If your a Marvel fan, and laugh with glee every time you hear the next chapter in the Siegel/Warner Bros. lawsuit, then that grin may quickly fade after news that the Jack Kirby estate has served notice to Marvel, Disney, Sony, Universal, 20th Century Fox, and Paramount Pictures, that it is terminating copyright.
It all boils down the Kirby estate trying to regain the rights of the characters Kirby created (a very extensive list that includes Captain America, The Fantastic Four, X-Men, The Avengers, Iron Man, Hulk, The Silver Surfer, and Thor, among others) and make money off someone. If the suit is successful, everything would hit the fan in 2014, when Kirby would own the copyright, but Marvel/Disney would own any trademarks.
Interestingly, the same law firm that represents the Siegel estate, Toberoff & Associates, is also representing the Kirby estate.Â Now sounds like a good time to be a dead creator that has a family looking to score big of changes in company structure and copyright law.
What will be the upshot of all of this?Â Millions spent in the courtroom trying to settle this argument, with the estate walking away with millions more, and the publisher still producing comic books feature the characters in question.
UPDATE: Here is Marvel’s official statement on the termination notice.
â€œMarvel received the termination notices and is reviewing the information and has no additional comment at this time.â€
Yikes.Â Sounds like it took them by surprise.