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>Marvel owns rights to titling comics "Captain Marvel"

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>Marvel owns rights to titling comics "Captain Marvel"
>older original Fawcett comics Captain Marvel is public domain
>"Shazam" and "Billy Batson" are owned by DC
>independent creators could technically make Captain Marvel original comics, not titling them "Captain Marvel" nor ever using the phrases "Shazam" or "Billy Batson" if they can also avoid using anything derivative of DC's Captain Marvel additions

Is there a bigger legal clusterfuck of a character?

It's kind of a shame considering hes cool
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>>94521529
>older original Fawcett comics Captain Marvel is public domain
No he's not. DC own him.
>>
If you wanna go the public domain route, what are you essentially left with?

>Powerset
>Setting
>Earliest Villains
>No sidekicks except literal blackface

hmmmmmm
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>>94521579
I recall reading somewhere that Cap Marvel, as it was published in Wihiz Comics no. 2, is now Public Domain. But the late take f DC Comics, which was in, i think, the early 70's? is not.

Because differences between then and stuff.
I'm not a lawyer and I now no shit about american copyrights system, so I may be wrong. So I may be wrong. I'm looking for some sort of source right now.
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When will scoop scanlan enter the public domain?
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>>94521579
No actually, all of the old Fawcett /Whiz run Captain Marvel comics are public domain and so legally you are technically allowed to make derivative works based on them. It just requires that you be able to prove in court if necessary that absolutely nothing of your Captain Marvel original comic is derivative of DC Captain Marvel.

>>94521597
You get wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles, and the speed of Mercury, but you are not allowed to say "SHAZAM!" as far as I understand, although Shazam may be titling only considering DC is allowed to say "Captain Marvel" in their comics as long as it's not on the title. You don't get Fawcett City since that's actually DC creation. You get Dr. Sivana and Ibac although there may be some DC claims on Dr Sivana now.

All of that is easily enough to make great new Captain Marvel stories, the only real problem is you cannot have the kid be explicitly called "Billy Batson" or "Billy" or "Batson" and probably not even "BB" or "B" if you want to make sure your works are completely devoid of claims of derivativeness of DC properties.
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>>94521579
Please don't embarrass yourself like this again. He IS public domain.
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>>94521579
All issues of Whiz Comics as well as the Captain Marvel Family are public domain. You can legally read them all for free via the Digital Comic Museum or Archive.org.
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>>94521670
>>94521727
>>94521737
Some of his original comic appearances are public domain but the character himself is owned by DC.

It's like how there are a bunch of Looney Tunes shorts that're in the public domain but Bugs, Daffy, Porky etc are still owned by WB.
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>>94521755
>Some of his original comic appearances are public domain
Not some. All.
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>>94521755
>He IS public domain
See >>94521755
Please don't embarrass yourself like this again.
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>>94521767
Whatever. Point being that the character himself is absolutely not in the public domain.
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>>94521789
Why is not? The Wizard of Oz first novels characters are. It's something related to different timeframes for different rights?

Maybe DC owns the names as a trademark, which could be passed not using said names as trademarks.

Someone here can clear it? Seems like an interesting topic to be honest.
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>>94521529
>Is there a bigger legal clusterfuck of a character?

Marvel/Miracle-man.
>>
Superboy also suffered of some legal mess, right?
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>>94521755
And because those works are public domain you ARE allowed to make derivative works based on them.

For instance, Steamboat Willie is in the public domain and you're actually allowed to make shit based on the characters in Steamboat Willie. The problem is that if you do Disney lawyers will argue that the mouse in your Steamboat Willie sequel is derivative of Disney's Mickey Mouse character and argue this based on how you might have him voiced, characters that appear with him, references to Disney's Mickey Mouse stories, etc.
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>>94521856
>Why is not?
For the same reason that Superman isn't even though the Fleischer and Famous studios shorts are public domain. Or that Mickey isn't despite having a short or two that are. Or the color Popeye shorts. Or as I said above the Looney Tunes having a bunch etc.

The shorts/issues themselves are in the public domain but the characters in them are not.

>The Wizard of Oz first novels characters are.
That particular issue seems incredibly complicated https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_status_of_The_Wizard_of_Oz_and_related_works_in_the_United_States

But from my quick skim it seems that since the original couple of novels are published so early that they were subject to different copyright laws.
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>>94522052
And when is considered a character entering public domain? Again, just asking out of curiosity. Here, the copyright laws work differently.
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So, in the upcoming season of Young Justice, will they keep calling him Captain Marvel? Or change it to Shazam?
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>>94522027
>And because those works are public domain you ARE allowed to make derivative works based on them.
No you're fucking not. For starters Steamboat Willie isn't even public domain. But even if it were (like the other numerous examples I've given like the Fleischer Superman shorts, Looney Tunes etc) it only means that those specific things are public domain. The characters themselves are subject to completely different copyrights.
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>>94521789
>>94521856
The character Dracula is also in the public domain as is Bram Stoker's original book. However if you make anything with Dracula as he appears in Castlevania, Dracula as he appears in Dracula Untold, Dracula as he appears in Blade, etc you can be sued for it.

