Gary Friedrich is the creator of the modern-era Ghost Rider. You’d think with such a creation that he would get a fair cut from the Ghost Rider movies. You know, because the first movie was so good and made so much money. Well, Marvel didn’t think so. Naturally, Friedrich took them to court back in 2007. Five years later it looks like the case has been resolved…and it’s not good for old Gary.
Friedrich claimed that he held the rights to the Ghost Rider character (which replaced Marvel’s original character of the same name, the “cowboy-style character” from Marvel’s comics in the ’50s and ’60s). He also said he owned the rights to any Ghost Rider merchandise, but according to The Wrap, a U.S. District Court judge in New York ruled that Friedrich has no rights to his character. But how could this be?
In short, while he did create the modern incarnation we know today, he did so knowing full well that Marvel comics would hold all the cards to it’s ownership. Judge Katherine B. Forrest said that Friedrich was working for Marvel in a “work-for-hire” capacity, and that Friedrich “conveyed by contract to Marvel all rights” to the Ghost Rider character, both when he originally created him and when he signed a new contract with Marvel in 1978. Forrest continues:
“Friedrich concedes that he had read the 1978 Agreement when he signed it, that he discussed it with other freelancers — in particular, the topic of relinquishing rights which they may have had in exchange for the possibility of additional work — and that he understood its import.”
I’m sorry but that is any business. Whenever you create a character or product for a company unless otherwise stated then that company owns the product and character.
Friedrich will file an appeal to the decision.
Via: Cinema Blend