Gary Friedrich Loses Case Against Marvel – Updated
In 2007 Gary Friedrich the co-creator of Ghost Rider sued Marvel comics to require that the copyright of his famous creation revert to his company, as a creator-owned property. Courts have backed up the original court decision that Ghost Rider was a work-for-hire property and thus not revertable under 1909 Copyright Act and that this case should be dismissed.
Freidrich in 2007 sued Marvel for copyright infringement due to use of Ghost Rider in different media. He felt the copyright should of reverted to him in 2001. A year ago Judge James C. Francis ruled the case should be dismissed. Judge Francis felt the 1976 Copyright Act applied which has much stricter work-for-hire terms. Judge Barbara S. Jones agreed with Francis’s ruling dismissing Friedrich’s objections to it.
Update: We put on our rather poor legal hat to read through the decision. Judge Barbara S. Jones’s ruling agrees with Judge James C. Francis that Federal copyright law preempts the state laws and thus dismisses those state claims. You can read through the entire decision here. But this is the part that matters (underline and emphasis is ours):
For all the foregoing reasons, the Court adopts the R&R of Magistrate James Francis in it’s entirety and GRANTS Defendant’s partial Motion to Dismiss.
A better headline would of been “Marvel Wins Partial Dismissal.”