Warner Bros. Wins Final Element of ‘Superman’ Copyright Case

Warner Bros. Wins Final Element of

The 9th circuit court of appeal has granted in favor of the studio

The 9th circuit court of appeal has ruled in favor of Warner Bros. in its lawsuit against the estates of Superman co-creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.

In a statement, Warner Bros. said, “We are obviously very pleased with the court’s decision.”

The appellate court ruled 2-1 ruling in reaffirming the original ruling by District Judge Otis Wright III.

This ruling should close the case after a battle that began in 2003 when Shuster heir Mark Peary filed a copyright termination notice that led to these proceedings.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 4

Leave a Reply

4 Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Frank W says:

    WB, JUST PAY THE TWO DOLLARS! Sorry didn’t intend for the caps to be on.

    Variety, a little more detail please. Like a refresher on what the suit was about?

    • DanZee says:

      A 1976 addition to the copyright laws allowed a content creator to serve notice that he was reclaiming the copyright to his work, so the Siegel heirs in 1999 tried to use this tactic to reclaim Superman. One of the problems is that DC Comics has “bought” Superman several times from Siegel and Shuster . In 1940 DC bought the rights to Superman for $130 and was paying them $75,000 a year until they sued DC for more money in 1947, whereby they were fired and the lawsuit settled for $94,000. There was another lawsuit in 1973 that failed to reclaim the copyright, and when it came out in the press surrounding the Superman movie that Superman’s creators were destitute, in 1976 DC Comics started paying them a pension of $20,000 a year plus health benefits. There was another attempt to recover the copyright in 1999 and an agreement in 2001 for profit sharing on Smallville and the Superman Returns move, however the Siegels filed another lawsuit in 2002, while the Shuster heirs filed a separate lawsuit in 2004 in an attempt to recover the copyright. The Siegels also claimed copyright infringement against Warner Bros. later in 2004. These suits have wound their way through the courts with various findings in both Warner and the creators’ favor. This decision seems to end the latest round of lawsuits…for the present.

  2. richard says:

    Truth Justice and the American way….WB may have won the lawsuit but not the moral high ground. I will now just buy a ticket for any movie and walk in to see the next Superman film and instead of buying the BluRay will just obtain it for viewing at home some other way.

  3. occultology says:

    Lex Luther triumphs again.

More Film News from Variety

Loading