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Falling Companies

Old 04-07-21, 06:10 PM
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Re: Falling Companies

I looked at Valiants release list for the year and they have a total of 7 original comics released up to now. They repackaged a few trades to try and fill in a few of the weeks they had nothing. They have nothing to release May 27th to July 27th. These other movies they say they are going to make better do something, otherwise they could be in trouble.
Old 04-07-21, 06:31 PM
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Re: Falling Companies

Originally Posted by fujishig
https://www.cinemablend.com/new/Marv...axy-69024.html

Maybe Marvel can use him in comics but not in other media for some reason? I think the Micronauts comics that were non Marvel didn't have any of the Marvel characters.

He couldn't use the Badoon either because they are Silver Surfer characters and at the time licensed to Fox.
*Shrugs* Maybe somehow Bug's film rights wound up at Fox? Since that article from like six years ago, maybe things have changed since? I'm just spitballing.
Old 04-07-21, 07:02 PM
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Re: Falling Companies

Originally Posted by John Pannozzi
*Shrugs* Maybe somehow Bug's film rights wound up at Fox? Since that article from like six years ago, maybe things have changed since? I'm just spitballing.
My understanding is that Abrams/Gentile Entertainment has ownership of Bug as well as other Marvel created Micronauts for movie rights. AGE is the creation of Marty Abrams, the creator of MEGO toys. That's the reason why those characters in particular can't be used for films as of right now.
Old 04-07-21, 07:14 PM
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Re: Falling Companies

Originally Posted by Red Hood
My understanding is that Abrams/Gentile Entertainment has ownership of Bug as well as other Marvel created Micronauts for movie rights. AGE is the creation of Marty Abrams, the creator of MEGO toys. That's the reason why those characters in particular can't be used for films as of right now.
AFAIK, Hasbro now owns everything AGE owned re: Mircronauts*, and has so since the late 2000s/early 2010s**. Hasbro is licensing the Micronuats for a comic book series at IDW.

IDW's series is part of the Hasbro Comic Book Universe.

IINM, Bug has not been featured in IDW's Micronauts-related comics.

* as an aside, Tomy (a.k.a. TakaraTomy) stills owns the Japanese toyline Microman that inspired the series

** in 2011, Hasbro published a crossover comic called Unit-E which included the Micronauts.
Old 04-07-21, 07:17 PM
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Re: Falling Companies

Originally Posted by John Pannozzi
AFAIK, Hasbro now owns everything AGE owned re: Mircronauts*. Hasbro is licensing the Micronuats for a comic book series at IDW.

IDW's series is part of the Hasbro Comic Book Universe.

IINM, Bug has not been featured in IDW's Micronauts-related comics.

* as an aside, Tomy (a.k.a. TakaraTomy) stills owns the Japanese toyline Microman that inspired the series.
He did specifically say movie rights, which may be way different than comic book publishing rights.

They were trying to get a Micronauts movie off the ground some time ago so there were probably a lot of negotiations around that. I'd imagine they are able to use Rann (as long as they don't call him Space Commander), Marionette, and Bug in Marvel comics (like they did in X-man and others) but not Acroyear (or at least not armored up), Karza, the robots, etc... just like they're able to use Space Knights in comics but not mention Rom. But putting them in other media is probably more complex.
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Old 04-08-21, 09:36 AM
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Re: Falling Companies

Like fujishig said, I mentioned movie rights for a reason. And maybe it's Hasbro that owns the movie rights. I know that around the time the Avengers film was a hit, Sony and Universal wanted to create their own cinematic universes. While Universal went ahead with their Monsters, Sony approached Hasbro with the idea to use their properties for theirs. It was mentioned that the properties that were going to be part of this Hasbroverse were Tranformers, GI Joe, ROM, Visionaries, MASK and Micronauts. This plan went nowhere, but I wonder if this is where the rights to Bug and the other Marvel Micronauts were tied up.
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Old 04-08-21, 09:40 AM
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Re: Falling Companies

