Some people are going to be very irate over this news, while others will shrug their shoulders with the “should have read the fine print” attitude, but the Kirby Estate has lost its big case against Marvel in trying to get portions of the rights back to them for many of Jack Kirby’s creations.

Specifically, the estate of comic book superhero legend Jack Kirby, co-creator of Captain America, The Fantastic Four, The X-Men, The Avengers, Iron Man, Hulk, The Silver Surfer and Thor, sent notices terminating copyright to publishers Marvel and Disney, as well as film studios that have made movies and TV shows based on characters he created or co-created, including Sony, Universal, 20th Century Fox and Paramount Pictures. Normally these kinds of lawsuits are run of the mill for Hollywood. But not when they’re litigated by Toberoff, who is the bane of Big Media.

The big loser in this case is Marc Toberoff, who has a big track record in winning rights back from corporations.

In a prepared statement, the Walt Disney Company issued the following statement:

“We are pleased that in this case, the judge has confirmed Marvel’s ownership rights.”

There are a number of factors that went against the Kirby Estate in this case, including Jack signing paychecks that specifically stated signing the check constituted a work for hire and anything done became the property of Marvel.

You can read the complete ruling that Rich Johnston was able to track down right here.


via Deadline

The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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1 Comment

  1. Crash
    August 8, 2011 at 2:51 am — Reply

    I actually have no problem with this. I see no reason why someone who was not the creator or writer of a comic should get any money for or should have rights over their intellectual property. I don’t care if you are their kid, their wife, or their neighbor. Once you die then all of your products should loose all copyrights within 10 years of your death. Copyright laws were originally invented and used so that you could live off and make money off of your ideas, not so that your relatives or a company could use them for years upon years to make more money after your death.

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