February 9, 2012

GHOST RIDER Creator Ordered To Pay Marvel $17,000

You might remember us reporting about the lawsuit between writer Gary Friedrich and Marvel Comics regarding the copyrights on the Ghost Rider character. He was suing in an effort to get a share of revenues from the movies and merchandise. Marvel counter-sued seeking monies owed from him selling Ghost Rider prints at conventions. Marvel won the suit.

It has come out today that, as a part of a settlement for the countersuit, Friedrich owes the publisher $17,000 PLUS he can't promote himself as the Ghost Rider creator for financial gain. He can sign GR merchandise, but it must be official Marvel books, toys, posters, etc. Most websites report that he is broke and can't pay the fine. He has 90 days from the agreement (February 6) to pay. It's explained in great detail here at 20th Century Danny Boy's website.

Nice PR for a company that has a movie coming out in a week starring the character in question! Quite honestly, why didn't Marvel drop the countersuit after they won? Are they trying to send a message to others? And what of the artists who do commission work either at cons or between jobs? If they do a Spider-Man drawing and sell it are they at risk of being sued?

UPDATE: Steve Niles has set up a Gary Friedrich donation page on his website. If you would like to contribute, please go to http://www.steveniles.com/gary.html.