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Comic Book Writer

'Cowboys & Aliens' Movie

Producers are Robbers!!!

12/1/2011 10:45 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

1201_ca_ex_doc
You can't legally own the exclusive right to produce a cowboy movie.  And you can't legally own the right to produce an alien movie.  But a comic book writer claims he does own the combo and that's why he's suing the producers of "Cowboys & Aliens."

Steven Busti claims he created the concept for "Cowboys & Aliens" way back in 1994 -- 17 years before the movie was produced.

Busti wrote a comic called "Cowboys and Aliens" that was published in a comic book called, "Bizarre Fantasy."  Busti's story line goes like this ... aliens landed on planet Earth and invaded the Old West.  That's pretty much the same concept for the 2011 movie and the graphic novel published by the film's producers 5 years earlier.  Busti alleges many other similarities as well.

So the question -- Did the producers know about Busti before they penned the graphic novel and the movie?  Well, according to a lawsuit filed today in federal court in Texas, Busti notes back in 1994, his "Cowboys and Aliens" was featured in Comic Shop News on the same page that also featured a story about Scott Mitchell Rosenberg -- who produced the 2011 film.  So there!

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Busti is suing for copyright infringement and is seeking unspecified damages. Worth noting ... as poorly as it was reviewed, the movie made over $100 million.

So far, no word back from any of the producers. 

25 COMMENTS

No Avatar
16.

Steve    

They are both similar...writer might have a case here.

1060 days ago
17.

charley    

Frivolous lawsuit...they have a new show coming out called Work It....its a copy of Bossum Buddies from the eighties...dont see bossum buddies suing.....idiot couldnt sell his lame comics and because their are some similarities..the fool wants money.......people are so sue happy these days.

1060 days ago
18.

iii22iii    

The concept is not ownible as there are old old storys about aliens&cowboys dateing abck2 1870s so there is a history which wipeouts any concept rights other than to a given final drafted copyright many many projects and subjects overlap it`s like saying I won all XF or s/fiction no one can own a subject or subjects in any way space or form.cooked books will leave it with no profits once again they may pay2 stay out of court once in a while

1060 days ago
19.

robert    

is this a surprise to anyone? a bunch of no talented hacks stealing from talented people. that's how hollywood was started in the first place. a stolen film projector.

1060 days ago
20.

freddie    

Robert McCammon wrote Stinger in 1988,you don't see him lawyering up.

1059 days ago
21.

Tony Gleeson    

My friend and colleague Paul Power created his comic "East Meets West" in the 1980s, which featured cowboys and aliens, and, he has often told me, actually showed it to Scott Rosenberg at Malibu Comics way before 1994. This was the basis of the lawsuit he brought against Rosenberg, Steven Spielberg and others in the 1990s, which was thrown out on technical grounds and not on the merits of his case.

1059 days ago
22.

Peter David    

Huh. Interesting. “Bizarre Fantasy #1″ came out in April of 1994. You know what else came out in 1994? “Oblivion,” the cowboys-and-aliens themed SF film that I scripted for Full Moon. Granted, that came out later in 1994 than BF#1. On the other hand, I wrote about it in detail in November of 1993 in my weekly Comic Buyers Guide column “But I Digress.” Between November and April, plenty of time to rush a comic into production to take advantage of the concept. Perhaps Stephen Busti should thank his lucky stars that Full Moon hasn’t sued his ass…yet.

1056 days ago
23.

Tony Gleeson    

http://www.comicscommunity.com/boards/tony/?frames=n;read=254597

1056 days ago
24.

Tom Arvis    

I self-published a 1995 16-page ashcan (xeroxed) comic book by the same title. In 2004 Scott Rosenberg of Platinum Studios paid me for the rights to the title and to change the name of my book to “Wayout West”, a 104-page full-color trade paperback compiling the first three issues is currently available on Amazon.com. Just type my name into the search bar.

1052 days ago
25.

Tom Arvis    

I self-published a 1995 16-page ashcan (xeroxed) comic book by the same title. In 2004 Scott Rosenberg of Platinum Studios paid me for the rights to the title and to change the name of my book to “Wayout West”, a 104-page full-color trade paperback compiling the first three issues is currently available on Amazon.com. Just type my name into the search bar.This and more are also available on my website www.sureshot.comics.com.

Unfortunately, unless Mr. Bunti's exact pictures and story were reproduced without his permission, there is no copyright infringement. A copyright is not a trademark and if Bunti wasn't using the name or didn't trademark it, he's not going to get far with a lawsuit. I learned this the hard way.

1052 days ago
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