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(LA Times)   Judge dumps a bag of burning kryptonite at the doorsteps of the heirs of Superman co-creator Joseph Shuster   (latimes.com) divider line 112
    More: Obvious, Joseph Shuster, Superman, Windows key, super strength, secret identity, Superman co, Jerry Siegel, summary judgment  
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11964 clicks; posted to Main » on 18 Oct 2012 at 1:37 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-10-18 12:01:33 PM
Yeah, why would a judge rule for DC when Seigel and Shuster have sold the rights to Superman to DC twice, received a pension from them for 20 years, and Shuster's widow agreed in 1992 to never file claims against DC again if DC paid all funeral expenses for Shuster and again increased survivor's benefits?

Siegel and Shuster have milked this cow dry, their heirs want to milk the marrow out of the bones, and the saddest part is the character should be in Public Domain in the first place.
 
2012-10-18 01:38:54 PM
I would have expected them to dump the kryptonite three doors down.
 
2012-10-18 01:43:01 PM
Superman should be in the public domain by now anyway.
 
2012-10-18 01:43:09 PM

FirstNationalBastard: Yeah, why would a judge rule for DC when Seigel and Shuster have sold the rights to Superman to DC twice, received a pension from them for 20 years, and Shuster's widow agreed in 1992 to never file claims against DC again if DC paid all funeral expenses for Shuster and again increased survivor's benefits?

Siegel and Shuster have milked this cow dry, their heirs want to milk the marrow out of the bones, and the saddest part is the character should be in Public Domain in the first place.


As many Captain Ersatz's over the years as there have been, SuperDuperman is as good as in Public Domain

www.thetick.ws
 
2012-10-18 01:46:13 PM
imageshack.us
 
2012-10-18 01:47:24 PM

FirstNationalBastard: and the saddest part is the character should be in Public Domain in the first place.


farkING THIS X INFINTY

I mean, what part of the Superman hasn't been out there for YEARS
 
2012-10-18 01:47:53 PM
So the sister basically traded hundreds of millions of dollars in exchange for $25k/year?

Well, not bad considering that she and the other heirs DID NOTHING to earn it.
 
2012-10-18 01:48:19 PM
Has anyone mention that after all these years that the"Superman" "character" should be in the "public" "Domain" by now because of it's "considerable" "visibility"of the "thematic" use of the "storyline".
 
2012-10-18 01:51:10 PM
The fun fact is that comic books being what they are, the various strong trademarks tied to the Superman character (SUPERMAN and the various other characters like LOIS LANE, JIMMY OLSEN and the like, the logomarks of his symbol and likely the imagemark of superman himself) would survive as long as DC maintained them and would prevent people from doing too much with the big blue boyscout that they cannot already do under fair use.
 
2012-10-18 01:51:47 PM

ShawnDoc: Superman should be in the public domain by now anyway.


No, he should not.
 
2012-10-18 01:52:28 PM
FTFA: Warner plans to release a new big-budget Superman movie, "Man of Steel," in June. Wednesday's ruling will allow it to produce sequels should that picture prove successful. In addition, the studio has been eager to produce a movie featuring the DC superhero team Justice League as soon as 2015, which would have been impossible without lead character Superman.

GODDAMNITSOMUCH.

You suck, Warner Bros. Were it not for Batman, DC live action films would be worthless because of you. Superman has been done (not amazing, but still), where the fark is a Wonder Woman film? The Flash? Green Lantern (no, I don't know what you're talking about, no GL film has been made)? Perhaps even the Martian Manhunter? I mean, what the fark?

You even have your rivals, Marvel, showing you how it's done, and done WELL. Individual films. Introduce the characters by themselves, then no need for origin stories in the crossover. Instead you're stupid and greedy, and your film is going to blow as a result. I'll be content with the Animated Series, if that's what it comes to.

And I swear, if it's a Young Justice League film, with farking teenyboppers in the roles, I will hope every day that there is a hell waiting for you in the afterlife.
 
2012-10-18 01:52:51 PM

ShawnDoc: Superman should be in the public domain by now anyway.


and now you know why they keep reinventing him.
 
2012-10-18 01:53:39 PM

ShawnDoc: Superman should be in the public domain by now anyway.

Superman is trademarked, so copyright doesn't matter.
 
2012-10-18 02:00:06 PM
In a crucial legal victory for the Burbank studio, a federal judge in Los Angeles on Wednesday denied an effort by the heirs of Superman co-creator Joseph Shuster to reclaim their 50% interest in the world's most famous superhero.

When no one was looking, they tried to take fifty percent. They tried to take 50 percent. That's as many as five tens. And that's terrible.
 
