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‘Conan’ Owner Alleges Copyright Barbarities

LOS ANGELES (CN) - The owner and publisher of "Conan the Barbarian" books says HarperCollins and Orion Books horned in on the rights to the famous caveman character created by Robert Howard. Conan Properties sued the two publishers and affiliates in separate federal complaint.

Conan Properties International says it licensed Orion Books to publish two volumes of "The Chronicles of Conan" all over the world, except for the United States and the Philippines. It claims that in 2006 Orion offered to sell rights to the books to a U.S. publisher, on the "erroneous belief" that the books would enter the public domain that year.

Conan Properties says it told Orion that it still owned the books, but Orion distributed them in the United States anyway.

In the second lawsuit, Conan Properties sued Prion Books, Carlton Publishing Group, Carlton Books and HarperCollins UK, claiming the companies published and distributed "Conan the Barbarian" in the United Kingdom and in the United States without permission.

In each case, Conan Properties wants damages and a cease and desist order. It is represented in both lawsuits by Karin Pagnanelli with Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp.

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