Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Infantino v. DC: While we're on the subject of lawsuits, Newsarama also checks in on Carmine Infantino's $4 million claim against DC Comics, in which the creator contends the publisher infringed upon his copyrights by using characters he created between 1943 and 1967 (including the Silver Age Flash and Batgirl):

"As Newsarama reported, legal experts in the comic field are somewhat puzzled by certain aspects of Infantino’s complaint, specifically, the claim made by Infantino in the complaint that DC infringed upon his copyrights in using the characters he created between 1943 and 1967. The statute of limitations for copyright infringement is three years. The statute would apply to claims made, in the generic sense of, 'I created X and Company A used it without my approval.' It’s a different matter if there was no knowledge of the use, or the use was kept hidden.

"Additionally, no action for infringement of copyright can be made until registration of the copyright claim has been made with the Copyright Office. In other words, if an individual or company wants to sue for copyright infringement, that individual or company must have filed a registration upon which to sue - there must be official, competing claims.

"Unless it was neglected in the complaint, Infantino has not filed any registrations for the characters named in the complaint. Given these two facts, it was suggested to Newsarama that a Motion to Dismiss could be filed – and successfully entertained by the court."