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Marvel Demands $17,000 from Print Sales


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#1 Rust

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 08:58 AM

The Story

QUOTE
Recently, Marvel triumphed in court against Gary Friedrich, the creator of Ghost Rider, as to whether any moneys or rights were owed to him from the use of the characters in movies, with the second movie starring Nicolas Cage on its way.

And while the court decided that Marvel owe Gary nothing, they also decided on a counter claim from Marvel, that Gary Friedrich owes $17,000 for selling prints of the Ghost Rider character at conventions and the like.

This represents Gary?s earnings from selling such prints over several years ? but now Gary is penniless. And Marvel are demanding payment now. Oh, and that he is not allowed to say he is the creator of Ghost Rider for financial gain, say by doing an interview, in the future.

Marvel was recently bought by Disney for $4 billon. Nicolas Cage recently sold his copy of Action Comics #1 for over 2 million, and will have received similar for starring in Ghost Rider 2.

Gary Friedrich, the creator of Ghost Rider is, however, penniless.


I was going to see the new Ghost Rider movie, but now I think I'll skip it. This is a dick move on Marvel's part, no two ways about it, and sets a bad precedent for the future of the comic industry. No wonder nobody wants to create anything new - the company will just jack all the rights away from the creator and let a big middle finger fly for that person's efforts.
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#2 Goblez

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 09:02 AM

so are they going to go beat up Jack Kirby's family now and steal all their possessions?

#3 The Predaking

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 09:29 AM

QUOTE(Rust @ Feb 10 2012, 07:58 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The Story

QUOTE
Recently, Marvel triumphed in court against Gary Friedrich, the creator of Ghost Rider, as to whether any moneys or rights were owed to him from the use of the characters in movies, with the second movie starring Nicolas Cage on its way.

And while the court decided that Marvel owe Gary nothing, they also decided on a counter claim from Marvel, that Gary Friedrich owes $17,000 for selling prints of the Ghost Rider character at conventions and the like.

This represents Gary?s earnings from selling such prints over several years ? but now Gary is penniless. And Marvel are demanding payment now. Oh, and that he is not allowed to say he is the creator of Ghost Rider for financial gain, say by doing an interview, in the future.

Marvel was recently bought by Disney for $4 billon. Nicolas Cage recently sold his copy of Action Comics #1 for over 2 million, and will have received similar for starring in Ghost Rider 2.

Gary Friedrich, the creator of Ghost Rider is, however, penniless.


I was going to see the new Ghost Rider movie, but now I think I'll skip it. This is a dick move on Marvel's part, no two ways about it, and sets a bad precedent for the future of the comic industry. No wonder nobody wants to create anything new - the company will just jack all the rights away from the creator and let a big middle finger fly for that person's efforts.



Just pirate it and send Gary Friedrich a check.

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#4 TrapDoor

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 09:32 AM

You've got to be kidding me?! Of course he owes Marvel that money. How else is Marvel supposed to appease Galactus and keep him from devouring our planet?

#5 TrapDoor

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 09:33 AM

Plus, this guy can just create more characters!! I'll even give him my original character, Toast Rider! (Old School sparkers might remember him.)

#6 PiratedTVPro

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 09:49 AM

You guys apparently don't understand how contract work - well - works... He knows he didn't own the character, but was trying to use a loophole that Marvel didn't file for a copyright when they character was created - which they don't legally have to do - in order to try and make some money. He didn't succeed, and Marvel is rightfully pissed at this waste of their time. That said, this agreement was made between Marvel and his attorneys, so he was involved somehow in the final decision.
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#7 Kevin S

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 10:09 AM

QUOTE(PiratedTVPro @ Feb 10 2012, 09:49 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You guys apparently don't understand how contract work - well - works... He knows he didn't own the character, but was trying to use a loophole that Marvel didn't file for a copyright when they character was created - which they don't legally have to do - in order to try and make some money. He didn't succeed, and Marvel is rightfully pissed at this waste of their time. That said, this agreement was made between Marvel and his attorneys, so he was involved somehow in the final decision.


Him not getting a piece of the movie, that doesn't bother me & is perfectly reasonable. Him being sued for $17,000 is the thing I don't agree with. It sets a bad precedent.

I mean, if I buy a Deviant Art of something like this, then does the artist own Cartoon Network, for any sales? I can't say that this Adventure Time photo is parody, just drawn in a different style.

Does this mean a Deviant Art owes a lot of properties, due to their sales?

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#8 CORVUS

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 10:20 AM

As Kevin S says, its a bad precedent. Many comic illustrators supplement their income at comic conventions and online via commissioned work and print sales. For over 30 years the companies have turned a blind-eye to this, knowing full-well that it was being done and taking no action, largely because these guys weren't exactly getting rich doing it.

This could have chilling effects on the entire practice, and could herald more action to come. Only time will tell, but this sure as hell leaves a very bad taste in my mouth.

