We’re getting settled after a weekend at Boston Comic Con and Gen Con. While we go over all the awesome that was the two conventions (as well as SDCC and Otakon), here’s some news to keep you busy this morning.
Around the Tubes
Boston.com – Mayor Walsh declares August 1 Stan Lee Day – Pretty awesome!
TechDirt – And Now Here Comes Every Other Comic Convention With Trademark Apps For The Generic ‘Comic Con’ – Not shocking at all.
Kotaku – Batman: Arkham Knight Dropped the Ball On One Major Character: Batman – Still not sure if I should play this.
Around the Tubes Reviews
Nothing But Comics – Zodiac Starforce #1
DC is going up against Australian YouTube comic phenomenon Superwog. Theodore Saidden applied for a trademark registration for the characters shield like logo. Legal firm Baker & McKenzie and has filed its opposition to the registration application with IP Australia on DC’s behalf.
Saidden said he was sent letters months ago ordering him to close his website and stop producing stickers and t-shirts involved with his character. Saidden said that the issue is the logo is a bit too similar to Superman for DC’s liking.
Their lawyers have come back to us saying I can keep using the name Superwog but not register it as a trademark. But this is just ridiculous; they are not the same. I was just trying to do things properly and you get punished.
Over at the Slave Labor website, the company publisher Dan Vado writes that the company is “embroiled in a trademark issue revolving around our comic book about a certain gun heiress.” They’ve decided to fight the issue and are asking for donations through Paypal for their legal fund.
From their website:
So far just responding to the letters we have gotten has cost us well into five figures, more than we could possibly ever hope to recover publishing comics for the next two years. We have tried raising money by having sales, doing clearances and the like but given the times we live in and perhaps the lack of urgency about them, those things have not really done much to help us out.
So, as much as it kills me to resort to this, I am asking all of our loyal fans to help us out by donating whatever they feel comfortable sending. Just so we are being clear, SLG is not raising money to fight some long, drawn-out court case, there isn’t enough money in all of comics for that kind of fight, we are asking for money to pay for the costs of responding to the letters and harassment from the baseless claims thrown at us. This is money we have already spent, a lot of it borrowed, for which there will be no return and is now affecting our ability to operate.
We have exhausted every avenue searching for free legal help but as our situation is not a clear First Amendment one and because we somehow manage to stay in business year after year, we are being told we do not qualify for free legal help by everyone we have asked.
The plea admits the begging isn’t the most desired solution to raise the money, but it’s an avenue and means to an end. So, if you’re inclined, head to Paypal and help a brother out
This week has brought all kinds of news about legal issues regarding Mark Millar’s upcoming Marvel/Icon series, Nemesis. Well, we can add another wrinkle to the tale concerning issues of the comic books title.
Bleeding Cool is reporting that due to DC’s upcoming series in March, Nemesis: The Imposters and Marvel’s own video game Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects (which interestingly enough Mark Millar worked on), something needed to be done with the name of Millar’s series.
The series will now be called Millar And McNiven’s Nemesis. Now the question is how much more legal news will spin out of this one series?
This January the the drawings of Elzie Segar of his famous character Popeye have entered public domain in Europe. Segar died in 1938 and protection rights to authors ends after 70 years from death in the European Union. Similar laws in the United States protects for 95 years after the initial copyright.
This expiration means anyone can print and sell posters, t-shirts, or create comic strips from Segar’s drawings. Acording to an intellectual property specialist the Segar drawings are now free for anybody to create a thriving business. But, if you sold a Popeye toy or other product you could be infringing on a trademark.
The Popeye trademark, a seperate entity to Segar’s authorial copyright is held by King Features which is expected to protect the brand.