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Vanguard On Vanguard Winning Famous Monsters Of Filmland-Related Case Over Jim Warren (PR)
posted August 6, 2009

Honorable Michael M. Baylson ordered on August 4, 2009, in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania case of WARREN PUBLISHING COMPANY et al v. J. DAVID SPURLOCK D/B/A VANGUARD PRODUCTIONS (Case Number: 2:08-cv-3399) that Plaintiff's Motion (Warren) for partial Summary Judgment and for Sanctions is DENIED and that Defendant's (Vanguard/Spurlock) Motion for Summary Judgment is GRANTED. Final Judgment is entered In Favor of Defendant (Vanguard/Spurlock) on all Counts.

About the ruling on the suit filed a year ago by Jim Warren, the founding publisher of Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine, Vanguard publisher and artists rights advocate J. David Spurlock said, "We are, of course, very pleased that Vanguard and I have been completely vindicated in this case, but am even more pleased that the principle of Fair Use in publishing has been upheld and reaffirmed with such clarity and strength. Judge Baylson has done a great service to all authors, artists, and publishers in this country and indeed the world." Warren claimed that the critically acclaimed Vanguard book, Famous Monster Movie Art of Basil Gogos which Spurlock produced with the famous monster movie artist and noted artist and horror historian Kerry Gammill infringed on copyrights Warren claims in issues of Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine from the 1960s and 70s. Spurlock, who has long worked with and represented the interests of illustrators and cartoonists his entire career, pointed out that, "The Supreme Court and academics have long observed that the Fair Use Doctrine is actually equally as important as Copyright protection itself in serving the noble Constitutional purpose 'to promote the Progress of Science and the Useful Arts.' (U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 8), BUT it is only the courage of discerning jurists at the District Court level, on the front lines of Litigation which can, by decisions like this, stop the severe chilling effect on creativity caused by the overreaching of some copyright claimants." The noted author, artist and publisher continued by saying, "We revere Copyright Protection AND Fair Use, as BOTH serve to increase the creativity which makes ours a more civilized, educated, enlightened and richer society."

Vanguard attorney M. Kelly Tillery of Pepper Hamilton, LLP, said, "As the Copyright Law provides that a prevailing party, such as Vanguard, is generally entitled to recover attorneys' fees and costs, we will file both a Bill of Costs and a Motion for Attorneys' Fees. From day one and throughout this time-consuming, expensive and contentious litigation, we warned Mr. Warren and his lawyers that we would win and that Plaintiffs would most likely end up paying BOTH their own fees and costs as well as Vanguard's. Unfortunately, as a result of their stubborn persistence, they are likely to pay fees and costs, which amount to over $300,000. I truly hope and trust that this result will be a lesson, not only to the Plaintiffs herein, but to any others and their counsel." Spurlock said, "Kelly Tillery, and his team, Chris Olszyk and Cara Kearney, believed in me, my cause in honoring popular artists with career retrospective biographies, and my case and pursued my defense tirelessly with dedication and unique creativity. Litigation is so expensive that even the threat—however baseless—of a lawsuit can seriously inhibit authors, artists and publishers in their daily creative decisions, much to the detriment of culture. This decision will help free the creative community of the shackles of those meritless, but inhibiting, threats. I know it will help Vanguard get back to our business of honoring the popular arts and their creators."