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#9 PiratedTVPro

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 10:22 AM

QUOTE(Kevin S @ Feb 10 2012, 10:09 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Him not getting a piece of the movie, that doesn't bother me & is perfectly reasonable. Him being sued for $17,000 is the thing I don't agree with. It sets a bad precedent.

I mean, if I buy a Deviant Art of something like this, then does the artist own Cartoon Network, for any sales? I can't say that this Adventure Time photo is parody, just drawn in a different style.

Does this mean a Deviant Art owes a lot of properties, due to their sales?

Kevin


If it's being SOLF, then legally, yes. They would need to license the characters, like http://www.mondotees.com/ has begun doing for their posters. Otherwise, yes, Cartoon Network could take it down. Right now it's a big grey area where there's no way a company like Cartoon Network would be able to patrol the internet to take everything down, and they might not want to. A lot of people see this as free promotion, others don't, but it's all up to the rights holders.

In the settlement it specifically says that Marvel can't stop him from autographing Ghost Rider merchandise and charging for that. They don't own his autograph.
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#10 PiratedTVPro

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 10:26 AM

QUOTE(^0^CORVUS^o^ @ Feb 10 2012, 10:20 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
As Kevin S says, its a bad precedent. Many comic illustrators supplement their income at comic conventions and online via commissioned work and print sales. For over 30 years the companies have turned a blind-eye to this, knowing full-well that it was being done and taking no action, largely because these guys weren't exactly getting rich doing it.

This could have chilling effects on the entire practice, and could herald more action to come. Only time will tell, but this sure as hell leaves a very bad taste in my mouth.


The problem is that HE came after them, wanting money from the Ghost Rider movie(s) and the merchandise there-from. Marvel - or Marvel's lawyer team - is rightfully pissed off that they had to deal with it. Well, probably more that they had to spent time and money to deal with it. The guy was being an ass, trying to sue in order to get money for something he had no rights to, and now Marvel is digging in their heel.

You're right. Most companies - and even Marvel - most of the time will turn a blind eye on something like this. But when you come up and jive in their lawn, they're going to rub your nose in it so that others don't try to jive there too.
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#11 Rhapsody

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 10:28 AM

QUOTE(PiratedTVPro @ Feb 10 2012, 09:49 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You guys apparently don't understand how contract work - well - works... He knows he didn't own the character, but was trying to use a loophole that Marvel didn't file for a copyright when they character was created - which they don't legally have to do - in order to try and make some money. He didn't succeed, and Marvel is rightfully pissed at this waste of their time. That said, this agreement was made between Marvel and his attorneys, so he was involved somehow in the final decision.


Also if you want to get technical, which the law loves to do, he DIDN'T create Ghost Rider. Marvel already owned a character by the name of Ghost Rider. A non-super powered, Wild West Hero by the name Carter Slade that wore a white suit to look like he's a ghost. The character was Homaged in the first Ghost Rider movie in the form of the Caretaker. They share nothing in common, and the Wild West version is now refereed to as Phantom Rider after the flaming skull biker version became famous.
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#12 PiratedTVPro

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 10:31 AM

QUOTE(Database @ Feb 10 2012, 10:28 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Also if you want to get technical, which the law loves to do, he DIDN'T create Ghost Rider.


He didn't create it no matter how you look at it because he was working for Marvel at the time. I don't own any of the advertising work I did while at Cramer Krasselt, even though it was entirely my ideas, my work, my talent and my vision that led to the advertising. They're pretty explicit about that even in my contract at an advertising agency. I'd imagine - especially with all the lawsuits that they've dealt with over the past twenty years - that Marvel's contracts are pretty ironclad.
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#13 Chris McFeely

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 10:46 AM

More to the point, Friedrich was selling reproductions of Marvel artwork of Ghost Rider at conventions without permission - that is to say, committing copyright infringement. Marvel counter-sued him for that, and $17000 is getting off pretty light for what he was doing for as long as he was. I admit that, given it's Disney, the fee seems rather punitive and there's a nasty feeling like he's being made an example of, and I DO feel bad for him - but he was incontrovertibly in the wrong, and HE was the one who initiated the proceedings while a) having absolutely no legal leg to stand on, and b) being guilty of copyright infringement. He wilfully poked the bear, and got exactly what anyone would expect. After all the recent legal kerfuffles with Seigel and Shuster's and Kirby's estates (which all ended with it being proven that the rights to the characters were legally owned by the companies either by purchasing them outright from the creators or due to their creaiton as work for hire) and Alan Moore's Watchmen pontifications in the last week, there's a reflexive desire to rally behind him and go "Oh, poor wittle bwoke creator got smacked down by da evil corporation!" - especially since this is one man and the original creator and not his money-grubbing descendants - but this is a situation entirely of his own making.

Edited by Chris McFeely, 10 February 2012 - 10:59 AM.


