Affidavit: “I am the owner of the works I created for the Sonic the Hedgehog series”
While we wait on a decision for Archie’s Motion for Summary Judgment in the case surrounding Ken Penders’s work on the Sonic series, we wanted to bring your attention to an affidavit the Penders defense team filed as part of an opposition to that motion.
It is from Scott Shaw, and it is one of the few that was not under a protective order when we obtained it through public record. According to the affidavit signed by him, not only was he the first artist to work on the Sonic comics, he was also not subject to a work for hire agreement by any of his editors.
Shaw says in the affidavit that he contributed a total of 29 works to the Sonic series, and not once did editors Daryl Edelman, Justin Garbie, or Victor Gorelick issue a work for hire document for him to sign.
“I was never issued any work-for-hire documents of any kind for any of the works I submitted at any time to ACP,” reads a part of Shaw’s affidavit. “I never signed any work-for-hire documents of any kind for any of the works I submitted at any time to ACP.”
Later in the affidavit, Shaw says all of his works are also registered with the US Copyright Office, and, in his last paragraph, “I am the owner of the works I created for the SONIC THE HEDGEHOG series.”
Shaw’s affidavit is not the only one Penders’s legal team submitted in its opposition. Another, from Elliot S. Maggin, says when he submitted and script for the first issue of Archie’s Super Teens series, was not aware the script was considered a work-for-hire, never signed a contract with Archie Comics, and according to the last paragraph of his signed affidavit, is “the copyright holder of the script I wrote for Super-Teens #1 and this is the condition that normally obtains under these circumstances in the comic book industry.”
What may also strengthen Penders’s defense could also cause more problems for Archie down the road. If indeed there are rights outstanding from past writers, should they come forward with claims, it will not be the end of Archie’s legal troubles, regardless of what happens with the Penders case.
We will let you know as soon as we have word of the decision on the motion for summary judgment.