Marvel and DC comics back down against Londoner (let's not make any jokes here)
Unless you follow these things this story may have just come out of the blue to you. However, in the last 10+ years Disney(Marvel) and DC Comics have been trying lawsuit after lawsuit and in some of the cases they won there is a lot of talk of some dirty deals. But that's for investigative journalists to look into (if there are any left).
It's all about their "intellectual property" they say, but we know its greed. At one time Marvel seriously considered copyrighting the actual word "marvel" and even mythology -Asgard, Thor, Odin -the lot. See, Disney has made a fortune raping the mythology and legends of other cultures and peoples. Why bother about a nations mythologies and legends that have existed THOUSANDS of years before comics even came into being when there is money to be made from movies and merchandising?
Of course, Disney did look to it's 'own' culture with the story of paedophilia....sorry, Pocahontas. No busty young woman as in their animated movie but what the hell. Here, read the TRUE story summarised -she was around 18 years old when she died so wasn't 16 when she bore John Rolfe a son. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pocahontas
But we're getting off topic.
Disney(Marvel) and DC are interested in money and I recall how a fanzine in the UK during the late 1980s, Eat The Magic Batzine, just stopped after threats from DC Comics -this was a fanzine promoting their character by a fan. DC legal didn't care. "Cease and desist!" Somehow they even thought that I needed to be threatened for promoting and distributing the mag via Zine Zone. My response? "F*** off -take it to court, I could do with the publicity!" Nothing.
Seriously, if you have no idea these things are going but just enjoy the comics fair enough. But you need to be aware.
Which brings us to a real life hero -Graham Jules. He stuck to his guns and I'll tell you now that I've known people back-down through sheer fear and terror at what will happen if the Big Two bullies take a case to court. In the US where money and big business rule and corrupt but in the UK bullying tends not to work -AOL Time Warner IPC DC -they've all tried it with me and my response has always been the same: take it to court. Sue me. Can't get what I don't have!
Graham Jules’s self-help book Business Zero to Superhero caused the conflict. He compiled his entire case without legal aid.
Photograph: Adam Gray/SWNS
Real-life superhero? Marvel and DC comics back down against Londoner
Graham Jules wins two-and-a-half-year fight against comic giants over use of word ‘superhero’ in his book title
It seemed like far from an even fight at first glance – with the
multi-billion dollar forces behind Batman, Superman and Captain America
in one corner and a small scale British entrepreneur on the other.
But after a two-and-a-half-year wrangle with Graham Jules, it is the combined might of the comic book giants Marvel
and DC who have raised a white flag after initially claiming that using
the word superhero would infringe their jointly owned trademark.
Jules, a 48-year-old who runs a firm setting up pop-up shops and is
studying law, had been about to publish his self-help manual Business
Zero to Superhero in 2014, when he got a warning letter from the two
The Londoner fought back and, at one point, rejected an offer of “a couple of thousand” to change his book title.
Now, the publishers have backed down and admitted defeat four days
before a planned hearing at the Intellectual Property Office in London.
Jules, who runs a firm setting up pop-up shops, had compiled his
entire case without legal aid using a single textbook about intellectual
Tristan Sherliker, an associate solicitor at the intellectual
property law firm EIP, described the cases as a “classic David v
DC and Marvel have a history of stopping others from using “superhero” according to Sherliker.
“Just because a word is in the dictionary doesn’t mean it can’t be
part of a brand: just think of the global value of the Apple brand,”
“But it will be surprising for people to learn that two huge comic
book publishers, normally competitors, have united to ‘own’ this word
and avoid others from using it.”
Last night I counted the number of times "super hero" and "super heroes" was used in advertising on TV/You tube. In one hour -23 times. Also, if you mention "super heroes" in reviews or blogs or video blogs -IF these bullies had won- you would have been breaching copyright and even "Super hero(c)Marvel and DC Comics" would not have helped. Any movie made by companies not associated with the Big Two Bullies, any kids TV show (any TV show really), any magazine, newspaper article, items on the radio -every comic publisher in every country no matter how small, just using the term "super hero" would have opened them up to legal action.
Marvel and DC did this jointly. Why? Well, firstly, neither knows WHO used the term first so they'd be fighting each other in court and that means losing money. Always pick on the small guy. Also because if it had gone in their favour it would have made them a lot of money. Imagine your 8 year old in a park wraps his/her jumper round their shoulders and jumps about: "Look at me -I'm a super hero!" You could expect a tap on the shoulder from a lawyer: "Your child is in breach of our copyright -see you in court!"
Okay, being silly with that last bit but this is not a silly matter.
The IPC over zealous Intellectual Properties man and their legal department even threatened to take me to court over my own characters that I created back in the early 1970s with a well chronicled history. I was told to stop using them by a group of people who cited cases such as DC comics suing Marvel Comics in the 1950s to prevent them using Marvel Man. Well, Marvel never existed in the 1950s -it was Timely or Atlas. And DC sued Fawcett Publications over Captain Marvel. I still have all the threats documented and even went to the owners of IPC and asked WHY they were threatening me? Apparently they had no idea this was going on and after that nothing more. These days I'm on friendlier terms with IPC Media but....