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 Edgar Rice Burroughs

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PostSubject: Edgar Rice Burroughs   Thu Mar 18, 2010 10:55 am

What's your favorite series by this author? Is Tarzan the ultimate hero?
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Ultimosteve



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PostSubject: I don't want to halt a possible good conversation but...   Thu Jun 03, 2010 5:28 am

To the best of my knowledge, Tarzan is NOT in the Public Domain. There is no reason we can't talk about him but it should be noted since this is the free universe message board. People could get the wrong idea.
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PostSubject: Re: Edgar Rice Burroughs   Thu Jun 03, 2010 9:55 am

Actually, depends on the nation you're in. Australia didn't extend copyright to 70 years until 2005, so because Burroughs died in 1950 his works are in the public domain, including Tarzan. US law also indicates that works published prior to 1922 are no longer under copyright, which would make the appearance of Tarzan public domain too. However, Tarzan does have trademarks that cover him, which means it becomes a legal gray area. Theoretically, based on how I understand copryright and trademark, you could create a new story featuring Tarzan, as the copyright for the character's first appearance has lapsed, but would not be able to market the story with any mention of Tarzan, including in the title.

Using the name Tarzan in the story itself should be alright based on how copyright/trademark law is supposed to operate, but the big corporations that own the trademarks will almost always try to bully independant producers with trademarks in ways that it shouldn't really apply, so you'd likely face legal trouble anyway even if you did just use the name within the story itself, and not in marketing it.

This begs the question though, something I'm not sure of, where does trademark apply, geographically? If Tarzan is trademarked by an American organisation, and the original creator was American, and copyright for those works are expired in some other nation (in this example, Australia) and I publish a Tarzan book for exclusively Australian release, is trademark able to be uwsed to lay down the law on me? That's something I don't know, and certainly hazes up using Tarzan further.
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PostSubject: Re: Edgar Rice Burroughs   Thu Jun 03, 2010 11:37 am

Vagrant wrote:
This begs the question though, something I'm not sure of, where does trademark apply, geographically?

A site I use alot (trademarkia.com), seems to suggest that the major areas were trademarks have to be individually registered are US, EU/CTM, UK, Australia, and China. Considering that Burroughs, Inc. has done business with Disney (The Tarzan Movie) & Tarzan featured in the video game Kingdom Hearts (released internationally with a big disclaimer before the games start about how Burroughs, Inc. owns all rights to Tarzan), I'd say it's a safe bet that it is trademarked in Australia.
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PostSubject: Wow! This is news to me. My apologies   Thu Jun 03, 2010 2:42 pm

I was under the strong impression that Tarzan's copyright was controlled and licensed through Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. I know they have aggressively tried to protected there control of the property in the past.

So you can produce works based on Tarzan as long as you don't violated there trademark claim,right? What about his birth name John Clayton (or Lord Greystoke)? Are supporting character such as Jane Porter and his son Korak (jack) also up for grabs. I think Lord Graystoke is a great name for a character.

For example can produce a script called Lord of the Apes starring Lord Graystoke and his family and the Burroughs family doesn't have the legal ground to stop me?
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PostSubject: Re: Edgar Rice Burroughs   Thu Jun 03, 2010 3:43 pm

Burroghs Inc would try to defend their trademark, yes. Copyright is something they do not have in America, but they may well be able to file for it in other nations, which is part of what makes copyright law so difficult to deal with. I wouldn't know, to be honest. From what I can gather, anything in the first 8 books *should* be public domain in America, but the quagmire of trademark protection that exists through Burroughs and also Disney means it may well not be worth it. You'd also have to investigate whether they have trademarks on names other than Tarzan, which seems likely to me. If you were planning on doing anything major Tarzan-related I'd definitely consult a copyright/trademark lawyer for advice first.
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PostSubject: Re: Edgar Rice Burroughs   Sat Jun 05, 2010 3:45 am

According the United States Patent and Trademark Office website there is no trademark On "Lord Greystoke"

Thanks to Vagrant and Yzz for the info share
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PostSubject: Re: Edgar Rice Burroughs   Sat Jun 05, 2010 12:50 pm

Beautiful conversation guys. This is exactly why I started these forums. The truth is, yes, you can use the name Tarzan within a work. You can make a movie called "Lord of the Apes" (assuming that is not trademarked) and the characters in that movie can call Tarzan by his name. That is the law. But these guys are right. The Burroughs estate will likely try to bully you, because it's a big deal for them if that name becomes more or less useless. That's why it's important to communicate here and discuss what is within our rights. A lot of people are operating under the assumptions that the corporations want us to make.
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PostSubject: Re: Edgar Rice Burroughs   Fri Jul 23, 2010 2:08 am

I love the Tarzan stuff....I have a huge collection of the books....But, for me....John Carter all the way!!
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PostSubject: Re: Edgar Rice Burroughs   Fri Jul 23, 2010 4:38 pm

The John Carter stuff is pretty cool. Very rich world he created there. I'm really looking forward to seeing what they do with the movie. I think it comes out next year.
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PostSubject: Re: Edgar Rice Burroughs   Fri Jul 23, 2010 11:34 pm

Dynamite's also doing a new comic series of John as well..sounds like it'll be good. The movie should be awesome....if they don't make him a completely different character.
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PostSubject: Re: Edgar Rice Burroughs   Sat Jul 24, 2010 5:41 pm

There is such a wealth of material to draw from, and unlike Tarzan, I don't think there's ever been a major adaptation of John Carter. The general public is pretty much unaware of his existence, and therefore, without any pre-conceptions, the film makers are free to interpret the book any way they want. So it could go a LOT of different ways. But I think things like 14-foot green aliens are going to look pretty impressive on the screen, no matter how they're done. It should be a visual delight, at the least. I imagine it having a bit of a Star Wars feel to it, but that's only because I'm a huge Star Wars geek.

