DC moves to end Superman, Superboy lawsuits

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Yesterday’s summary judgment filings confirm that settlement talks have been ongoing–and the Siegel side is in disarray.

Siegel and Shuster attorney to court: It’s over

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News reports are circulating that the Siegel and Shuster heirs have asked the lower court to dismiss DC’s copyright lawsuits. What actually happened is rather different.

The Eyes of Joanne Siegel

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In 2008, the Siegel family won a historic courtroom victory. So why did they risk it all on an appeal? An encounter between Jerry Siegel’s widow, Joanne,  and Super Boys author Brad Ricca provides a telling clue.

Do comic company lawyers kill creative freedom?

Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel

Among the many thoughtful questions raised in my discussion with the Superman Homepage earlier this week was whether the Siegel lawsuit prompted changes to Superman’s uniform. This might seem like a small issue, but it reflects serious concerns about freedom and integrity in a corporate context.

Today’s Superman Rulings Explained

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After a surprising victory in 2008, Siegel attorney Marc Toberoff decided to press for the rights to more Superman material. Instead, he lost everything that the Siegel heirs and he himself had won.

Today’s (Partial) Smallville Settlement and the Kardashians

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Given the lively discussion of what folks don’t want to see on The Beat, I couldn’t resist noting that an attorney representing Smallville co-creators Miles Millar and Alfred Gough in their dispute with Time Warner also represented the Kardashian sisters in the epic, never to be forgotten Kardashian Kard case. However, the Smallville dispute is also […]

Has Toberoff already won the Siegel case?

Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel

Over the past year creators’ copyright crusader Marc Toberoff took some serious hits in the various Superman and Kirby lawsuits. Yet there was also a deceptively routine procedural matter that could have already assured him a victory in the Siegel estate’s Superman appeal.

The Legal View: Did Marc Toberoff actually win in today’s Superman case ruling?

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You might hear today that the district court judge has handed Toberoff another stunning defeat this week, “a doozy and an outright win for DC.” 

It’s actually a win for Toberoff, at least procedurally.

Here’s what happened. 

The Legal View: Ticket crashes and the Tardis

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Ticketfails have become as much a part of fandom as slashfic and cosplay. While PR flubs and angry complaints get a fair bit of attention, the crash of ticket sales for last week’s promotion of a Doctor Who premiere in New York also illustrates the potential for legal problems.

A few thoughts on the legal dimension of online event ticketing — and why it matters — after the jump.

The Legal View: Legal maneuvering on both sides as judge cancels Superman hearing

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[On Monday, US District judge Otis Wright cancelled a hearing on the case of the Joe Shuster estate's claim for his half of the copyright to Superman. This led many observers to think a decision was near. The Beat's legal expert, Jeff Trexler explains it's just not that simple.]

The Legal View: Historic Documents in the Siegel & Shuster Lawsuits

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By Jeff Trexler

— Whatever the merits of the latest summary judgment motion in the dispute over the Superman copyright, its supporting exhibits bring together a number of important documents in two accessible filings.

The Legal View: "Breaking" old news in the Superman copyright case

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By Jeff Trexler

Other comic news sites are reporting a bombshell development in DC’s legal fight to hold onto the Superman copyright: on Monday, the company filed a court document asserting that the Shuster estate had actually sold its share of the Superman copyright back to DC in 1992 and affirmed this sale in subsequent correspondence.

The Legal View: Retconning the Siegel Case

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In my last post, we looked at the attorney-client privilege question addressed by yesterday’s Ninth Circuit ruling in favor of DC. But does a clear victory for DC in a this rather technical legal issue signal a greater loss for the Siegel and Shuster heirs?

The Legal View: Jack Kirby and the Siegel Appeal

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Last year a federal court in New York denied the Kirby heirs’ attempt to claim the copyright in Spider-Man and other Marvel properties. Why, then, is their lawyer betting the future of the Siegel lawsuit on the same losing arguments?

The Legal View: Facebook vs Superman

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DC’s latest filing in the Siegel case made headlines because of the company’s request for a trial. But was that really a surprise? In today’s post, we’ll look at what the filing reveals about DC’s not-so-secret war — and how the final fate of Superman may be determined by Facebook and the Winklevoss twins.

Court rules making your own Batmobile violates copyright — UPDATED

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We’ve mentioned a few times here a lawsuit for copyright infringement by DC against an outfit called Gotham Garage, which sells replica Batmobiles—based on the ’60s Batman TV show in particular—as well as other vehicles based on famed fantasy cars, like the Mach Five.

If you were thinking of buying one, better hurry, because a judge has ruled that the Batmobile is subject to copyright.