Recently, in Gary Friedrich Enterprises v. Marvel Characters, Inc., Gary Friedrich (“Friedrich”) sued Marvel Characters, Inc. (“Marvel”) for infringement on his copyright of the “Ghost Rider” comic book character. The District Court granted summary judgment in favor of Marvel stating that Friedrich had assigned any rights he had to Ghost Rider to Marvel in a work-for-hire agreement six years after the initial publication. Friedrich appealed this action in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. However, the Second Circuit remanded the case to the District Court for issues of fact, including the ambiguous terms of the work for-hire agreement, renewal rights in the work-for-hire agreement, “the timeliness of Friedrich’s ownership claim, and the authorship of the work.” In doing so, the Second Circuit missed an opportunity to clarify the Copyright Act of 1909 and protect the rights of an artist. This Comment, in attempting to determine how the District Court would have ruled, argues that the District Court should have ruled that Friedrich retained the copyright for the Ghost Rider.

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