Kirby Lawsuit Begins

The Kirby estate has finally filed their lawsuit against Marvel for termination of copyrights of Kirby-created characters.

Back in September, we reported that the Kirby estate had sent notices of termination for all of the characters Jack Kirby created or co-created at Marvel, and even for some that he had little to do with, such as Spider-Man. A good deal of the most important and successful Marvel characters were created or co-created by Kirby, and the notices, immediately following Disney’s announcement that they would be buying Marvel, instilled fear in the hearts of many comic fans who believed that their beloved characters might be plucked out of the Marvel Universe.

In actuality, it is far more likely that the lawsuit, which was carefully worded as follows, will result in either a large monetary payment to the Kirby estate or, at worst/best, the opportunity for the Kirby estate to market competing versions of the characters:

"With respect to Co-Owned Kirby Works, as of the respective Termination Dates, Defendants will jointly own the copyrights to such works for their renewal terms: both Plaintiffs and Defendants will have the non-exclusive right to exploit such jointly owned copyrights…"

The lawsuit also names X-Men Origins: Wolverine and The Incredible Hulk as movies that failed to rightfully acknowledge Kirby as a creator, therefore causing damages to the Kirby estate.

The ambitious lawsuit will certainly be met with the full force of Disney’s legal team, but the results remain to be seen. The Siegle/Schuster lawsuit against DC for the rights to Superman was relatively successful for the heirs of the creators, resulting in a lot of the rights returning to the estates. However, it did not spell the end of Superman at DC. Instead, it will result in lots of money in the pockets of the Siegle and Shuster heirs.

Source: THR
Syndicated from The Outhouse – The Greatest Comic Book Website
Posted originally: 2010-03-16 13:07:52

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