In terms of franchises, Superman is probably the gold standard. The character, created by Jerome Siegel and Joseph Shuster, has sold innumerable comic books, action figures, costumes and movie tickets since its debut in 1932.
Recently, one of the largest movie studios in Los Angeles won an important victory regarding Superman.
Last Thursday, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court's ruling that a 2001 deal between Warner Bros.' subsidiary DC Comics and Siegel was invalid. As it stands now, that ruling stands to invalidate a 2008 decision that would have allowed Siegel's estate to retake substantial rights with respect to the very lucrative Superman character.
In October 2012, Warner Bros. also triumphed when a federal judge held that Shuster's estate could not claw back its rights with respect to the character.
Although it is possible that the legal dispute at the center of these cases is not yet resolved (there is a lot of money involved, after all, and that often motivates people to keep fighting) it certainly seems as though this decision clears the way for Zack Snyder's "Man of Steel," starring Henry Cavill and Amy Adams, to be released this summer.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter, "Warner Bros. Wins Blockbuster Victory in Legal Batter for Superman," Eriq Gardner, Jan. 10, 2013
- Entertainment lawsuits such as this one are always of interest to us because a great many of our clients make their living in the movie, television, recording and publishing industries. For information on what our Los Angeles law firm can offer such clients, may we suggest visiting the Entertainment Law portion of our website?