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 DC Takes Legal Action Against Mark Millar's Nemesis

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Ultimosteve



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PostSubject: DC Takes Legal Action Against Mark Millar's Nemesis   Sun Jun 20, 2010 3:10 am

"Back in December, details were revealed about Mark Millar and Steve McNiven's next project at Marvel entitled Nemesis. The familiar looking new character was described as "What if Batman was the Joker?" and "What if Batman was a total c***?" The image seen was a combination of Batman and Heath Ledger's Joker. The question I had was what would DC think about this?

Now we know. Bleeding Cool has reported that DC has taken legal action over the image. In the March Solicitations for Marvel, a cover image for Nemesis #1 was not available despite the image having already been shown. Apparently the cover had to be changed and there wasn't time to have it ready for the solicitations. It's unclear how much of an affect this 'legal move' will have on the overall book.

Are you surprised by this move? Do you think Mark Millar actually thought DC wouldn't have a problem with this image and description or was it part of a publicity stunt? We'll have to check out the book in March to see if the character's nature remains true to his original description."


http://www.comicvine.com/news/dc-takes-legal-action-against-mark-millars-nemesis/140121/

I thought this was interesting and relevant to this board.


Last edited by Ultimosteve on Sun Jun 20, 2010 9:53 am; edited 1 time in total
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PhantomofDoom

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PostSubject: Re: DC Takes Legal Action Against Mark Millar's Nemesis   Sun Jun 20, 2010 4:36 am

I think Millar's mistake was in his description of the comic. If he hadn't mentioned Batman and Joker specifically, he wouldn't have had any problems.

What I DON'T get is why Warner Bros./DC isn't pursuing a case against Vivid Entertainment, the porn company, as they recently released a "movie" called BATMAN A XXX PARODY.

I think even with the word "parody" and the actors all decked out in the BATMAN TV show costumes and portraying said characters virtually identically to the old TV show, WB/DC would have a case. It's way too blatant of a rip-off. Unless somehow the old BATMAN TV show is PD which I don't think is.

BATMAN is a trademarked word by DC, so I am really surprised WB/DC hasn't done anything yet. It's not because it's porn it's just so obvious a rip-off. Hell, I couldn't make a comic book called "BATMAN A PARODY". I'd get in trouble. I COULD make a comic called BATGUY or somesuch nonsense and parody BATMAN that way.

Millar is a bit full of himself, although I enjoyed the comic WANTED quite a bit. The movie was a different version naturally but it was OK for what it was, oddly.

Millar has also made some claims he was asked to direct the next X-Men movie but that was never proven. He has managed to drum up publicity for himself and hell, he's succeeded, here we are talking about him.

I think he messed up with his description of NEMESIS. It actually looks interesting, something I'd check out.
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Ultimosteve



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PostSubject: Re: DC Takes Legal Action Against Mark Millar's Nemesis   Sun Jun 20, 2010 10:21 am

"What if Batman was the Joker?" I kind of expected Millar to fallow this statement with Oh, did you hear that DC! while he grabing his crotch. I mean, its one to be "inspired" by a character then create a analog to explore idea that couldn't do that characters established universe but you can't use your "inspiration" to promoted your creator owned work.

I also think DC (warner bros) could be concerned with the fact that Millar is also shopping Nemesis around Hollywood. If it is picked up and fast tracked into production it could be be released ago side Warner Bro.'s Dark Night fallow-up. I already read that some comic fans have have mistaking that this DC product. I'm sure they would continue the confusion with the marketing of the film.
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argosail

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PostSubject: Re: DC Takes Legal Action Against Mark Millar's Nemesis   Tue Jul 06, 2010 5:18 am

The funny thing is this character is considerably different than Batman or the Joker, and you're right, there probably wouldn't have been a problem if they hadn't specifically described the character as a combination. However, between the description and the blatant joker mouth visual, there is enough for a case. Dumb move on their part. They might have even gotten away with the mouth thing, but you can't just say, "hey look at us, we're ripping off your ideas!"

As far as porn goes, I think they can get pretty close to the source material they are ripping off by calling it a parody. But you're right Phantom, I'm pretty sure that using the word "Batman" in the title qualifies as trademark infringement. Maybe they can get away with it because they are specifically describing it as a parody, so there's no market confusion about it being a Warner Brother's production. Furthermore it describes itself as XXX and maybe porn is considered a totally different kind of product than a regular movie. I think the general public is aware that Warner Brothers does not make pornos. So maybe that's how they are avoiding market confusion. But I think that's a razor thin wire they're walking, and probably why most porn movies choose to make clear alterations to trademarked titles. It might be interesting to see what happens with this, but the porn guys may be banking on DC just not caring. I've seen Batman fan films sold at comic con, and it's probably just one of those things where DC representatives at comic con just don't care or look the other way. The problem is that legally, DC/Warner Bros is obligated to defend their trademark.
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PhantomofDoom

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PostSubject: Batman and copyrights   Tue Jul 06, 2010 6:28 am

@Argosail: Regarding fan films. All the companies, whether its DC, Marvel, etc., really ENCOURAGE fan films and fan art. Even though they don't necessarily earn any income off fans' efforts in these areas DIRECTLY they INDIRECTLY do because by having fans do these things, it keeps the properties in the publics' eye. It also keeps these properties alive in the fans' minds, who are willing to spend $, so it's a win/win for everyone.

There's more I can say about this subject including my own first hand experience, but instead I will address the porn subject.

Like I said, DC/Warner Bros. are far more apt to encourage fan based productions when the product is positive and furthers the concept of the characters in a positive light. With the porn, well, it may be OK in many areas, but as far as representing DC/Warner Bros., I sincerely doubt they want that association, to have Batman connected to something X-rated.

Not only that, but the potential for the porn company to earn $ off Warner Bros.' intellectual property is a lot more than anything fan produced. That is a key factor.

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