While it is obviously far far from a direct comparison, I thought of Watchmen when I writing my latest Music Urban Legends Revealed about how the song “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” came about.
In the case of Rudolph, the creator of the character, Robert May, was given the rights to his creation by the CEO of Montgomery Ward, so that the character (who was up until that point just part of a giveaway promotion for Montgomery Ward’s department stores) could appear in a book (and obviously the character’s fame just blew up after that, especially when May’s brother-in-law adapted it into a song).
So naturally, it made me think about the discussion about how Warner Brothers can’t be expected to give Alan Moore the rights to Watchmen because corporations can’t do stuff like that.
Like I said, it is not even close to a direct comparison (Montgomery Ward was a private corporation – Time Warner is a public corporation; Montgomery Ward’s CEO did not think that there would be much of a market for people willing to pay for what Montgomery Ward had been giving away for eight years – Time Warner knows that anyone who owns the rights to Watchmen would make a ton of money) but I thought it was interesting enough to mention it here.
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