While the best known of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ creations are now in the public domain—Tarzan and John Carter among them—not all the books in those series are out of copyright and trademarks remain. Thus it was that Dynamite’s books such as Lord of the Jungle and Dejah Thoris roused first ire and then legal firepower […]
A powerful looking Ron Ely, star of the TV’s “Tarzan”(1966-1968) and “Doc Savage: Man of Bronze” (1975) spell bound his audience at WonderCon Friday, relating his fight with a wild tiger. According to Ely, “The Script read: Tarzan sees tiger, Tarzan fights tiger, Tarzan and tiger walkaway in opposite directions with mutual respect.” Instead of […]
A powerful looking Ron Ely, star of the TV’s “Tarzan”(1966-1968) and “Doc Savage: Man of Bronze” (1975) spellbound his audience at WonderCon Friday, relating his fight with a wild tiger. According to Ely, “The Script read: Tarzan sees tiger, Tarzan fights tiger, Tarzan and tiger walkaway in opposite directions with mutual respect.” Instead of firing […]
You’ll recall that a few weeks ago, the estate of Edgar Rice Burroughs sued Dynamite over their ongoing lines of Tarzan and John Carter comics. Although the earliest works in each series are in the public domain, ERB, Inc. sued on the basis of trademark infringement, claiming that Dynamite’s Lord of the Jungle was infringing their trademark for “TARZAN LORD OF THE JUNGLE” and so on. Well, Dynamite has responded, and it’s pretty much a blanket denial, as you can see above. Dynamite’s defense is pretty simple: the books are in the public domain, and ERB, Inc., doesn’t have a trademark to infringe. For instance, ERB didn’t file a trademark claim for Lord of the Jungle until March, 2012, although a shadowy company called ETT Corp. had filed one a few years earlier.
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.