Originally Posted by RonG617
I looked at Valiants release list for the year and they have a total of 7 original comics released up to now. They repackaged a few trades to try and fill in a few of the weeks they had nothing. They have nothing to release May 27th to July 27th. These other movies they say they are going to make better do something, otherwise they could be in trouble.
Valiant is releasing Shadowman later this month. The thing with Valiant is that they aren't in financial trouble as they are owned by Chinese company DMG. The problem is that DMG sees Valiant as IP for movies, and they seem to not give two shits about comics. I know that Matt Klein, their Marketing Director, left the company last week and joined Penguin Random House. I know that Heather Antos still works there as editor and that the company still taking pitches on their properties for comic book mini-series, but with no one like Dinesh inside the company to push for comic book releases, I doubt we'll see Valiant to be back in the same way they did in 2011.
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Old 04-08-21, 12:09 PM
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Re: Falling Companies

Originally Posted by fujishig
He did specifically say movie rights, which may be way different than comic book publishing rights.
Speaking of movie vs comic book publishing rights, one weird convoluted case was Dungeons and Dragons. The comic book licensing has been through several publishers over the past 30+ years: DC, Devil's Due, and IDW.

In contrast, the D&D movie rights was held by Sweetpea Entertainment since the mid-1990s which produced the atrocious y2k movie (with a blue lips character). After that it was two forgettable D&D movies, purportedly made for one party to keep the rights to making future D&D movies (ie. to avoid the option from expiring and reverting the rights back to Hasbro/WotC). All this during the time when the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter movies were very popular.

Around 2013-2014 there was a lawsuit over who held the actual rights for D&D movies, which was eventually settled out-of-court in 2015.

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/th...t-paves-812674

Last edited by morriscroy; 04-08-21 at 12:45 PM.
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Old 04-09-21, 02:21 AM
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Re: Falling Companies

Originally Posted by fujishig
He did specifically say movie rights, which may be way different than comic book publishing rights.

They were trying to get a Micronauts movie off the ground some time ago so there were probably a lot of negotiations around that. I'd imagine they are able to use Rann (as long as they don't call him Space Commander), Marionette, and Bug in Marvel comics (like they did in X-man and others) but not Acroyear (or at least not armored up), Karza, the robots, etc... just like they're able to use Space Knights in comics but not mention Rom. But putting them in other media is probably more complex.
The Micronauts had returned to the Marvel Universe as Enigma Force. Its members included Arcturus Rann, Marionette and Bug. Acroyear was heavily hinted to be a new character named "Redeemer." He was also used in the Universe X series under the name Spartak. Marvel has also used the team under the name The Microns as well.
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Old 04-10-21, 04:57 PM
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Re: Falling Companies

(More generally).

Besides outright bankruptcy or other abrupt cases (ie. cancelled issues, etc ...), are there other ways non-DC/non-Marvel publishers indicate that a series is going to end?

For example, does the editor/owner change the direction of the storyline such that it is concluded within a few issues ?
Old 04-10-21, 05:23 PM
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Re: Falling Companies

Originally Posted by morriscroy
(More generally).

Besides outright bankruptcy or other abrupt cases (ie. cancelled issues, etc ...), are there other ways non-DC/non-Marvel publishers indicate that a series is going to end?

For example, does the editor/owner change the direction of the storyline such that it is concluded within a few issues ?
This is a case by case scenario and on Indy publishers is very different. At the end of the day, most Indies/ non-Marvel/non-DC publish creator-owned material, thus is up to the creator when they will end the series. For example, it was Robert Kirkman's own decision to end The Walking Dead 2 years ago on issue 193. The book was still one of Image's top sellers, so it could have had continued for years if Kirkman wanted. In most cases, sales is what determines if the creator(s) want to continue to publish the series or not. For all these Indy creators, they have to put money out of their pockets to get the series running. If the series is losing money, then there's no reason to continue to publish it.

