CBLDF Gains Rights to Comic Code Seal for Licensing

Comics Code Authority seal

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund has announced that they “received the intellectual property rights to the Comics Code Authority Seal of Approval in an assignment from the now-defunct Comic Magazine Association of America, which administrated the Code since the 1950s.”

The comics code of approval and its granting body officially became defunct early this year (2011), as the last two major publishers using the seal, DC and Archie, announced they would no longer use the process. Recent history of the organization is murky, though, with suggestions that the organization hadn’t truly been active since 2009. Marvel Comics hadn’t been part of the group for a decade at that time, quitting in 2001. There are still open questions about what happened to the group’s archives and other historical material.

Comics Code Authority seal

The CBLDF will primarily use the seal for product sales with its image, a kitschy favorite. Their press release says:

The CBLDF will take over licensing of products bearing the Comics Code Seal, including t-shirts, providing a modest source of income for the organization’s First Amendment legal work. Graphitti Designs is currently offering t-shirts with the Code Seal to benefit CBLDF.

More interesting to me is that the CBLDF has posted a brief history of the seal and the process that should be of value to researchers and others. It’s by Dr. Amy Nyberg, who wrote the excellent Seal of Approval: The History of the Comics Code.

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