Welcome to the forums for Public Domain Super Heroes Wiki and The Free Universe! Discuss public domain and open license properties.
 
HomeCalendarGalleryFAQSearchMemberlistUsergroupsRegisterLog in

Share | 
 

 Mr. Monster

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
AuthorMessage
cliffhanger



Posts : 1
Join date : 2010-04-27

PostSubject: Re: Mr. Monster   Tue Apr 27, 2010 7:09 am

I read about this 95 year law on published work. How does that apply to PD characters does it mean you can use the character but cant reprint the original work?
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Evilex



Posts : 6
Join date : 2010-04-27

PostSubject: Re: Mr. Monster   Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:52 pm

Hello!
That's a very interesting place to discuss PD characters!!!
I've been interested in Pd Characters since Alan Moore published his Terra Obscura works. I've been publishing a couple of stories in Heavy Metal Magazine and would like to use Mr. Monster in one of the next ones I'll submit. He's a character from the forties, but Michael T. Gilbert revamped him in the eighties, so I'm wondering if the character is still available or better find another one. Can anybody help?
Thanks and sorry for my spaghetti-english!!! Smile
Back to top Go down
View user profile
argosail

avatar

Posts : 481
Join date : 2010-05-02
Location : California

PostSubject: Re: Mr. Monster   Sun May 02, 2010 9:35 am

Welcome Evilex and Cliffhanger! Sorry it took so long to respond, but these boards have been quiet. I will check by more frequently. To answer your questions:

EvilEx,
Mr. Monster CAN be used in stories, as long as you don't use any aspects of Gilbert's revamp. You must build off of the original character from the 40's. Now, I'm not sure if Gilbert has control of the "Mr. Monster" trademark, but since I haven't heard of any Mr. Monster comics being published recently, my guess is that his control over the trademark has probably ended (it only last 3-5 years). My guess is that you'd probably be safe to create written stories anyway, since Gilbert's trademark would probably be exclusive to comics. But if you want to be safe, just don't use "Mr. Monster" as the title of the story. You can use the name IN the story, just not in the title. Trademarks are tricky like that, but again, I don't think Gilbert has any real claim to the name anymore.

Cliffhanger,
Good question. Copyright law is weird. There is a stipulation in the law that works published by a company, are under copyright for 95 years after they were first published. HOWEVER, there are a lot of weird exceptions. Anything published between 1923-1975 (I think those are the dates) had to be renewed 25 years after publication. Because a lot of these comic companies went out of business in less than 25 years there was nobody around to renew the copyright. So the comics went into the public domain, and since those comic companies no longer exist, there is nobody that can legally reclaim the stories. Sometimes the companies did survive, they were just lazy and didn't see the point of renewing copyrights on some cheap, ancient comics they didn't sell anymore, and thus those comics also entered the public domain. I think once they are in the public domain, it is difficult to reclaim them. The legal status of the characters themselves are attached to the stories they are in. If the comic in which they made their first appearance is public domain, then so is the character.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Evilex



Posts : 6
Join date : 2010-04-27

PostSubject: Re: Mr. Monster   Sun May 02, 2010 10:23 am

Thanks for your detailed answer, Argosail! I'm starting to see a little bit clearer in this matter. I think I'll shift the character's name to "Doc Monster", to avoid further similarities with the revamped one.
Here's a preliminary page I did as a try, with the old double "M"s on the belt. Hope that by changing them and stating that he's the original from the forties I'll have enough differences between the two.

Back to top Go down
View user profile
argosail

avatar

Posts : 481
Join date : 2010-05-02
Location : California

PostSubject: Re: Mr. Monster   Mon May 03, 2010 8:11 am

Wow, those paintings look amazing. I'm not surprised Heavy Metal is publishing your work. I think the blue gloves and longer shorts help to distinguish your version a little bit, but you should definitely loose the M's on the belt. Calling him "Doc Monster" is also a good idea. You needn't expressly say that he's from the 40's. Just make sure that his real name is Jim Stearne and not Strongfort. If you call him Jim at some point, the distinction of who he is should be clear.

