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Thread: Hollywood Reporter: Mattel Fights "He-Man" Comic Book Author Over Franchise Rights

  1. #26
    Heroic Warrior Stygian360's Avatar
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    Based on the interview with Donald this didn't exactly seem like a passion project for him, nor did he give much thought beyond perfunctory names and explanations to help "sell toys", as he mentions more than once. And speaking of quoted lines from the article, he even mentions that he knew the work was "work-for-hire" (under Western on contract with Mattel) and didn't invest himself (concepts, names, back story, etc.) beyond what was needed to give the MOTU world a basic skeleton. In other words, I see nothing here at least at a first glance that would seem worthy of giving him the title of creator, beyond a few names given to existing product. I won't say open and shut case, but I don't see that Donald is owed more than he got when he originally did the work FOR HIRE back in the beginnings of the line.
    Last edited by Stygian360; June 25, 2013 at 07:33pm.
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  2. #27
    Council Elder Tallstar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lich Leech View Post
    IIRC he came up with the name for Castle Grayskull.
    There are two people who claim credit for naming Castle Grayskull. One of them is Donald, the other a woman who was Creative Director at an advertising/marketing agency that Mattel was using in the 80s.
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  3. #28
    Claw Full Of It Clawful Ofit's Avatar
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    @ Madison Carter- I didn't know about those other suits. What are all these people waiting for, their kids to graduate law school so they can be represented for free, or what?

    Teela the elephant, eh? Well the next figure better come with some junk in her trunk if thats the case.
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  4. #29
    Heroic Warrior Krueger's Avatar
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    The man wants money.

  5. #30
    Vintage Vintage Vintage Vlcan's Avatar
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    Thx heavy eternium. I also remember going to Power Con & went to the Mini comics panel. I remember him speaking about 1 of his comics....Battle in the Clouds. He seemed very uninterested & didn't realize people actually read these comics. Like he did them just for a paycheck or to keep busy. It didn't feel very genuine at all when talking about MOTU.

  6. #31
    Heroic Warrior Salamandra's Avatar
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    I'm with Scriptor on this. Writing is my bread and butter, too, and this sounds like a work-for-hire contract at a flat rate, with no royalties promised. Much like many of the tie-in novels for movies and video games that are sold now. The author gets a payment for the work, and that's it.

    I would be curious to see what the actual contract says, if it is indeed a work-for-hire situation. If so, I don't see what recourse there really is. Presumably, his agent did due diligence in review at some point in the past.

  7. #32
    Historian of Eternia LORD FALLEN ELDOR's Avatar
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    who doesn't want money? A lot of people created MOTU, everyone involved deserves credit for their contributions. Copywrite and tradenaek laws need massive overhauling to protect creators from the transnational corporations.
    http://kotaku.com/why-fanboys-act-like-jerks-1563379006

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  8. #33
    CRITAcal for MOTUC 2015!! Barezz's Avatar
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    Can this guy get invited to Power Con?

    Seriously though, I hope that this gets bounced out of court. The guy doesn't give a crap about any of these characters or the property and is just looking for money that I don't think he is entitled to.

    It is hard to believe that Mattel are the good guys here.
    It is spelled "Crita", not "Critta". Misspell her name and Crita will knock the "T" out of you!

    Also...get her into the line!

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  9. #34
    Vintage Vintage Vintage Vlcan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barezz View Post
    Can this guy get invited to Power Con?

    Seriously though, I hope that this gets bounced out of court. The guy doesn't give a crap about any of these characters or the property and is just looking for money that I don't think he is entitled to.

    It is hard to believe that Mattel are the good guys here.
    He's already been to Power Con. Will he be invited this year? That's up to Mr. Staples & co.

  10. #35
    CRITAcal for MOTUC 2015!! Barezz's Avatar
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    Gosh even with a emoticon the sarcasm detectors failed.
    It is spelled "Crita", not "Critta". Misspell her name and Crita will knock the "T" out of you!

    Also...get her into the line!

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  11. #36
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    Speaking from personal experience, don't be too quick to just dismiss people like this. I did that, hell most of is did that, with Ken Penders.

    For those of you who don't know (and probably don't care) Ken Penders was a lead writer on the Sonic the Hedgehog comics Archie put out for a couple of years and the only writer of the same company's Knuckles the Echidna comics. A few years (3 I think) after he was off the Sonic book and replaced by a much better writer who was getting much more critical and fan praise and doing things that Penders didn't approve of nor had in mind (conspiracy theories, fan theories etc) he started copyrighting all his characters including stuff like Sonic and Knuckles' dads, he was on a work-for-hire contract (allegedly) but claims (because he has the mind of a 12 year old deviantart member) that he didn't sign one - highly unlikely but Archie can't find the original, so who's to say he did? It's ended up in court and the whole thing's been dragging on for about three years - more importantly it's recently lead to the removal of the all of the Penders characters, locations and explicit references to his stories from the book. I'm not asking you to care about that I'm just saying that these things can turn out pretty nasty and I'm VERY (all caps very no less) disheartened to see it's now affecting another franchise I care about.

    I don't know who this Glut guy is, it seems like he wrote some of the mini-comics, so even if he did make some headway all he could do could just be preventing minor characters from being used or the books from being reprinted but I dunno what he wrote, what did he write?

