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The lawyer who unsuccessfully sued to take Superman from DC is now doing the same with Spider-Man, Iron Man, and The Avengers from Marvel

ManaByte

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Disney’s Marvel unit is suing to hold onto Avengers characters including Iron Man, Spider-Man, Dr. Strange, Ant-Man, Hawkeye, Black Widow, Falcon, and others.

The complaints, which The Hollywood Reporter has obtained, come against the heirs of some late comic book geniuses including Stan Lee, Steve Ditko, and Gene Colan. The suits seek declaratory relief that these blockbuster characters are ineligible for copyright termination as works made for hire. If Marvel loses, Disney would have to share ownership of characters worth billions.

The heirs of the comic book creators (including Black Widow creator Don Rico) are being represented by Marc Toberoff, who once famously represented Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster in an unsuccessful termination attempt against DC.
DC saved off termination by counterclaiming against Toberoff and asserting tortious interference of its rights. The publisher was represented by Dan Petrocelli at O’Melveny, who just so happens to be representing Disney now in its efforts to keep rights to various Avengers characters.

Petrocelli is filing several lawsuits in various jurisdictions against Larry Lieber, Don Heck, Patrick Ditko, Don Rico and Keith Dettwiler. The cases will focus on the creation of famous comic book characters and whether they should be deemed as works made for hire. If so, then the publisher would be deemed the statutory author.
Toberoff has a lot of experience doing this type of case.

Almost a decade ago, he represented the estate of comic book legend Jack Kirby over whether he could terminate a copyright grant on Spider-Man, X-Men, The Incredible Hulk and The Mighty Thor. In August 2013, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court’s ruling that determined Kirby’s heirs couldn’t wrest back his share of rights to these characters because the former Marvel freelancer had contributed his materials as a work made for hire.
 

TrueLegend

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I would actually like that. They have run their course. But most likely Disney will settle.
 

Hulk_Smash

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“The families of the creators”. So people that didn’t do shit. You know outside of maybe inheritance disputes, these lawsuits should always be thrown out. If the dude is dead, they shouldn’t be able to profit off of them.
 
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TGO

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“The families of the creators”. So people that didn’t do shit. You know outside of maybe inheritance disputes, these lawsuits should always be thrown out. If the dude is dead, they shouldn’t be able to profit off of them.
Family of the creator shouldn't.
But a Multi Billion dollar company should?
Interesting......
 
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ManaByte

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Family of the the creator's shouldn't.
But a Multi Billion dollar company should?
Interesting......

Go invent something when working for a company and find out who owns it.

I have friends who have patents in their name for code they created, but that code is owned by the developer they worked for when they made it.
 

Blade2.0

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Go invent something when working for a company and find out who owns it.

I have friends who have patents in their name for code they created, but that code is owned by the developer they worked for when they made it.
Yes. That is some bullshit.
 
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6502

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So how did Disney get the rights? I can't believe they stole them from these poor artists.. Bastards!

If I sell my family home, can my grandkids come along and boot out the people who bought it off me?

It is not theirs to live off nor to grant to others. If the artist wanted to do that they could have made it on their own time and released it to the public or made such terms in the contract.
 
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TGO

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Go invent something when working for a company and find out who owns it.

I have friends who have patents in their name for code they created, but that code is owned by the developer they worked for when they made it.
Yes we know how it works, hence why many music artist were broke yet sold millions.
Case in point
 
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TGO

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Wait I thought Sony owned Spider-Man?

Joking
Movie rights, but you already know.
There maybe other reasons they want them besides Money.
integrity of the characters might be one
For instance, Sony holds the film's rights for Spider Man and can do whatever they please within the agreement.
But that agreement sets a lot of rules that they can't break.
Peter can't smoke drugs, he has to live with his Aunt and Uncle while in school years
Is Caucasian and straight, doesn't have sex before a certain age, etc,etc
They have to stick to that.
And they wouldn't change unless someone else buys it off them and those conditions are changed by the person who owns the original comic character rights
Who could do that? Disney.
If Disney got the film rights in combination with the original comic character rights.
They could do what they did with Loki.
Or they may want to change stuff themselves
Who knows 👀
 
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Bitmap Frogs

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Honestly "the family of the creators" is an expression that I really dislike to read. AKA people who didn't do shit.

However, fuck Disney.
 
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Yeah spider mans copyright would end in 2057 so still pretty valuable to get the rights back next year. The copyright act in the 70s provides a small window for original creators or their estate to get their rights back and pretty much end a contract after 56 years (35 if the deal was after the act). This was just in case the publishers were making too much profit while the creator was making none or the publisher was not using the work at all and it was stranded.


The key difference in Superman from this was Superman was found not to be a work for hire because the contract was all weird but the estate made subsequent contracts and were still getting paid so they lost. This most likely will be found to be a work for hire but Disney will probably settle to have no further problems like they did with Jack Kirby.