On companies like Dark Horse, sometimes is up to the creator but some other times is up to Dark Horse themself to cancel the series. A book like Hellboy, is up to Mignola to see if he wants to publish something or not. For something like Dark Horse Presents, is up to DH to make that decision. For companies like IDW, Dynamite and Boom, is up to the licensing agreement and/or if the book is being profitable or not. For example, over 10 years ago, Boom had acquired the Disney license. After a lot of issues with quality control on coloring and sub-par stories on some of the properties, Disney decided to end the agreement and moved their license to IDW.
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Old 04-10-21, 06:20 PM
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Re: Falling Companies

Originally Posted by Red Hood
This is a case by case scenario and on Indy publishers is very different. At the end of the day, most Indies/ non-Marvel/non-DC publish creator-owned material, thus is up to the creator when they will end the series.
Yeah, it's absolutely a case-by-case thing.

If a series is successful enough, the creators can bring it to a pre-planned conclusion. (Walking Dead, Cerebus)

Some series just abruptly stop. The creators are either losing money, or take better-paying work from another company, and the next issue never gets solicited. These series aren't cancelled as such; since they're creator-owned and the creators stop producing them, they're left in limbo. Sometimes the creators will revisit these series years later (Stray Bullets), and sometimes everyone is waiting years for the next issue to get solicited (Nonplayer, Saga, Morning Glories, Southern Cross).

Marvel and DC cancel titles, though they will sometimes allow the creators enough advanced notice to wrap up the story in either a single issue or a story arc. I seem to recall that Vertigo (DC) would cancel a lot of titles, but give the creators enough advance notice to wrap up the story in a TPB-lenght arc.
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Old 04-10-21, 07:52 PM
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Re: Falling Companies

Originally Posted by Josh-da-man
Yeah, it's absolutely a case-by-case thing.

If a series is successful enough, the creators can bring it to a pre-planned conclusion. (Walking Dead, Cerebus)

Some series just abruptly stop. The creators are either losing money, or take better-paying work from another company, and the next issue never gets solicited. These series aren't cancelled as such; since they're creator-owned and the creators stop producing them, they're left in limbo. Sometimes the creators will revisit these series years later (Stray Bullets), and sometimes everyone is waiting years for the next issue to get solicited (Nonplayer, Saga, Morning Glories, Southern Cross).

Marvel and DC cancel titles, though they will sometimes allow the creators enough advanced notice to wrap up the story in either a single issue or a story arc. I seem to recall that Vertigo (DC) would cancel a lot of titles, but give the creators enough advance notice to wrap up the story in a TPB-lenght arc.
Itís one of the reasons why many companies ask creators for at least a 5 issue story arc minimum. Publishers want to have at least one complete story so that readers donít get shortchanged and at the same time it gives them enough meat to release the story as a TPB
Old 04-10-21, 08:35 PM
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Re: Falling Companies

Originally Posted by Red Hood
That's what I thought 10 years ago when Bug was part of the Guardians of the Galaxy but when James Gunn tried to have him on the first movie, he was told that Marvel doesn't own him and he couldn't be in it. I'm still not clear on who owns them.
I recall reading that Disney's lawyers were maybe 99% sure that Marvel owned Bug (as he was not an existing character from Mego's toy line but created for the comic) but Disney is so risk adverse that they needed to be 100% sure, which they weren't. So, no Bug in GOTG, which is a shame because that would have been so badass. And could you imagine the Microverse in the Ant-man films, instead of the safe substitute of the "Quantum Realm".
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Old 04-10-21, 08:40 PM
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Re: Falling Companies

Originally Posted by John Pannozzi
* as an aside, Tomy (a.k.a. TakaraTomy) stills owns the Japanese toyline Microman that inspired the series
What I've always found interesting is that Microman is part of the missing link that connects Hasbro's original 12" GI Joe figures to Hasbro's Transformers line.
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Old 04-10-21, 08:41 PM
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Re: Falling Companies

Originally Posted by Red Hood
It’s one of the reasons why many companies ask creators for at least a 5 issue story arc minimum. Publishers want to have at least one complete story so that readers don’t get shortchanged and at the same time it gives them enough meat to release the story as a TPB
Originally Posted by Red Hood
In most cases, sales is what determines if the creator(s) want to continue to publish the series or not. For all these Indy creators, they have to put money out of their pockets to get the series running. If the series is losing money, then there's no reason to continue to publish it.
I'm guessing this also happens with some licensed / tie-in type stuff ?

