files/pictures/picture-35.jpgMarvel has prevailed in the lawsuit against it over the copyright to GHOST RIDER, reports The Hollywood Reporter
. Back in 2004, Ghost Rider creator Gary Friedrich claimed he controlled the copyright when he discovered Marvel and Columbia Pictures had teamed up to create a film based on the flaming skull antihero. The original film hit theaters in 2007 and the sequel is set to arrive Feb. 17, 2012.
On Dec. 28, New York federal judge Katherine Forrest ruled that Marvel clearly owned he rights to the character. In 1971, Friedrich started freelancing for Marvel. One of his assignments was reworking the Ghost Rider character, which was first introduced in the 1950s, into a radically new character, which was inspired by Marlon Brando and Evel Knievel. The new Ghost Rider debuted in Marvel Spotlight #5. The judge made her decision based on two contracts, the first being one where he gave up copyright for payment. Friedrich then claimed that Marvel didn't have the rights to the character in other media outside comics. But in 1978, Friedrich signed a contract that gave "Marvel forever all rights of any kind and nature in and to the Work." She rejected consideration and adhesion claims from the plaintiff.