Robot 6

Warner Bros. dealt a setback in Superman legal battle

Action Comics #1

A federal judge on Monday denied an effort by Warner Bros. to gain access to sensitive documents that are alleged to show an agreement between the heirs of Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster not to strike further copyright deals with the studio, Hollywood, Esq. reports.

The documents, which were at the center of Warner Bros.’ May 2010 lawsuit against Siegel family attorney Marc Toberoff, also purportedly contain a formula for how the two estates, and Toberoff, would divide the Superman assets once they successfully terminate the studio’s rights to the property.

Although Toberoff had convinced the judge in the first trial that those documents were protected by attorney-client privilege, Warner Bros.’ new outside counsel Daniel Petrocelli argued in the 2010 lawsuit that the consent agreement violates the U.S. Copyright Act and, therefore, can’t be insulated from discovery. However, U.S. Magistrate Judge Ralph Zaresky ruled this week that the studio’s assertion that the documents are illegal doesn’t necessarily make them illegal.

Zaresky’s decision is a setback for Warner Bros., which has been waging an increasingly bitter legal battle to hold onto Superman following a 2008 ruling that Siegel’s widow Joanne Siegel and daughter Laura Siegel Larson had successfully recaptured half of the original copyright to the Man of Steel. The door will open in 2013 for Shuster’s estate to do the same. (Last month Toberoff asked the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to determine exactly what elements from Superman’s mythology his clients can reclaim as a result of the 2008 decision.)

The tone and tactics of the dispute were the subject of a letter written in December by Joanne Siegel to Time Warner Chairman Jeffrey L. Bewkes, just two months before her death.

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49 Comments

This is good news.

Good luck to the estates of Siegel and Shuster: only thing that bothers me is the fact that it is the lawyers involved who will see the most money from this dispute.

No, the families will make the most money. Because after they win, Warner Bros. is going to buy the rights back, and it’s going to cost them a fortune.

That’s exactly what will happen. The Siegel/Shuster families may entertain offers from other companies (it would be hilarious to see Marvel/Disney make an offer), but in the end WB/DC will throw as much money as they have to to make sure that no part of the Superman mythology escapes them.

Actually, that’s not what will happen, as a major point of this battle is that Toberoff (the lawyer) is trying to get himself a piece of Superman and already has a production studio set up to make money off of the property once/if he does.

Marvel/Disney will pay a kings ransom to take Superman. They have more than enough to compete financially with Warner Bros.

Welcome to Marvel Kal-El

Will Marvel be the House of El?
Lemme go get some popcorn

You mean Kal-L right? Any new additions to the mythos made by DC are still property of DC and the name “Kal-El” is one of those additions.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but, wouldn’t DC still own the trademark to the name Superman and the S-shield logo? And that the Seigel family would only be entitled to the part of the Superman mythos that actually appeared in Action Comics #1?

In other words, Clark Kent and Lois Lane. No Krypton, no Kal-L or Kal-El, no Lex Luthor, no Perry White, no Jimmy Olsen, no Daily Planet, etc.

That would really limit what the Seigels could actually do with their share of the copyright.

(sighs)
1. Most of Superman, as he exists today, would most likely remain under Warner Bros.
2. There is no logical reason for Marvel to pursue what would be left of Superman. They already have Sentry, Hyperion, etc. so creating new stories wouldn’t work. And the old stories would still belong to Warner.
3. Lawyers are scumbags.
4. While I feel for the families, Jerry and Joe (the actual creators) are long dead. The remaining members involved in the lawsuit had as much to do with the creation of Superman as I did.
5. And even then, the families HAVE been getting royalties over the years. It’s not like Marvel who has completely screwed over Kirby and not paid him a dime.
6. Warner HAS offered the families decent settlements, however their scumbag lawyers are looking to get rich off of the lawsuit and have filled the families with the idea that they should get hundreds of millions. Hence Warner’s attempt to get rid of him.

In the end, the people making the most money off of all this are the lawyers on both sides. Which is definitely NOT good news for anyone involved.

