On Monday, Rich Johnston’s LITG column reported on difficulties with the long awaited LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN: THE BLACK DOSSIER, due to potential copyright problems.
DC sources inform me that the reasons for concern are over issues concerning copyright and trademark of certain literary characters referred to in the book, some that are public domain in the USA but not in other territories who have different copyright laws.
The US states that if a work was published before 1923, or it is 70 years since the death of the author, then it is in public domain. The UK has a similar rule, without the 1923 proviso, leading to a number of creations published before 1923 but not yet out of copyright. Canada, New Zealand and Australia also have no 1923-style ruling, but wait till 50 years after the author’s demise, although Australia now has a 70 year policy for work created since 2005.
It was this difference that led to the suspension of the publication of “Lost Girls” until January 2008 in the UK, as only then will it be 70 years after the death of Peter Pan author Barrie.
That part of the story seems to have been confirmed as today DC released the following
WildStorm/DC Comics regrets to announce that “The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier,” by Alan Moore & Kevin O’Neill, will only be published in the United States due to international copyright concerns and related issues.
Johnston’s column also reported that Wildstorm Executive Editor Scott Dunbier has been put on a leave of absence.