The Wolf Among Us And Fables Artist Makes IP Rights Public Amid Clashes With DC

Bill Willingham is quite upset with some of the current DC staff.

Story Highlights

  • The Wolf Among Us and Fables creator Bill Willingham has made all the IP rights available to the public in a recent move. 
  • The relationship between the artist and DC has changed over the decades as the new staff interprets the contract differently. DC allegedly owes Bill money and does not consult him regarding the IP.
  • He cannot afford to sue DC Comics and does not want to waste his old age fighting legal battles. Hence, he decided that making the IP public was the best move for everyone.
  • DC has officially issued a response, denying that the IP is public and claiming it to be its own. DC claims that the IP is protected under the law by the US.

In a shocking revelation, The Wolf Among Us and Fables comic book creator Bill Willingham has made all the IP rights available to the public domain. The move was made amidst clashes with the giant DC Comics conglomerate. The unexpected juncture for the IP was not decided suddenly, as explained by the artist on his substack. Bill decided to make the IP available to the public for a plethora of reasons, including practicality.

As of now, 15 September 2023, the comic book property called Fables, including all related Fables spin-offs and characters, is now in the public domain. What was once wholly owned by Bill Willingham is now owned by everyone, for all time. It’s done, and as most experts will tell you, once done it cannot be undone. Take-backs are neither contemplated nor possible,” said Bill Willingham.

As per Bill, things have severely changed ever since he initially signed the contract with DC. He alleges that the staff in the past was quite understanding and compassionate, caring for the IP and fulfilling the rights. However, the relationship between the company and the artist has grown increasingly strained in recent times due to DC supposedly taking advantage in many ways.

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The Wolf Among Us creator is 67 years old and cannot afford to sue DC Comics over the dilemma. Extorting a large sum of money and his remaining years would not be a worthy effort, as explained by the artist. Bill noted that DC made Telltale alter a lot of the script, characters, settings, history, premise, and other facets of the entry. It also tried to hide the changes and withheld “any money for licensing the Fables rights to third parties.” 

They could change stories or characters in any way they wanted. They had no obligation whatsoever to protect the integrity and value of the IP, either from themselves, or from third parties.”

DC even allegedly tried to claim the ownership of the property once, and when confronted, it apologized saying the company had not reviewed the contract thoroughly. The substack of the artist dives deeply into the issue and explains how DC has kept the money owed to him for all these years. Since the fiasco began, DC has also issued an official response. It denied that the IP has now become the public domain entirely.

The Fables comic books and graphic novels published by DC, and the storylines, characters, and elements therein, are owned by DC and protected under the copyright laws of the United States and throughout the world in accordance with applicable law and are not in the public domain. DC reserves all rights and will take such action as DC deems necessary or appropriate to protect its intellectual property rights,” said DC.

We can expect the story to evolve as the situation continues to progress in the gaming ecosystem. 

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Bill Willingham's Substack

Shameer Sarfaraz is a Senior News Writer on eXputer who loves to keep up with the gaming and entertainment industries devoutly. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science and several years of experience reporting on games. Besides his passion for breaking news stories, Shahmeer loves spending his leisure time farming away in Stardew Valley. VGC, IGN, GameSpot, Game Rant, TheGamer, GamingBolt, The Verge, NME, Metro, Dot Esports, GameByte, Kotaku Australia, PC Gamer, and more have cited his articles.

Experience: 4+ Years || Education: Bachelor in Computer Science.

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