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  • Pellucidar comes to American Mythology

    G'day,

    Interesting news, American Mythology who did the quite good Land That Time Forgot series will now do Pellucidar. Its an ERB Inc approved project and will be linked to the LTTF series.

    So, they have LTTF and Pellucidar. Dynamite have Lord of The Jungle (Tarzan) and John Carter. Dark Horse has Tarzan. I know DH had Carson of Venus but haven't seen much action there for some time so not sure who has that, similar for Moon stories. If Venus and Moon rights are available I hope they go to AM or DE. If they are shared between two publishers a major big time cross over is possible.

    ta

    Ralph

  • #2
    After Tarzan, the Pellucidar novels were my favorite ERB series. So I will be checking this out, I still wished all my ERB was in one place though.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by ralphuniverse View Post
      So, they have LTTF and Pellucidar. Dynamite have Lord of The Jungle (Tarzan) and John Carter. Dark Horse has Tarzan. I know DH had Carson of Venus but haven't seen much action there for some time so not sure who has that, similar for Moon stories. If Venus and Moon rights are available I hope they go to AM or DE. If they are shared between two publishers a major big time cross over is possible.
      Since Jason Gridley is appearing in DE's THE GREATEST ADVENTURE by Bill Willingham, it seems likely Pellucidar (and probably David Innes) will appear as well. I wouldn't be surprised to see Carson Napier of Amtor (Venus), or Julian (one of them, anyway), Nah-ee-lah ("the Moon Maid") or Kalkars ("the Moon Men") in the story either. Don't forget that no "intercompany crossover" is necessary, as at least the early novels in which these characters appeared are in the public domain (in the US, anyway). Just as when DE did the LORDS OF MARS miniseries, they didn't have to co-publish with Dark Horse in order to include Tarzan as a character. I would assume that Edgar Rice Burroughs' name not appearing prominently on the cover means that THE GREATEST ADVENTURE is not licensed or authorized by ERB Inc.

      Using the name TARZAN as part of the cover logo on DE's comics is the only real legal restriction that DE has, because although the character's early novels' copyrights have all expired, ERB Inc. still maintains a legal trademark on the name. Some of the 1940s and later-published works of ERB are still copyrighted, so no characters or story elements from those novels can be freely used except under authorization from ERB Inc. The trademarked name TARZAN is used under license from ERB Inc. by Dark Horse Comics, as is JOHN CARTER WARLORD OF MARS by DE. Not sure what other names of novels may have been trademarked by ERB Inc. The problem with trademarks is that they don't remain legal trademarks unless it can be proven that the trademark is actually being utilized to sell a product. If a certain window of time elapses in which the trademark is not actively used, it expires. Active use of a trademark has absolutely no bearing on copyrights, however. Trademark law applies only to specific unique words or combinations of words, logos, symbols or icons used to identify a commercial product.

      Copyright law, on the other hand, has no bearing on commercial use whatsoever. It exists solely to protect the author of a copyrighted work against having his work used without permission, exclusive of whether or not the copyrighted work is used in commercial ventures. I could, if I so chose, write a story tomorrow, put it in an envelope, and mail it to the US Copyright Office to secure a copyright on it, regardless of whether or not I had any intention of publishing the story anywhere or not. If it were later proven in a court of law that my story had somehow been used without my permission, I would be entitled to sue the offending party for damages. Under normal circumstances, it isn't necessary to submit a work to the Copyright Office for a work to be protected by copyright law, as such protection is presumed to be in effect from the moment at which any author's work becomes known to exist (such as upon initial publication; the only question here would be who is the "author" of record entitled to such protection, in such cases as "work for hire" situations).