^ totally correct.

There’s also the fact that fans loose out to.

“4. While I feel for the families, Jerry and Joe (the actual creators) are long dead. The remaining members involved in the lawsuit had as much to do with the creation of Superman as I did.” – are you also a member of Siegel or Shuster’s family?

“There’s also the fact that fans loose out to.” – what are the fans ‘loosing out to’?

The scumbag lawyer wants the rights to Superman and the family allows this? Boy that says A LOT. Did he do anything at all in the creation of Superman? WTH…!!!!! If they cared about the property is this how they go about it…giving a greedy lawyer share of it?

Marvel will make a run and might succeed in trying to obtain “Superman”. DC does own the rights to the name, shield, and supporting cast aside from Clark and Lois. My guess is that they will sell to Marvel / Disney out of spite to DC since obviously Marvel knows how to make a profitable comic book movie franchise. However, Marvel is in the same boat with Captain America and could lose him to DC if not careful. That would be interesting to see the two all-american boys switch teams….

I’m so sick of this. The creators SOLD THEIR RIGHTS years ago. Yes, SOLD! As in, DONE DEAL. Not to mention, they’re DEAD now. Enough! Greedy family. Greedier lawyer. Toberoff needs to be sent to the Phantom Zone.

Superman will soon have the Marvel imprint.

As much money as Toberoff has put into this lawsuit, IF he wins he might almost break even.

It will be very sad if, after all this is said and done, the lawyer gets a piece of Superman, the families are fighting for the Siegel and Shuster legacy, only for it to end in the lawyer´s hands, and by their own will.

That´s as bad as wat Dc did to the creators

Great news SCREW WARNER BROS. Hope KIrbys kids can SCREW DISNEY COMICS too.

LOL why would Marvel want SUPERMAN when they have the Sentry and Hyperion? thats a joke right?????

Why are some of you in such denial of what is obviously a case that is going toberoff’s way. much like Charlie Sheen he is “winning”. Who is to say that he cannot aquire the S redesign,or the other later added kryptonian powers. He will push for anything Superman affiliated.

He will then sell it back to the highest bidder. Marvel/Disney will do anything it takes to get the rights for use in Marvel.

Then say hello to the new monthly Superman/Spiderman.

You never hear this b.s. with Batman because WB/DC bought any and all rights to the character from Bob Kane decades ago. There was specific wording in the sale that forbids the Kane estate from ever trying this. The bitterness of this case is because the lawyers at WB/DC they had a similar deal with Superman. They paid for the copyrights and trademarks and offered both creators’ families a pension and insurance for life. ***This b.s. never started until Joe & Jerry passed away***. Either the family go greedy and wanted another go at the trough or they were talked into this by some slimy lawyer. That is the only reason WB/DC didn’t just throw money at this a decade ago and settle it. They bought the legal rights to own this character in the 1970s. Forever. It’s their property. This lawsuit is legal blackmail and the lawyers are such slimeballs that they rolled out a dead old woman to play on people’s sympathies last month.

Superman was not work for hire, but it WAS bought and paid for. There is no legal reason the creators should ever get the character back since they sold their rights away decades ago, after WB took over DC Comics in the 70s. And they were well paid for their rights.

Guess what, the surviving Beatles (and estates) don’t own their creations either. They sold it. Picasso can’t sell the same painting twice either kids. That’s how the grown-up business works. If you want “fair” (or your socialist, feel-good version thereof…) find a magic genie and become kind of the world.

Alex:
Because that’s not how Trademark law works. Warner bros created all of those elements whole cloth, and own all of that outright
1. What is a trademark?

A trademark is a word, symbol, or phrase, used to identify a particular manufacturer or seller’s products and distinguish them from the products of another. 15 U.S.C. � 1127. For example, the trademark “Nike,” along with the Nike “swoosh,” identify the shoes made by Nike and distinguish them from shoes made by other companies (e.g. Reebok or Adidas). Similarly, the trademark “Coca-Cola” distinguishes the brown-colored soda water of one particular manufacturer from the brown-colored soda of another (e.g. Pepsi). When such marks are used to identify services (e.g. “Jiffy Lube”) rather than products, they are called service marks, although they are generally treated just the same as trademarks.

