Letter From DC Comics Legal Department (5/21/97)

Barry Dreyfus:


Dear Mr. Dreyfus:

DC Comics is the owner of all rights, including copyright, in the

comic book publications, Superman, Adventure Comics, Superboy,

Flash, Brave and the Bold, Batman, Detective Comics, and Lois Lane

as well as the owner of all rights, including trademark rights, in

the titles thereof and the characters depicted therein.

Your unauthorized reproduction, distribution and display of

selected issues of these comic books well as other DC comic books

online at http://www.drynet.com/comics/index.html hosted by

TierraNet therefore constitutes a violation of our rights,

including copyright and trademark rights, unfair competition and a

misappropriation of our valuable property rights.

While we appreciate your interest in sharing our comic books with

the public, as the copyright owner of these books, we have the

exclusive right to determine how they may be reproduced and

distributed to the public. As you may know, we periodically

reprint our older comic books in collected and archive editions

which we make available for sale to the public and we maintain our

own web sites and other online sites including one on America

Online. If and when we wish to make our older books available

online is up to us.

Your analogy to a public library is not accurate. While readers

may be able to read one of our older comic books at a library, only

one person (or perhaps a few if they read over the original

borrower's shoulder) can read that comic book at a single time. If

a library wants to allow all of its patrons to read the same book

simultaneously, which is more analogous to what you are doing

although still on a lesser scale than what you are doing, the

library would have to purchase hundreds if not thousands of copies

of the comic book, and DC Comics, as the copyright owner of such

book, would receive the appropriate compensation from such sale.

To make matters worse and to further distinguish your web site from

a public library, it appears that you are reproducing, distributing

and displaying our copyrighted works online for commercial purposes

as evidenced by the inclusion of banner advertisements on your web

site including one for Retro-10 Anti Wrinkle Skin Cream.

Accordingly, we demand that you immediately: (1) remove all of our

comic books from your web site; (2) cease and desist from further

reproducing, distributing or displaying any of our comic books

online or in any other manner; and (3) confirm by e-mail to me at

Jay_Kogan@dccomics.com or by traditional mail to DC Comics Legal

Department, 1700 Broadway, New York, NY 10019 that any and all

unauthorized reproduction, distribution and use of our properties

by you have ceased and will not be repeated in the future.

Furthermore, if you are inclined to resolve this matter amicably,

we demand that you provide us with the following information within

ten business days of this e-mail: (1) a complete list of all our

comic books that you have reproduced on your web site, including

the initial date of posting and the date removed, if applicable;

(2) the number of visitors to your site; (3) the number of visitors

to your site that have viewed our comic books on an issue-by-issue

basis; (4) the number of advertisements that have been included on

your web site; (5) the total revenues that you have received from

the sale of such advertisements; and (6) a detailed description of

any other compensation, financial or otherwise, that you have

received in connection with your web site.

Finally, be advised that we will consider any continued or further

reproduction, distribution or display of our comic books by you

online or in any other manner to be a willful infringement of our

rights entitling us to increased statutory damages under the law.

This letter is not intended to be a complete statement of the facts

or the relevant law and is without prejudice to any of our rights

or remedies, all of which are expressly reserved.


Jay Kogan

DC Comics

Director of Legal Affairs