Dracula? No, Dr. Acula! - Forrest J Ackerman vs Ray Ferry - Mania.com



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Dracula? No, Dr. Acula! - Forrest J Ackerman vs Ray Ferry

Ray Bradbury testifies on behalf of editor's right to use pseudonym.

By Steve Biodrowski     May 03, 2000
Source: Los Angeles Times

On Monday, science fiction and fantasy author Ray Bradbury took the stand in a Los Angeles court to defend editor and sci-fi fan Forrest J Ackerman's claim to the pseudonyum 'Dr. Acula.' Ackerman is in the process of suing former business partner Ray Ferry for alleged trademark violation, breach of contract, fraud, and deceit. Ackerman is claiming $1-million in damages.

The suit stems from the stint that Ferry and Ackerman spent on the revived Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine. Ackerman founded the mag (the first devoted to horror, science fiction, and fantasy films) in 1958, but it ceased publication in 1983. In the 1990s, Ferry, acting as publisher, resurrected the magazine, with Ackerman back as editor, but business disputes drove the two apart, and Ferry now runs the magazine without Ackerman's input.

Ackerman claims that Ferry refused to share profits from sci-fi conventions and led him to sign a contract that would have allowed Ferry to buy millions of dollars worth of Ackerman's assets for $1. Ferry has filed a countersuit, claiming that he, not Ackerman has owned the rights to the 'Dr. Acula' trademark since 1993. Each man is seeking an order to prohibit the other from using the pseudonym.

Bradbury testified that Ackerman has been using the name for decades: 'It's been a running joke...I would say for 60 years,' said the author in the Van Nuys Superior Court. 'It struck me as a very funny name.' Bradbury added that an author's name, whether real of pseudonym, has commercial value. 'I don't give my name away for free.'

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