Monthly Archives: February 2011

Superpowered Merchandising, Part Two

In the first part of this series we discussed how superheroes (and supervillains) can use copyright to help control the use of their image and generate revenue through merchandising.  Now we’re going to talk about how trademarks can be used for the same purposes.

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Law and the Multiverse Mailbag VI

In today’s mailbag we have questions about FDA regulations and superpower loss.  As always, if you have questions or post suggestions, please send them to and or leave them in the comments.

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Pro Bono Radio

Law and the Multiverse has inspired an episode of Pro Bono Radio, a program of CFRC, the radio station of Queen’s University.  The episode can be downloaded here. Topics covered in the episode include the insanity defense, the duty to rescue, and real world superheroes. We think you’ll particularly enjoy hearing about these issues from a Canadian legal perspective.  Alas, no discussion of the Canadian superhero team Alpha Flight, but maybe we’ll remedy that in a future post.

Non-Human Intelligences III: Categories

Now, at last, we get to the good stuff. We’ve laid the foundation and talked about existing law, now it’s time to talk about specific types of non-human intelligences and how the law might treat them.

From the main comic book stories, we can identify three main types of non-human intelligences. The first are individuals from animal species who become intelligent for one reason or another. Gorilla Grodd would be a good example here, but there are also Gorr and the New Men. Then there are genuinely alien intelligences, like the Skrull and Shi’ar, i.e. species we’ve never encountered before. Finally, there are machine and non-biological intelligences like Bastion or one incarnation of The Thinker. Unsurprisingly, the law is likely to treat these categories differently.

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