This is not really akin to Captain Marvel though since Dracula as a character from Stoker's novel (and Tepes as a historical figure) are not copywritten or trademarked.

What people have to realize is that characters and stories being public domain is different.

The pre-DC Captain Marvel STORIES/COMICS are public domain. This means that you can absolutely re-release your own reprint of those comics, just like you can reprint the entirety of Dracula and sell your own copies. The CHARACTER is copywritten. You can reprint the public domain stories, you cannot print new original stories featuring a guy who looks exactly like Captain Marvel but avoid using "Shazam".
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>>94522200
This.

It's why everyone grew up watching all those cheap Looney Tunes VHS's. Anyone could put the shorts that had fallen into public domain onto a VHS, but no one but WB is allowed to make anything using Bugs Bunny etc.
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>>94522200
>>94522285
So the books and the characters are under different laws and have different conditions to enter the public domain? That's kind of messed up. I mean, I can understand putting trademarks and publications into different laws, but creative work, which is create characters and create stories, things that go to enter sooner or later into the popular culture, is a bit screwed.

But I guess I'm just not good at comercial thinking. That's why I'm so fucking poor, I guess.
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>>94521697
I still say scoop scanlon was the best story in action #1
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>>94521529
That's actually a pretty common misconception that the character is in the public domain. A lot of people think that DC bought out Fawcett comics and in doing so acquired their properties, but because Fawcett comics didn't maintain their copyright over Captain Marvel they actually didn't own him anymore but no one wants to fuck with DC's lawyers over it.

In reality what happened was that Fawcett comics didn't maintain the trademark on Captain Marvel's name, so Marvel swooped in and scooped it up. A lot of people blame DC for it but it was long before DC ever acquired the property. DC straight-up bought the Captain Marvel character and all related characters later on and while they've not been great sometimes to the cheese it's at least not their fault they can't title their comics "Captain Marvel".

I'd call you a retard for not knowing this but I like explaining it to people. Though frankly I agree that it'd be cool to have him in public domain.
>>
Yes, it's called Miracleman.
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>>94522570
>DC straight-up bought the Captain Marvel character and all related characters later on
Weren't they awarded the characters after the lawsuit?
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>>94522052
>For the same reason that Superman isn't even though the Fleischer and Famous studios shorts are public domain. Or that Mickey isn't despite having a short or two that are. Or the color Popeye shorts. Or as I said above the Looney Tunes having a bunch etc.

The reason Captain Marvel may be in the public domain is that his first appearance (Whiz Comics #2) might actually be in the public domain. Superman isn't public domain because Action Comics #1 isn't in the public domain and presumably Mickey Mouse isn't public domain because Steamboat Willie isn't public domain.

That being said there is a catch assuming that some or most or whatever Captain Marvel Golden Age comics are in the public domain, you definitely can't use the new stuff that DC's done with the character since the 70's, like Earth-S or Ordway's Power of Shazam or Earth-5 or Geoff Johns' Curse of Shazam.

http://pdsh.wikia.com/wiki/Talk:Captain_Marvel_%28Fawcett%29
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>>94523580
>Weren't they awarded the characters after the lawsuit?

Nope, that's a misconception. Fawcett still owned the characters but they opted not to publish them as per the agreement. DC technically licensed them during the 70's and didn't outright buy the character rights till the 90's.
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>>94522200
>This means that you can absolutely re-release your own reprint of those comics

I'm surprised that Fantagraphics or IDW hasn't jumped on putting out collections of the Golden Age stuff it that's accurate. The C.C.Beck stuff is held up as some of the finest comics of all time.
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>>94521734
He isnt you fucking faggot
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>>94524021
Because the problem is no one's sure if it's 100% accurate. It's likely Whiz Comics #2 is but not exactly every single issue from the Golden Age.

Not like the Charlton stuff where it turned out that a lot of Silver Age Charltons had invalid copyright notices making them public domain.
>>
>>94522027
Disney made it clear what their rights were when a publisher tried to print a collection of public domain Mickey comics. Yes, you can theoretically print the collection, but you have to make it 100% clear that it has NOTHING to do with Disney. Since Mickey himself is one of Disney's trademarks, anything you make will inherently make people confuse your product for a Disney product and will thus violate the terms.

