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Gaiman v. McFarlane
United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
360 F.3d 644 (2004)
Neil Gaiman (plaintiff) and Todd McFarlane (defendant) were both celebrated figures in the world of comic books, Gaiman as a scriptwriter and McFarlane as both a scriptwriter and illustrator. In 1992, McFarlane began publishing a series of comic books entitled Spawn that he wrote and illustrated himself. The leading character in the series was a man named Simmons, who had died and returned to the world of the living as a Hellspawn. Due to criticism of the first issues in the series, McFarlane invited Gaiman to write the script for Spawn Issue No. 9. Gaiman later brought suit against McFarlane seeking a declaration that he owned copyrights jointly with McFarlane in certain comic-book characters introduced in Spawn Issue No. 9, namely, Medieval Spawn and Cogliostro. The district court entered a judgment that declared Gaiman to be the co-owner of the characters in question. McFarlane appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Posner, J.)
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