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  1. #16
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    Moonstone was already doing a Black Bat book, I think.

  2. #17
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    Why not call her simply Cassandra Cain? Her name is distinctive enough.

    Plus, I never liked the Black Bat identity, much less that stupid mask.

  3. #18
    Senior Member Lorendiac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kodave View Post
    No. Public domain characters aren't just for anyone to grab and then no one else can use the name or tell other stories with that public domain character.

    If DC wanted to, they could bring back Cassandra under the name the Black Bat if they wanted to.

    But they don't seem to want to.

    And they could even choose not to use the name Black Bat since they can't own it. From a licensing and money perspective it makes sense to create an original character name for DC to own.
    One thing about that -- as I understand it, nobody can own an exclusive copyright on anything as short as a fictional character's name all by itself. You can own a copyright on the fictional character -- which means the entire package deal which happens to include his name as one of many little details about him. But that means a different fictional character, published by someone else, can use the exact same name as long as it doesn't look as if the entire character concept is being plagiarized!

    For instance, I have read at least three novels by different authors which each had a major character called "John Smith" and/or "Johnny Smith." One of those examples is Stephen King's bestselling novel "The Dead Zone." None of those novels were infringing upon anyone else's copyright, because each "John Smith" was presented as a different character with his own personality, backstory, personal agenda for what he wanted to do in the future, and so forth.

    However, you can own a valid trademark which includes something as short as the name of a major character (and the right to use that name to advertise your works of fiction, and so forth). For instance, the first several novels about Tarzan have been in the public domain for a long time, and thus the character himself is in the public domain, but I believe the heirs of his creator (Edgar Rice Burroughs) still own a corporation which owns a valid trademark on the commercial use of the name "Tarzan" as a way of promoting your merchandise.

    So my understanding is that I could, if I wanted to, write an entire novel which was all about "Tarzan" and some of the other characters who debuted in the stories which are in the public domain today. And I could publish that novel, and sell it in bookstores, and collect the royalties (if anyone bothered to buy it), and so forth. I would not be violating anyone's copyrights.

    But if I had the name TARZAN in great big letters on the front cover of the book, and if I worked hard to advertise this novel by saying "the newest adventure of Tarzan of the Apes!" and so forth -- I'd probably be violating the Burroughs family's trademark if I did this without their explicit permission, and that could get me in hot water in court!

    But if the title in big letters on the front cover of the book just said something like "The Lost City of Sazhalah" or something else I had made up, with no explicit mention of the name "Tarzan" until you opened the novel and actually started reading the text, which was all about Tarzan visiting the Lost City of Sazhalah, I think I would be all right.

    I don't know if anyone owns a valid trademark on "The Black Bat" as a title for comic books or other merchandise. If DC owns such a trademark, then I guess Dynamite will have to use something else as the series title of their stuff based on the old pulp hero. On the other hand, if DC doesn't own such a trademark, then it's possible that Dynamite will be able to establish one, and to call their first issue about the guy: "The Black Bat #1!" Or someone else entirely might own such a trademark -- beats me!

    P.S. Years ago, I got interested in the question of "just how many cases have there been where DC and Marvel each control different characters with what are essentially the same colorful names or aliases?" I started asking for suggestions from my fellow fans -- here on CBR and elsewhere. It's been two years since I last posted a "Master List" of such cases . . . and the grand total, at that time was: "It's happened with at least 1139 names!"

    Character names which both sides have used at one time or another (or else they acquired people with such names by purchasing the rights to character stables of some other comic book publisher) include such obscure, unimportant names as "Magneto," "Professor X," "Spider Man/Spider-Man/Spiderman," "Spider Girl/Spider-Girl," "Catwoman/Cat Woman," "Oracle," "Huntress," "Mockingbird," "Captain Marvel," "Electro," "Mysterio," "Sandman," "Kingpin/King-Pin," "Doctor Destiny," "Doctor Doom/Doctor Doome," "Wonder Man/Wonder-Man," "Ghost Rider," "Iron Fist," "Dream Girl," "Wildfire," "Mister Sinister," and so forth.