However, the publisher got around it by making the cover completely black and simply titling it "Mouse". Since nothing on the outside mentions Mickey or Disney, Disney couldn't argue that they were trying to piggyback off Disney's name.

The same would likely hold true if you made a derivative Steamboat Willy work. As long as you were careful to advertise it in a way so ambiguously that even Disney can't press charges, you'd probably be able to do it.
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>>94522365
>>94522285
>>94522200
To bring up another comparison, there's Sherlock Holmes and Tarzan. In Sherlock Holmes' case, most of the Doyle stories are in the public domain except for the last ten stories, but a judge ruled that Sherlock Holmes is generally in the public domain. In Tarzan's case, only the first twenty one stories are public domain but the rest aren't, but the Burroughs estate managed to maintain the trademark consistently that no one tried to use him... except for Dynamite Comics (which did a "Lord of the Jungle" comic). The estate did try to sue Dynamite, but things happened and Dynamite ended up getting the rights to publish Tarzan comics. We don't know what would've happened if Dynamite and the Burroughs estate decided to completely fight it out.

>The CHARACTER is copywritten. You can reprint the public domain stories, you cannot print new original stories featuring a guy who looks exactly like Captain Marvel but avoid using "Shazam".

It's dependent on if his first appearance is considered public domain or not. The examples people keep pointing to--Superman, Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny--don't work because their original appearances were copyrighted and remained copyrighted. Stuff like the Fleischer Studios Superman cartoons or the public domain Disney or Looney Tunes cartoons don't make the characters public domain because they came after the still-copyrighted first appearances.

But even so the real obstacle is actually about trademark. Marvel has the trademark on Captain Marvel and DC has the trademark on Shazam.
>>
You people are seriously misunderstanding the way the law works. Let me see if I can explain it better but some of you are heading in the right direction.

The actual Fleischer and Famous studio shorts were copyrighted by National (e.g. DC). Somewhere, Paramount or someone forgot to renew the copyrights and the shorts themselves fell into public domain (which means folks can profit off them) - I forget exactly when but early on, about 1960?

So that's why you see all those shitty versions of them on You Tube and on DVDs and Home Shopping Network. WB cleaned up some of them, released them on their own, have them on their WB channel, etc.

NOW, you can repackage them, show them, etc., but you can't, for example, take pieces of them and create a commercial for your product claiming the footage is public domain. Because DC and Warner Brothers has various rights and interests in Superman and various things that identify Superman as Superman (e.g., as one example, the shield).

Likewise, you couldn't make a NEW comic that looked just like the Fleischer/Famous rotoscope look because the footage is public domain. Again, similar reasons.

So, all you can do with those old CC Beck books is reprint them and repackage and even then as >>94526291 points out, there's a limit to what you can do without violating trademark and other laws, that have nothing to do with public domain.

get it?
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>>94521529
If i was marvel, I will take Captain marvel stories and turn billy batson into a black/gay dude.

Then write a story about it.
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>>94524021
They might not have good enough copies to make their own prints of.
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>>94526391
I think it works like this:

Sherlock Holmes (or specifically, all of it except for the last ten stories) and the Wizard of Oz and Night of the Living Dead are all public domain and people can use story elements in them. I mean look at all the Sherlock and Oz and zombie stuff. That's because the stuff where they originated is public domain, such as A Study in Scarlet, or the first Wizard of Oz book, or the 1968 Night of the Living Dead.

Tarzan may or may not be usable because the first 21 stories are public domain, John Carter may or may not be usable because the first story and some others are PD, yet the rest of Edgar Rice Burroughs' stories are not PD yet, and the Burroughs estate still arguably continues them in comic strip and other forms. Dynamite did certainly dare to try using Tarzan under a comic called "Lord of the Jungle" and John Carter under "Warlord of Mars." We don't know how the judges would've ruled because ERB estate ended up allowing Dynamite the license to publish official Tarzan and John Carter comics.

Things like the Fleischer Superman, the Bugs Bunny cartoon "Falling Hare", or "Mickey's Surprise Party" are public domain, but the characters aren't, because these are derivative works of copyrighted characters. Superman and Lois first appeared in Action Comics #1, which DC properly copyrighted and renewed unlike the Fleischer cartoons.

So the question really is how much of Captain Marvel is actually in the public domain? If his very first appearance is in the public domain, people might be able to use him (but only basing it off of the Golden Age stuff that's in the public domain). If not, then it'd be the same situation as Bugs Bunny, Superman, and Mickey Mouse where they're not public domain even though some cartoons are PD. But even assuming Captain Marvel turned out to be PD, it still comes with its risk like with Tarzan because DC has an interest in using the character.
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>>94521529
>Is there a bigger legal clusterfuck of a character?
Miracleman
Thread posts: 39
Thread images: 3


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