Under some circumstances, trademark protection can extend beyond words, symbols, and phrases to include other aspects of a product, such as its color or its packaging. For example, the pink color of Owens-Corning fiberglass insulation or the unique shape of a Coca-Cola bottle might serve as identifying features. Such features fall generally under the term “trade dress,” and may be protected if consumers associate that feature with a particular manufacturer rather than the product in general. However, such features will not be protected if they confer any sort of functional or competitive advantage. So, for example, a manufacturer cannot lock up the use of a particular unique bottle shape if that shape confers some sort of functional advantage (e.g. is easier to stack or easier to grip). Qualitex Co. v. Jacobson Products Co., Inc., 115 S. Ct. 1300 (1995).

Trademarks make it easier for consumers to quickly identify the source of a given good. Instead of reading the fine print on a can of cola, consumers can look for the Coca-Cola trademark. Instead of asking a store clerk who made a certain athletic shoe, consumers can look for particular identifying symbols, such as a swoosh or a unique pattern of stripes. By making goods easier to identify, trademarks also give manufacturers an incentive to invest in the quality of their goods. After all, if a consumer tries a can of Coca-Cola and finds the quality lacking, it will be easy for the consumer to avoid Coca-Cola in the future and instead buy another brand. Trademark law furthers these goals by regulating the proper use of trademarks.

.

Can trademark rights be lost?

The rights to a trademark can be lost through abandonment, improper licensing or assignment, or genericity. A trademark is abandoned when its use is discontinued with an intent not to resume its use. Such intent can be inferred from the circumstances. Moreover, non-use for three consecutive years is prima facie evidence of abandonment. The basic idea is that trademark law only protects marks that are being used, and parties are not entitled to warehouse potentially useful marks. So, for example, a recent case held that the Los Angeles Dodgers had abandoned rights to the Brooklyn Dodgers trademarkMajor League Baseball Properties, Inc. v. Sed Non Olet Denarius, Ltd., 817 F. Supp. 1103 (S.D.N.Y. 1993).

Trademark rights can also be lost through improper licensing or assignment. Where the use of a trademark is licensed (for example, to a franchisee) without adequate quality control or supervision by the trademark owner, that trademark will be canceled. Similarly, where the rights to a trademark are assigned to another party in gross, without the corresponding sale of any assets, the trademark will be canceled. The rationale for these rules is that, under these situations, the trademark no longer serves its purpose of identifying the goods of a particular provider. Dawn Donut Co., Inc. v. Hart’s Food Stores, Inc., 267 F.2d 358 (2d Cir. 1959).

Trademark rights can also be lost through genericity. Sometimes, trademarks that are originally distinctive can become generic over time, thereby losing its trademark protectionKellogg Co. v. National Biscuit Co., 305 U.S. 111 (1938). A word will be considered generic when, in the minds of a substantial majority of the public, the word denotes a broad genus or type of product and not a specific source or manufacturer. So, for example, the term “thermos” has become a generic term and is no longer entitled to trademark protection. Although it once denoted a specific manufacturer, the term now stands for the general type of product. Similarly, both “aspirin” and “cellophane” have been held to be generic. Bayer Co. v. United Drug Co., 272 F.505 (S.D.N.Y. 1921). In deciding whether a term is generic, courts will often look to dictionary definitions, the use of the term in newspapers and magazines, and any evidence of attempts by the trademark owner to police its mark.

Since the Superman trademarks are inf act unique, and DC will continue to publish Superman in some form or another (Most likely an adult Conner Kent in the role of Superman) Those rights are secure.

glad to see that warner’s latest attempt to try bully the estates to give up failed. as for the creators selling the rights to super man. actully what was dc back then originaly rejected superman only later while jerry and joe were serving in ww2 and without telling them published action comics 1 then when jerry and joe found out offered them only 130 bucks to keep super man. for jerry and joe never willing sold the rights to warner’s and dc themselves. and would love to see the estates just for payback sell superman to Dismarvel. though warner’s in the end will be paying the estates a kings ransom once and for all for the big blue boy scout.

