Last week, Silver Springs, MD police made a fantastic collar when a routine pullover for a license plate violation revealed a Lamborghini driven by a man in a Batman suit. But was it THE Batman or just a pale imitation?
Deadline is reporting that WB has changed tactics and now wants a trial in the ongoing rights battle over Superman:
Talk about a lousy break: The van containing all of Avatar’s merchandise from WonderCon that was going on to Emerald City Comicon was stolen from a comics shop parking lot:
This is what we call a “hot drink” post in the biz*, as in, you must get a hot drink and a comfy chair before you dive in to the next link. Pádraig Ó Méalóid has done an amazing job of putting together a Gaiman/McFarlane/Marvelman timeline, which, although it only skims the details of the Marvelman deals of the ’80s, does cover the 10-year legal battle between Gaiman and McFarlane as it pertains to Marvelman. It’s a tale of (Tony) twists and turns. Of course the pre-history is also stunning:
Ryan Matheson, the American who was arrested, detained, abused and charged with child pornography after a single image was found on his computer on the Canadian border, has had criminal charges dropped after making a plea bargain to plead guilty to a non-criminal procedural charge. It’s a big victory for the CBLDF and civil rights. The CBR story above has more details:
Although when a final settlement was reached in the epic Gaiman/McFarlane legal battle a few weeks ago, most people thought it was all over. But now there is The Accounting. Daniel Best dug up the settlement papers which mentioned just how much money Todd McFarlane might owe Neil Gaiman. Just to be clearer about this, the money in question is in an escrow account and there is really no discussion over its exact disposition. As noted it would go to legal fees, or Neil Gaiman or other things. In addition, the profits from the characters Gaiman co-created—the actual subject of the lawsuit—have yet to be audited.
Wow! All hell has broken loose in comic book-land! Last week’s surfeit of Aquarian-born comics creators created a busy circuit of birthday parties, and if I had a dime for every time the name “Gary Friedrich” came up, his legal fees would be paid.
IP Wars are breaking out everywhere.Why here, why now? As always, follow the money. The most visible and lucrative segment of comics industry has, since the great distribution collapse of the ’90s, been primarily in the IP business. Entire comics companies have sprung up just to create movie storyboards masquerading as comics. Big media corporations outfit swanky offices just for the purpose of developing existing IP. It’s become a cottage industry. No wonder then, that controlling and profiting from IP has become THE major preoccupation of the comics industry from the CEO selling movies to the colorist selling prints.
Looks like convicted comic book store killer Michael George is running out of legal options:
Uh, uh, looks like maybe Dynamite should have entitled its Barsoomian comics “Master of the Male Wedgie” and not Dejah Thoris and so on, because ERB, Inc., the family-owned corporation which controls existing trademarks to the Edgar Rice Burroughs estate, is suing Dynamite, Dynamic Forces, and Savage Tales Entertainment for trademark infringement and unfair competition over Dynamite’s publication of books entitled “Lord of the Jungle,” “Warlord of Mars,” “Warlord of Mars: Dejah Thoris”, and “Warlord of Mars: Fall of Barsoom” based on the Edgar Rice Burroughs originals.
Well, speak of the devil. As we posted only a few hours ago, Marvel is in a very vulnerable PR position on the Gary Friedrich matter…so much so that they have sent both CCO Joe Quesada and publisher Dan Buckley to clarify and soothe at Comic Book Resources. As they point out, the matter is still under litigation and a settlement is being negotiated. Buckley and Quesada do a good job of trying to handle the negatives—they’re pros—especially with this:
ICv2 reports that Stan Lee Media has lost a legal battle over the rights to Conan. Although the big Cimmerian wouldn’t seem to be much of a hot property after last year’s movie flop, the folks at Stan Lee Media dive for any scrap of IP like a hobo battle for a bottle of Thunderbird.
Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman has fired back at former collaborator Tony Moore, who is suing him for fraud. IN a statement released via his lawyer, Kirkman stated:
Even as the success of THE WALKING DEAD across all media has soared—it’s basic cable’s highest rated program—there has always been a bit of a silent partner on the book: co-creator Tony Moore who left the book after six issues. Although credited as co-creator on the series, he’s been noticeably absent from promoting the book or TV series in its recent wild run of success.
And now we know part of the reason why: he’s just filed suit over his share of the profits of the book, profits he claims he has never had an accounting for and which he fraudulently signed away.
We’ve mentioned a few times here a lawsuit for copyright infringement by DC against an outfit called Gotham Garage, which sells replica Batmobiles—based on the ’60s Batman TV show in particular—as well as other vehicles based on famed fantasy cars, like the Mach Five.
If you were thinking of buying one, better hurry, because a judge has ruled that the Batmobile is subject to copyright.
Neil Gaiman took his victory lap after the settlement in his lawsuit against Todd McFarlane with comments to the Washington Post’s Michael Cavna, talking about the copyright precedents set by all the various rulings over the years.