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Scott Fulop VS Archie, New Lawsuit for a New Year


therealfalconpawnch77
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Well R.I.P Sonic comics. It was fun but with how the company have been handling things it was bound to happen. If this was me a few years ago I'd be heart broken and devastated but now it's a not a surprise oh well that's life I'll live.

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Just now, Soniman said:

Uhh forgive me but how does this spell disaster? According to Scott's rap sheet the characters he created aren't even being currently used any way 

That isn't the problem, the problem is that last time SEGA had to deal with this sort of bullshit because of Archie, they almost decided to say ''fuck that'' and end the comic to avoid more trouble in the future.

Now with SOMEONE ELSE doing the exact same thing, chances are SEGA will just be done with Archie.

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As I pointed out in the main Archie thread: Statute of limitations is a thing that exists.  He can sue for damages anything published with his characters since August 2013 (which may only be Sonic Legacy Books 3 and 4, Scourge: Lockdown's reprint, and the Mogul Rising reprint), but nothing before that.  According to the updates on the TSSZ Twitter, Scott "is citing infringement on Sonic comics spanning from 1996-2012."  Maybe they're misreading the filings and Scott's just using those as examples to bolster his case against stuff from the past three years, but if he's really going after things prior to 2013, it's not going to work out as well as he hopes.  Sure, he deserves royalties for reprints, but trying to go after stuff outside the statute of limitations?  It'd take a really bad judge to ignore the law like that.

(Also, before anyone brings up the Discovery Rule with the statute of limitations: That applies in cases where it's unreasonable that the person whose work was infringed would've found out about it before.  This is all stuff published in the comic Fulop himself worked on.)

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Here's more information I've written up on the matter.

  • Fulop is apparently citing infringement on Sonic comics spanning from 1996-2012, and claiming republished and original work going up to 2009.
  • There are 953 cited examples of alleged copyright infringement in comics, printed and digital. This includes 441 alleged infringements over 348 (re)releases of the main Sonic comic series
  • He sites six counts of illegal activities by Archie Comics and SEGA, including copyright infringement, violations of the Lanham Act, deceptive practices, unjust enrichment, and more.
  • He's requesting damages for those activities, and wants a trial by jury.
  • The following characters are listed by Fulop as his own: Mammoth Mogul, Sergeant Simian, Lightning Lynx, Predator Hawk, Flying Frog, The Fearsome Foursome (group name for Sergeant Simian, Lightning Lynx, Predator Hawk, and Flying Frog, Merlin Prower, Sir Connery the Mighty Crusader, Black Death, Enchantress, Mathias Poe, Damocles the Elder, The Swords of Acorns, The Sword of Light, The Land of Dark and Fly, Fly Freddy
  • Depending on some calculations I made, SEGA and Archie Comics could be fined by as much as a maximum of $142,950,000, depending on if the plaintiff wins the case and how much the court would order the defendants to pay.

http://www.tssznews.com/2016/08/03/archie-lawsuit-documents-scott-fulop-is-plaintiff-cites-almost-1000-examples-of-alleged-copyright-infingement-in-comics/

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1 hour ago, Tylinos said:

As I pointed out in the main Archie thread: Statute of limitations is a thing that exists.  He can sue for damages anything published with his characters since August 2013 (which may only be Sonic Legacy Books 3 and 4, Scourge: Lockdown's reprint, and the Mogul Rising reprint), but nothing before that.  According to the updates on the TSSZ Twitter, Scott "is citing infringement on Sonic comics spanning from 1996-2012."  Maybe they're misreading the filings and Scott's just using those as examples to bolster his case against stuff from the past three years, but if he's really going after things prior to 2013, it's not going to work out as well as he hopes.  Sure, he deserves royalties for reprints, but trying to go after stuff outside the statute of limitations?  It'd take a really bad judge to ignore the law like that.

