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Topic: OT: Is Dark Horse Ripping Off "Living With Zombies"? (Topic Closed Topic Closed) Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Gerry Turnbull
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Posted: 06 November 2007 at 5:29pm | IP Logged | 1  

both series sound like extensions of Dark Horse Zombie World comics
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Anthony J Lombardi
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Posted: 06 November 2007 at 5:51pm | IP Logged | 2  

Dark Horse does like duing comics based on movie properties. If it's true that Mike Richardson did get inspired after seeing Dawn of the Dead. Then he owes George Romero some money.  Is it too much of a stretch to think that the creators of Living with Zombies are fans of Romero's as well. Which would seem likely since "flesh" eating Zombies as they are portrayed now are products of Romero's Night of the Living Dead. 
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Todd Hembrough
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Posted: 06 November 2007 at 6:14pm | IP Logged | 3  

There are so many zombie properties out there now, and all derivative to some degree or another on the many predecessors that it may be very difficult to prove harm.

Besides that, there may not be all that much financial incentive to go after them. You cannot force Dark Horse to publish their book, even if they do prove that the Dark Horse book was 'stolen'.  And since this is comics and not movies, the damages may be modest, and completely consumed by attorneys fees.

Now, if they have a minor, peripheral character who is a comic shop owner...but it sounds like it is just the two characters.

Again, as others have said, it never hurts to speak to an attorney, but that cost $$$, and until the book is actually published, you cannot know if it is actionable. So, like Gerry or Dave said, try to find an Atty that will work on commission, but be prepared to be disappointed.

T
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Al Cook
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Posted: 06 November 2007 at 6:46pm | IP Logged | 4  

With my experience in the area, Mike Richardson's letter will actually add to
any potential case at this point. (Would have been better for him to turn a
blind eye to any talk of similarities at this point. You don't issue a letter like
that until there really is a legal action underway!)

The fact that Mike Richardson discussed with them previously about
publishing their Zombies material legally removes the notion of
'coincidence'. (Which, yeah, it may well be, but that's not how the law will
look at it at this point!)

If they can find an intellectual property lawyer who'll waive any consult costs
(which they should be able to) it's definitely well worth looking into.

Edited by Al Cook on 06 November 2007 at 6:53pm
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Keith Elder
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Posted: 06 November 2007 at 7:02pm | IP Logged | 5  


 QUOTE:
With my experience in the area, Mike Richardson's letter will actually add to
any potential case at this point. (Would have been better for him to turn a
blind eye to any talk of similarities at this point. You don't issue a letter like
that until there really is a legal action underway!)


Which is a good example of how litigious our society is.  It seems like Richardson wrote a letter (which he didn't need to) in an attempt to politely explain what happened.  Sad that the 'smart' move would have been silence or a 'no comment'.

It seems to me that zombie comics are just riding a cultural zeitgeist over the last few years.  You can find "Zombie X", where X is any genre.



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Al Cook
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Posted: 06 November 2007 at 7:11pm | IP Logged | 6  

"Which is a good example of how litigious our society is."

Oh yeah! I'm not sayin' it's right. I'm just sayin'!
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Dave Pruitt
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Posted: 06 November 2007 at 7:21pm | IP Logged | 7  

Richardson didn't say he discussed this with them previously, he said one of his editors mentioned a webcomic to him once, in the past, as something he might want to publish that was a similar idea, so when he heard it might be similar to his idea, he passed on it and purposefully refused to look at it. So, it doesn't remove the notion of coincidence. This is why writers don't like looking at stuff people send them on spec, so they can't get attacked later with cries of, "Ooooh, he stole my idea!"
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Victor Rodgers
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Posted: 06 November 2007 at 7:30pm | IP Logged | 8  

You know he could be lying.
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Anthony J Lombardi
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Posted: 06 November 2007 at 8:09pm | IP Logged | 9  

If he was lying .Why mention the web comic at all ?
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Al Cook
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Posted: 06 November 2007 at 8:34pm | IP Logged | 10  

[Re: Richardson's statement that he refused to look at the webcomic because it was similar to his own idea]

"So, it doesn't remove the notion of coincidence. This is why writers don't
like looking at stuff people send them on spec, so they can't get attacked
later with cries of, "Ooooh, he stole my idea!'"

The fact that the creators Matt originally posted about had had
discussions (of any sort) with Dark Horse about their series will remove
(by its legal definition) the notion of 'coincidence'.

And yes, you're exactly right - that whole legal loophole is why spec is
such a minefield.

The fact that Mike is so specific about having heard about the webcomic
and purposefully refusing to look at it is really not the kind of thing he
should be saying at all at this point -- If he's telling the truth, his best
legal action is to say nothing at all, not to be out refuting hearsay.

If Matt's friends are telling the truth about their conversations with Dark
Horse (note I don't say Mike Richardson), then they really should speak
with a lawyer.
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Victor Rodgers
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Posted: 06 November 2007 at 9:19pm | IP Logged | 11  

If he was lying .Why mention the web comic at all ?

******

Because he knew the editor had discussions with the webcomic guys before?

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Kevin Hagerman
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Posted: 06 November 2007 at 9:54pm | IP Logged | 12  

I'm still dumbfounded The Incredibles stayed out of court over Violet.
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