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Thread: Masks, #2

  1. #31
    Senior Member Den's Avatar
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    I enjoyed it a great deal. The Shadow holding out on sharing identities made me smirk a bit, and our two new additions in the wings show promise.
    All cruel people describe themselves as paragons of frankness.-Tennessee Williams

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Love View Post
    Yet, this happened all the time in the 1940s. One, Radio Shows didn't come under Federal Copyright law and varied from state to state. Street & Smith was one of the few that copyrighted their scripts. But, looking at the copyright record, other than S&S, DC, and Timely, most companies were very hit and miss with registering and renewing their copyrights. Even Burroughs managed to miss renewing quite a few of the trademarks yet he was one of the big success stories at exploiting his characters. It's possible that Crossen or his estate simply didn't see the value in renewing the comic stuff, none of which lasted long to begin with.
    Technically, the comic book Lama (including both his run in PRIZE COMICS, and the issues of GREEN LAMA COMICS) lasted longer than his pulp run in DOUBLE DETECTIVE!

    It finally occurred to me to stop all the guesswork and just look at the indicia (that's the tiny print filled with legalese at the bottom of the inside front cover) for MASKS. Here's what I found:

    Black Terror and The Green Lama are and 2012 Dynamite Characters, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    Just in case anybody else was wondering. We can only wonder what Argosy Communications and the Crossen Estate might think about it.

    It may actually be the case that the Green Lama (all versions) WAS a public domain character when Dynamite first started using him. When DE started with their own specific version, they trademarked him. This may have given the Crossen Estate the idea that it might be a good idea to trademark the character themselves for the the prose fiction medium, and they could have done so. Trademarks are up for grabs if no one has registered them or is using them.
    Last edited by positronic1; 12-20-2012 at 02:04 AM. Reason: additonal info

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Den View Post
    I enjoyed it a great deal. The Shadow holding out on sharing identities made me smirk a bit, and our two new additions in the wings show promise.
    Smirk indeed. Considering that in his own book, it seems like just about everyone knows that Cranston=The Shadow=Cranston, that is quite humorous.
    Last edited by positronic1; 12-20-2012 at 03:16 AM.

  4. #34
    NEW VALIANT blog is up! Manga4life's Avatar
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    I believe the versions of Black Terror and Green Lama presented in Dynamite's publications are owned by them, or at least their likeness. I think its why we see Dynamite change around the appearance of certain characters so that they can lock down the new likeness, not the actual character itself which is still owned by its owner (of course). For instance, if I wanted to publish comics based on Black Terror it would have to look either like the original or with my own spin, he couldn't be a mirror image of Dynamite's version

  5. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by positronic1 View Post
    Technically, the comic book Lama (including both his run in PRIZE COMICS, and the issues of GREEN LAMA COMICS) lasted longer than his pulp run in DOUBLE DETECTIVE!

    It finally occurred to me to stop all the guesswork and just look at the indicia (that's the tiny print filled with legalese at the bottom of the inside front cover) for MASKS. Here's what I found:

    Black Terror and The Green Lama are and 2012 Dynamite Characters, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    Just in case anybody else was wondering. We can only wonder what Argosy Communications and the Crossen Estate might think about it.

    It may actually be the case that the Green Lama (all versions) WAS a public domain character when Dynamite first started using him. When DE started with their own specific version, they trademarked him. This may have given the Crossen Estate the idea that it might be a good idea to trademark the character themselves for the the prose fiction medium, and they could have done so. Trademarks are up for grabs if no one has registered them or is using them.
    The copyright is for the content of the specific book. Trademarks apply to covers, advertising and titles. But, more specifically, it is limited when it comes to cross formats. Thus, you can have "Avatar" the movie that's not the anime kids cartoon. Dynamite's trademark of those two characters probably could have been challenged by AC Comics. And, I can tell you that from discussion on another board indicated that the Crossen estate weren't happy with Dynamite claiming trademark to the Green Lama and looking into it. The Green Lama pulps were being reprinted before Dynamite used the character. But, as I noted, it is possible to have the same titles in different media and being owned by different companies. The trick here is that trademark is meant to guard against brand confusion. With the two trademarks being about the same character and they sport similar looks, would that lead people to believe that the two are related/similar products? Would they think that one's done with the permission of the other? Would a particularly bad or good job with one, affect the sale of the other? It's not a case I would want to leave up to the lawyers.