    (Nobody famous, though! )
    Last edited by Lorendiac; 12-14-2012 at 12:47 PM.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chickfighter View Post
    Cass can now be Dragon Deb, the adopted daughter of Richard Dragon. ;)
    that'd be cool actually and the best possible option for a cass reboot.
    Last edited by Zak213; 12-14-2012 at 11:58 AM.

  5. #20
    A member of the X-men Zak213's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MajorHoy View Post
    They could . . . but DC doesn't even seem likely to bring back the character, let alone develop a new code name for her (unfortunately).
    So it becomes a non-issue then?

    They dont use her, no need to worry about the name. If they do just give her a new one and avoid a lawsuit.

  6. #21
    Senior Member Lorendiac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zak213 View Post
    So it becomes a non-issue then?

    They dont use her, no need to worry about the name. If they do just give her a new one and avoid a lawsuit.

    What lawsuit? As I pointed out, nobody can own an exclusive copyright on the name "Black Bat" all by itself.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zak213 View Post
    that'd be cool actually and the best possible option for a cass reboot.
    Thanks for letting me know I'm not the only one. That was the direction I went with in my Steph Adventure's fan fic although not as far as the name change yet. I've always felt the Black Bat ID seemed to just be a sort of generic Bat name as it related to Cass.

    Sadly, while the ID conflict with the old pulp character Dynamite is resurrecting technically wouldn't prohibit her return, it doesn't seem that DC is going to be worrying about bringing Cass or Steph back in any capacity in the foreseeable future.

  8. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zak213 View Post
    So it becomes a non-issue then?

    They dont use her, no need to worry about the name. If they do just give her a new one and avoid a lawsuit.
    Read the other replies in this thread, because that one is wrong.

    They can bring her back as Black Bat just fine if they wanted to. They don't have to rename her to avoid a lawsuit.

    There are other benefits to renaming her though.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rakzo View Post
    Why not call her simply Cassandra Cain? Her name is distinctive enough.
    Why the heck not? Jean Grey and Emma Frost went without code names for a long time; Elektra and Zatanna use their real first names; Steve Rogers went by Commander Rogers after his return from his apparent death.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by hobogunn View Post
    Why the heck not? Jean Grey and Emma Frost went without code names for a long time; Elektra and Zatanna use their real first names; Steve Rogers went by Commander Rogers after his return from his apparent death.
    Well, the Bat-Family tends to be more obsessive about maintaining "secret identities" than most of the people you just mentioned.

    However, I must admit that Cassandra Cain herself, back when her solo series was being written by Kelley Puckett, didn't seem to lose much sleep over that sort of thing. But her "older and wiser" friends worried about it plenty on her behalf! (It's possible that by now she has finally absorbed some of that attitude from them.)

    There was a time when she beat up a bunch of federal agents while in plainclothes, and afterwards, Oracle tried to tell her how dangerous it is to be showing off your incredible martial arts skills when a security camera is likely to capture your face on film. Babs said (this is not word-for-word): "As long as an intelligence agency has good pictures of your face on file as a suspect, you can't get a driver's license, attend school, get a regular job . . ."

    She went on and on like that, and when she was done, Cassandra just looked blank and asked: "So?"

    Later, however, after Babs talked it over with Batman, and said that she thought the only copy of the security footage was inside the heart of one special federal facility, Batman agreed that Cassandra should go raid the place in the middle of the night to reclaim that material, and Cassandra (since she trusted him) just said: "Okay."

    So she did. It was crystal-clear to the readers that Cassandra didn't really care about having footage of her unmasked face floating around anywhere; what she cared about was making Batman and Babs happy! If that meant single-handedly infiltrating a "maximum-security" federal facility, so what? It wasn't like she would actually be in any serious danger, anywhere along the way, right?

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