THIS PROPERTY IS CONDEMNED
The debate about intellectual property rights in comics is never going to go away. Currently, creators are just work for hire and receive pitifully low or zero royalties. This dated system caused mainstream British comics to almost disappear, while French comics – with a proper rights deal – are Number Two in the world.
It’s been highlighted recently with my SPACE WARP where artists will own full property rights to their work and the response has already been tremendous. And that’s even ahead of the first story SF1 going up – where artists can draw sample pages for consideration. With six more Space Warp stories to follow very shortly!
Joy Glass (the scariest editor in publishing) in my novel series, Read Em and Weep Book Two Goodnight, John-boy, makes a passionate case why Dan Darwin should not be included in Space Warp: its creator is not financially rewarded for his genius. Here’s the scene:
Joy returned to the subject of Dan Darwin. ‘There’s also the original creator to consider. How he’d feel about Dan coming back with a new look and a new creative team.’
Leni looked puzzled. ‘What’s it got to do with him? He doesn’t have any say in it. Fleetpit owns Dan Darwin now.’
‘But you’re going to pay the artist for using his creation, I hope?’ asked an apprehensive Joy.
Leni laughed. ‘Why?’
‘Because it’s the right thing to do,’ said Joy, knocking back her drink.
‘We’re going to pay him zilch, honey,’ said Leni, ‘because that’s our legal right.’
‘You may have a legal right, but do you have a moral right?’
‘What’s morality got to do with it?’ snapped an irritated Leni. The Queen of New Agers didn’t like being challenged. The women’s raised voices caused a curious Greg and Dave to look over.
‘It’s theft,’ Joy glowered.
‘It’s publishing,’ sneered Leni.
‘Doesn’t matter if it’s legal theft, it’s still theft,’ seethed Joy.
‘He should have thought of that before he signed away all his rights,’ said Leni.
‘He’s an artist, not a fucking Suit,’ said Joy.
‘Tough shit,’ Leni snarled ‘I own the character. I can do what I like with him. He’s my property! So keep your hands off him!’
‘Girls, girls,’ said a smiling Greg, sauntering over and happy to be the peacemaker. He opened his arms expansively. ‘There’s need to fight. There’s enough of me to go around.’
‘Fuck off, Greg!’ said Leni and Joy together.