Tails’ Tallest Tale Should be First of Many Registrations
TSSZ has learned another former Sonic comic writer has registered his creative work with the United States Copyright Office, with the office accepting at least one application.
A claim Shaw filed for Tails’ Tallest Tale, which appeared in 1995’s Sonic In Your Face! special from Archie Comics, appears upon searching the registry. Shaw wrote the side story for the special.
Due to multiple personally sensitive details included with the claim, TSSZ has elected not to share a direct link to the public record. But Shaw stakes the basis of his claim on “text, 2-D artwork, Story art and pencil art.” Shaw also notes pre-existing material that does not cover this claim, including “text, 2-D artwork, Characters owned & trademarked by Sega, ink art by Rich Koslowski and any other material not claimed.”
Shaw may be known best for his artistic contributions to the Archie Sonic comics, but he did write a story from time to time in the series’s early days. There are likely to be more registrations in process, but unlike ex-writer Ken Penders, however, it only appears from this particular document that Shaw wants to protect his writing, and not lay claim to, for example, any characters created for the comics. That could change as more registrations show up in the database.
That Shaw formally registered should not come as a surprise; he said as much back in March in an affidavit for Ken Penders’s defense team in their ongoing civil case with Archie Comics. Shaw has become a key figure in the case, claiming he, like Penders and others, were allegedly never bound to a work-for-hire agreement. In July, a judge denies summary judgment for both sides in the case, meaning that unless a settlement is negotiated, the matter will go to trial.
TSSZ will continue to offer developments on this matter.