I don't know any behind-the-scenes details. In the case of something like World of Warcraft series published by DC/Wildstorm back in the late-2000s, I'm guessing Blizzard might have paid for the entire 25 issues arc which was a rather mediocre "Luke Skywalker" type hero's journey story.

Originally after that hero's journey arc was done (issue #25), there were plans to continue by splitting it up into two different series where the first few issues had actual solicitations at the time. DC ended up cancelling the solicited issues and both series altogether, after a "special issue" was released which was suppose to be a jumping off point for the two series. (This special issue was in the final TPB of the series).

No word as why these two subsequent WoW series were cancelled abruptly at the time. Though if I had to guess, DC likely didn't want to continue paying for something which might very well have been a crappy seller.
Old 04-11-21, 08:22 AM
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Re: Falling Companies

Another weird convoluted case of movie vs comic rights is Buck Rogers. Apparently the original serials from the 1920s appeared to have lapsed into the public domain.

https://pdsh.fandom.com/wiki/Anthony_Rogers

https://www.gutenberg.org/files/2543...-h/25438-h.htm
https://www.gutenberg.org/files/3253...-h/32530-h.htm


What is not clear, is whether the subsequent versions of Buck Rogers characters in comics and other media, are also in the public domain (or not).

https://www.tor.com/2019/02/28/buck-...f-buck-rogers/


There has been lawsuits over this over the past decade.

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/th...screen-1127544
https://www.forbes.com/sites/legalen...mageddon-2419/
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Old 04-11-21, 09:54 AM
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Re: Falling Companies

Originally Posted by morriscroy
Another weird convoluted case of movie vs comic rights is Buck Rogers. Apparently the original serials from the 1920s appeared to have lapsed into the public domain.

https://pdsh.fandom.com/wiki/Anthony_Rogers

https://www.gutenberg.org/files/2543...-h/25438-h.htm
https://www.gutenberg.org/files/3253...-h/32530-h.htm


What is not clear, is whether the subsequent versions of Buck Rogers characters in comics and other media, are also in the public domain (or not).

https://www.tor.com/2019/02/28/buck-...f-buck-rogers/


There has been lawsuits over this over the past decade.

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/th...screen-1127544
https://www.forbes.com/sites/legalen...mageddon-2419/
According to Wikipedia, the lawsuits were settled last year and there's a movie in development. I've heard something about this because it's one of the reasons Brian K Vaughn took a hiatus from Saga.

Future films and copyright

Frank Miller was slated to write and direct a new motion picture with Odd Lot Entertainment, the production company that worked with Miller on The Spirit.[28][29] However, after The Spirit became a box office and critical failure, Miller's involvement with the project ended.[30] In 2015, the producer Don Murphy announced that he was developing a Buck Rogers film based on the novella Armageddon 2419 A.D., however, this conflicted with the Dille Family Trust, which controls the rights of the franchise.[31]

The Dille Family Trust claims copyright control of the Buck Rogers character,[32] which others claim has outlived copyright protection and passed into the public domain.[33][32] Don Murphy filed a suit against Daniel Herman and his wife, lawyers for the Dille Family Trust[32][33] after they tried to claim copyright over a film he planned to create based on the 1928 book, Armageddon 2419 A.D; Murphy even brought Flint Dille, a screenwriter, video game writer and grandson of John F. Dille (and thus one of the beneficiaries of the Dille Family Trust), to screenwrite.[32] In 2017, the Dille Family Trust filed for bankruptcy.[34][35] A judge ruled that the Trust handled intellectual property improperly, ignored court directives, and abused legal procedures during the bankruptcy. The judge supported appointment of a Chapter 11 Trustee,[36][35] but later ruled that the Trust was ineligible for bankruptcy relief, and dismissed the case.[37]

However, it seems that the case has been settled out of court as on October 14, 2020, it was announced that Don Murphy, Susan Montford, Flint Dille and Legendary Entertainment will produce a Buck Rogers film which is intended to launch a transmedia franchise.[38]

