The GeeksverseSiegel, Shuster, and WB Resolving?

Siegel, Shuster, and WB Resolving?
Published on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 by

DC Comics, Warner Brothers, and the families of Siegel and Shuster have been back to court recently. Not only should Siegel and Shuster be noted as creators, but some believe that they should also retain ownership of their key character Superman.  The entertainment giant, Warner Brothers, currently owns DC Comics, and sent out the following press release.

Warner Bros. today received a unanimous and extremely significant ruling from the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Heard before Alex Kozinski, Chief Judge, Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain and N. Randy Smith, Circuit Judges, the Opinion (see link below) was written by Judge O’Scannlain.WB Statement:

“We are extremely pleased that the 9th Circuit unanimously found in our favor. The ruling means that defendant Mark Toberoff must now turn over critical evidence in the pending litigation against him and others.”

The ruling is the most recent turn in the ongoing litigation over rights and profits from the Superman character created in 1938. Warner Bros. filed suit against Toberoff – who has represented the heirs of the creators for a number of years in their attempt to reclaim the rights to the iconic hero – trying not only to gain access to certain evidence but also publicly turn the tide of sentiment away from a narrative of “Major corporation versus destitute creatives” to one of “entertainment lawyer working in his own interests rather than that of his clients.”

With today’s ruling, a PDF of which can be read here, the legal question may be decided for the moment. The question of public opinion on the case remains very much in play.  Ownership versus paperwork has been a contended concept in the past few years. Many comic fans want creators of classic characters to retain ownership or benefit from ongoing profits despite the contracts that paid for work which included pay for ownership and authority.

Keep in mind that Marvel Comics recently reasserted their ownership of Ghost Rider in court against Gary Friedrich.

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