Tag Archives: lawsuit

Around the Tubes

Spawn #300

It’s new comic book day tomorrow! What’s everyone getting? What are you excited for? Sound off in the comments below. While you think about that, here’s some comic news from around the web.

The Comichron – September 2019 comics sales estimates: Spawn #300 tops 262k copies, House of X #1 reorders take it above 200k – For those that enjoy the comics race.

PennLive – Holy court case, Batman! Pa. court revives lawsuit by vintage comic book restorers who claim they were slandered – This should be interesting.

Newsarama – ALA Launching ‘Best Graphic Novels for Adults’ Reading List – This should be interesting.

InfoWars Settles with Matt Furie for $15,000

Pepe the Frog

Alex Jones and InfoWars has decided to settle with Pepe creator Matt Furie instead of going to court. Jones and InfoWars are accused with appropriating the use of the cartoon frog in merchandise sold by the site.

The image was used in a poster sold during the 2016 election. The two were set to go to trial next month but instead InfoWars has agreed to pay Furie $15,000. The poster depicted right-wing personalities such as Jones, Roger Stone, and Donald Trump.

Furie has been aggresively enforcing his copyright of the character going on the offensive ever since it was co-opted by the alt-right.

The fight began in 2017 when a Texas school administrator released an islamophobic children’s book featuring Pepe which then landed him a deal with Simon & Schuster distributed Post Hill Press. Furie stopped the publication and donated profits from the book’s sale to the Council on American-Islamic relations.

Jones was sent a cease and desist letter and a Digital Millennium Copyright Act Notice but continued to sell the posters. He is the only individual who has tred to fight Furie’s lawsuit claiming fair use.

InfoWars has attempted to spin their settlement as a “licensing fee” and it’s some sort of win because they didn’t pay out “millions.”

Louis Tompro, one of Furie’s lawyers, said:

InfoWars had said it planned to ‘free Pepe once and for all,’ but it backed down rather than face trial and lose. If anyone thinks they can make money selling unauthorized Pepe merchandise, they’re wrong. Mr. Furie will continue to enforce his copyrights, particularly against anyone trying to profit by associating Pepe with hateful images or ideas.

Dynamite is Disputing the Atlas Comics Purchase, Sort Of

Dynamite Entertainment Atlas Comics

We’ve been researching this one since the announcement was made. but Dynamite Entertainment is disputing the relaunch of Atlas Comics. Well, at least the use of the name “Atlas Comics.”

Last week, Steven Paul revealed he had purchased a majority stake in Atlas Comics, the 1970s comic publisher, with plans to launch movie franchises. In our research for that announcement, we noticed there was a dispute over the trademark of Atlas Comics. Dynamite Entertainment claims that it owns the trademark.

Atlas Comics launched in 1974 as an imprint of Seaboard Publishing. Martin Goodman founded it after a dispute with Marvel Comics, which he founded. Jason Goodman, Martin Goodman’s grandson, is in control of Atlas Comics and its character through Nemesis Group. Paul purchased a stake to the character library from Nemesis Group.

Dynamite Entertainment is claiming they own the name “Atlas Comics” but do not own the characters.

In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Dynamite said:

We have no clue why Martin Goodman, or anyone associated with him, feels that they can use the ‘Atlas Comics’ brand name. Any trademark rights the original Goodman’s Seaboard Publishing group may have owned in the ‘Atlas Comics’ name was abandoned decades ago. Because of that abandonment, the trademark ATLAS COMICS was adopted in 2002 by Jeffrey Stevens, who then registered the trademark in 2005, and Dynamite now owns all rights in the ATLAS COMICS trademark, having purchased it from Mr. Stevens in 2014. We have been actively using the mark ever since.

Jason Goodman attempted to relaunch Atlas Comics in 2010. He found out that Jeffrey Stevens had registered the trademark for comic books in 2005. That led to a lawsuit being filed by Nemesis against Stevens. Their argument was that Stevens hadn’t used the trademark. In March 2012 the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board allowed the case to proceed. In the end, the board ruled against Goodman in August 2014. Stevens’ trademark was then assigned to Dynamite Characters LLC, aka Dynamite Entertainment. In February 2016 Nemesis Group filed a new Atlas Comics logo with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Dynamite claims they have used the “Atlas Comics” branding. They use it to denote “limited-edition signed copies of high-profile titles.” Those copies feature a visible cover banner. You can see examples of that above.

It is possible that the Atlas Comics announcement was just about the characters and intellectual property. Atlas Comics as a publisher is dead and the name was just used for the announcement with no intention on further use. That still remains unclear and this is a story we’ll continue to follow.

Around the Tube

The Flash #70

It’s new comic book day tomorrow! What’s everyone excited for? What do you plan on getting? Sound off in the comments below, especially if it’s something we should check out! While you think about that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

The Comichron – April estimates: War of the Realms #1 tops 187k copies, Detective #1000 now #2 bestseller of 21st century – For those that enjoy the horse race.