(Also, before anyone brings up the Discovery Rule with the statute of limitations: That applies in cases where it's unreasonable that the person whose work was infringed would've found out about it before.  This is all stuff published in the comic Fulop himself worked on.)

The Statue has reset, Archie has released a bunch of the books Digitally, which means they're fair game.

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5 minutes ago, therealfalconpawnch77 said:

The Statue has reset, Archie has released a bunch of the books Digitally, which means they're fair game.

Oh dear. Just when we all thought we were out of the woods with this mess after Penders. Archie really can't seem to catch a break.

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5 minutes ago, Sonic The Badass said:

How long was Fulop writing the comics? 

Not all that long. His earliest listing is in 1994, while the latest is in 1997. He served primarily as an editor and would occasionally write under the pen name of Kent Taylor. I am still filtering through his listed credits on Comicvine (which is by no means comprehensive), but his total work for the ARchie comic is very minor compared to the likes of Penders, Bollers or Gallagher. 

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Just now, horridus said:

Not all that long. His earliest listing is in 1994, while the latest is in 1997. He served primarily as an editor and would occasionally write under the pen name of Kent Taylor. I am still filtering through his listed credits on Comicvine (which is by no means comprehensive), but his total work for the ARchie comic is very minor compared to the likes of Penders, Bollers or Gallagher. 

Yes, but it appears his characters have been in use up until 2013 though. I've no words for how stupid it is for him to start paying attention to the comics after almost 10 years of not even touching them.

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3 minutes ago, Sonic The Badass said:

Yes, but it appears his characters have been in use up until 2013 though. I've no words for how stupid it is for him to start paying attention to the comics after almost 10 years of not even touching them.

It's amazing how far people will go to get some money. 

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What a douche move by Scott. It's just sad that some people lust for money not even looking at how it will effect his co-workers or the people who have been fans of his work. I couldn't give a lesser damn about Fly Freddy, so I am alright with him taking his characters away. Its just... Don't try to destroy the Archie Comics as a whole. I think he understands what happened last time and this could be the finish blow to Archie Sonic, sadly. I enjoy the comics and don't want them to go away. And for now, everything is in limbo, just because of this lawsuit. I guess you can say I am pretty annoyed.

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Goodbye hopes for pre-SGW reprints. I do not think that curent books are in a VERY big trouble. Only the rerelases. The main book is going now to a classic safe-zone. And maybe Mega Drive will be a rescue boat in a worst case scenerio. I wouldn't write Archie Sonic off yet. And as I see, SoA is also a part of a case so maybe this time they'll give Archie a hand... I don't truly belive it, but who knows...

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I'm a bit out of the loop, as I only really started paying attention to Archie with the Penders case, but: Is this again all because Archie can't produce work-for-hire contracts for all of its previous writers?  I recall something about a fire having destroyed half their records, so they could only produce legally inadmissible photocopies.

It took Fulop a long time to get involved with this; you'd have thought the bust-up with Penders a few years ago would've been his wake-up call.  It's tempting to suggest that Fulop's hit a rough spot and he's just chancing it, but maybe he's been spending the past few years building up his own case; that could be trouble.  But after the business with Penders, I'd have thought Archie would've gone out of its way not to risk anything in this direction again?  After cutting a large amount of the cast from the ongoing comic, I assumed that they were only continuing with collected editions and digital reprints of past titles because they believed that those were safe?  I'd be really surprised if Archie hadn't done anything it could to reduce liability after the Penders business.  But then again, the Penders business also proved that their legal team were incompetent, so...

4 minutes ago, pocket said:

I have no faith that Archie can pull through this.

I just hope it doesn't spell the end of Sonic comics in general. Can IDW or somebody start making Sonic comics next?

Depends if Sega still wants to license an official Sonic comic.  On the one hand, the comic and Ian Flynn's work are popular; on the other hand, they might look at all this trouble coming from letting western comic books use their license and decide it's not worth it - which applies even if Archie comes through this, though since this is all to do with events in the past then I don't know if ending the license would reduce Sega's liability.  Well, even if many of the present staff are recruited (which I would expect), a wholly new Sonic comic would probably look very different from Archie.