      Trivia: It may not have escaped notice of the readers of DE's unlicensed LORD OF THE JUNGLE comics that Tarzan never uses the Mangani language (kreegah, bundolo, bolgani, etc.) in DE's stories, even though those words appear in the originally copyrighted (but now public domain, due to copyright expiration) works by ERB on which the stories are based. Instead, DE's Lord of the Jungle speaks in gutteral grunts and growls, when not speaking to other human characters in their own language. This is because there exists such a thing known as The Ape-English Dictionary, which was published as an appendix to authorized reprints of ERB's (then still-copyrighted) stories sometime in the 1950s or early 1960s. As a result, The Ape-English Dictionary became protected by copyright law upon its initial publication, and that copyright is still in effect.

      To me personally, I put very little stock in which company (or companies) are publishing ERB's characters, and what authorized logos are used on the covers. I'm far more concerned with whether the stories and artwork are GOOD, and if they are faithful to the characters in the public-domain novels on which they are supposedly based. In that regard, I have to state that in my opinion, the UNauthorized DE WARLORD OF MARS comics are actually superior to the later authorized JOHN CARTER comics. On the other hand, by and large Dark Horse's TARZAN comics (the few that exist) seem better written and drawn than DE's LORD OF THE JUNGLE, so having the authorization and use of ERB Inc's trademarks doesn't seem to prove anything one way or another except by way of goodwill. And by "by and large", I mean that there are exceptions to be made in every individual case, dependent on the writer and artist involved -- Mark Rahner's (unauthorized) Dejah Thoris stories for DE are rock-bottom awful, little more than violence porn; and Dark Horse's (authorized) Tarzan/John Carter crossover miniseries WARLORDS OF MARS pales in comparison to DE's (unauthorized) LORDS OF MARS.
      Last edited by positronic; 01-26-2017, 05:44 AM.
      DE pull list: Will Eisner's The Spirit: The Corpse Makers, ERB's The Greatest Adventure, Green Hornet '66 Meets The Spirit, PSP: Herokillers, KISS/Vampirella, Mighty Mouse

      Comment


      • #4
        G'day,

        I think you are mistaken. Only works published prior to 1923 are public Domain. Everything else is protected for 70 years after Burroughs death. So the first two Pellucidar books would be PD but not the Venus or Moon books. It also means all his works will be PD in the USA in 2020. However they would be protected by trademark which is why DE's Tarzan books are called Lord of the Jungle not Tarzan.

        ta

        Ralph








        Originally posted by positronic View Post
        Since Jason Gridley is appearing in DE's THE GREATEST ADVENTURE by Bill Willingham, it seems likely Pellucidar (and probably David Innes) will appear as well. I wouldn't be surprised to see Carson Napier of Amtor (Venus), or Julian (one of them, anyway), Nah-ee-lah ("the Moon Maid") or Kalkars ("the Moon Men") in the story either. Don't forget that no "intercompany crossover" is necessary, as at least the early novels in which these characters appeared are in the public domain (in the US, anyway). Just as when DE did the LORDS OF MARS miniseries, they didn't have to co-publish with Dark Horse in order to include Tarzan as a character. I would assume that Edgar Rice Burroughs' name not appearing prominently on the cover means that THE GREATEST ADVENTURE is not licensed or authorized by ERB Inc.

        Using the name TARZAN as part of the cover logo on DE's comics is the only real legal restriction that DE has, because although the character's early novels' copyrights have all expired, ERB Inc. still maintains a legal trademark on the name. Some of the 1940s and later-published works of ERB are still copyrighted, so no characters or story elements from those novels can be freely used except under authorization from ERB Inc. The trademarked name TARZAN is used under license from ERB Inc. by Dark Horse Comics, as is JOHN CARTER WARLORD OF MARS by DE. Not sure what other names of novels may have been trademarked by ERB Inc. The problem with trademarks is that they don't remain legal trademarks unless it can be proven that the trademark is actually being utilized to sell a product. If a certain window of time elapses in which the trademark is not actively used, it expires. Active use of a trademark has absolutely no bearing on copyrights, however. Trademark law applies only to specific unique words or combinations of words, logos, symbols or icons used to identify a commercial product.

        Copyright law, on the other hand, has no bearing on commercial use whatsoever. It exists solely to protect the author of a copyrighted work against having his work used without permission, exclusive of whether or not the copyrighted work is used in commercial ventures. I could, if I so chose, write a story tomorrow, put it in an envelope, and mail it to the US Copyright Office to secure a copyright on it, regardless of whether or not I had any intention of publishing the story anywhere or not. If it were later proven in a court of law that my story had somehow been used without my permission, I would be entitled to sue the offending party for damages. Under normal circumstances, it isn't necessary to submit a work to the Copyright Office for a work to be protected by copyright law, as such protection is presumed to be in effect from the moment at which any author's work becomes known to exist (such as upon initial publication; the only question here would be who is the "author" of record entitled to such protection, in such cases as "work for hire" situations).

        Trivia: It may not have escaped notice of the readers of DE's unlicensed LORD OF THE JUNGLE comics that Tarzan never uses the Mangani language (kreegah, bundolo, bolgani, etc.) in DE's stories, even though those words appear in the originally copyrighted (but now public domain, due to copyright expiration) works by ERB on which the stories are based. Instead, DE's Lord of the Jungle speaks in gutteral grunts and growls, when not speaking to other human characters in their own language. This is because there exists such a thing known as The Ape-English Dictionary, which was published as an appendix to authorized reprints of ERB's (then still-copyrighted) stories sometime in the 1950s or early 1960s. As a result, The Ape-English Dictionary became protected by copyright law upon its initial publication, and that copyright is still in effect.

        To me personally, I put very little stock in which company (or companies) are publishing ERB's characters, and what authorized logos are used on the covers. I'm far more concerned with whether the stories and artwork are GOOD, and if they are faithful to the characters in the public-domain novels on which they are supposedly based. In that regard, I have to state that in my opinion, the UNauthorized DE WARLORD OF MARS comics are actually superior to the later authorized JOHN CARTER comics. On the other hand, by and large Dark Horse's TARZAN comics (the few that exist) seem better written and drawn than DE's LORD OF THE JUNGLE, so having the authorization and use of ERB Inc's trademarks doesn't seem to prove anything one way or another except by way of goodwill. And by "by and large", I mean that there are exceptions to be made in every individual case, dependent on the writer and artist involved -- Mark Rahner's (unauthorized) Dejah Thoris stories for DE are rock-bottom awful, little more than violence porn; and Dark Horse's (authorized) Tarzan/John Carter crossover miniseries WARLORDS OF MARS pales in comparison to DE's (unauthorized) LORDS OF MARS.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by ralphuniverse View Post
          G'day,
          I think you are mistaken. Only works published prior to 1923 are public Domain. Everything else is protected for 70 years after Burroughs death. So the first two Pellucidar books would be PD but not the Venus or Moon books. It also means all his works will be PD in the USA in 2020. However they would be protected by trademark which is why DE's Tarzan books are called Lord of the Jungle not Tarzan.
          Okay, clearly I have completely wasted my time explaining how trademark law differs from copyright law. Unfortunately copyright law is not international in terms of expiration dates, but the US law applies to works published in the US.
          DE pull list: Will Eisner's The Spirit: The Corpse Makers, ERB's The Greatest Adventure, Green Hornet '66 Meets The Spirit, PSP: Herokillers, KISS/Vampirella, Mighty Mouse

          Comment


          • #6
            Ohh.. I accept his characters are protected by trademark restrictions, what I disagree with is that under US laws all his books are PD. They are not.

            ta

            Ralph

            Originally posted by positronic View Post
            Okay, clearly I have completely wasted my time explaining how trademark law differs from copyright law. Unfortunately copyright law is not international in terms of expiration dates, but the US law applies to works published in the US.

            Comment


            • #7
              More to the above under US laws the first bunch of Tarzan, JC and the first two Pellucidar books (books published prior to 1923) are now PD . The Venus and Moon books are not. So anyone wanting to add those characters in some story will require access to the rights holders.

              Originally posted by ralphuniverse View Post
              Ohh.. I accept his characters are protected by trademark restrictions, what I disagree with is that under US laws all his books are PD. They are not.

              ta

              Ralph

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by ralphuniverse View Post
                Ohh.. I accept his characters are protected by trademark restrictions, what I disagree with is that under US laws all his books are PD. They are not.
                I never said all ERB's works were public domain. Maybe you thought that was what I was implying, but I specifically mentioned that some were not (such as The Ape-English Dictionary). I believe you are correct about the Carson Napier stories. The earliest of those is still under copyright.

                I still don't think you're understanding what trademark law is all about. Trademark law has nothing to do with protecting intellectual property rights. It exists to protect trade, where trade exists. It protects brands from unfair competition by competitors that try to market a product which might be confused with the trademarked brand. So it doesn't apply to characters or the plot or story content of novels or movies -- it applies to unique words, names, logos, or symbols that are used to sell a product (those are the "marks of trade"). Those are all forms of labeling or packaging that identify one brand of products. So first, a brand of products needs to exist, and be sold in the marketplace. Then if a competitor infringes on a trademarked brand by marketing a similar-looking brand that might fool consumers into buying a product that the consumer believes is produced by the owner of the trademark, trademark law comes into effect to protect the trademark holder from lost sales or unfair competition. Public domain characters cannot be protected by trademark law, only existing brands. The brand is the "mark of trade" used to sell the product, not the product itself.

                Don't confuse the brand with the product, or the actual contents or composition of ingredients of the product. I can sell corn flakes, as long as I do not label them as KELLOGG'S™ Corn Flakes. I can sell cola, as long as I don't market it under the name COCA-Cola™. I can sell a generically-named pharmaceutical product that is chemically identical to Adderall™, as long as I don't call it "Adderall" or something similar enough to be confused with Adderall. ERB's public-domain characters can be sold in the marketplace by DE and marketed under the name LORD OF THE JUNGLE, even though there already existed a competing trademarked brand called TARZAN™. It's all in the labeling, packaging, branding, or naming used to sell, and has nothing whatsoever to do with the content of the product.

                ERB Inc.'s trademarked brand of TARZAN™ would protect them against an unauthorized comic book publisher marketing any comic book series using the name TARZAN™. That is true whether the content of the comic book was an adaptation of the public domain novel The Beasts of Tarzan, or whether it contained an original story about Tarzan Jones, a disaffected polymorphous garbageman living in the 37th Century dystopian city of Tralfaz on the planet Vreeblefraken. It would NOT prevent a manufacturer of automotive products from selling a product identified as "Tarzan Mystery Oil" (presuming they didn't use ERB's logo or a picture identifying it with an ape-man, or anything else indicative of a connection), because that is not a trade in which ERB, Inc. is marketing any products.

                Dynamite can publish a pastiche of ERB's public domain characters sold in the comic book market under the title THE GREATEST ADVENTURE, because it doesn't violate any trademarks owned by ERB, Inc. This is true regardless of whatever public domain characters appear in that comic book that may (as individual brands) be trademarked by ERB Inc., because trademark law doesn't govern the content, only the brand used to sell the content. American Mythology Productions being an authorized licensee of ERB Inc's. brand PELLUCIDAR™ does not prevent Pellucidar appearing in a comic book marketed under the brand THE GREATEST ADVENTURE, any more than Dark Horse being an authorized licensee of ERB Inc.'s brand TARZAN™ prevents the public domain character Tarzan from appearing in a comic book marketed under the brand LORD OF THE JUNGLE. Trademark law says nothing about regulating the content of the product, the only thing that it addresses as having any value is the brand. Content may appear similar as long as the brands are different enough to avoid any confusion among consumers.
                Last edited by positronic; 01-30-2017, 12:32 AM.
                DE pull list: Will Eisner's The Spirit: The Corpse Makers, ERB's The Greatest Adventure, Green Hornet '66 Meets The Spirit, PSP: Herokillers, KISS/Vampirella, Mighty Mouse

                Comment


                • #9
                  As it turns out, all characters appearing in THE GREATEST ADVENTURE (which is pretty much all of them) are used by permission of ERB Inc. (according the the fine print) in the latest promotional ads, that have Bill Willingham coming across with a few more details about the series. He likens the cast to Jason and the Argonauts, with Tarzan gathering the various ERB heroes together for an epic quest.