I will once again post my thoughts on this matter:

This is why I believe the Copyright Act should never have been amended back in 1976. To be honest, I wish Mark Twain had failed in his efforts to amend it back in his day.

Copyright originally existed to protect the Public Domain. It was designed as a way for CREATORS to get fair pay for their work, but for that work’s property rights to expire after a time so that they may benefit culture as a whole. Can anyone say the world would be a better place if Shakespeare’s descendants still held control of his works and charged schools and obscene amount of money in order to teach Hamlet in class?

Mark Twain’s argument was that his family should continue to profit off of his work after his demise, and in the face of protracted legal battles like this I cannot disagree more. I don’t see any reason why a family’s estate should continue to profit off of work they have no hand in creating, nor should Warner Bros really have full control over the Superman character beyond the continued stories they publish. As much as I feel DC Comics has done a fine job of shepherding the character over the years, I cannot find myself in favor of this position of perpetual Copyright; and even less so in favor of a group of individuals profiting off of a property without actually putting in any work to the continued development of that property.

I’d ask that everyone please take a look at this chart and see for yourself the sickening progression of the true problem here:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/2f/Copyright_term.svg/625px-Copyright_term.svg.png

Were it not for the 1976 Copyright act, Superman would have fallen into the public domain as of 1995.

The reason this fight is happening in the first place is because of the Copyright Term Extension Act (CTEA) of 1998, which extended the terms of Copyright for another 20 years, making it so that the term of Copyright is life of the author plus 70 years and for works of corporate authorship to 120 years after creation or 95 years after publication, whichever endpoint is earlier.

The Siegels are fighting for a continued revenue stream until the year 2066 without having to do any actual work themselves for any of it…while Warner Bros is trying to defend their hold on the character until 2059.

In light of all this, for the reasons I have stated above, I feel neither party should have exclusive rights to the character; though Warner Bros should retain rights to the stories they continue to publish.

Aside from this, as much as I don’t see why either party should hold Copyright of the character at this point, it makes more sense to me that the company who is actually producing a product should have ownership vs the descendants and widow of a wonderful creator whom will profit without contributing anything further to society in it’s regard.

In short: No one should have the copyright for Superman. It should be public domain precisely to PREVENT wasteful legal battles years after the deaths of the original creators such as this one.

@blubeetle3: “And that the Seigel family would only be entitled to the part of the Superman mythos that actually appeared in Action Comics #1?”

Close, but not quite; it’s been discovered over the course of the past several years that the first SEVERAL Superman stories were at least outlined before being sold to National — at least up through the origin story (destruction of Krypton etc.). That’s important because the Siegel and Shuster heirs can reclaim anything that was created prior to being sold to National, but not anything that was created for-hire after National bought the rights.

@jon-el: “While I feel for the families, Jerry and Joe (the actual creators) are long dead. The remaining members involved in the lawsuit had as much to do with the creation of Superman as I did.”

And so does WB CEO Jordan Levin. Your point?

“And even then, the families HAVE been getting royalties over the years.”

Well, no. DC agreed to give Siegel and Shuster a fixed amount of money per year back in the 1970’s. That’s not the same thing as royalties.

The Siegel family HAS been getting royalties for the past decade or so — because they reclaimed their share of the copyright. It’s not because DC gave it to them out of the goodness of their hearts, it’s because they now own a portion of Superman. That’s not subject to debate; the only debate is how MUCH they own and how much they’re entitled to.

@littlenomad: “I’m so sick of this. The creators SOLD THEIR RIGHTS years ago. Yes, SOLD! As in, DONE DEAL.”

Now see, I’M so sick of THIS.

They sold the rights under pre-1976 copyright law, which stated that Superman would enter into the public domain after 56 years.