#14 Scavgraphics

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 11:19 AM

QUOTE(PiratedTVPro @ Feb 10 2012, 11:31 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE(Database @ Feb 10 2012, 10:28 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Also if you want to get technical, which the law loves to do, he DIDN'T create Ghost Rider.


He didn't create it no matter how you look at it because he was working for Marvel at the time.


No..he didn't own it because it was work for hire, but he'd still be the creator.

It's the ownership, not the creatorship, that was in question (I think...I seem to remember something hinky in the who actually did the creation aspect of the case).


For more on this topic, Bleeding Cool has a second article where someone tries to blackmail Nic Cage into paying off Friedrich.

#15 skankerzero

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 11:27 AM

Also, depending on how your contract is worded, companies can also own anything you create at home on your spare time.

There's a big stink in the game industry over contracts like that.

I don't own any of the characters I've created from scratch for any of the games I've made. It doesn't stop me from saying that I made them, but I'm not dumb enough to try and make money off them either.
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#16 PiratedTVPro

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 11:53 AM

QUOTE(skankerzero @ Feb 10 2012, 11:27 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Also, depending on how your contract is worded, companies can also own anything you create at home on your spare time.


Yeah, that was how the CK contracts were structured. Also, according to the contract I'm not allowed to work at another advertising firm for 5 years after leaving them.
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#17 skankerzero

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 12:33 PM

QUOTE(PiratedTVPro @ Feb 10 2012, 10:53 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE(skankerzero @ Feb 10 2012, 11:27 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Also, depending on how your contract is worded, companies can also own anything you create at home on your spare time.


Yeah, that was how the CK contracts were structured. Also, according to the contract I'm not allowed to work at another advertising firm for 5 years after leaving them.

ouch! >_o

we usually have a year that we can't work on a competing product. It's just to keep you from taking company information with you and giving it to them.

Still though, no one really pays attention to that.
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#18 Cheetimus Primal

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 12:43 PM

QUOTE(PiratedTVPro @ Feb 10 2012, 10:26 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE(^0^CORVUS^o^ @ Feb 10 2012, 10:20 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
As Kevin S says, its a bad precedent. Many comic illustrators supplement their income at comic conventions and online via commissioned work and print sales. For over 30 years the companies have turned a blind-eye to this, knowing full-well that it was being done and taking no action, largely because these guys weren't exactly getting rich doing it.

This could have chilling effects on the entire practice, and could herald more action to come. Only time will tell, but this sure as hell leaves a very bad taste in my mouth.


The problem is that HE came after them, wanting money from the Ghost Rider movie(s) and the merchandise there-from. Marvel - or Marvel's lawyer team - is rightfully pissed off that they had to deal with it. Well, probably more that they had to spent time and money to deal with it. The guy was being an ass, trying to sue in order to get money for something he had no rights to, and now Marvel is digging in their heel.

You're right. Most companies - and even Marvel - most of the time will turn a blind eye on something like this. But when you come up and jive in their lawn, they're going to rub your nose in it so that others don't try to jive there too.

Yeah, we get it. marvel was being petty and trying to prove a point.
However no amount of reasoning will get to me be ok with a huge corporation ruining some guy's life just to prove a point.
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#19 Rhapsody

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 01:03 PM

QUOTE(Cheetimus Primal @ Feb 10 2012, 12:43 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE(PiratedTVPro @ Feb 10 2012, 10:26 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE(^0^CORVUS^o^ @ Feb 10 2012, 10:20 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
As Kevin S says, its a bad precedent. Many comic illustrators supplement their income at comic conventions and online via commissioned work and print sales. For over 30 years the companies have turned a blind-eye to this, knowing full-well that it was being done and taking no action, largely because these guys weren't exactly getting rich doing it.

This could have chilling effects on the entire practice, and could herald more action to come. Only time will tell, but this sure as hell leaves a very bad taste in my mouth.


The problem is that HE came after them, wanting money from the Ghost Rider movie(s) and the merchandise there-from. Marvel - or Marvel's lawyer team - is rightfully pissed off that they had to deal with it. Well, probably more that they had to spent time and money to deal with it. The guy was being an ass, trying to sue in order to get money for something he had no rights to, and now Marvel is digging in their heel.

You're right. Most companies - and even Marvel - most of the time will turn a blind eye on something like this. But when you come up and jive in their lawn, they're going to rub your nose in it so that others don't try to jive there too.

Yeah, we get it. marvel was being petty and trying to prove a point.
However no amount of reasoning will get to me be ok with a huge corporation ruining some guy's life just to prove a point.


When someone pokes a bear with a stick while trying to get it's honey; you shouldn't feel sorry for the guy when he ends up in a pinewood box.

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#20 Random Items

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 01:20 PM

QUOTE(Database @ Feb 10 2012, 11:03 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
When someone pokes a bear with a stick while trying to get it's honey; you shouldn't feel sorry for the guy when he ends up in a pinewood box.


For that analogy to be fair, we'd have to be talking about a "someone" who made the honey for the bear in the first place.



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