On December 10, 2020, it was announced that the same Murphy/Montford/Dille/Legendary consortium is developing a new Buck Rogers television series with Brian K. Vaughan writing.[39] On January 29, 2021, it was announced that Smokehouse Pictures will also co-executive produce. Smokehouse co-founder George Clooney is also suggested to star in the series.[40]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buck_R..._and_copyright
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Old 04-11-21, 10:04 AM
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Re: Falling Companies

Originally Posted by Red Hood
According to Wikipedia, the lawsuits were settled last year and there's a movie in development. I've heard something about this because it's one of the reasons Brian K Vaughn took a hiatus from Saga.
Perhaps not. Nowlan's estate launched another lawsuit against Legendary/Murphy on February 2, 2021.

https://deadline.com/2021/02/buck-ro...ce-1234685992/
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Old 04-11-21, 10:13 AM
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Re: Falling Companies

Originally Posted by morriscroy
I'm guessing this also happens with some licensed / tie-in type stuff ?

I don't know any behind-the-scenes details. In the case of something like World of Warcraft series published by DC/Wildstorm back in the late-2000s, I'm guessing Blizzard might have paid for the entire 25 issues arc which was a rather mediocre "Luke Skywalker" type hero's journey story.

Originally after that hero's journey arc was done (issue #25), there were plans to continue by splitting it up into two different series where the first few issues had actual solicitations at the time. DC ended up cancelling the solicited issues and both series altogether, after a "special issue" was released which was suppose to be a jumping off point for the two series. (This special issue was in the final TPB of the series).

No word as why these two subsequent WoW series were cancelled abruptly at the time. Though if I had to guess, DC likely didn't want to continue paying for something which might very well have been a crappy seller.
With licensed stuff, it's also a case by case basis. In 99% of the cases, either the publishing company pays for the license or there's an agreement for cross promotion (KFC deal with DC comes to mind). Publishing companies sign agreements about the series, minimum amount of issues/length of the series , writers, artists, etc. For example, DC has agreements right now with Mattel for He-Man. Mattel and DC have contract stipulations that continue to be extended as the He-Man property has sold well and made money for both companies.

In the 1% case, usually a property like for the example, the US military, weapons company Northrop Grumman or the NFL, will pay a publishing company to use their property in comic books. This has happened with Marvel, when the Northrop paid Marvel to come up with a comic book that featured the Avengers teaming up with a created team that was shilling Northrop Gunnman weapons. This deal debuted at NYCC but got so much backlash (and deservedly so) that Marvel terminated the deal.

There was also the infamous NFL deal with Marvel that led to the creation of NFL Superpro. The NFL wanted to get in on all the hype comic books were having in 1991-92 and begged Marvel to do a comic book using their property. The NFL paid the creators of the book with season tickets to the Jets for Fabian Nicieza and to the Dolphins for Jose Delbo. They paid I believe like $20K to Joe Jusko for the painted cover of the deluxe first issue. The book sucked, didn't sell well, so the NFL didn't renew the deal.
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Old 04-11-21, 03:54 PM
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Re: Falling Companies

Public domain, copyrights, and trademarks are tricky.

Books like Bram Stoker's Dracula and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein are long in the public domain. Their copyrights have expired. That means that I can take the full text of those books and publish my own editions if I want to.

I can also use the characters from those two books in my own stories, or make movies based on those books.

However, Universal Studios has trademarks on their versions of the Dracula and Frankenstein characters, so only they can use the Bela Lugosi Dracula or Boris Karloff Frankenstein. And, unlike copyrights, trademarks don't expire. If I want to make a Dracula movie, my Dracula can't look like the classic Universal Dracula.

I would assume that Buck Rogers is similar. Studios probably hold certain trademarks, and any Buck Rogers or derivative works would have to be different from, say the 1970s Buck Rogers tv series.

Some of the old black and white Superman cartoons have fallen into the public domain, which means they can be released on DVD by anyone, or posted to Youtube, but DC Comics still holds a number Superman trademarks, so you can't make your own Superman stories.

