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Copyrights, Trademarks And Fan Creations

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#1 Jay@Cabinet


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Posted 24 April 2009 - 06:43 PM

Paradox Entertainment Inc. and its wholly-owned subsidiaries ("Paradox") are the successors-in-interest to the intellectual property of the estate of Robert E. Howard, with the exception of certain rights owned by Red Sonja Corporation. The rights owned by Paradox include copyrights in various Robert E. Howard works and derivative works as well as trademarks encompassing names, logos, characters, settings and distinctive likenesses thereof.

Paradox is dedicated to continuing the Howard estate's unbroken tradition of promoting the fine work of Robert E. Howard by, among other things, publishing Howard's original works, developing new creative derivative works based on Howard's original works and characters, and supporting Howard scholarship through the Robert E. Howard Foundation.

Robert E. Howard died in 1936. Contrary to popular belief, all of his literary works did not pass into the public domain 70 years later. The copyright protection afforded to Howard's works differs among countries. Paradox continues to own and exploit numerous copyrights in Howard's works (in which some of Howard's most famous characters first appeared) and in an extensive list of derivative works. In addition, Paradox continues to own and exploit numerous trademarks throughout the world in connection with the Howard characters. Trademarks do not expire at some fixed point in time like copyrights. As long as a company is using a trademark in connection with its goods and services, that company has the exclusive right to use that trademark.

Moreover, Paradox's associated trademarks and copyrights in derivative works such as movies, comic books, television shows, original novels and more, are intellectual property rights owned and controlled by Paradox which are separate and distinct from any of Howard's original copyrighted material that is now in the public domain. For example, the numerous literary, film, and merchandise products featuring Conan the Barbarian are protected by copyrights and trademarks, which, over time and as a collective whole, have helped to develop the character's traits and ensure that the name "Conan" represents the distinctive features of that character, regardless of the work or product in which it is embodied. Paradox's permission may be required in order to use a Howard character in a new creative work, even if you believe the underlying literary works in which that character appears are in the public domain.

The extensive efforts by Paradox to maintain control over the Robert E. Howard properties benefits you, the fans, by protecting the integrity of Howard's work. The maintenance of copyright and trademark protection for these properties on a global scale requires a substantial investment by Paradox and its licensees. We make this investment in order to ensure that all works and products on the market based on Robert E. Howard properties are of the highest quality. Paradox would find it difficult, if not impossible, to engage high-quality artists, designers, producers and other licensees to invest in the Robert E. Howard properties if such licensees could not be assured that they would be free from competition with low-quality infringing products which trade off the good will of their high-quality products.

Please know that we appreciate Robert E. Howard's fans' enthusiasm for the perpetuation of his legacy. We will continue to use our best efforts to ensure that no work or product incorporating any of Howard's properties tarnishes the high scholarly and entertainment value of those properties. As such, we ask that if you would like to create any literary, visual, or other type of creative work using one or more of Howard's properties, you do not commercially exploit your creations, do anything to defame or dilute the brands, or in any other way infringe Paradox's intellectual property rights in the properties.