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I'm not going to join the doom and gloom train just yet.  There might be an out of court settlement, so Archie and Sega can swiftly get him out of their hair.  Because no matter what happens, chances are they'll have to fork over something and giving a former writer a large sum of money to make it go away may be the better of two poisons.  Thing is, I can't help but think Archie would want to hold onto the comic that's consistently made them money throughout its 23 year run.  If they can dispatch of this lawsuit fast enough, then Sega might just narrow their eyes at them and forget about it.  At least that's what I hope.

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Yeah, I'd rather not buy into fearmongering about Archie's future either.  Will this be a $140,000,000+ doomspell for them?  Not a clue.  No one knows yet.  It's not a fact.  It's barely even an assumption.  Plus, as Kfarc noted in regards to possibly ending the book, this really would only even be problematic for reprints.  Cancelling the comic wouldn't make more lawsuits over them go away.  Only ending reprints would.

We've hardly even scratched the surface with the facts on this case, and it certainly doesn't help that our only source for details of the suit thus far is a brief summary peppered with doom and gloom reporting, along with misinformation.  If you're going to make a report saying that Fulop is primarily suing over digital reprints from 2013 onward, one thing your article shouldn't say is that "Fulop is apparently citing infringement on Sonic comics spanning from 1996-2012, and claiming republished and original work going up to 2009."  That makes it sound like his lawyer is incompetent enough to be suing over things outside the statute of limitations.

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7 minutes ago, FFWF said:

I'm a bit out of the loop, as I only really started paying attention to Archie with the Penders case, but: Is this again all because Archie can't produce work-for-hire contracts for all of its previous writers?  I recall something about a fire having destroyed half their records, so they could only produce legally inadmissible photocopies.

Do you have a source for that? I've never heard about this before. If this is true, its really sad that previous writers choose to abuse Archie's misfortune.

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Just now, Sonic The Badass said:

Do you have a source for that? I've never heard about this before. If this is true, its really sad that previous writers choose to abuse Archie's misfortune.

It was cited really early on in the Penders lawsuit.  He alleged that there was no contract, and Archie countered by showing a photocopy and citing a fire from 1996(?) that destroyed the original contracts.

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5 minutes ago, Tylinos said:

It was cited really early on in the Penders lawsuit.  He alleged that there was no contract, and Archie countered by showing a photocopy and citing a fire from 1996(?) that destroyed the original contracts.

Looking into it I don't see anything about a fire, just the fact that Archie was never able to produce the contract.

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10 minutes ago, Sonic The Badass said:

Looking into it I don't see anything about a fire, just the fact that Archie was never able to produce the contract.

Here's the source on the contracts being lost:

http://www.tssznews.com/2012/03/09/allegations-of-missing-archie-contracts-in-penders-case/

"In the fall of 1996, ACP discovered that all (or a majority) of the creator agreements housed in the ACP warehouse had been destroyed when the box containing the contracts was discarded by one of the short-term warehouse employees."

I'm not entirely sure why I (and apparently a ton of other people, from what I'm seeing) remember a fire being mentioned, though.  Maybe it was brought up during the trial itself and information got confused.

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3 minutes ago, Tylinos said:

Here's the source on the contracts being lost:

http://www.tssznews.com/2012/03/09/allegations-of-missing-archie-contracts-in-penders-case/

"In the fall of 1996, ACP discovered that all (or a majority) of the creator agreements housed in the ACP warehouse had been destroyed when the box containing the contracts was discarded by one of the short-term warehouse employees."

I'm not entirely sure why I (and apparently a ton of other people, from what I'm seeing) remember a fire being mentioned, though.  Maybe it was brought up during the trial itself and information got confused.

Well, thats still unfortunate. And I'm disgusted by Penders and Fulop abusing Archie's misfortune.

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