Kirby Estate Sues Marvel For Copyrights
Following in the path of the Jerry Siegel estate, the family of Jack Kirby is suing Marvel and Disney for the rights to all of the characters Kirby created and co-created.
Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, The Fantastic Four, The Incredible Hulk, The X-Men… these are names of some of Marvel’s top properties, and these characters were all co-created by Jack Kirby. Now, in the wake of the so-far successful lawsuit by the family of Superman creator Jerry Siegel, Kirby’s estate is suing Marvel for his share of the rights to these copyrights.
This is unlikely to result in the loss of publishing rights to these characters by Marvel, especially as Marvel will still retain the trademarks to these properties in comics and movies, as well as the non-Kirby shares of the copyrights. However, it is highly likely that Kirby’s estate will be able to negotiate for much more money in exchange for the publishing rights, especially since they have retained the same lawyers as the Siegel family, who have been mostly successful so far.
In the case of the Siegel lawsuit, it was recently ruled that the origins of the character, as well as many key elements, would return to the hands of the Siegel estate in 2013. One of the ramifications of this is that if DC does not make a Superman movie in 2011, which is something they have said they don’t plan to do, Siegel’s estate can sue them for damages. The Kirby lawsuit, if successful, with take effect in 2014.
It’s interesting that this move comes right after the announcement that Disney would purchase Marvel, as Disney’s legal team can certainly present a more formidable defense than Marvel could have on their own. In any case, it looks like big changes are in store for the industry if more creators start successfully taking back the copyrights to their creators?
We’ll have more info on this story as it happens.
Source: Bleeding Cool
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Posted originally: 2009-09-20 22:24:40