  12. #37
    Heroic Warrior Buzzchuck's Avatar
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    If the families of the guys that created Superman keep suing DC than this guy might as well sue Mattel. What sucks is that contracts back in the day took advantage. Marvel and DC over time have become more generous with their creators and are throwing them a bone once in a while for the characters created decades ago. Record companies used to own the songs after a band wrote them. It just sucks the way business used to be done. I have a feeling at some point Mattel with pass Don a couple bucks and everyone will move on with life.
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  13. #38
    Heroic Warrior Captain Atkin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzzchuck View Post
    If the families of the guys that created Superman keep suing DC than this guy might as well sue Mattel. What sucks is that contracts back in the day took advantage. Marvel and DC over time have become more generous with their creators and are throwing them a bone once in a while for the characters created decades ago. Record companies used to own the songs after a band wrote them. It just sucks the way business used to be done. I have a feeling at some point Mattel with pass Don a couple bucks and everyone will move on with life.
    This isn't the same thing as the Superman case, which is what Don Glut apparently would like everyone to believe. Siegel and Shuster created Superman, and then spent six years looking for a publisher. That isn't the case with MOTU. Don was hired by Mattel as a "work-for-hire" on a property they were developing. He even admits to this in his interview from 2001. He didn't create the characters, even though he claims he named a few of them (and he has trouble remembering which ones he named, according to the interview). The prototypes were all created by Mattel, and were shown to him to work from for the comics.
    Last edited by Captain Atkin; June 26, 2013 at 12:12am.

  14. #39
    Heroic Warrior darkmoon766's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwitefry View Post
    Speaking from personal experience, don't be too quick to just dismiss people like this. I did that, hell most of is did that, with Ken Penders.

    For those of you who don't know (and probably don't care) Ken Penders was a lead writer on the Sonic the Hedgehog comics Archie put out for a couple of years and the only writer of the same company's Knuckles the Echidna comics.he started copyrighting all his characters including stuff like Sonic and Knuckles' dads, he was on a work-for-hire contract.... (allegedly) but claims that he didn't sign one.... more importantly it's recently lead to the removal of the all of the Penders characters, locations and explicit references to his stories from the book. I'm not asking you to care about that I'm just saying that these things can turn out pretty nasty and I'm VERY (all caps very no less) disheartened to see it's now affecting another franchise I care about.

    I don't know who this Glut guy is, it seems like he wrote some of the mini-comics, so even if he did make some headway all he could do could just be preventing minor characters from being used or the books from being reprinted but I dunno what he wrote, what did he write?
    Well, since he wrote the first published fiction of the brand (He-Man and the Powersword) Came up with the name and concept of Eternia (an eternal realm of magic and science) and claims to have had the idea to create a female character and NAMED her Teela, There could be some problems!

  15. #40
    Heroic Warrior maa5's Avatar
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    This just means that Toy Guru is giving us another lost "Concept" figure...

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    Last edited by maa5; June 26, 2013 at 11:09am.

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by maa5 View Post
    This just means that Toy Guru's giving us another lost "Concept" figure...

    LAW-ORR

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    Ouch! Harsh - but curiously fair....

  17. #42
    Color'licious! JVS3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maa5 View Post
    This just means that Toy Guru's giving us another lost "Concept" figure...

    LAW-ORR

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    The first thing that came to mind was "Why doe he have powder blue gloves?"

  18. #43
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    Because a lawyer with clean hands would be such a novelty that it would indeed be good reason for a Celebration Edition...?

  19. #44
    grumpy old dragon scott metzger's Avatar
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    He basically torpedoed himself in the interview quoted in the Hollywood News article, where he basically bemoans taking work for hire fees and not getting a percentage or ownership from the property. Sounds like his own recorded words pretty much sink him. Of course, we don't know how Mattel's legal house looks on the inside, so predicting an outcome here is tough. If Mattel has a work for hire contract on file, that's pretty much it for Glut. But we've seen over the years what a mess the He-Man rights are, between the line, the cartoon, the movie and anything else Eternia related, so sorting things out may not be quite so simple. Maybe Glut knows this, and that's why he's making a move. As for the timing, he likely also knows that Mattel is trying to get a movie made, and likely wants to get in on that before any final deal is made, and he knows his time overall is running out.
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  20. #45
    Evil Collapsing Robot! Zodach's Avatar
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    So someone who has neither the foresight to copyright his own creations nor the resources to make them into a multi-million dollar action figure property is trying to make money off work he was paid to do for Mattel 30+ years ago? This seems baseless and stale as the Mattel legal team already stated.

  21. #46
    Quester JonWes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JVS3 View Post
    The first thing that came to mind was "Why doe he have powder blue gloves?"
    You mean your lawyer DOESN'T?
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  22. #47
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    Iīm sorry but Iīm with Mattel in this case!!!

    For me, itīs not logical someone claims for something only 30 years later, and of course, we all know that man was never "proud" of his work in minicomics. Something is wrong!!!

    Honestly, in my opinion He-manīs minicomics and the comics are all very poor, even with Marvel or DC, He-man became famous because the concepts and histories of Filmation.

    If someone can claim here is Arnold Scharzenneger, because itīs clear He-man looks like him!!!

  23. #48
    Council Elder Tallstar's Avatar
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    I'm really curious to know what the defense will be. It's perplexing that he would make these claims after what he said in the aforementioned interview, attending conventions etc. Did he forget about the interview? Does he actually have documentation proving he licensed this stuff to Mattel? So many questions.
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  24. #49
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    Tallstar, I simply cant wait until you change that avatar. It is creepin me out!
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  25. #50
    N7 Horde Operative hadley's Avatar
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    He's only creeping out of the shadows now because there's a movie in the works. He sees how popular GI Joe and Transformers were and he wants a piece. Sorry Donnie, you took the deal you took.

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