    I take such notices with grains of salt these days as I see a lot of places where previously public domain work is suddenly claimed as being copyright protected. A recent Joe Simon hardback for example claimed copyright ownership of the Green Lama's Prize Comics co-star the Black Owl.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Love View Post
    I take such notices with grains of salt these days as I see a lot of places where previously public domain work is suddenly claimed as being copyright protected. A recent Joe Simon hardback for example claimed copyright ownership of the Green Lama's Prize Comics co-star the Black Owl.
    It's possible, now that the copyright laws allow for the original authors of the work (or their heirs) to reclaim or recapture copyrights to older works after a certain passage of time. Especially if there's no one else that is going to contest that claim of copyright.

  7. #37

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    The problem is that shouldn't extend to works that are public domain. It covers works that are still covered by copyright and affected by the copyright extension. If it was created and sold to the company, then the original creators have the right to reclaim or renegotiate the deal with the company since the extension gives extra time the company did not pay for. However, works that have fallen into public domain, the extension does not affect them so the rider to that extension does not apply.

  8. #38
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    Once again Dynamite delivers with a great story, the art was fantastic too and it was great to see Green Lama again after so many years away. I loved how they touched upon every major hero so far and how The Shadow was so adamant about getting back out on the streets to fight, it showed strong leadership qualities on his part. I am starting to get a bit bummed out that this series is only going to be 8 issues though, this would rock as an ongoing title in my opinion.

  9. #39
    Napoleon of Crime Professor Moriarty's Avatar
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    so i'm thinking the Mexican fellow is the son of Zorro?

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Professor Moriarty View Post
    so i'm thinking the Mexican fellow is the son of Zorro?
    The original Zorro, Don Diego Vega, lived in old Los Angeles approximately 100 years earlier. Rafael Vega is a little too young to be his son in 1938. Some kind of descendent, though, surely.

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Love View Post
    The problem is that shouldn't extend to works that are public domain. It covers works that are still covered by copyright and affected by the copyright extension. If it was created and sold to the company, then the original creators have the right to reclaim or renegotiate the deal with the company since the extension gives extra time the company did not pay for. However, works that have fallen into public domain, the extension does not affect them so the rider to that extension does not apply.
    Well, there's a fairly lopsided law. Somebody takes something you create away from you, and if they renewed the copyright, then you or your heirs get to reclaim it decades later. But if the company that took your creation away fails to renew the copyright (or is no longer around to do so), then you lose the right to reclaim it that you would have had if the previous owner had maintained the copyright properly. Justice for all. Makes perfect sense.

  12. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by positronic1 View Post
    Well, there's a fairly lopsided law. Somebody takes something you create away from you, and if they renewed the copyright, then you or your heirs get to reclaim it decades later. But if the company that took your creation away fails to renew the copyright (or is no longer around to do so), then you lose the right to reclaim it that you would have had if the previous owner had maintained the copyright properly. Justice for all. Makes perfect sense.
    iirc, the creators had the option to renew the copyrights themselves if the company does not or cannot. But, once something is public domain, it belongs to everybody. Including both the company and the creators. Just no one has exclusive rights. So, if the company fails to renew it, the creators still have the option to use the character and turn it into a moneymaking position and thus at least securing the trademarks. If anything it was fairer than now where you'll die before your creation is ever available for you or anyone else to use while the companies can just sit on the property for almost a century without doing anything with them. At least requiring renewals required companies to be aware of the properties they owned and make a cognizant choice of paying to have the works registered AND renewed and thus more likely to do something with them.

  13. #43
    Napoleon of Crime Professor Moriarty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by positronic1 View Post
    The original Zorro, Don Diego Vega, lived in old Los Angeles approximately 100 years earlier. Rafael Vega is a little too young to be his son in 1938. Some kind of descendent, though, surely.
    yeah you may be right.

    and don't call me Surely.

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Love View Post
    iirc, the creators had the option to renew the copyrights themselves if the company does not or cannot.
    If this is true, it's the first I ever heard of it. I was under the impression that only the original copyright holder or their legally-assigned successor-in-interest could legally renew a copyright. And if it is true, has it always been true (i.e. would it have applied in decades past when the original copyright expired) or is this just a recent change in copyright law, that would effectively have boxed out a bunch of creators from a "window of opportunity" spanning decades?

  15. #45
    Futurist Detective TonyStark1012's Avatar
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    I've been thinking about getting this. I'm loving The Spider as written by David Liss. Is the character anything in MASKS like how he's been written by Liss?
    "That's not just "one man"! That's TONY FREAKING STARK. You're intel should've warned us that he was James Bond and "Q" wrapped in the same guy!" Cobra

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