Mike Pellerito, the editor of both Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic Universe, has recently issued a statement regarding the current situation with former Sonic comic writer Ken Penders, through the blog Robot6:
We have been in contact with our legal team and the claims by Ken Penders are completely false. We will be responding through proper legal channels.
Tristan Oliver of TSSZ has also done quite a bit of research on Penders’ claims, going over all of Penders’ 135 claims. To get a nice in depth look at the claims and what they are attempting to claim ownership of, take a gander at Tristan’s article. There is, however, one bit that should interest the current Archie readership:
In fact, while Penders claimed he outright owns many of the characters he created, the records in the Copyright Office mostly show him only claiming ownership to stories in which they star, and not the characters themselves. As an example, TSSZ News found four entries regarding Geoffrey St. John, as part of a 1998 series. But in all certificates, Penders only claims himself as the “author of story text.” We also couldn’t find in any of the claims he registered anything regarding a claim of ownership to Lien-Da, be it story text or otherwise. The same is also true for Rob O’ the Hedge, who Penders also singled out in his Wednesday announcement.
In fact, according to Tristan’s article, the only character that went uncontested through the copyright process was Hershey, Geoffrey St. John’s girl friend. For an in depth look at the claims, check out Tristan’s article. I’d also advice taking a look at the Robot6 article, as it gives another angle to this developing story.