The creator of Fables announced the Wolf Among us universe public property against the backdrop of conflict with DC
American author and artist Bill Willingham quite sharply announced that he was transferring Fables comics to the public treasure, including all spin-offs and characters. This means that now – in any case, before making a decision by third -party legal experts – anyone can create any works on the Fables universe.
"What used to completely belong to Bill Willingham now belongs to everything and always", – The author wrote on his site Substack. "The case is done, and, as most experts will tell you, you will not turn up. The reverse capture is not provided and impossible".
You can find out Fables as a universe in which the Wolf Among us game from Telltale. This is a gloomy noir fairy -tale world in which the heroes of fairy tales for the night, such as Snow White and a wonderful prince live among ordinary people.
Willingham seems to be not too high about the work of Telltale, although this is partly due to the fact that he considers the attitude towards himself from the publisher Fables – DC Comics unfair.
In his detailed report, Willingham talks about various conflicts that arose in 20 years of his cooperation with DC Comics. Some of them concerned "small questions", Such as ignoring his opinions about artists for new stories, untimely message or understatement. But in recent years, according to the author, DC Comics has tried "Tear out my ownership of Fables", Describing how (in his opinion) lawyers leading negotiations tried to subtly transfer Fables to the ownership of DC during a discussion of a contract for the release of new comics dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the setting.
More recently, during the negotiations on which we tried to resolve our disagreements, DC employees admitted that, according to their interpretation of our publishing agreement and the next media rights agreement, they can do with this property everything they want. They could change plots and characters the way they pleased. They did not have any obligations to protect the integrity and value of IP from themselves or from third parties (TELTALE Games, for example) who would like to radically change the characters, the situation, history and prerequisites of the plot (I saw the script that they tried to hide from me for several years). They also should not have any money for licensing rights to Fables to third parties, since such a license was not assumed in our initial publishing agreement.
According to Willowham, DC negotiators finally agreed to pay him the money due to licensing Fables TELLTALEA, but then "abandoned their words", offering to pay the due amount as "Honorara for consultation" and by this "avoiding the precedent of the recognition that the money was due", and also concluding an agreement on non -disclosure, "which will not allow me to talk about TELLTALE or license nothing but good words".
According to Willingham, he cannot afford to sue DC because of their disagreements, and in any case "Even the winnings of such a claim will require ridiculous amounts from my pocket and years from my life (I am 67 years old, and I have no extra years)". Instead, he "I decided to apply another approach and fight them in another arena, inspired by the principles of an asymmetric war. The only thing that in our contract DC lawyers cannot challenge or reinterpret into their favor is that I am the only owner of intellectual property. I can sell it or give it to anyone".
I decided to give it to everyone. If I could not prevent Fables in bad hands, then at least I can make it getting into many good hands. Since I sincerely believe that there are still more good people in the world than bad people, I consider it my victory.
According to Willingham, he gave DC comics "years to do the right thing", Including suggested reviewing publishing contracts "From scratch, setting out everything in unambiguous formulations", Or otherwise, "just break our contracts, and each of us will go our own way", But it was ignored.
His contracts with DC are in force, which means that he cannot issue Fables comics, allow film adaptation, for example, a film, or licensing the goods through someone except DC Comics. "And they still have to pay me for the books that they publish. And I’m not going to abandon other money that they must. One way or another, I intend to get my 50% of the money that they owe to me for many years for the game Telltale and other things".
However, you, the new 100%owner of Fables, have never signed such agreements . For the better or for the worse, DC and I are still locked together in this unlucky marriage, perhaps forever. But you – no. If I understand the law correctly (and keep in mind that the law on copyright is a continuous mess; he intentionally blurry and a mutet, and not a single lawyer – even specializing in the laws on copyright and trademarks – cannot come to a consensus) , you have the right to shoot films and cartoons on Fables, publish books on FABles, produce toys on FABles and do everything you want with your property because it is your property.