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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 17
    More: Obvious, Joseph Shuster, Superman, Windows key, super strength, secret identity, Superman co, Jerry Siegel, summary judgment  
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11975 clicks; posted to Main » on 18 Oct 2012 at 1:37 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-10-18 12:01:33 PM  
6 votes:
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 01:52:28 PM  
3 votes:
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 02:15:51 PM  
2 votes:

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 01:43:01 PM  
2 votes:
Superman should be in the public domain by now anyway.
2012-10-18 01:38:54 PM  
2 votes:
I would have expected them to dump the kryptonite three doors down.
2012-10-19 02:44:54 PM  
1 votes:

OniExpress: Mock26: 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?

Indefinite.

Let us say that I open up a small business selling sandwiches topped with a secret sauce. Upon my death the business goes to my son, and upon his death it goes to his son, etc. The government cannot step in after X number of years and declare that I have to give out the recipe of my secret sauce to everyone in the world so that they can start making their own version of it. I do not think that a copyright should be any different.

if you want to have an "indefinite secret" like that... just don't patent it. As soon as you want legal protection of your "secret recipie" (or circuit design, or rubber formula, etc) you have to hand the knowledge of it over so it's known what's protected.


To clarify what I think that OniExpress was talking about, as I understand it, there are four basic types of intellectual property protection (note: IANAL):

• Copyright ― Generally for creative works such as art, literature, music (including lyrics), poetry, etc. Intended to be of limited duration, after which property reverts irrevocably to Public Domain and becomes part of the cultural heritage. The property being protected must be fully revealed at the time of protection. Originally ‶opt-in" (meaning that if you didn′t explicitly copyright a work, it became Public Domain by default), now ‶opt-out" (meaning that all creative works are considered copyrighted when fixed in tangible form, and only become Public Domain upon [increasingly distant] expiration or if the creator explicitly releases it to the Public Domain).

• Trademark ― Intended for brands, logos, etc. Potentially unlimited duration (no set time limit), but must be kept in active use, must not be permitted to become the generic reference for the type of product or service (e.g. ‶formica" [neé Formica®]), and you must vigorously defend it if infringements become known to you (failure to do so can result in a court determining that you must not have really wanted to keep it ― this is why Disney infamously sued a children′s hospital who had painted Disney characters on a mural to help put sick children at ease ― they settled such that Disney charged them a token pittance to license the characters ― Disney wasn′t out to soak nor even to punish the hospital, but rather merely to legally establish that they still held trademarks on those characters, which they could license as they saw fit ― had Disney not asserted their trademarks even in that case, they could easily have lost them forever!). Trademarks can also be lost due to punitive action, such as Bayer® AG losing the trademark on ‶aspirin" by the Nuremburg War Crimes Tribunal as punishment for their financial backing of the Nazis.

• Patent ― For actual inventions. Must be innovative and non-obvious, without prior art. Of limited duration and cannot be renewed, but the protection is much stronger than for copyright. Unlike copyright, patents protect against others coming up with similar inventions independently of yours ― an invention like yours would still be considered patent infringement even if the other inventor didn′t even know about yours. As with both of the above, the nature of the invention must be completely revealed in the patent application. The long-term benefit to society is that everything about the invention and how it works becomes public knowledge, which can be freely used by anyone once the patent expires.

• Trade Secret ― Also for inventions and for just about anything else. Unlike any of the others, you do not reveal the nature of the secret, nor do you have to do anything other than, well, keep it secret. The only time limit is how long you and your heirs can keep the secret. If the secret gets out, however, your only recourse is to sue whomever revealed it for damages resulting from revealing the trade secret, but you can never stuff the genie back into the bottle. Once a secret has been revealed, it stays revealed, unless you know how to contact Professor Charles Xavier or Mephisto or some such to wipe the knowledge from the memory of all humanity and all records.

For your Secret Sauce, you could copyright the written recipe with its specific wording, but that wouldn′t protect against someone else coming up with a recipe for an identical sauce and wording it slightly differently (e.g. ‶Mix in salt and spices" instead of ‶Stir in spices and salt"). This doesn′t protect the sauce itself, which would generally be considered an invention, not a creative work. And even so, you′d have to reveal the written recipe′s complete wording, since that′s what′s being protected.

You can trademark the name and logo of it, but again, that doesn′t protect the sauce itself, only your branding of it.

To protect the sauce itself, you could either patent it, or make it a Trade Secret. If you patent it, you have to reveal its complete recipe to the Patent Office, which publicly puts it on the patent application for all to see, forever. But, no one would be allowed to make the same sauce, even if they reword the recipe, even if they came up with it independently without having seen your recipe nor tasted your sauce.

If you want to keep it secret, your only option is Trade Secret protection. You give up all legal protections of patent and copyright (you can keep trademark for the branding), but in return, you don′t have to reveal the recipe ― to anyone. You and your heirs can keep the secret for as long as they can prevent anyone else from learning of it. But if someone were to break into the safe deposit box or vault where you had it written down, your only recourse would be legal damages for revealing the secret (and of course criminal trespass). You also have no protection from and no recourse for someone else coming up with the same sauce without referencing your trade secret recipe.

Basically, copyright and patent were established by the Framers of the Constitution to provide a temporary and limited monopoly to artists and inventors to encourage the development of arts and sciences, in return for complete information about the creative work or invention which would become available to the society and culture at large forever. If you do not wish for society to obtain this benefit, you can opt for Trade Secret instead, which has no actual legal teeth to speak of.
2012-10-18 06:52:49 PM  
1 votes:

Some 'Splainin' To Do: The entire point is that your legal rights to a work are not eternal. Copyright was invented as a limited protection in order to allow artists to profit from their work without competition, essentially giving you a temporary monopoly, with the explicit understanding that your work would return to the public domain afterwards. It is an exchange between society, in the form of the government, and the artist.


So much farking THIS.

Copyright was originally 28 years, maximum. You got 14 years, and could file to have that extended by another 14 years. After that, public domain, baby.

This life + 70 years bullshiat is going to kill our culture. It's exceptionally disgusting when corporations raid the public domain for source material and then lock the product away. Taking and not giving back isn't cool.


And, for the record, I derive most of my income through copyright (software, photos, and writing).
2012-10-18 06:28:38 PM  
1 votes:

WorthNoting: imashark: 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.

Sonny Bono was a CONGRESSMAN??????? :-O

Seriously????????

Is this THE Sonny Bono or is there another one?


Nope, the guy who sang "I've Got You Babe" was a congressman until he accidentally went all George of the Jungle.
2012-10-18 03:02:20 PM  
1 votes:
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 02:47:29 PM  
1 votes:

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 02:38:27 PM  
1 votes:

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 02:27:27 PM  
1 votes:

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 02:00:06 PM  
1 votes:
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 01:53:39 PM  
1 votes:

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

Superman is trademarked, so copyright doesn't matter.
2012-10-18 01:51:47 PM  
1 votes:

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


No, he should not.
2012-10-18 01:47:53 PM  
1 votes:
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 01:47:24 PM  
1 votes:

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
 
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