Recently, Marvel triumphed in court against Gary Friedrich, the creator of Ghost Rider, as to whether any moneys or rights were owed to him from the use of the characters in movies, with the second movie starring Nicolas Cage on its way.
And while the court decided that Marvel owe Gary nothing, they also decided on a counter claim from Marvel, that Gary Friedrich owes $17,000 for selling prints of the Ghost Rider character at conventions and the like.
This represents Gary's earnings from selling such prints over several years – but now Gary is penniless. And Marvel are demanding payment now. Oh, and that he is not allowed to say he is the creator of Ghost Rider for financial gain, say by doing an interview, in the future.
Marvel was recently bought by Disney for $4 billon. Nicolas Cage recently sold his copy of Action Comics #1 for over 2 million, and will have received similar for starring in Ghost Rider 2.
Gary Friedrich, the creator of Ghost Rider is, however, penniless.
1. The profits realized by plaintiffs in connection with the distribution and sale of goods depicting the Ghost Rider character appearing in Marvel Spotlight, Vol. 1, No. 5 (the "Work") which is the subject of MCI's copyright infringement counterclaim amount to $17,000.
2. Upon the entry of the Final Judgment (i) dismissing all claims pleaded in the amended complaint, (ii) awarding damages to MCI against plaintiffs on MCI's counterclaim in the amount of $17,000, (iii) permanently enjoining plaintiffs and all natural or legal persons acting on their behalf or in concert or participation with them from manufacturing, reproducing, distributing, adapting, displaying, advertising, promoting, offering for sale, selling, using or purporting to authorize others to use the image of any characters appearing in, or any copyrightable material expressed in, the Work or any materials that are substantially similar to, or based on, any element of the Work in connection with the sale of any goods, merchandise or services including, without limitation, publications, posters, toys, games and playthings, prerecorded videotapes and DVDs featuring live action or animated motion pictures, video game software and other video products, T-shirts and other items of apparel (provided, however, that such injunction shall not prohibit plaintiffs from selling Gary Friedrich's autograph by affixing the same to a product manufactured by MCI or by others under license or permission from MCI and purchased by plaintiffs at retail), and (iv) awarding defendants the costs and disbursements of this action available as a matter of law pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 54(d) and 28 U.S.C. § 1920, MCI and plaintiffs will execute and cause to be filed a stipulation dismissing the Trademark Counterclaims without prejudice and without costs to any party.
3. In consideration for MC1's agreement to dismiss the Trademark Counterclaims, plaintiffs consent to an injunction enjoining them and all natural or legal persons acting on their behalf or in concert or participation with them from using or purporting to authorize others to use the words "Ghost Rider" as a trademark, trade name, or similar designation of origin in connection with the sale of any goods, merchandise, or services.