THE KEN PENDERS CHRONICLES: now licensed world-famous characters like SCOURGE THE SPEED DEMON to YOU

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by The KKM, Jul 7, 2010.

  1. Forte

    Forte

    I speak better after three beers Member
    Yeah, just wanted to point that out, so people interested in the story know where to look.

    What saddens me about this whole situation, is that if anyone should obtain the rights to Scourge, it's Ian (you know, besides Sega) as Evil Sonic and Scourge are totally different characters.

    I don't know how copyright work in comics, but if Ken really owns Scourge, it doesn't work well at all. How in the earth can he claim Evil Sonic, that is derivative of Sonic The Hedgehog, and Scourge, that is a derivative of Evil Sonic?
     
  2. shilz

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    Had lawsuits never began, then I'd say that there would be no questions raised about it. Everyone would just assume Archie had full rights to everything produced under them, SEGA had rights to the stuff Bioware made for Chronicles, and maybe Penders would never have given any of this a bigger thought of revisiting.

    Since the lawsuits happened, everything had to be sorted between everyone. And that's just what everyone agreed they could live with happening. And we'll never know how EXACTLY all of it was worked out, except that apparently Penders is able to license out Scrouge until someone else potentially steps in and says otherwise.
     
  3. Taylor

    Taylor

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    Something really funny about the first character Penders licensed out not even being his own creation. At least the Echidnas had some creative input by him, this is just straight up having the rights to Ian's work due to legal fuckery.
     
  4. Ken openly said that he thinks he owns Shade lmao

    (Not my image, got it from Discord) FEZa8toXsAATIic.png
     
  5. Dek Rollins

    Dek Rollins

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    "None of this is good, Vector. That's why it's called war."

    Honestly just the idea of this situation is ridiculous to me. If Ian Flynn had come into personal ownership of Scourge instead of Penders, it would still be stupid.

    Scourge is a derivative of the Evil Sonic character, which is a derivative of... Sonic. The fact that anyone other than Sega owns and is now using what amounts to a Sonic recolor OC is unbelievable.
     
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  6. Overlord

    Overlord

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    I mean, the echidna army are Knuckles recolours. Just about every character Penders has ever laid claim to is a recolour of something else. Or straight up a US sports star.
     
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  7. shilz

    shilz

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    Again with "Robo-Robotnik".

    I have to ask about that now.
     
  8. Jay T.

    Jay T.

    It takes an idiot to do cool things... Member
    This whole thing is just confusing. I get that he won the lawsuit and has rights to the stories and characters he's created. But the fact he apparently owns the rights to an evil counterpart of a character that belongs to a multi-billion dollar video game company is just baffling. And to make it worse, it's not the version he worked on, but Spaz and Flynn's. They're the reason Scourge is who he is, and even came up with the name, and yet Penders would rather talk shit about them at every chance he gets rather than acknowledge them and their efforts.

    Considering how much Scourge's appearance has barely changed in the comic, could SEGA take action with him looking too much like Sonic? At least with Penders' comics, the characters look different enough to be their own, kinda. I guess they could, but probably don't wanna deal with it, maybe. I did see someone on the Sonic Stadium bring up the idea that Penders might be using the comic to see what would happen, and if something did, he'd probably be in the clear. Obviously there's no evidence to that, but at this point, I wouldn't put it past him. Well, if SEGA doesn't take legal action against this, I'm pretty sure they can if he release those edited Archie comics and/or use Shade.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2021
  9. Pengi

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    I'm not a lawyer. But from my understanding, the gist is:

    Sega owns Sonic the Hedgehog.

    Ken Penders apparently owns Evil Sonic, since Archie couldn't provide evidence that he signed a work for hire contract. Sega doesn't own that version of the character because they didn't create that version of the character and there are no contracts that transfer ownership of that version of the character over to them.

    HOWEVER. Evil Sonic is just Sonic with shades, a leather jacket, a different backstory etc. Ken Penders wouldn't be able to do anything with the original version of Evil Sonic unless he had permission from Sega.

    It's like when Marvel did their Spider-Verse comics, they weren't allowed to use the Spider-Mans from the Raimi movies, the Webb movies or Spectacular Spider-Man cartoon, because Sony owns the rights to those particular versions of Spider-Man. But Sony can only make Spider-Man media when they have the license from Marvel.

    Scourge is some real bullshit though. Ken Penders did not come up with the Scourge design or name. Unless the settlement agreement explicitly gave him ownership of the Scourge version of the character (and maybe it did, Archie were incompetent), it shouldn't be his to license out.

    Even if Ken Penders does have the rights to Scourge, he almost certainly wouldn't be able to use the original Scourge design, as it would infringe upon Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog character. Scourge would have to be redesigned to be legally distinct from Sonic. Whether the version Rush Comics is publishing is legally distinct enough from Sonic is a question for Sega's legal team.

    My guess is that Penders is just counting on Archie/Sega not caring enough to sue him.
     
  10. Sid Starkiller

    Sid Starkiller

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    After the trouble he caused them, I can't imagine them not suing him, if nothing else than for spite.
     
  11. Adamis

    Adamis

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    Or they just don't care because, let's face it, they'd lose more money suing him than it is worth. It's not like his comic and that Scourge fancomic will sell highly.
     
  12. Starduster

    Starduster

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    Don’t forget Anthony Mackie.

    Anyway, I agree that SEGA will likely take no action because this doesn’t really hurt them and while it would be cathartic to see Ken knocked down a peg for his hypocritical hubris, it’s just not worth the time and effort, really.
     
  13. Blue Spikeball

    Blue Spikeball

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    I'm no expert, but I understand that companies need to protect their IPs or they risk losing them (see here). At least when it comes to commercial products. Fan works are generally free, while Penders-licensed comics are commercial.
     
  14. Jay T.

    Jay T.

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    In this situation, wouldn't he be exempt from getting sued? While he sold the rights to Scourge, he said he's completely hands off with the comic. If Rush comics wanted too, unless there was some kind of agreement, they could've gave Scrouge a redesign that makes him look less like a Sonic character, right? But since they didn't, and if SEGA took action, Rush would take the hit. Penders meanwhile would walk away scot-free with the $10,000.

    I could be wrong though.
     
  15. Starduster

    Starduster

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    I imagine that isn't how it works. As the alleged IP holder, I imagine Penders would be held responsible for those things because he has the right, ability and responsibility to check the product at pretty much any point in its development and mandate changes as he sees fit. Conversely to what you posit, if he were to be exempt from liability, he could deliberately infringe upon the IP by making him look even closer to Sonic and likewise be unaffected if things went to court, which I'm sure many before him would've already abused.

    But I have absolutely no legal experience, so if everything I've said is just guff, then please feel free to correct me.
     
  16. Overlord

    Overlord

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    That was who I meant by US sports star =P
     
  17. Starduster

    Starduster

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    Well there’s egg on my face, I’ve only known him from his work in the MCU…
     
  18. KingOfBunnies

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    Love that he thinks he owns Robo Robotnik which, to my understanding, was just a reason so they could introduce Eggman's modern design. I hope he tries to use it and gets sued by Sega for all he's got.
     
  19. CaseyAH_

    CaseyAH_

    human incarnation of Palmtree Panic 'P' Mix Member
    robo robotnik had appeared in two stories prior to the redesign thing.
     
  20. shilz

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    I think Speed Demon over here looks... legally distinct. People might be like "Hey that looks like sonic but it's not", but you can't really sue for the general vibe of a character - especially if someone will look at it and go "This is not Sonic."

    Or maybe I'm giving people too much credit. Who knows.