Writer Alan Moore co-created Watchmen and signed a contract with DC Comics that under normal industry practices of the time would have seen control of the work revert to Moore and artist Dave Gibbons after the work had gone out of print for a period of time, as was the case with every DC graphic novel created under a similar contract up until Watchmen. Because of the unprecedented quality and success of Watchmen, DC has never allowed the work to go out of print, and therefore has retained legal control of Watchmen for decades longer than anyone at the time could have imagined they would have. We recognize that DC has the legal right to act as they have, but believe that their ongoing stewardship of Watchmen has been ethically dubious at best, and morally reprehensible at worst.
We, the undersigned recognize the rights of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons as co-creators of Watchmen, and we strongly object to DC's continued marketing of this property against the intent of the original contract and the wishes of one of its creators. Further, we abhor DC's frequent attempts to knowingly act in opposition to Moore's wishes, and their attempts to profit off of Watchmen merchandise without paying royalties to the work's creators.
Until such a time as DC Comics can make things right with Moore and reach an accord in which he approves of and endorses further Watchmen sequels, we ask DC to act ethically and in the spirit and intent of the original contract and cease any plans to create derivative works without the permission and approval of the creators, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. We further ask that all writers and artists refuse to work on any derivative works related to Watchmen until DC, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons are all in agreement on the creation of new Watchmen properties.
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