Funny story...I design websites for small businesses and one of the business was a company called "John Carter Remodeling." They didn't have a logo, so I made one...that was Green and Red, with the "A" frame of a house in the background, that looked like an arrow pointing to the heavens (in an early draft, I even went so far as to put Mars over it). I was very proud of my cleverness, but none of my colleagues got the joke. One girl, who is a huge sci-fi fan (she has the Tardis on her desk) looked at it and had no idea who John Carter was. They told me I had to change it, because there was too much red and green and those are Christmas colors and they didn't compliment each other the right way. I was soooo disappointed. But I left the page red.
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PostSubject: Re: Edgar Rice Burroughs   Thu Jul 29, 2010 3:52 am

The Burroughs corporation does have trademark over John Carter also. Disney is licensing it for the movie (2012, the 100th anniversary of the first John Carter story). The first 5 books are in the public domain, though, enabling Dynamite to adapt the first - "A Princess of Mars" - for their new series. Notice it is called simply "Warlord of Mars," not "John Carter, Warlord of Mars," since John Carter is trademarked. I think it's a good thing someone else is doing a John Carter comic. The official license resides with Dark Horse and, outside of a Tarzan crossover in the 1990s and some reprints, they've done nothing with it.

People have been trying to make a John Carter film since the 1930s, but no one had done it until last year. Disney's will be the first big-budget Barsoom movie, but the Asylum's "Princess of Mars" is actually the first. It's definitely not a blockbuster, but it is noteworthy as being the first successfully completed John Carter film.
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PostSubject: Re: Edgar Rice Burroughs   Thu Jul 29, 2010 4:40 am

Ultimosteve wrote:
According the United States Patent and Trademark Office website there is no trademark On "Lord Greystoke"

Trademarks do not need to be registered with the US Patent and Trademark Office, but doing so gives the owner exclusive rights to that particular name Nationwide, as well as providing proof of ownership (while costing about $400 every 10 years with additional paperwork to fill-out after five years). When a name is officially registered, it may then use the ® designation, an upgrade from the "unofficial" ™. To quote the FAQ from www.uspto.gov:

"Federal registration is not required to establish rights in a trademark. Common law rights arise from actual use of a mark. Generally, the first to either use a mark in commerce or file an intent to use application with the Patent and Trademark Office has the ultimate right to use and registration."

So it is possible that there is a Trademark on "Lord Greystoke" that simply isn't officially registered and therefore won't turn-up on a search of USPTO's website but could still be fought over in a US court.
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PostSubject: Real Cool   Fri Aug 27, 2010 5:55 am

dann wrote:
Dynamite's also doing a new comic series of John as well..sounds like it'll be good. The movie should be awesome....if they don't make him a completely different character.
Yeah,That should be Cool,
I read About it in westfield comics.
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PostSubject: Re: Edgar Rice Burroughs   Wed Oct 15, 2014 5:25 am

Thought I'd post here rather than starting a new thread. I'm currently listening to A Princess of Mars (courtesy of Librivox) for the first time, having just finished the Caspak trilogy, and I have to say that I'm not the biggest fan of his writing style. He often seems to kill the flow of the story in order to go into details about the cultures he's made up; now, while I do appreciate a well-crafted fictional world, I don't think that the narrative should be broken up in order to show it off.

Also, I'm thinking about using some of the ideas of John Carter, but as I think I will be changing the story quite a lot, I may rename him John Gullivar, and have him accompanied by Carter Jones (combining some of Gullivar Jones in there too).
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PostSubject: Re: Edgar Rice Burroughs   Wed Oct 15, 2014 10:06 am

Naming your characters "John Gulliver" and "Carter Jones" is very clever. And you might even be able to use the Martian's from Gulliver Strong, because on Burroughs' Mars it seems like there was a totally difference species of Martian around every freaking corner!

I LOVED everything by Burroughs I've ever read, but I haven't read anything by him since early high school. I found his style compelling and I couldn't wait to keep going (although I'm not sure how well it would translate to an audio format). To each his own, I guess!
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PostSubject: Re: Edgar Rice Burroughs   Wed Dec 03, 2014 2:43 pm

I recently picked up the illustrated edition of A Princess of Mars put out by IDW. I've read the book so many times I didn't need another, but I badly wanted to see the illustrations and B&N had it polybagged, so I had to buy it from Amazon. There's some nice artwork in there, no doubt, but if I had to do it over again I would have passed.

I've recently been writing more Ascension Epoch tales set during the Martian War, and I recently got into the plotting of some stories that feature John Carter and Gullivar Jones. I wrote a short piece with Gullivar lost in the Handramit and encountering the Hrossa from C.S. Lewis's "Out of the Silent Planet", but nothing finalized.
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