The estate of Joe Siegel, co-creator of Superman, has been suing to get the rights back. There has been some urgency, given the supposition that the character will enter the public domain in 2013 (DC still holds the trademark, so if you want to make your own Superman stuff, you'll still have a hoop to jump through. Mark Waid's ultimate dream job was writing Superman. I wonder if he's cooking anything up....). This is why a new Sup movie has been greenlit to be done before 2013.
Well, DC has just sacked their legal team handling the case. They have hired Daniel Petrocelli. Canadians know this guy. The estate of A.A. Milne sued Disney over Winnie The Pooh, claiming the creator got shafted. Pertocelli handled the defense, and got Disney off the hook.
And now, he's handling Superman. This doesn't look good.
It all started in 2008 when Stephanie Lenz saw her baby dancing around to a song by Prince. Like all moms, she thought this was the Most Pwecious Ting Evah, videoed it, and, to facilitate sharing it with her friends, uploaded it to YouTube. At least it was only 29 seconds, I've sat through worse home videos.
Universal Music Group sent YouTube a takedown notice, citing the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. YouTube took it down. Six weeks later, the video was back up. Lenz had filed a counternotice, and she was being repped by those fine upstanding citizens, the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Their stance was simple -- in jumping the gun to take down the clip, Universal did not consider if Lenz had a Fair Use right to use the music in the clip. The EFF is basically using Lenz's case to test the scope and damages that can be claimed for wrongfully hitting people with DMCA takedowns. The DMCA is bad as it is, but the wording just encourages it to be abused.
The judge ruled that the EFF had a point. They have to prove damages were incurred (the crux of Universal's defense), but this is significant in that the ruling establishes that the DMCA can be abused and if you do abuse it, you should pay somehow.
Work will resume on Sound Waves, probably next week. I'll be scanning in issues7 and 8 to get them lettered, and I expect to have #9 penciled and inked by the end of the month.
The big news is Head Above Water. The series is penciled, inked, lettered, almost everything. Issues 1 and 2 are laid out and will be going off to the printer soon. 3 through 5 need the covers colored and the end pages done. The book is 22 pages of story, which leaves me with three blank pages. So, since I didn't try looking for ad swaps or anything, I figured I'd fill the pages with the test sketches and some info on how the series evolved. I'll have this done by the end of the week.
From there, I just need to figure out how to coordinate whatever comes next. I want to start on Germ Warfare so it can be done before the ChicagoCon a scant five months away (part of me is thinking, no problem, you did Cloudburst in under two months. To which I respond, AND YOU ENJOYED THAT RIDE ON THE STRESSMOBILE?!?). I also need to think, because a few more Sound Waves stories have occurred to me, meaning the series could stretch out past issue #15 if I actually run this stuff down. Still debating it.
But the most difficult project is done and in the can. What will my next non-chibi comic project be? We'll soon find out....
++ If you're on my friends list, I want to know 35 things about you. I don't care if we never talk, or if we already know everything about each other. Short and sweet is fine.
++ Comment here with your answers and repost the questionnaire on your own journal.
01) Are you currently in a serious relationship? 02) What was your dream growing up? 03) What talent do you wish you had? 04) If I bought you a drink what would it be? 05) Favorite vegetable? 06) What was the last book you read? 07) What zodiac sign are you? 08) Any Tattoos and/or Piercings? Explain where. 09) Worst Habit? 10) If you saw me walking down the street would you offer me a ride? 11) What is your favorite sport? 12) Do you have a Pessimistic or Optimistic attitude? 13) What would you do if you were stuck in an elevator with me? 14) Worst thing to ever happen to you? 15) Tell me one weird fact about you. 16) Do you have any pets? 17) What if I showed up at your house unexpectedly? 18) What was your first impression of me? 19) Do you think clowns are cute or scary? 20) If you could change one thing about how you look, what would it be? 21) Would you be my crime partner or my conscience? 22) What color eyes do you have? 23) Ever been arrested? 24) Bottle or can soda? 25) If you won $10,000 today, what would you do with it? 26) What's your favorite place to hang out at? 27) Do you believe in ghosts? 28) Favorite thing to do in your spare time? 29) Do you swear a lot? 30) Biggest pet peeve? 31) In one word, how would you describe yourself? 32) Do you believe/appreciate romance? 33) Favorite and least favorite food? 34) Do you believe in God? 35) Will you repost this so I can fill it out and do the same for you?
And just to make sure we're all pals here (and so I don't have to type this stuff all over again), here's mine: