Friedrich Appeals Ghost Rider Decision
Alleging Questions of Fact
Published: 08/01/2012 01:43am
Writer Gary Friedrich has appealed the decision in Federal District Court in which the court ruled that Marvel owned Ghost Rider and did not have to pay Friedrich a share of revenues from movies and merchandise based on his creation (see "Marvel Owns Ghost Rider"). That ruling led to the infamous decision on Marvel’s counterclaim, in which the court ruled that Friedrich owed Marvel $17,000 for money he’d earned selling Ghost Rider prints and merchandise at conventions (see "'Ghost Rider' Creator Owes Marvel $17 Grand").
In the appeal, Friedrich argues that he did not transfer his rights to the renewal copyright, or that at a minimum there are questions of fact on the issue that were never tried (the ruling was a summary judgment); that his state law claims under Illinois consumer statues and for tortious interference with his right to publicity were improperly dismissed; and that Marvel’s counterclaim should not have been upheld because of the issues above and because it was beyond the statute of limitations.
It seems that Friedrich plans to contest this case until there are no more options. While Marvel has a large interest in protecting its ownership of Ghost Rider, which has spawned multiple movies and associated merchandise, the company’s tenacity in pursuing Friedrich for moneys from the penniless creator’s creation of limited run collectibles to sell at conventions is part of a larger issue which has little, if any, immediate financial impact on the company but may have significant impact on creators that have worked on its properties (see "2000s Trend Fuels Friedrich Controversy").
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