56 years have been and gone. Under the original agreement, Superman would be public domain right now, and not belong to the heirs OR DC.

The law changed to allow DC to keep the copyright — but, in recognition of that fact that this changed the original deal, it allowed the owners and their statutory heirs to reclaim the copyright.

The original deal has ended. Siegel and Shuster kept their end of the bargain; DC got Superman for 56 years. Now their heirs get to renegotiate.

“Greedy family. Greedier lawyer.”

And WB is the greediest of all.

Manuel Marinho

April 14, 2011 at 1:58 am

While it would be kind of funny to see Marvel buy Superman, the fact is I trust Warner/DC a hell of a lot more as custodias of an intact Superman property than I would some lawyer who had nothing to do with Supes. T

The families/lawyer aren’t fighting for public domain, they’re fighting to attain property of Superman. While I don’t dispute their rights to do so, and it would be kind of funny to see Marvel buy Superman, the fact is I trust Warner/DC a hell of a lot more as custodians of an intact Superman property than I do the alternative.

Oh, and Michael,

“If you want “fair” (or your socialist, feel-good version thereof)”

You clearly don’t know what “socialism” is or how it works. Don’t talk about what you don’t know, and thus avoid the dangers of sounding like an idiot.

I seriously don’t see Marvel even attempting to purchase Superman if things don’t go DC’s way. That to me just stinks of bad business karma. I think fans of both DC and Marvel would be pissed that Marvel bought the rights and just not even bother to read their version of Superman. Maybe I’m just being naive about the situation though. Let me put this out there to the DC fans: would you read Marvel’s Superman if it were good or would you protest and say to hell with Marvel?

Oh and another reason why I think Marvel may not go after Superman is because they’re gonna need to save their money for if/when the Kirby estate gets a hold of all the King’s creations.

People keep mentioning Superman going to Marvel. Same thing could happen with Captain America…and eventually Spiderman. Why do people seem to think that Marvel could get DC characters but not the other way around.

oh and about Jack Kirby, are his estates relations with DC better than they are with Marvel? I hear a lot of talk about Joe Simon and Jack Kirby relating to Marvel, but hear very little negativity towards DC.

@Jason

Besides Captain America, all Kirby’s creations were co-creations with Stan Lee, who sold his rights to Marvel for 1million a year I believe. So the only thing the Kirby estate could do at most is be co-owners with Disney/Marvel, who I’m sure will just buy them out or set up some kind of pension like Stan Lee is getting.

Kevin T. Brown

April 14, 2011 at 8:30 am

“This is good news.”

Not it’s not. This will be appealed and Warners will probably prevail.

I absolutely hope DC loses this one. :) It would be so darn grand, and could open up so many new and exciting venues, if they did.

Here’s to a Siegel Shuster win! =)

Kind of scummy of the lawyer to want to get paid with parts of Superman tho’… THAT, I would not like to see! But the Shusters setting up their own company, that would license the rights to Superman, that would be one heckuva’ thing. ^^

Superman at Marvel.. reimagined… GODDAMN that would be sweeeet!

@Jason Sorry but that is wishful thinking on your part rather than reality. Superman right now is the only one being fought over in a nasty legal battle. Not Joe Simon and Marvel. Spiderman was created by steve ditko and stan lee and steve could careless about who own’s spiderman and stan lee has no intention of removing spiderman from Marvel so again you are false.

Look,I understand that you want to swing the pendulum the other way to detract the talk of Superman possibly being removed but let’s face facts. Toberoff is going farther than anyone has before in re-aquiring the rights for the families.

Superman and Spiderman comic……coming soon

This is compete crap! The families and the lawyers are trying too take away a great character from the fans.

Superman: Brand New Day, One More Day, OMIT…

Yeahhh…he’ll fit right in at Marvel.

-_-.

I’m a big fan of Superman, and of the DC Universe. big fan. I love JLA, team-ups, and Superboy and Supergirl with the Legion of Superheroes, and all that.

Let me put this in no uncertain terms: What happens to the DC universe if the heirs of the creators of Superman regain rights to their creation as explicitly allowed by the law makes no freaking difference!

