DC Copyright Summary

March 22, 1998

I’m still getting lots of requests for the proposal. Look around on the net—go to Google and search for it, you will at least find some people who have it. And who haven’t been so public in their opposition to DC’s claims :*)

As I’ve said before, DC has registered the copyright; while I believe it is an invalid registration, I’m not the author. I would have a hard time contesting it in court when I didn’t write the thing. I have informed the Copyright Office that I believe their copyright assertion is invalid and that the person I believe to be the true copyright owner is currently a resident of England.

The fact is, though, that even if Moore were in the United States, he wouldn’t have much to gain by contesting the copyright. DC is asserting copyright on a proposal. They are asserting copyright on a fairly useless instantiation of an idea. Even if Moore were to go ahead and use this idea with characters of his own, he wouldn’t be publishing the proposal, he’d be publishing a full story. The copyright covers one instantiation of the idea, not all instantiations of the idea.

So you might be asking what DC gets out of their actions as well, if they aren’t stopping people from publishing similar stories. My guess is that they’re embarassed at having screwed up in the past by alienating Moore, but that’s just a guess.

In any case, if you want a copy, you have a number of choices:

  1. Find someone on the net who has it.
  2. Ask DC for it.
  3. Go to the Library of Congress in Washington DC and look it up.

February 9, 1998

Yowzers! Received a letter in the mail from DC today. No wonder it took them so long: rather than find the proof that they actually own the copyright (which proof I am increasingly sure doesn’t exist at all), they actually sent the proposal off to the U.S. Copyright office in their name… ten years after it was created. This doesn’t mean anything morally, of course: anyone could do that. You could pop the latest Superman off to the copyright office in your name and they’d probably just stamp it and file it, and everything would be hunky dory until DC found out and let the feds know. At which point, you would be hit for a $2500 (last I checked) fine. Which is a big deal for you but probably less so for DC.

Unfortunately, the only person who could really contest this is Alan Moore, and he’s off in England. So the Twilight Proposal is off-line, at least at this site, indefinitely. I don’t foresee any reasonable way for me to challenge this. (On the other hand, unless they actually do have proof that this was work for hire, Alan Moore could have them by the short and curlies.)

Look here for a summary of the proposal this weekend.

Christmas, 1998

It’s now been over half a year since DC’s lawyer promised proof of copyright ownership “within a few weeks”. I have to assume that they either discovered they don’t own it, or knew this all along. Whichever, the pages are now available full time again.

Summer, 1997

Well, after yet another month of waiting, I have re-enabled Moore’s Twilight proposal. Over a month ago, DC’s lawyer promised proof of copyright ownership “within a few weeks”. That has not arrived. Therefore, I can only assume that Moore still owns the copyright on this presentation.

As near as I can tell they still haven’t registered the copyright.

The proposal will, however, only be available during standard working hours, Eastern Time: 9AM to 5PM. It is thus only available during hours when DC’s lawyers can present proof that the copyright was in fact transferred.

To recap: The Twilight proposal is sporadically unavailable at this site: DC’s lawyer claims that they (a) commissioned the work from Alan Moore, (b) purchased the work from Alan Moore, and that (c) this means that they own the copyright. They’ve yet to provide any documentation, nor have they officially registered their copyright; they seem to be attempting delaying tactics for some as yet unknown reason; each promise of proof fails to fulfill itself. If DC does show ownership of this work, it will of course be removed permanently. But until such proof is forthcoming, I can only assume that the work is still owned by the author of the work.

I’ll have more later, regardless of how the copyright issue turns out. Moore’s proposed Twilight would have capped the trilogy he started with V for Vendetta and continued in Watchmen. I’m going to take a look at that, and along the way I’ll also fill you in on the proposed characters and plot of Twilight. In the meantime, DC has been extraordinarily uncooperative, so the whole thing will probably come back on-line permanently soon. That Alan Moore wrote it is clear; that he ever transferred the copyright is unlikely, which may explain DC’s reluctance to work on providing evidence, or register the copyright. Both would be illegal, after all, if they don’t actually own the thing. We’ll see.