2012-10-18 02:00:41 PM
The case is the latest and highest-stakes dispute between the creators of famous comic book characters and the entertainment giants making more money than ever from them as superheroes have exploded in popularity in the last decade. The heirs of Marvel Comics artist Jack Kirby, also represented by Toberoff, in 2011 lost in an attempt to reclaim rights to such famous characters as the Fantastic Four, X-Men and the Hulk.

I see a common, public domain theme....
 
2012-10-18 02:01:32 PM

FirstNationalBastard: Yeah, why would a judge rule for DC when Seigel and Shuster have sold the rights to Superman to DC twice, received a pension from them for 20 years, and Shuster's widow agreed in 1992 to never file claims against DC again if DC paid all funeral expenses for Shuster and again increased survivor's benefits?

Siegel and Shuster have milked this cow dry, their heirs want to milk the marrow out of the bones, and the saddest part is the character should be in Public Domain in the first place.


The right of reverter CANNOT be bargained away.
 
2012-10-18 02:07:22 PM

roc6783: The case is the latest and highest-stakes dispute between the creators of famous comic book characters and the entertainment giants making more money than ever from them as superheroes have exploded in popularity in the last decade. The heirs of Marvel Comics artist Jack Kirby, also represented by Toberoff, in 2011 lost in an attempt to reclaim rights to such famous characters as the Fantastic Four, X-Men and the Hulk.

I see a common, public domain theme....


The rumor is that scumbag lawyer stands to get a large portion of the rights to the character if he wins.
 
2012-10-18 02:11:48 PM
Has it been said that Superman should be in the public domain by now anyway?
 
2012-10-18 02:12:23 PM

un4gvn666: FTFA: Warner plans to release a new big-budget Superman movie, "Man of Steel," in June. Wednesday's ruling will allow it to produce sequels should that picture prove successful. In addition, the studio has been eager to produce a movie featuring the DC superhero team Justice League as soon as 2015, which would have been impossible without lead character Superman.

GODDAMNITSOMUCH.

You suck, Warner Bros. Were it not for Batman, DC live action films would be worthless because of you. Superman has been done (not amazing, but still), where the fark is a Wonder Woman film? The Flash? Green Lantern (no, I don't know what you're talking about, no GL film has been made)? Perhaps even the Martian Manhunter? I mean, what the fark?

You even have your rivals, Marvel, showing you how it's done, and done WELL. Individual films. Introduce the characters by themselves, then no need for origin stories in the crossover. Instead you're stupid and greedy, and your film is going to blow as a result. I'll be content with the Animated Series, if that's what it comes to.

And I swear, if it's a Young Justice League film, with farking teenyboppers in the roles, I will hope every day that there is a hell waiting for you in the afterlife.


Or Mr. Banjo, for cryin' out loud! Where's his movie????

http://www.comicvine.com/mr-banjo/29-51888/
 
2012-10-18 02:12:55 PM

Teiritzamna: The fun fact is that comic books being what they are, the various strong trademarks tied to the Superman character (SUPERMAN and the various other characters like LOIS LANE, JIMMY OLSEN and the like, the logomarks of his symbol and likely the imagemark of superman himself) would survive as long as DC maintained them and would prevent people from doing too much with the big blue boyscout that they cannot already do under fair use.


That's what I was thinking. I mean my daughter has a Superman ceiling light in her room. The whole thing has a copyright mark on it, but the part where the S Shield are and the name SUPERMAN both have TM Marks on it. So it would seem even if the copyright were to expire, Warner still owns and maintains all the trademarks. So you could make a story that was exactly like Action Comics #1 but the main character couldn't be called superman or clark kent, and he couldn't wear the red and blue outfit with the S shield. So if that was the case, what good would that be, since in a sense it would be like trying to make a comic book starring Ronald McDonald.
 
2012-10-18 02:15:04 PM

FirstNationalBastard: the saddest part is the character should be in Public Domain in the first place.


But without continually expanding length and scope of "intellectual property" protection, what will incentivize those dead artists to keep creating?

Won't somebody please think of the dead artists?!
=Smidge=
 
2012-10-18 02:15:29 PM

rmdpgh: un4gvn666: FTFA: Warner plans to release a new big-budget Superman movie, "Man of Steel," in June. Wednesday's ruling will allow it to produce sequels should that picture prove successful. In addition, the studio has been eager to produce a movie featuring the DC superhero team Justice League as soon as 2015, which would have been impossible without lead character Superman.

GODDAMNITSOMUCH.

