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Topic: FABLES creator releases hit series into the public domain Post ReplyPost New Topic
Rodrigo castellanos
Byrne Robotics Member

Joined: 03 July 2012
Location: Uruguay
Posts: 1489
Posted: 15 September 2023 at 3:40am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Found this interesting:

Bill Willingham apparently released his series FABLES into the public domain, after years of contention with DC.

I'm no expert in legalese, so I don't quite fully understand the implications, nor have I read the series. (I did play the Telltale game, which is apparently a major issue in the whole conflict).

Also, aren't these characters in the public domain already? Very similar case to League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. I'm guessing it's this particular treatment that is now public domain?

Would appreciate how you guys interpret this whole situation.

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Trevor Smith
Byrne Robotics Member

Joined: 21 September 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 3533
Posted: 15 September 2023 at 11:49am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

One of Willingham's responses to being asked what kinds of
things DC has done to bring him to this point:

"They are often late reporting royalties, and often under-
report said royalties, forcing me to go after them to pay
the rest of whats owed."

It occurs to me that this kind of thing must be an absolute
nightmare for a creator to keep track of. I have to admit
that in his shoes, I would probably just take the cheque
and assume the number was correct.
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Charles Valderrama
Byrne Robotics Member

Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 4756
Posted: 15 September 2023 at 2:19pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

DC was never really a safe place for creators. Willingham's actions are surprising and it's be interesting how this develops.

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Daniel Gillotte
Byrne Robotics Member

Joined: 11 October 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 2630
Posted: 15 September 2023 at 5:49pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

I'm pretty curious about this. I guess the artists were work for hire? So can one freely use their versions of these characters? I wonder how they feel about it.

I understand what he's saying- dealing with large corporations can suck because they have lawyers on staff and an independent contractor needs to pay a lawyer on retainer or whatever so any gains potentially go, at least in part to legal fees.

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Eric Jansen
Byrne Robotics Member

Joined: 27 October 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 2335
Posted: 16 September 2023 at 1:43am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Did he pay the artists?
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Dave Kopperman
Byrne Robotics Member

Joined: 27 December 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 3232
Posted: 16 September 2023 at 2:47pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

I wonder if DC's treatment of freelancers has ended up getting worse under the new Discovery/WB merger? Given how little interest they've shown in the livelihood of creators on the film/TV side of things, practices like royalties and creator-owned works that were hard-won in the comics industry must seem antithetical to corporate interests.
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William Costello
Byrne Robotics Member

Joined: 30 August 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 748
Posted: 18 September 2023 at 3:00pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

The FABLES Issue #150 (from 2015) has the following notation: "Copyright (c) 2015 Bill Willingham and DC Comics. All Rights Reserved. All characters, their distinctive likeness and related elements featured in this publication are trademarks of Bill WIllingham."

What that actually means: I have no idea.
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John Popa
Byrne Robotics Member

Joined: 20 March 2008
Posts: 4404
Posted: 18 September 2023 at 6:30pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

DC has naturally fired back and said they still own whatever they own as it relates to "Fables." 

I'm among those curious to see how this all plays out.
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