Categories: News

Friday the 13th Legal Case Ends With Screenwriter Successful

Friday the 13th Legal Case Ends With Screenwriter Successful

You may recall that last June the Friday the 13th game, created by Gun Media, had to go on hold. The reasoning for it was a little tricky, but it simply all boiled down to a copyright claim. The original screenplay writer, Victor Miller, attempted to reclaim the rights to this franchise as part of US copyright law. The law is a bit complicated but put simply, a concepts ‘creator’ is allowed to claim ownership of their work after a 35 year period has elapsed.

This question over the actual ownership of the franchise effectively stopped all production of the game. Why? Well, while an IP is contested, you can’t be seen to be actively doing anything that could add or detract from its value. As such, the game had to stand as it was. Nothing added, nothing taken away!

In a report via ConsequenceOfSound though, the case has finally come to an end and, surprisingly, the screenwriter has been successful. With the exception of international rights (which have different copyright laws), Victor Miller is the official owner of the F13 franchise.

This does mean though that the game itself is effectively over. The chances of any further development, while slim before, are now near zilch. Don’t blame Victor Miller for this though. Any creator should, sooner or later, regain control.

Gun Media Probably Won’t Mind

While many owners of the game will likely be disappointed, the chances are that the developer is probably relieved. While they were making money off the DLC and packs, the game always had something of a troubled existence. A friend of mine once described the situation as similar to a indie studio pitching Nintendo to create a Mario game and not knowing what to do when the answer was yes. The game had promise but lacked a polished execution. The sad thing is, they were just starting to get on top of it before this bombshell landed! A cynical part of me though thinks that they’ll just be happy to draw a line under this whole game and move on. This legal action is, after all, a convenient excuse for it!

It will, however, create something of a confusing situation for the franchise as a whole. Put simply, any new Friday the 13th film can be called such in the rest of the world, however, in America, while the ‘character’ can still be used, Jason Vorhees and the brand title can not. Not, at least without Victor Miller’s permission.

Well, that settles that I suppose!

What do you think? – Let us know in the comments!

Mike Sanders

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