You suck, Warner Bros. Were it not for Batman, DC live action films would be worthless because of you. Superman has been done (not amazing, but still), where the fark is a Wonder Woman film? The Flash? Green Lantern (no, I don't know what you're talking about, no GL film has been made)? Perhaps even the Martian Manhunter? I mean, what the fark?

You even have your rivals, Marvel, showing you how it's done, and done WELL. Individual films. Introduce the characters by themselves, then no need for origin stories in the crossover. Instead you're stupid and greedy, and your film is going to blow as a result. I'll be content with the Animated Series, if that's what it comes to.

And I swear, if it's a Young Justice League film, with farking teenyboppers in the roles, I will hope every day that there is a hell waiting for you in the afterlife.

Or Mr. Banjo, for cryin' out loud! Where's his movie????

http://www.comicvine.com/mr-banjo/29-51888/


(I suppose the questions should've been ".-- .... . .-. . ' ... .... .. ... -- --- ...- .. . ..--.. ")

/I'll go away now
 
2012-10-18 02:15:51 PM

FirstNationalBastard: Yeah, why would a judge rule for DC when Seigel and Shuster have sold the rights to Superman to DC twice, received a pension from them for 20 years, and Shuster's widow agreed in 1992 to never file claims against DC again if DC paid all funeral expenses for Shuster and again increased survivor's benefits?



This. they didn't stiff his family, they made a lowball but still decent deal (all debts paid plus $25K a year for the rest of your life for doing nothing isn't terrible) and part of the deal was that the family drop all present and future lawsuits.The family signed the deal, took the money, then reneged on their end and decided to sue anyway.

Shuster probably deserved more $$ than he got, but a lot of other people have as much to do with the character's popularity anyway. Max Fleischer, John Byrne, Richard Donner, Cristopher Reeve, etc. Especially Byrne and Donner. The version Shuster created isn't even really the one being sold anymore.
 
2012-10-18 02:16:40 PM

Mock26: ShawnDoc: Superman should be in the public domain by now anyway.

No, he should not.


So what do you consider a reasonable length of time for a copyright?
 
2012-10-18 02:17:01 PM

FirstNationalBastard: roc6783: ***snip***

The rumor is that scumbag lawyer stands to get a large portion of the rights to the character if he wins.


You would think that would motivate him to stop losing all the time, but you never know with some folks.
 
2012-10-18 02:19:17 PM

ShawnDoc: Mock26: ShawnDoc: Superman should be in the public domain by now anyway.

No, he should not.

So what do you consider a reasonable length of time for a copyright?


At the time the copyright is claimed, it should be valid until every single human alive at the time of the claim is deceased.
 
2012-10-18 02:19:56 PM

bukketmaster: FirstNationalBastard: ***snip***
Shuster probably deserved more $$ than he got, but a lot of other people have as much to do with the character's popularity anyway. Max Fleischer, John Byrne, Richard Donner, Cristopher Reeve, etc. Especially Byrne and Donner. The version Shuster created isn't even really the one being sold anymore.


I bet he wouldn't have stood for this.


///I am a terrible person
 
2012-10-18 02:22:28 PM

you_idiot: So the sister basically traded hundreds of millions of dollars in exchange for $25k/year?

Well, not bad considering that she and the other heirs DID NOTHING to earn it.


You believe family businesses should not exist?
 
2012-10-18 02:23:22 PM
Wasn't this why they killed Superboy for awhile?
 
2012-10-18 02:27:27 PM

Smidge204: FirstNationalBastard: the saddest part is the character should be in Public Domain in the first place.

But without continually expanding length and scope of "intellectual property" protection, what will incentivize those dead artists to keep creating?

Won't somebody please think of the dead artists?!
=Smidge=


Wow, I didn't realize until today that the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act extended copyrights to [life of the author]+70 years or 120 years from creation/95 years from publication for corporate authorship.

As to the trademark issue, trademark's broad interpretation leads me to believe they're almost as bad as Copyright (considering a trademark can be almost anything that distinguishes a particular brand). 

This madness is out of control.
 
2012-10-18 02:28:32 PM

texdent: Wasn't this why they killed Superboy for awhile?


Yep. The shiat hit the fan when Smallville debuted, and that began this round of lawsuits.
 
2012-10-18 02:29:05 PM

rmdpgh: Or Mr. Banjo, for cryin' out loud! Where's his movie????


I honestly thought you were farkin' with me...lol
 
2012-10-18 02:30:00 PM

ShawnDoc: Mock26: ShawnDoc: Superman should be in the public domain by now anyway.

No, he should not.

So what do you consider a reasonable length of time for a copyright?


I dunno, until the artist and family of the artist are all gone, with no heirs to receive the work? I mean, seriously. If I create something, what gives anyone the right to come in like vultures to take it and use it after the legal protection runs out? It's my creation, my work.
 
