Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Seeing Red

Red Sonja Properties and Paradox entertainment are arguing over the rights to the character of Red Sonja. For the uninformed, Red Sonja, she of the scarlet tresses, the chain mail bikini, and the enormous tracts of land, wasn't created by Conan's dad, Robert E. Howard. Howard had a minor character named Red Sonya with a 'Y', in a single story 'The Shadow of the Vulture'. Marvel comics writer Roy Thomas took the bare bones of that character and created the better known Red Sonja, the She-Devil with a Sword.
Now, Paradox who owns the copyrights to the Robert E. Howard stories and thus to Sonya with a Y, and Red Sonja LLC who own the copyrights to Red Sonja with a J, are throwing about charges of copyright infringement, lapsed rights, and Crom knows what else.
It's all about the Benjamins baby, and frankly I find it a more than a little sickening to see two groups who had ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with the creation of EITHER character whining and screaming about "their" rights to "their" characters. Both companies are making a living off characters created by other people, one of whom is dead and the other of whom isn't making anything from the profits being raked in with his creation. Work for hire and all that. In Conan terms I see it as two dogs scrabbling in the dust for scraps left by their betters.

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