Judge Rules in Favor of Marvel in Ghost Rider Rights Battle
Posted on December 29, 2011
Gary Friedrich was a freelancer for Marvel when he created a new origin story for the fiery Ghost Rider character. Friedrich turned Ghost Rider into the ghastly flaming skull motorcycle riding anti-hero we all know and love today. Before Friedrich's demonic upgrade the Ghost Rider character was a ghostly white western hero who rode a white horse (see here).
Friedrich claimed in a lawsuit filed in 2007 that he owns the rights to the Ghost Rider character. Marvel's Ghost Rider movie, starring Nicolas Cage, also came out in 2007. A sequel, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, will be released on February 17, 2012.
The Hollywood Reporter says in its report on the lawsuit that Friedrich signed a contract in 1978 that granted to Marvel, "forever all rights of any kind and nature in and to the Work."
Reuters reports that Manhattan federal court judge Katherine Forrest ruled that Friedrich gave up any rights to Ghost Rider to Marvel when he endorsed his checks. Reuters also says Friedrich's lawyer plans to file an appeal.