I also sort of remember the Edgar Rice Burroughs estate going after Dynamite Comics for their John Carter and Tarzan-based titles a while back. I know that at least some of ERB's Tarzan and John Carter stories are in the public domain, so Dynamite had the right to do at least some things with the stories and characters, though I believe the ERB estate aggressively defends its trademarks.
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Old 04-11-21, 04:20 PM
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Re: Falling Companies

Originally Posted by Red Hood
Valiant is releasing Shadowman later this month. The thing with Valiant is that they aren't in financial trouble as they are owned by Chinese company DMG. The problem is that DMG sees Valiant as IP for movies, and they seem to not give two shits about comics. I know that Matt Klein, their Marketing Director, left the company last week and joined Penguin Random House. I know that Heather Antos still works there as editor and that the company still taking pitches on their properties for comic book mini-series, but with no one like Dinesh inside the company to push for comic book releases, I doubt we'll see Valiant to be back in the same way they did in 2011.
But maybe DMG will give up on the comic portion. Especially if they can't license the properties for a decent profit. I know Bloodshot did poorly. I believe they are doing a Harbinger project next unless I heard wrong. If that bombs, they don't have a tons of bullets for the gun. X-O and Shadowman would be the biggest things left or maybe Ninja-k.
Old 04-11-21, 04:45 PM
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Re: Falling Companies

Bloodshot did come out right as the pandemic was starting to blow up, so that could affect expectations for the box office.
Old 04-11-21, 04:48 PM
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Re: Falling Companies

Originally Posted by RonG617
But maybe DMG will give up on the comic portion. Especially if they can't license the properties for a decent profit. I know Bloodshot did poorly. I believe they are doing a Harbinger project next unless I heard wrong. If that bombs, they don't have a tons of bullets for the gun. X-O and Shadowman would be the biggest things left or maybe Ninja-k.
DMG attributes the losses with Bloodshot to the pandemic, which is somewhat true. The movie came out right about when the worldwide shutdowns started. DMG won't give up the comic portion of the company. If anything else, they'll keep those IP and exploit them until the end. The problem is that management is so detached on what makes the characters tick that the movies will reflect that neglect. Unless they go bankrupt like Acclaim did, DMG will retain those properties or sell them at a ridiculous high price.
Old 04-11-21, 04:53 PM
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Re: Falling Companies

Originally Posted by Josh-da-man
Public domain, copyrights, and trademarks are tricky.

Books like Bram Stoker's Dracula and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein are long in the public domain. Their copyrights have expired. That means that I can take the full text of those books and publish my own editions if I want to.

I can also use the characters from those two books in my own stories, or make movies based on those books.

However, Universal Studios has trademarks on their versions of the Dracula and Frankenstein characters, so only they can use the Bela Lugosi Dracula or Boris Karloff Frankenstein. And, unlike copyrights, trademarks don't expire. If I want to make a Dracula movie, my Dracula can't look like the classic Universal Dracula.

I would assume that Buck Rogers is similar. Studios probably hold certain trademarks, and any Buck Rogers or derivative works would have to be different from, say the 1970s Buck Rogers tv series.

Some of the old black and white Superman cartoons have fallen into the public domain, which means they can be released on DVD by anyone, or posted to Youtube, but DC Comics still holds a number Superman trademarks, so you can't make your own Superman stories.

I also sort of remember the Edgar Rice Burroughs estate going after Dynamite Comics for their John Carter and Tarzan-based titles a while back. I know that at least some of ERB's Tarzan and John Carter stories are in the public domain, so Dynamite had the right to do at least some things with the stories and characters, though I believe the ERB estate aggressively defends its trademarks.
Those are great examples. With the Universal Monsters, not only does people have to deal with them, but also with the Bela Lugosi estate for likeness.

As for the Superman cartoons, their public domain status is one of the reasons they have been released in random cartoon DVD collections. Not only does WB/AT&T own Superman, but they own the high definition transfers they did for those cartoons, so no one can release those transfers without their permission.

And the Dynamite thing was wild. It's the reason that they had to release Tarzan stories are Lord of the Jungle and John Carter as Warlord of Mars. I believe both series ended because the ERB estate went then after the stories and characters being used.
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John Pannozzi (04-11-21)

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