Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

July 12, 2013

Missed It: Marvel Would Apparently Still Prefer That The Ghost Rider Matter Be Decided By A Judge

I was surprised when I read articles at the end of June that indicated the Ghost Rider case brought by Gary Friedrich against Marvel Enterprises Inc. would be going to trial in November with what looked like a New York jury. It turns out that a piece that came out about a week ago through Law360 pointed out that Marvel would still prefer the case decided by a judge. Getting a judge would be considered a victory for Marvel, or at least I'd have to imagine it would. A response to the request will be filed in early August. A really strong decision by a judge was vacated in what I take it was pretty surprising fashion by an appeals court, leading to the new trial -- it seemed to have turned on the appeals judge not to be convinced that Marvel's blanket assumption through later paperwork of all rights was appropriate to the elevated standard the court has for giving up the crucial rights involved. I actually don't tend to invest moral force into cases like this -- they turn on points of law, and the law is what it is. I would like to see Friedrich compensated as much as seems reasonably just for him to be compensated rather than for as little as the law allows. This may get us there, and deal a blow to the entire practice of sweeping rights grabs that took place for a couple of key decades in comics' development.
posted 8:10 am PST | Permalink

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