                  What's odd is that all of the early pre-promotion for the series fails to mention any authorization from ERB Inc., nor does the name Edgar Rice Burroughs appear anywhere on the cover. Even this latest interview with Willingham, though he gives more details about the characters and locales, mentions absolutely nothing in the text about ERB Inc.'s involvement. I had to discover that by looking at the teeny-tiney print at the bottom of the page. Seems a little odd, since you'd think they'd want to push "Fully Authorized" as a selling point, or at least the prominent use of ERB's name.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Does used with permission really mean Fully Authorized? Seems to me they may have simply come to an arrangement with ERB Inc that they won't be sued as long as they avoid any trade mark restrictions.

                    ta

                    Ralph


                    Originally posted by pulphero View Post
                    As it turns out, all characters appearing in THE GREATEST ADVENTURE (which is pretty much all of them) are used by permission of ERB Inc. (according the the fine print) in the latest promotional ads, that have Bill Willingham coming across with a few more details about the series. He likens the cast to Jason and the Argonauts, with Tarzan gathering the various ERB heroes together for an epic quest.

                    What's odd is that all of the early pre-promotion for the series fails to mention any authorization from ERB Inc., nor does the name Edgar Rice Burroughs appear anywhere on the cover. Even this latest interview with Willingham, though he gives more details about the characters and locales, mentions absolutely nothing in the text about ERB Inc.'s involvement. I had to discover that by looking at the teeny-tiney print at the bottom of the page. Seems a little odd, since you'd think they'd want to push "Fully Authorized" as a selling point, or at least the prominent use of ERB's name.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ralphuniverse View Post
                      Does used with permission really mean Fully Authorized? Seems to me they may have simply come to an arrangement with ERB Inc that they won't be sued as long as they avoid any trade mark restrictions.
                      Seems like semantics to me. What would you describe as 'Fully Authorized', as opposed to 'used with permission'? Sounds like six of one, half a dozen of the other to me. Words like "Fully Authorized" or "Authorized Edition" have no legal meaning, but may serve some function from a promotional marketing aspect.

                      Does DE acknowledge ERB's trademarks? They do, although they don't spell them out as a list. It simply says "All characters trademarked by ERB Inc. and used with permission", although that seems like an oversimplification, since the trademarks reside in the names, followed by "TM". (If that weren't true, then how do we explain LORD OF THE JUNGLE being a legal use of Tarzan? He's still called Tarzan in the story, yet that's not violating any trademark ERB Inc. owns.) Can they really all be trademarked by ERB Inc.? Even the very minor ones? And what about sorting out which characters are still copyrighted by ERB Inc, and which are not? I think a legal notice is required here, if the characters were copyrighted prior to the current work. Usually the original copyright is noted, followed by the most recent renewal of copyright (which in most cases is the date of the creation of the current work).

                      I don't have it right here in front of me, but there's also something about THE GREATEST ADVENTURE being copyrighted by Dynamite Characters LLC. Presumably DCLLC copyrighting the work as their own means that ERB won't own it, if and when DE and ERB come to a parting of the ways, but then DE couldn't reprint it either, since they're acknowledging ERB's trademarks. I assume that's because the idea content here for this crossover is totally DE-generated, so why should they just hand it over to ERB Inc. on a silver platter, in the statistically improbable likelihood of some interest in a media adaptation or something? I guess we'll have to read all the fine print on the inside cover when THE GREATEST ADVENTURE comes out, but I'm thinking shouldn't it actually be legally required to list the copyrights on characters that ARE still under copyright (based on the novels where they first appeared) by ERB Inc.? My understanding is that failing to list the copyrights is tantamount to losing them.
                      Last edited by pulphero; 02-01-2017, 10:28 AM.

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