Comicbook – Arthur’s Teacher Mr. Ratburn Comes out as Gay and Gets Married – Mazel Tov and awesome to see!

The Beat – Jeremy Whitley Announces The Unstoppable Wasp Will End with Issue #10 – A shame to see it go.

The Comics Journal – Eight of the Eleven Defendants Dismissed from Pickrodt Lawsuit – For those interested in this case.

Reviews

Comics Bulletin – Aliens: Dead Orbit
Newsarama –
Detective Comics #1003
ICv2 –
Dugout the Zombie Steals Home
Comic Attack –
Excellence #1
Talking Comics –
The Flash #70

Around the Tubes

It’s new comic book day today! What’s everyone excited for? What do you plan getting? Sound off in the comments! While you wait for the shops to open, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web.

Fairlady #1

ComicBook – Warner Bros. Reportedly Filing Copyright Claim After Donald Trump Video Uses ‘Dark Knight Rises’ Score – Awesome.

CBLDF – Free Webinars for Educators and Librarians Center Around Comics – This is pretty cool.

Kotaku – Real-Life Politician Removed From In-Game Office In EVE Online – Huh.

Reviews

Comic Attack – Bronze Age Boogie #1
Comics Bulletin –
Fairlady #1

A Wave Blue World offers Free Comics to Supporters of Mark Waid’s Legal Fund

A Wave Blue World (AWBW), publisher of anthologies such as Broken Frontier, All We Ever Wanted: Stories of a Better World, and the upcoming Death of the Horror Anthology, announces they will send free digital copies of This Nightmare Kills Fascists and a special color version of the All We Ever Wanted ashcan edition to anyone who donates $15USD or more to Mark Waid‘s legal fundraiser.

The longstanding comic book pro is currently being sued by one of the perceived leaders of the online harassment movement called ‘ComicsGate’. To fund his defense against the suit, Waid has launched a crowdfunding appeal on Go Fund Me.

Curated and edited by Matt Miner (GWAR, Poser) and Eric Palicki (No Angel, Atlantis Wasn’t Built For Tourists), This Nightmare Kills Fascists is a horror anthology in the style of Creepy and Eerie, told against the backdrop of modern politics.  It boasts stories from a plethora of hot creators including Vita Ayala, Tini Howard, Justin Jordan, Ariela Kristantina, Ryan Ferrier, and many, many more.

All We Ever Wanted: Stories of a Better World is an upcoming anthology spearheaded by the same editorial team plus AWBW publisher Tyler Chin-Tanner that looks into a more hopeful and positive future, and has been described as “less Mad Max, more Star Trek.”  Currently available to order in the October issue of Previews, the anthology is set to hit stores in December.

The print version of the ashcan was an exclusive for NYCC ‘18, but can now be obtained digitally only by those who support this fund. It contains three of the stories from the anthology by creators Robbi Rodriguez, Tyler Chin-Tanner, Paul Allor, Juan Romera, Eric Palicki, and Eryk Donovan.

AWBW publisher Tyler Chin-Tanner said in the release:

Over his entire career, Mark Waid has always been a champion for creators’ rights and now he’s standing up for them against bullying and harassment. It’s important for us to come together now as a comics community to support him.

Comic creator Matt Miner added:

If our fascist-smashing anthology can help Mark Waid fight against actual fascists in comics then I’m all for it. I stand with my LGBT family and trans friends in denouncing comicsgate and all the hate that they spew.

Comic creator Eric Palicki also said:

I don’t know Mark personally, but I’ve followed his work for as long as I’ve been reading comics. It’s no surprise a writer who understands Superman or Daredevil so profoundly would devote so much of himself to standing up to real-life bullies, and I’m proud to help Mark in any way I can.

To obtain the PDFs for This Nightmare Kills Fascists and the All We Ever Wanted ashcan, please send a screenshot of your receipt of your donation of $15USD or more to Mark Waid’s fundraiser to tyler@awbw.com.

Mark Waid Launches a GoFundMe for His Legal Defense

Comic creator Mark Waid has launched a GoFundMe with money going towards his legal defense. Waid is being sued by Richard Meyer, a leader in the Comicsgate movement, who claims Waid interfered in business dealings.

Comicsgate is a hate and harassment movement which claims it’s a “consumer revolt.” The group harasses primarily minority creators, women, African American, LGBTQ+, while claiming comics have “too much leftwing politics” within them today.

Meyer was an early member/founder who gained fame with attacks on creators on Twitter and YouTube, examples you can see below. In a video dubbed “the Dark Roast” he claimed Waid is a pedophile, a slanderous claim with no merit or any basis in reality.

Meyer is suing Waid saying Waid interfered with a deal that Meyer had with Antarctic Press to publish his comics. Antarctic Press denies this is the case and Waid did no such thing.