2012-10-18 02:33:57 PM

Kit Fister: ShawnDoc: Mock26: ShawnDoc: Superman should be in the public domain by now anyway.

No, he should not.

So what do you consider a reasonable length of time for a copyright?

I dunno, until the artist and family of the artist are all gone, with no heirs to receive the work? I mean, seriously. If I create something, what gives anyone the right to come in like vultures to take it and use it after the legal protection runs out? It's my creation, my work.


But if you sell that work, and even sell it again a second time, should your family still make money off of it?

To use the family business analogy, if you sell your Grandpa's little general store out to Starbucks, should you expect to get a cut of all the profits Starbucks makes at that location?
 
2012-10-18 02:34:10 PM

Kit Fister: ShawnDoc: Mock26: ShawnDoc: Superman should be in the public domain by now anyway.

No, he should not.

So what do you consider a reasonable length of time for a copyright?

I dunno, until the artist and family of the artist are all gone, with no heirs to receive the work? I mean, seriously. If I create something, what gives anyone the right to come in like vultures to take it and use it after the legal protection runs out? It's my creation, my work.


Because people place little value on ideas.
 
2012-10-18 02:38:27 PM

Kate Gosselin's Pap Smear: Has it been said that Superman should be in the public domain by now anyway?


That statement has been repeated so many times now that it has voided its own copyright.
 
2012-10-18 02:38:44 PM

bukketmaster: Especially Byrne and Donner.


You could make the case that without Byrne the X-Men movie never gets made and possibly the whole slew of recent superhero movies but his contribution to the Superman mythos and the character's popularity is negligible.
 
2012-10-18 02:41:14 PM

Nina_Hartley's_Ass: bukketmaster: Especially Byrne and Donner.

You could make the case that without Byrne the X-Men movie never gets made and possibly the whole slew of recent superhero movies but his contribution to the Superman mythos and the character's popularity is negligible.


For a while, Byrne's Superman was the definitive Superman.

Then the fanboy wankers came in and started reverting everything to the lame-ass Silver Age version that was retconned out of existence because it was a joke.
 
2012-10-18 02:44:23 PM

un4gvn666: rmdpgh: Or Mr. Banjo, for cryin' out loud! Where's his movie????

I honestly thought you were farkin' with me...lol


My work here is done.
 
2012-10-18 02:47:29 PM

FirstNationalBastard: Kit Fister: ShawnDoc: Mock26: ShawnDoc: Superman should be in the public domain by now anyway.

No, he should not.

So what do you consider a reasonable length of time for a copyright?

I dunno, until the artist and family of the artist are all gone, with no heirs to receive the work? I mean, seriously. If I create something, what gives anyone the right to come in like vultures to take it and use it after the legal protection runs out? It's my creation, my work.

But if you sell that work, and even sell it again a second time, should your family still make money off of it?

To use the family business analogy, if you sell your Grandpa's little general store out to Starbucks, should you expect to get a cut of all the profits Starbucks makes at that location?


If you *sell* the rights, and sign a legal document stating that you no longer own them, then no. You sold out the rights, period.

If you *license* the rights, or sell a share of the rights, then you should be compensated/receive a cut of the profits commensurate with the license agreement or your retained share of the rights. So, for example, if I sell you 50% interest in my ownership of Kit Fisterman, then I should still see 50% of the profits (unless we negotiated and agreed otherwise). If I licensed my rights to you in an agreement that says you have the rights to use and produce works using my IP in exchange for X, then I expect X from your proceeds.

Using your analogy, i'm a dumbass if I sell grandpa's little general store to Starbucks. I get the price of the business/land/whatever, and I relinquish all claims to that business*.

If I license Starbucks to use Grandpa's Little General Store™, including location and other ancillary items related to it, then I expect to receive whatever profits and perks were negotiated as part of the licensing deal. Likewise, if i sell 50% interest in the TM/CR, then I expect 50% of whatever is brought in by anyone exercising that TM/CR.
 
2012-10-18 02:52:21 PM

Kit Fister: FirstNationalBastard: Kit Fister: ShawnDoc: Mock26: ShawnDoc: Superman should be in the public domain by now anyway.

No, he should not.

So what do you consider a reasonable length of time for a copyright?

I dunno, until the artist and family of the artist are all gone, with no heirs to receive the work? I mean, seriously. If I create something, what gives anyone the right to come in like vultures to take it and use it after the legal protection runs out? It's my creation, my work.

But if you sell that work, and even sell it again a second time, should your family still make money off of it?