Jerry and Joe created Superman, and their families deserve every right under the law to benefit from that creation.

Truth, Justice and the American Way, people!: Truth – Jerry and Joe created Superman. Justice – the law allows their families deserve to benefit from that creation by reclaiming the rights. The American Way – Jerry and Joe gave us all something much bigger than a single story or character. they created a genre, and provided the engine for an industry. Like everyone, they would have wanted to provide for their families.

Again: Jerry and Joe created Superman, and their families deserve every right under the law to benefit from that creation.

I don’t see why DC would pay money to Siegel and Shuster. Not only they have the rights to most of the mythos (Action Comics, Kal-El, Krypton, etc) but they will be able to use Superman and Clark Kent once they enter the public domain. Why pay a huge sum for the exclusive use of a character for just a few years?
I’d love to see DC launch Kal El #1, Man of Tomorrow #1, Last Son of Krypton #1, all featuring Kal El.
By the same token, I think the Siegel / Shuster should have the exclusive use they’re entitled to. It won’t last very long and they won’t be able to make very much of it.

As for the fans afraid that the character is going to be stolen from them. Are you serious? Or are those just fake accounts created by Warner’s legal team?

first, Superman without all the more modern stuff isn’t a big seller. Heck, its not a great seller now. Most of the main villains are not from the contested era. DC has built the Superman franchise. It is the crew, like it or not, that made the character what it is, through the bad times and the good. That isn’t to say that the previous crews that handled it didn’t shaft Siegal and Shuster, just that they did the work.

As for Marvel getting it… lord I hope not. Superman wife beater. Superman deal with the devil. Superman punisher. Superman Venom/carnage/random word that means bloody. Superman red/blue was bad enough.

And while the “possiblity” of grand happenings opens up, the more likely aspect is that the character will become watered down by so many lesser talents now having a chance to publish really crappy stories. Someone above mention shakespear and Hamlet. Thing is, Hamlet isn’t rewritten, there are not continuing stories about hamlet. The play is the thing. It can be updated, told in a modern style, as the Bard himself indicated should be done, but the same basic story is always the same.

Superman’s origin as a single story isn’t retold each issue, four times a month. Public domain usually means something is open for public use, and 99 times out of a 100, when used it’s dreck that should never have seen the light of day. You cannot assume that good will come of it being in the public domain, when even a cursory examination of things like parks, subways, transits, etc… shows that they are geared to the lowest common denominator. This will also translate into the Superman character if just anyone is allowed to publish whatever they want. There may be the occasional gem, but how many will see it if everyone is allowed to create. I’m no writer, but if it’s in the public domain, and it’s got the Superman logo on it, heck, maybe even I could publish something.

“Hey, lets have Superman become evil for a while and kill several thousand people. He can be a child molester as well, but is ultimately saved by his taboo love of the dog Krypto.” Extreme example, sure, but in public domain, there’s nothing to stop it if some skeezy publisher wants the publicity and notoriety, and thinks they can make a buck off it.

I say pay the estate’s nicely, and then have it done once and for all with the Character in its home.

Bob Kane was smart when he created batman. He had a team of lawyers make sure that he got of percentage of every dollar batman made, and that his estate would continue to get it after his death.

The one that got screwed there was his partner Bill Finger.

@Leocomix: “I don’t see why DC would pay money to Siegel and Shuster.”

Well, the main reason they started paying them a stipend was bad publicity.

“they have the rights to most of the mythos (Action Comics, Kal-El, Krypton, etc)”

Not Krypton, no; it’s now been established that Siegel conceived of the doomed planet prior to selling to DC. His heirs own Krypton and DC has to pay them to use it.

“but they will be able to use Superman and Clark Kent once they enter the public domain. Why pay a huge sum for the exclusive use of a character for just a few years?”

That’s a wonderfully ass-backwards way of looking at it, but no, Warner and the other major studios have spent decades PREVENTING their properties from entering the public domain. The “just a few years” you speak of is actually 22 years.

