Today's post is going to be a short one as I'm going to Microsoft tomorrow, and I need to finish some mockups.
The one thing I do want to bring to everyone's attention is this article over at BleedingCool.com wherein Rich Johnston wonders if the Digital Comics Museum will be targeted for a cease and desist order like htmlComics was.
I don't normally mention Digital Comic Museum here because I don't know much about it. It is apparently some sort of offshoot or splinter group of users from my favorite site The Golden Age of Comics - but that's all I really know. In many ways the sites look like exact duplicates of each. Feel free to explain the differences and origins in a email or comment.
I find the article amusing as Rich says this in regards to public domain comics...
Okay, I think their public domainness is questionable, especially considering some use current existing trademarks such as Ghost Rider and Daredevil, but by sticking to the past, they may just get away with it and provide a valuable resource to the comics community.
I think we can all agree that the comics in question are in public domain, so I believe the issue Rich is really trying to raise is whether or not Marvel (or DC) might try to use trademark infringement to have comics featuring their characters taken down. Legally, I don't think Marvel or DC would have a leg to stand on. One, because the Lev Gleason Daredevil doesn't look anything like the Marvel Daredevil and two, I don't think most lawyers have a clue how Public Domain law works, so they shy away from it.
I say this because at last count, I have seen at least 5 different media companies selling the old Fleischer Superman which are in Public Domain. Why hasn't Time Warner stopped these from being sold?
I also wonder how much weight could be made for the arguement that public domain comics infringe on current Trademarks. Examine the DVD cover I pulled from Amazon. Where is Time Warner or DC notated anywhere on the cover? I'll grant you that the word Superman is trademarked, but I don't recall ever seeing it notated as trademarked on the cover of any of the Fleischer collections I've seen.
So bottom line - I don't think that either Golden Age Comics or Digital Comics Museum have much to worry about. Yeah, they *might* get a cease and desist letter, but anybody can send such a letter. Backing it up in court and convincing a judge is a different matter.
And with that, I present today's two Free Comics - two issues of a comic I've never featured on Flashback Universe before, but in light of today's topic, it seems appropriate: Fawcett's Marvel Family Comics.
[ Marvel Family 50 ]
[ Marvel Family 61 ]