It seems the game’s original creators have won a two-year legal battle over the rights to the game, against the former publisher.
After a 20-month legal battle, the creators of the super-hero roleplaying game Villains & Vigilantes have prevailed in their court fight with the game’s longtime publisher. Magistrate Judge Mark E. Aspey of the U.S. District Court for Arizona ruled on January 15 that Jeff Dee and Jack Herman own the rights to the game based on the 1979 contract they reached with publisher Scott Bizar of Fantasy Games Unlimited. The court also found that Bizar never had the right to sell derivative products or ebook PDF editions of the game, two things he has been actively doing in recent years.
Villains & Vigilantes, one of the first super-hero roleplaying games, was created by Dee and Herman when they were teens in 1979.
It’s nice to see a game’s actual creators win against a guy who thought, because he published a game in 1979, that he owned it forever. (Apparently, the original publisher owns the original editions; but Dee and Herman own Villains & Vigilantes itself and its trademark.)