To use the family business analogy, if you sell your Grandpa's little general store out to Starbucks, should you expect to get a cut of all the profits Starbucks makes at that location?

If you *sell* the rights, and sign a legal document stating that you no longer own them, then no. You sold out the rights, period.

If you *license* the rights, or sell a share of the rights, then you should be compensated/receive a cut of the profits commensurate with the license agreement or your retained share of the rights. So, for example, if I sell you 50% interest in my ownership of Kit Fisterman, then I should still see 50% of the profits (unless we negotiated and agreed otherwise). If I licensed my rights to you in an agreement that says you have the rights to use and produce works using my IP in exchange for X, then I expect X from your proceeds.

Using your analogy, i'm a dumbass if I sell grandpa's little general store to Starbucks. I get the price of the business/land/whatever, and I relinquish all claims to that business*.

If I license Starbucks to use Grandpa's Little General Store™, including location and other ancillary items related to it, then I expect to receive whatever profits and perks were negotiated as part of the licensing deal. Likewise, if i sell 50% interest in the TM/CR, then I expect 50% of whatever is brought in by anyone exercising that TM/CR.


The "sell" option is what happened with Superman. And Superboy. Seigel and Shuster sold the character outright to DC for $130 bucks and the rights to continue providing DC with new Superman stories. And they sold Superboy to them in 1948 for nearly $100,000.

In today's comics, though, many creators retain the rights to their original characters, yet have them published through companies like DC/Vertigo or Image. I assume that would be akin to the "license" option you were talking about.
 
2012-10-18 02:54:37 PM
Honest question:
What's the oldest character/story that's still copyright/trademarked?
Off the top of my head, Public Domain:
Christmas Carol
Huckleberry Finn/Tom Sawyer
Sleepy Hollow
War of the Worlds (I think)
 
2012-10-18 02:58:24 PM

Trocadero: Honest question:
What's the oldest character/story that's still copyright/trademarked?
Off the top of my head, Public Domain:
Christmas Carol
Huckleberry Finn/Tom Sawyer
Sleepy Hollow
War of the Worlds (I think)


Sherlock Holmes is still under copyright in the US. I think Peter Pan is also still under copyright in the US.
 
2012-10-18 03:02:20 PM
A pair of poor teenage Jews getting fleeced by rich old Jews. It was a day that ended with a "y", I believe.
 
2012-10-18 03:07:32 PM

Mock26: ShawnDoc: Superman should be in the public domain by now anyway.

No, he should not.


media.tumblr.com

/not that I have any particular stake in this argument, I don't really like the Superman character
 
2012-10-18 03:09:49 PM
Let me just say sincerely - fark you, Sonny Bono.
 
2012-10-18 03:12:24 PM
Just another reason why you should never sell your rights in a piece of intellectual property for a straight cash-only figure but should always have some % of future earnings/profits in the mix - just in case someone figures out how to make a lot of money off it.
 
2012-10-18 03:12:40 PM

Agent Smiths Laugh: Mock26: ShawnDoc: Superman should be in the public domain by now anyway.

No, he should not.

[media.tumblr.com image 492x538]

/not that I have any particular stake in this argument, I don't really like the Superman character


I'm torn as well.

DC Comics sucks, and doesn't know what to do with any of the characters they own.

However, the families and their lawyer are going for a cash grab.

Therefore, Image comics deserves everything.
 
2012-10-18 03:17:20 PM

cefm: Just another reason why you should never sell your rights in a piece of intellectual property for a straight cash-only figure but should always have some % of future earnings/profits in the mix - just in case someone figures out how to make a lot of money off it.


Make sure it's revenue, not profit. Hollywood Accounting makes Net Points absolutely irrelevant.
 
2012-10-18 03:17:30 PM

Kit Fister: ShawnDoc: Mock26: ShawnDoc: Superman should be in the public domain by now anyway.

No, he should not.

So what do you consider a reasonable length of time for a copyright?

I dunno, until the artist and family of the artist are all gone, with no heirs to receive the work? I mean, seriously. If I create something, what gives anyone the right to come in like vultures to take it and use it after the legal protection runs out? It's my creation, my work.


It's your work. When you're dead, what the hell does it matter? You want to provide for your kids, make money off the thing when you're still kicking.

It isn't enough that wealth should be inherited, so should intellectual property? I see no sense in that. Why should a child who may have no familiarity with the work or even the trade be the copyright holder? It makes less sense than the publisher holding the right.

And in this case, the copyright didn't matter until the work was successful. It seems like an easy out for the creator. I can sell my IP rights upon publication, and upon success I can sue to win them back. It makes the publisher a sucker.
 
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