The Tarzan And John Carter Comic Lawsuits – Four Thoughts

The Dynamite/Dynamic Forces response to the Edgar Rice Burroughs suit against them over the publication of Joh Carter and Tarzan comics has thrown up some interesting points.

Bear in mind that I am not a lawyer and and my musings may make as much sense as those from a fish in a hat. But here are the four points that occur to me.

One, that the US trademark aspect of the case is debatable, and I’m not sure on which side the case would go. But part of the ERB’s case is that John Carter and Tarzan novels, on which a number of the comics are directly adapted, are still under full copyright in the UK. Dynamite’s response states that they are ignorant of any such concerns. I doubt that’s true, and they know full well that the sale of these comics in the UK is in breach of copyright law. But, and here’s the thing, ERB didn’t launch a suit under UK copyright law. If they did they would have won. The US can’t rule on UK law…

Two, that by launching a suit against Dynamite and Savage Tales they have not stopped the books from being published. If they had but included distributor Diamond Comic Distributors in that case, they would have, Diamond are risk averse and in such a situation would have suspended distriubution until the matter was settled. By ignoring Diamond’s role, they have kept the books coming out.

Three, for the first time, Dynamite’s CEO Nick Barrucci admits that he owns and controls Savage Tales LLC. Dynamite published a number of titles, reorking what are believed to be public domain works, and trademarking them under a series of different company names. In the past, Nick has been incredibly evasive as to what his role in these companies are. Now it’s on the record.

 

And fourthly, on the charge of creating pornographic comics using Edgar Rice Burroughs, Dynamic seem to be using the Bleeding Cool defence

 

 

 

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