Yes, what you're suggesting is exactly what Westlake did. To reinforce his
position, he wouldn't allow the name Parker to be used on screen.
According to the link below (I can't verify the accuracy of the
information), the studios repeatedly bought the Philo Vance character rights
from one another to the point where they were 'inextricably tangled'. And
the first three William Powell Vance movies have been in a kind of legal
limbo for decades.
----- Original Message -----
From: "docsavage80" <email@example.com>
>I suppose it depends upon the specific details of the deal. Surely the
>writer could allow himself or herself the out of restricting it to an
>adaptation of a specific book. Did not S.S. Van Dine have The Bishop Murder
>Case with Basil Rathbonde made by a completely different studio than then
>one that made the William Powell Philo Vance films?
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