tuesday, the 9th Circuit Courts of Appeals ruled that Marvel no longer has to pay Tucson attorney Stephen Kimble—inventor of the Spider-Man web shooters—royalties after 2010.