“I’d love to see DC launch Kal El #1, Man of Tomorrow #1, Last Son of Krypton #1, all featuring Kal El.”

And in the meantime, DC goes 22 years without being able to sell any of the past 75 years’ worth of Superman comics, TV shows, cartoons, or movies. Yeah, THAT’S gonna happen.

This thread is just silly. DC’s not going to keep exclusive rights to the characters, they’re not going to remove Clark Kent, Krypton, and Lois Lane from their comics, and Marvel sure as hell isn’t going to buy the rights. The Siegel heirs have gotten their portion of the rights back, and the Shuster heirs are going to get THEIR portion of the rights back, and DC’s going to keep on doing what it’s doing and just pay royalties to the heirs. The only thing that’s really being debated here is how much the heirs are entitled to.

If DC fails on this and Marvel doesn’t pick this up, what happens then?

I don’t really see superman being published indy style or picked up by image and doing as good as they do now. then it’ll sit there for three years being unprofitable and pass into public domain.

And on a completely different note, I don’t see how they should get anything anyway. The creators should have been paid a good amount of money to buy the character, and then paid the royalties to it afterwards for their work, but that’s about it. You don’t see modern creators fighting for anything because of the way the contract was written up. Lawyers have been around as long as the devil. You can’t tell me that they didn’t try to get the rights for it from the beginning. Give the families each 50 million and make it up on the movies and move on.

what does “loose out” mean? Do you mean “lose”, present tense of “lost”?

“loose”=the opposite of tight.

Interwebs pet peeve of mine.

I wish the rights to this thread could be legally given to Thad. Seems like he’s one of the very few who truly understand the issues at stake, as well as the likely outcome.

Wouldn’t that be funny if the legal defense suddenly turned into “The Siegels created Kal-L, from Earth-2. So yes, legally, you can have the rights to that character and mythology.”

Then we’d have two Supermen from two different companies. DC would hang onto the post-86 John Byrne Superman, and the lawyer/Siegels get the Earth-2 Superman with the Daily Star and whatnot. That’d be crazy, and totally a way I could see the thing ending up, sort of like the Thunderball fiasco for James Bond. If things get hairy enough, Warners will pull the “Multiverse” card.

I don’t pretend to know that I understand the legal ramifications that come from this whole ordeal. And several of the comments on here make sense and the authors seem like they know what they’re talking about, even though their opinions are conflicting. If posters like Thad, Skyrider, Guy Fumetti, etc. could please give their backgrounds/experience for “knowing” what the outcome of the lawsuit will mean, that would help lay people (like me) to understand better.

…and give more credit to their posts, in my opinion.

@ Gray

I should point out that I never mention the legal ramifications of the lawsuit itself. I merely commented on it being indicative of what I see as a larger, long term legal issue that I have developed significant interest in.

I have no formal legal background, though I have been researching copyright terms for some time and speak only my opinions on they themselves.

That said, I believe everything factual I have posted has sound legal grounding. My opinions in relation to those facts are, in essence, my own.

It is only my hope that I might frame this debate in a larger sense, to show an overarching issue with these types of copyright disputes; how excessive expansion of copyright terms has gotten us to this point, as well as its inherent detriments.

There is a current Event Horizon of the Public Domain in the United States that stops dead at 1923 where works (created after Jan 1st, 1923) that would have gradually become Public Domain are now practically being pinned down as intellectual property in perpetuation.

DC is ruining Superman anyway. For example they are trying to create controversy by having Superman renounce his US citizenship. So who cares what happens. Superman is already ruined.

If You Watch Smallville Youll Know Superman Name Cease To Exsist There Calling Him The Blur Whatever The Hell That Is (Flash Maybe) And In The Young Justice TV Show Superman Dont Even Show Up That Offten So You Could Tell DC Is Loosing The Rights To The Character Oh & Im More Of A Marvle Fan & Half A DC Fan So You Know That I Want Superman In The Marvle Universe To Get Rid Of Thor Thor Sucks

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