Monday, August 2, 2010

Comic book characters "spawn" copyright case

The Onion AV Club's Newswire is not my normal source of legal news, but it has an interesting story about a comic-book copyright case being fought out in the Western District of Wisconsin (Judge Crabb).

Apparently writer Neil Gaiman created a new character named Angela when he guest-wrote an issue of Seth Todd McFarlane's popular comic book Spawn.  When that character became a regular, Gaiman sued for and obtained joint ownership of the character.  Now Judge Crabb has ruled that three other characters are also owned by Gaiman because they are just knock-offs of similar enough to Angela to warrant discovery.   The AV Club notes the Court's amusing analysis of the similarities among the characters:

Much as defendant tries to distinguish the two knight Hellspawn, he never explains why, of all the universe of possible Hellspawn incarnations, he introduced two knights from the same century. Not only does this break the Hellspawn 'rule' that Malebolgia never returns a Hellspawns [sic] to Earth more than once every 400 years (or possibly every 100 years, as suggested in Spawn, No. 9, exh. #1, at 4)
And, more hilariously, the latter:
Tiffany and Domina are visually similar to Angela and share her same basic traits. All three are warrior angels with voluptuous physiques, long hair and mask-like eye makeup. all three wear battle uniforms consisting of thong bikinis, garters, wide weapon belts, elbow-length gloves and ill-fitting armor bras.
I think it probably takes a female judge to notice that the armor bras are "ill-fitting."

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments on posts older than 30 days are moderated because almost all of those comments are spam.