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.
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.
By Jeff Trexler In the book of Genesis, Esau sells his birthright to his younger brother Jacob for some lentil soup. Yesterday, a judge ruled that Joe Shuster’s sister sold the family’s claim on the Superman copyright for a meager pension. Superman may be a modern myth, but that’s not always a good thing.
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.
[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.]
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.
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.
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.
My last post explored how continuities between the cover image of Action Comics #1 and subsequent material could give DC a substantial part of the copyright in the original Superman. One question left unaddressed, however, was the issue of Clark Kent, not to mention other key elements of Superman’s character and mythos appearing in that historic first issue.
In this post, let’s take a quick look at that question and the role it could play in bringing this case to an end.
A sad day for those who hoped, perhaps against hope, that Jack “The King’ Kirby’s heirs would get some of the money their father’s creations have made over the years. Characters including Captain America (created in the ’40s with Joe Simon), The Hulk, Iron Man and Thor– you know, if they called next year’s potential biggest-movie-of-all-time THE AVENEGRS “JACK KIRBY’S AVENGERS” they would not be far from the mark.
Deadline has analysis, seeing it as a big setback for lawyer Marc Toberoff, who has won many unlikely IP cases against giant studios in the past:
By Jeff Trexler– In March 2008, Grant Morrison’s homage to Siegel and Shuster appeared in comic shops on the very same day that the Siegel heirs recaptured half the original Superman copyright. Now Morrison is set to work his shaman’s magic once again in the September relaunch of Action #1–and this time, the Siegels could lose everything.
Morrison’s upcoming Supergods holds the key to understanding why. For an explanation and a sneak preview of Morrison’s new book, click below. A mysterious appeal, Joe Shuster’s super-swastika and the final crisis of the legal multiverse–this one has it all.