The Wolf Among Us creator & DC may be headed for legal showdown over rights dispute

Bill Willingham claimed to have put the Fables comic series into public domain while DC insists it retains ownership over the rights to the series.

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It would appear that The Wolf Among Us/Fables IP may be headed for a heated legal battle between its original creator, Bill Willingham, and DC. Willingham had recently expressed a wealth of disgust at his treatment and the treatment of his work by DC and even Telltale Games to a lesser degree, pushing him to claim to he had pushed the Fables/Wolf Among Us IP into public domain. However, DC contends that it still owns the rights to the IP and will take action to protect it if necessary.

Bill Willingham recently shared that he had filed that put the Fables universe into public domain via his Substack. There, he laid out his claim that the IP would be public domain going forward, as well as the reasoning why.

Bill Willingham's substack in which he claims Fables is now public domain
According to Bill Willingham, DC tried to use shady dealings to claim full ownership over the Fables IP, and broke contractual agreements several times in doing so.
Source: Bill Willingham

Willingham goes on to share that the recent anniversary run of Fables included a negotiation with DC that soured his view of the company and made him believe DC was trying to yank IP ownership out of his hands through shady deals. On its end, DC claims it still maintains ownership of rights to the Fables IP and suggested it is willing to go to court over it, as shared in a statement provided to IGN:

And so, it seems as matters heat up between Willingham and DC, the fate of the Fables and Wolf Among Us universes may be on the line in an upcoming legal dispute. Whether this affects The Wolf Among Us 2 (currently delayed to 2024) remains to be seen. Stay tuned as we continue to follow this story for further updates.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at tj.denzer@shacknews.com and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

From The Chatty
    • ? reply
      September 18, 2023 10:28 AM

      Reading into this and Willington REALLY doesn't like Telltale's The Wolf Among Us. Its not a comment on the game but it was done without his input at all and he received no money from it because DC did the deal with Telltale.

      • ? reply
        September 18, 2023 10:54 AM

        yeah it sounds like he wasn't a fan of the way characters and storylines were altered to fit the game, especially without his input.

        Personally I loved The Wolf Among Us, both the characters and the story. It was one of my favorite Telltale games. But I can see how those changes would be jarring to the original creator of the IP.

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