Waid has stated the lawsuit is without merit and that his defense is standing up to bullies and it’s an attempt to silence those who stand up publicly agaisnt bigotry and racism so they can continue to harass creators without ramifications. He is seeking to raise $75,000 towards his defense.

We, without pause, support Mark Waid in every way in this lawsuit.

Small Press Expo Launches a GoFundMe for Defend the 11

Last month, eleven members of the independent comics community and one publisher were served with a defamation lawsuit because of concerns they raised about a fellow creator’s alleged pattern of sexual misconduct.

Whit Taylor, Laura Knetzger, Josh O’Neill, Tom Kaczynski, Hazel Newlevant, Emma Louthan, Ben Passmore, Emi Gennis, Jordan Shiveley, Morgan Pielli, and Rob Clough, as well as the indie comics publisher Uncivilized Books, all need our help to defend themselves against these charges!

SPX has established the Defend The 11 legal aid fund to help these members of our creative community in their time of need. SPX is organizing this fund in consultation with the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, which brings legal and fundraising experience to the effort.

Cases like this can be costly and drag out for years reaching hundreds of thousands of dollars in bills. An amount of $20,000 was initially pledged to help with the defense and give these creators immediate access to legal representation. Most of that money has already been spent on legal bills.

SPX announced its intent to establish a legal aid fund in a September 1, 2018 joint statement with the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund’s new President, Christina Merkler. SPX’s annual comic arts festival takes place this weekend in Bethesda, Maryland. In addition to the GoFundMe campaign, those wishing to donate to the #Defendthe11 legal aid fund can do so in-person at the festival.

The Small Press Expo Establishes a Legal Aid Fund for Cartoonists With $20,000 Donation

Small Press Expo has announced that it will immediately make available $20,000 and also launch a legal aid fundraising vehicle to support members of the SPX community who are currently facing a defamation lawsuit. The fundraising vehicle, administered by SPX, and created in consultation with the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, will be established for the purposes of defraying the cost of legal representation for the eleven members of the independent comics community named as defendants in the ongoing lawsuit.

SPX is seeding the immediately needed monies with a $10,000 donation. Additionally, SPX will forego its annual $10,000 donation it had planned to give to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund for 2018, instead redirecting those resources–with the full encouragement of the CBLDF Board of Directors–to serve the legal defense of our community members in their moment of need. SPX has already made this initial $20,000 available to the defendants, to ensure their access to appropriate legal counsel as quickly as possible.

In the next few weeks, SPX will establish the ongoing legal aid fundraising vehicle for the public to help cover the costs of the defendants in this case. The CBLDF will continue to provide legal and fundraising consulting to the defendants in this case, as they have since becoming aware of the lawsuit.

The group of 11 defendants has put together a statement for this announcement:

“As artists, writers, art educators, comics critics, and small independent publishers, many of whom rely on freelance work to pay our bills, a lawsuit like this is going to put an enormous financial strain on all of us. Simply put, we can’t afford to fight this without help. We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from our community, and are especially grateful for the generosity of SPX to provide us with financial assistance. We also appreciate efforts by the CBLDF and other institutions and individuals who have provided additional fundraising support and legal advice.”

“For many years, SPX has quietly extended financial support to cartoonists in need, but there is no being quiet about this case,” said Warren Bernard, Executive Director of the Small Press Expo. “Our community must come together in support of its members who are facing unprecedented challenges—and to defend the kind of community we wish to be. From the very beginning, our two organizations agreed that we must do whatever we can to help.”

“We came together on a solution that makes the best use of the strengths of each of our organizations to support the members of our community in fighting this lawsuit. The SPX special fund will help by providing immediate cash, a structure for raising more money if required, and continuing access to experts that will help those in need,” said Christina Merkler, President, Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.

Emerald City Comicon Being Sued for Not Paying Volunteers

Emerald City ComiconThe use of non-paid volunteers and interns by conventions and businesses is a much debated topic and the legality of it all can be a fine line. There’s currently a lawsuit concerning judges for Magic: The Gathering over the issue. A new lawsuit has been filed by an individual concerning volunteers at Emerald City Comicon concerning the 2014 and 2015 shows. In 2015 the show was purchased by ReedPop and the convention promoter pays employees. The claimant seeking a Class Action designation citing there are at least 250 current and former volunteers “not paid for work performed.”

The ability to volunteer is competitive and those who do entered a contract with the convention making the lawsuit not quite as clear cut. There is compensation in the form of access to the convention. The contract doesn’t get ECCC off the hook, they could be found in violation of labor laws even with it.

Singh Rekhi, the attorney behind the case said:

In Washington, the base is that if you are an employer, you have to pay the minimum wage. We don’t believe that someone should be able to profit off unpaid labor, even if it’s something people love to do.

Some conventions get around labor issues as nonprofits where the rules aren’t as strict.

The impact of this case will have ramifications and have ripple effects throughout the convention circuit.

(via Seattlish)

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