Just one month before Disney plans to launch “Iron Man 3,” its biggest motion picture since “The Avengers,” the studio is accused of using someone else’s copyrighted image for one of the “Iron Man 3” movie posters, featuring Robert Downey Jr.
In a cease and desist letter sent today to Disney and Marvel Entertainment, Horizon Comics claims that one of the movie’s promotional posters copied an image right out of a page from their 2001 comic book series “Radix”.
“It has come to our attention that you have copied content from the ‘Radix’ comic book without our client’s authorization to promote your film ‘Iron Man 3,’” an attorney for Horizon Comics writes in the letter.
To view the cease and desist letter, download it here.
The movie poster has star Robert Downey Jr. in an Iron Man suit striking a kneeling pose, and Horizon Comics claims both this version of the Iron Man suit and the pose are similar to images from Lai’s series “Radix.”
The letter claims the studio was not authorized to use the content, constituting willful infringement under the federal Copyright Act.
Horizon says the studio easily could have seen the “Radix” comic because it was first published in 2001. Horizon artists and founders Ray Lai and Ben Lai were later hired by Marvel as freelance artists in 2002 and 2003.
Back in 2002, Horizon Comics accused MIT of using its images to win a $50-million research grant. The university issued a public apology to Lai and Horizon Comics saying it “regretted” the use of the image and was unaware that it had been “derived from another source.”
The Chinese-born Lai brothers founded Horizon Comics in 1995. Since then, the brothers have worked on some of the most renowned comic book series including Marvel’s “X-Men” and “Thor” and Hasbro’s “G.I. Joe.”
The Lai brothers were also part of the creative force behind CrossGen Comics, a Tampa, Fla.-based comic book company that started in 1998. The brothers left CrossGen Comics in 2001, before the company was acquired by the Walt Disney Company in 2004.
“My brother and I put a lot of hard work into the ‘Radix’ comic. We want that work to be recognized,” said Lai.
About Horizon Comics Productions Inc.: Horizon Comics Productions Inc. was founded in 1995 by Ray and Ben Lai. They specialize in creating mainstream American comic books. The Chinese born Lai brothers have worked on some of the most renowned comic book including Marvel’s “X-Men” and “Thor” and Hasbro’s “G.I. Joe.” All of them have been turned into Hollywood blockbusters in recent years. The Lai brothers were also the creative force behind CrossGen Comics, a comic book company that was acquired by the Walt Disney Company in November 2004.
SOURCE: Horizon Comics
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