I mentioned previously that Amalgamated Press/Fleetway/IPC (now IPC Media) had over the years infringed personal copyright of TV, Radio and film stars not just from the UK but also the United States.
Terry Wakefield, for instance, was drawing Laurel and Hardy for Film Fun when they did a tour of the UK. Being a big fan, Terry asked the bosses if he could get a ticket and be introduced to them? “NO!” was the answer and it was pointed out that if they knew their likenesses were being used they might ask for payment!
This sort of thing happened time and again. Just a minute sample of those whose likenesses and names were used without permission (some lawyer could make a fortune here) are:
Laurel & Hardy
Abbott & Costello
Joe E. Brown
And so on.
It is a VERY long list andthe policy was always that if a star of TV, cinema or radio was a huge hit then he/she were ripe for exploiting in a comic strip –it pulled in the pennies.
In this age of lawsuits for copyright infringements past and present IPC Media really does need to realise that if it claims rights to EVERYTHING (remember, there were no contracts to sign away rights and when the company was sold over and over no new contracts were written between companies/new owners and the creators) then it must accept that it is open to legal action from the families of creators and the families of former stars who were used in this way.
I think recent examples involving DC Comics shows that even as one of the “big boys” you can’t escape these things. IPC Media tend to think not responding to questions keeps them out of trouble while they get “heavy” with so called “infringers” of ‘their’ copyright. One day, one of these people is going to seriously bite IPCs ass…and my huge dossier is ready for use.