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Zenith collected

Posted: 31 May 2013, 02:46
by ramirez
I 'm guessing you 've read the news that Rebellion is going to publish a Zenith colllection later this year. My question is, does anyone know if that album will be in hardcover and what measurements it 's gonna be...

Re: Zenith collected

Posted: 31 May 2013, 07:46
by tony ingram
My question is, how are they doing this? Morrison and Yeowell have been "informed" of their decision to publish it, apparently, but given that Morrison has been in dispute with 2000AD over the ownership of Zenith for years, I find the fact that it has nowhere been suggested that he consented to it a little suspicious, particularly since they seem to be avoiding the usual channels of distribution (or can't use them?). And what about the inclusion of several old IPC characters who Rebellion quite categorically do not own in the series? All very odd...

Re: Zenith collected

Posted: 31 May 2013, 08:35
by starscape
Categorically not owning and believing you do own something are quite different reasons.

Did Morrison do them as work for hire, even if he now doubts its the case? The 2000AD monthly suggests yes. Its difficult to know who is refusing to back down, but, in that case, Grant should have been willing to compromise heavily.

I did notice some on the 2000AD forum being against criticing the price as Rebellion is a company. But when did that stop criticism? And if there is no relationship with customers and company, why brand loyalty?

Re: Zenith collected

Posted: 31 May 2013, 09:13
by philcom55
Considering that DC Comics now own Robot Archie, etc., and that they seem ready to do anything to keep Morrison sweet, I'd say that Rebellion are treading on very thin ice! :?

Then again I never rated Zenith very highly anyway, so I'd be perfectly happy if it stayed buried forever.

- Phil R.

Re: Zenith collected

Posted: 31 May 2013, 15:15
by tony ingram
philcom55 wrote:Considering that DC Comics now own Robot Archie, etc., and that they seem ready to do anything to keep Morrison sweet, I'd say that Rebellion are treading on very thin ice! :?
Well, yes. That's kind of what I was alluding to earlier. Maybe they're hoping Time Warner won't notice (it's actually Time Warner who own the IPC characters, not DC Comics directly).

Re: Zenith collected

Posted: 16 Jun 2013, 23:01
by paddybrown
This whole business, along with the ongoing wrangling over Marvelman, has brought a few things to the fore. The British comics industry seems to have operated for years on the assumption that a page rate buys all rights, but that's custom and practice, and the law says different.

Under UK copyright law, copyright belongs to the creator automatically, unless it's explicitly assigned to someone else. If it's created as an employee under the terms of their employment, it will usually belong to the employer, but a freelance assignment is contract work, not employment, of which the Intellectual Property Office says (pdf)
When you ask or commission another person or organisation to create a copyright work for you, the first legal owner is the person that created the work and not you the commissioner, unless you otherwise agree in writing. However, in some circumstances, for example when copyright is not dealt with in the contract to commission the work, Courts may be willing to find there is an implied licence from the contractor to the commissioner so that the commissioner is able to use the work for the purpose for which it was commissioned. That does not necessarily result in a transfer of ownership. Instead, the company commissioning the work may only get a limited non-exclusive licence. This situation demonstrates the importance of establishing who owns copyright through a contract.
When Grant Morrison says that Rebellion have no paperwork to prove they own Zenith, that's what he's talking about. "Work-for-hire", incidentally, is a concept in American law that doesn't exist in UK law.

I already knew that Hilary Robinson challenged Fleetway's claim to own her work with a solicitor's letter, and they had to back down. They didn't give her any more work, so something of a Phyrric victory. I've recently heard that Rian Hughes reprinted "Really and Truly", the series he did with Grant Morrison for 2000AD, in his book Yesterday's Tomorrows, with a copyright notice to himself and Morrison, which might have set an interesting precedent. Those are fairly straightforward cases as they don't tie in with anybody else's characters. Zenith, as Phil and Tony say, is a bit more complicated as Phase III is full of old IPC characters, and Robot Archie's in Phase IV. As far as I know at least some of those characters weren't transferred from IPC to Fleetway when Maxwell bought them out, and they've since been bought out by Time Warner. So whoever owns Zenith, publishing it's a potential legal minefield.

Re: Zenith collected

Posted: 03 Jul 2013, 01:14
by ramirez
So, did anyone buy it? I thought about it a lot and finally got one. I believe after all, even if I regret it or become short of cash for what reason, its original price is still gonna be the same and can resell it on eBay or anywhere similar...