It comes up on other threads every now and then, but I'd like to know just who are the current owners of various things that have come from the House of Tharg in the past 39 years. I know nothing, what follows is purely guess work.
From what I can tell, just about everything that's been published in 2000AD is now copyright Rebellion, except for the following...
- Dan Dare - not having the recent DD collection I didn't get to read the copyright notice in the front, but I'm guessing Dan Dare (plus the Mekon) is going to be copyright of the Dan Dare Corporation, while the stories which ran in the first hundred and a bit progs are copyright of Rebellion (along with the new characters created for the Galaxy's Greatest)?
- The Stainless Steel Rat - I'd guess this is similar to DD, in that the characters and stories are copyright of the Estate of Harry Harrison, while the adaptation is copyright of Rebellion.
- Shaun of the Dead and that adaptation of the film with Ewan McGregor - anybody's guess!
- I'd heard about the potential controversy regarding Summer Magic, and possibly other work by Alan McKenzie, but don't know the reasoning behind it.
Outside of the pages of 2000AD itself I gather that only stories from Tornado, Starlord and Crisis which continued into 2000AD's hallowed pages had their IP transferred, while all other work remained with Egmont. Where does this leave Future Shock style stories which were reprinted in 2000AD annuals? The only story which 'transferred' to 2000ad was really the character Finn, and I suspect if Rebellion owned Third World War then it would have been reprinted by now. The only Revolver stories I can remember transferring were completed in Crisis (Dare and Rogan Gosh?) so would still be with Egmont (or their respective creators?)
Something else I wonder is what happens with the co-produced and licenced work:
- DC Dredds: Judgement on Gotham, Legends of the Law, DC Judge Dredd, Lobo
- IDW: the Dredd volumes, Rogue Trooper, Anderson, Mars Attacks Judge Dredd, et al
- Games Workshop: Judge Dredd the boardgame, the RPG, the Rogue Trooper boardgame and Block/Mega Mania. Who do the characters and locations produced for the RPG scenarios belong to? Who owns the copyright of Sly Stallone and Sam Fox Blocks?
- Dredd the Card Game: the company that produced this went bust (apparently owing payment to the artists who provided card art?) so who does it all belong to now?
- Judge Dredd (the 1995 film) - who owns that exactly, and particulary the DC adaptation?
- Dredd (the 2012 film) - this should be easier to work out, as the Megazine runs stories based on this every year and a bit!
- Mongoose - D20-based Dredd and Slaine and Traveller-based Dredd and Strontium Dog RPGs. This would have been simpler when they all had the same parent company, but I think I read that Mongoose was bought out by it's directors and went independent from Rebellion again?
- Tin Man Games - produce computer-gamebooks
- just for an attempt at completeness - how about that Mirror quiz book with a Dave Gibbons Mekon on the cover?
As should be obvious by now, I am not a copyright lawyer :-)