One point I should make is that as long as you are publishing in Heavy Metal, an American magazine, your work must comply with American copyright law, which is what we've been discussing. I see that you're from Italy, and if you publish work there, the copyright laws may vary a bit, so you may want to check. I think copyright laws are actually a bit more liberal in most European countries, but I'm no expert, so I couldn't tell you the specifics.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Evilex



Posts : 6
Join date : 2010-04-27

PostSubject: Re: Mr. Monster   Mon May 03, 2010 8:36 am

Thanks Argosail! It's one of the first times I dabble with photomanipulations and digital painting, hope to improve my skills! On HM I've been published as a writer on two issues, with another story upcoming, while the art was done by amazing italian artist Laura Spianelli. For the moment I've done something in B/W, here in SpaghettiLand, but I'm mostly a writer.

Back on Mr. Monster, I don't know how italian laws about public domain work, but since things like Terra Obscura stories and Project Superpowers have been published with no problems I think it's not very different from the US.
Thanks again for the infos, I'm very glad I've found this forum, your work and enthusiasm are great!
Back to top Go down
View user profile
bchat



Posts : 72
Join date : 2010-05-15
Age : 46

PostSubject: Re: Mr. Monster   Sat May 15, 2010 11:17 am

Hey guys! If you don't mind me throwing-in my two cents on the matter ...

Copyright Laws can be a little tricky in as much as they kept changing over the years, so you have to pay attention to what year material was published in. After 1964, Renewals didn't need to be filed at all as long as the work carried a valid Copyright Notice. For everything published up through 1963, renewals had to be filed as the work entered its 28th year. As Argosail says, a lot of comic companies didn't stick around that long, and even a few that did last long enough didn't bother to renew all of their Copyrights.

Here's a site that helps clarify what conditions have to be met in order for material to enter the Public Domain.
Digital Copyright Slider:
http://librarycopyright.net/digitalslider/

For more on Trademarks, check-out
http://www.uspto.gov/faq/trademarks.jsp#Application

To read more about US Copyright Law than you ever really want to, go to
http://www.copyright.gov/title17/
It's a good idea, if possible, to read the laws as they were whenever something was published, since the rules as they are now don't always apply to something published in 1940.

I think it's best, especially for anyone looking to seriously do something with these characters, to read the laws themselves so that they're not relying on what someone else thinks the laws mean or say. Too many people chime-in about Copyrights with no more knowledge about the subject than what they get by reading what someone else tells them the laws are and not by reading the laws themselves.

By the way, I'm not an expert on Copyrights & Trademarks.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Evilex



Posts : 6
Join date : 2010-04-27

PostSubject: Re: Mr. Monster   Sun May 16, 2010 8:55 pm

Thanks, BChat. Those are very useful links. The slider in the first link is very simple yet it provides a very interesting overview on the matter.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Ultimosteve



Posts : 33
Join date : 2010-06-03
Age : 36
Location : california

PostSubject: Re: Mr. Monster   Tue Aug 17, 2010 2:12 am

I not sure if Evilex frequents this board to offten but I would love to hear any updates on his Mr. Monster porojected
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Evilex



Posts : 6
Join date : 2010-04-27

PostSubject: Mr. Monster   Sat Aug 21, 2010 5:31 am

Sorry for bein' away so much, and a great thank you for your interest! Sadly, at the moment I'm stuck between writin' things for others and a change in my day job that takes me away from comics for days (I work for the italian railways society.) Sad
By the way I hope to come back to this project as soon as possible!!!

Thanks Again!

Back to top Go down
View user profile
MadMikeyD

avatar

Posts : 43
Join date : 2010-04-07
Age : 44
Location : Alaska

PostSubject: Re: Mr. Monster   Thu May 17, 2012 3:35 am

From what I can tell, the original 1940s Mr. Monster is PD. The current version is copyright Michael T. Gilbert, who has let us know that he does currently hold the trademark for Mr. Monster, who has recently appeared in Dark Horse Presents.
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://pdsh.wikia.com
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: Mr. Monster   

Back to top Go down
 
Mr. Monster
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 1
 Similar topics
-
» could cybermen upgrade the morbius monster
» Teratorns - the monster birds
» Monster Hunter! (Freedom Unite)
» monarch monster
» DW "monster" rubber masks

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
The Free Universe :: Welcome to the Public Domain! :: Legal Questions and Debate-
Jump to: