SUPERMAN: Court Rules in Warner Bros. Favor Over Siegel Estate

It would seem that the long-standing battle over just who owns what parts of the Superman character has come to an end with a ruling by the court system, putting to rest the long, hotly-contested issue.

Follow EdGross:
By EdGross - 1/10/2013
This story is just breaking, but according to Deadline.com, it seems that the estate of Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel has lost its bid for half the copyright of Superman. Notes the site, "The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal has ruled in Warner Bros.’s favor in the long standing copyright claims with the heirs of Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel that there was a binding agreement in 2001 giving the studio full rights to the character. The ruling Thursday is basically a green light for Warner Bros. to now move forward with its Superman big screen reboot Man of Steel and other related properties without the specter of further legal action from the creator’s heirs hanging over them like Kryptonite." This follows an earlier defeat in a case launched by the estate of co-creator Joe Shuster.
Source: Deadline
DISCLAIMER: This article was submitted by a volunteer contributor who has agreed to our code of conduct. ComicBookMovie.com is protected from liability under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) and "safe harbor" provisions. CBM will disable users who knowingly commit plagiarism, piracy, trademark or copyright infringement. Please contact us for expeditious removal of copyrighted/trademarked content. You may also learn more about our copyright and trademark policies HERE.
3
LIKE!
70 Comments
1 2
Jollem - 1/10/2013, 12:00 PM
ya can't really fight massive powers like that. large companies kill and eat people without even trying
FilmsFan - 1/10/2013, 12:00 PM
Fvck these Estates; Joe & Jerry & even Toiken!

All of them are so fvcking ridicules!


Bring SUPERMAN ; MAN OF STEEL!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Durf - 1/10/2013, 12:02 PM
Good. They didn't deserve to get the rights because they don't belong to them. All the work that Siegel did belongs to DC.
BlueMex - 1/10/2013, 12:06 PM
bring it ! Man of Steel !
ScabbyJ - 1/10/2013, 12:12 PM
Yes! Superman gets his trunks back!
LP4 - 1/10/2013, 12:13 PM
Good. Now these greedy cretins can finally SHUT THE [frick] UP.

Crawl back into the dank hole you came out of and never show your faces again.

DukeAcureds - 1/10/2013, 12:16 PM
@Jollem's right. Not really much of a suprise, here. Regular family Vs. Megacorp? No contest.
Filmsfan@ It's not just the estate, in this case, the creators themselves had a long history of trying to reclaim the rights.
Legally, yes, they were in the wrong. But that doesn't mean we, as fans, should be all like "[frick] 'em". They alone are soley responsible for all of Superhero mythology. A little respect wouldn't go entirely amiss.
LP4 - 1/10/2013, 12:18 PM
They wanted to take Superman away from WE THE PEOPLE.

Well to them I say-



Not just the fact they are greedy but the daughter to my recollection USED HER OWN MOTHER'S ILLNESS to try to gain sympathy for this very reason of stealing Superman away.

These "heirs" are sick. Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster created this character. NOT these people. Jerry and Joe SOLD THEIR RIGHTS OVER SUPERMAN TO DC COMICS. I don't give a flying [frick] how much money, they still sold it.

End of story and [frick] you
StarkRaving - 1/10/2013, 12:19 PM
Well said, DukeAcureds.
DukeAcureds - 1/10/2013, 12:19 PM
This generation really doesn't give a [frick] about creator's rights, do they? Too busy worshipping the powers that be.
LP4 - 1/10/2013, 12:20 PM
Now maybe we can all move on and look forward to the new movie and MINIMAL interference from these "heirs"

I'm pretty sure they'll try to sue again...they are annoying, they see no other way through life but to try to sue WB again and in turn screwing over the legions of fans that have kept this character alive for 70+ years.



marvel72 - 1/10/2013, 12:21 PM
@ nomis

i sort of agree with you,i'm glad we're getting a superman movie with no hassle but if i created superman i would like to believe that my children were financially sound after my passing.

you always want the best for children & if they could make some money from what i created so be it.
MrDonut - 1/10/2013, 12:22 PM
They lost the rights when they sold them in the first place so I really don't c why this shit is still going on...
DukeAcureds - 1/10/2013, 12:23 PM
Thanks, StarkRaving@.
LP4 - 1/10/2013, 12:24 PM
Thank you @MrDonut and I agree.

The rights were sold. End of story
Tevii - 1/10/2013, 12:24 PM
I understand the importance of the creators getting what they rightly deserve, but I really get annoyed with these "estates"
Its full of people living off of the greatness of their ancestors. Do something great yourself rather than keep milking from something you had nothing to do with.
DukeAcureds - 1/10/2013, 12:26 PM
yoss@ [frick]ing with both hands? Lucky girl.
DukeAcureds - 1/10/2013, 12:27 PM
Tevii@ You mean... like WB?
SUPERSHADOWBAT - 1/10/2013, 12:31 PM
@DukeAcreds, I second that a little respect for the creators wouldn't hurt. The heirs had nothing to do with the creations. It would be hard to imagine what comics would be like without Superman and the whole superhero mythology.
LP4 - 1/10/2013, 12:31 PM
@Duke- Nice try.

The Siegel estate is just as bad if not worse than WB. These estates are trying to take away something they had absolutely nothing to do with and they don't even think about the legions of fans.

I don't care what their father, husband whatever created. I really don't. What I care more about is what actually happened and what actually happened was- Jerry and Joe SOLD THEIR [frick]ING RIGHTS TO DC. BUT DC still took care of them for the rest of their lives.

The heirs DO get money from DC for everything Superman.

So this whole..."we gotta take away the WHOLE pie this time" is just greediness on their part.

LP4 - 1/10/2013, 12:35 PM
I'm sick and tired of idiots making this whole situation about "the little guy versus the BIG BAD CORPORATION boohooo waaaaaaaa"

NO. This is about a bunch of FREELOADERS trying to jack shit that doesn't belong to them just so they can live off of it for the rest of their lives instead of actually WORKING and making a name for THEMSELVES.

AC1 - 1/10/2013, 12:36 PM
Debates can always be made over whether or not Siegel and Shuster got a fair deal for the rights to Superman, but the fact of the matter is they still sold the rights, fair and square. It's how businesses are run. It would be nice if their families, in recognition of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster's work, were awarded a small percentage of future Superman profits, but that'd be little more than a token of gratitude from WB rather than an actual entitlement; which from a business and legal standpoint, is incredibly unlikely.
LoudLon - 1/10/2013, 12:36 PM
At the very least Warner Bros could throw the heirs a few million bucks out of respect for Siegel. They wouldn't have a Superman movie to make if the character had never been created. But, that's not how Hollywood works; they're not in the habit of playing fair.
soberchimera - 1/10/2013, 12:36 PM
WB: We want to make money off the character, but we want to be respectful and faithful to the 70 year old mythos that will please the fans.

Siegel Estate: [frick] Superman's dignity, he can wear a purple cape and live in Marveland for all I care, just give me my money for a character I didn't create!!
LP4 - 1/10/2013, 12:37 PM
They want money?

They can go out and make up a brand new comic book character then. Make a name for themselves instead of dovetailing off their dead father/husband and sullying his good name.

If this was Joe or Jerry, I'd be more inclined to take their side. But since these are people who had nothing to do with the creation of Superman and are only seeing DOLLAR signs, I'm more inclined to side with the company that actually TOOK CARE OF SUPERMAN AND THE FANS for so long and actually even took care of the heirs for so long.

LP4 - 1/10/2013, 12:38 PM
Thank you @soberchimera- Because of those [frick]ing heirs, Superman COULD HAVE been moved over to Marvel/Disney for all we know, heck he could have been bought up and advertising on the side of the road for [frick]ing Microsoft!

[frick] these heirs. WB may be greedy but they at least CARED for Superman and his 70 year old legacy
FlixMentallo21 - 1/10/2013, 12:40 PM
This wouldn't have happened, and there wouldn't even have been a case as long-standing as this, if said "massive powers" (as Jollem puts it) were 'lobotomized' and under the control of more benign people. BOTH the estates AND the corporations were in the wrong, THEY BOTH SHOULD ANSWER TO US, THE CONSUMERS. WE should have had input on this since WE are the ones consuming everything with an S-shield on it.

Who here agrees?

If I had gotten the address to the courthouse this case was going on in, I would've sent a heartfelt letter to both sides to end that travesty of justice.
AC1 - 1/10/2013, 12:40 PM
@LP4 oh, I wasn't even aware the estates did get anything from Superman. So basically, they're just being greedy then? They wouldn't have a clue what to do with Superman if they did get him - they'd likely just sell him to some other company, then sue them all over again for being able to make a profit when they couldn't.
AC1 - 1/10/2013, 12:47 PM
Like LP4 said, if it was Siegel and Shuster themselves, I'd also be more inclined to side with them, or at least I'd be more neutral, because they would be more deserving than their estates.

You know what? Think about Alan Moore and Watchmen. He's probably got more of a right to be pulling this kind of stunt since it can be said that WB screwed him over, especially in comparison to their treatment of Siegel, Shuster and their estates. But Moore made those characters for DC, and legally they belong to DC. I'm pretty sure Alan Moore hasn't had any massive legal battles with WB over the Watchmen rights. He just becomes really bitter about them when they're mentioned, and rightly so. But he doesn't really have much of a legal leg to stand on. Same thing here, except Siegel and Shuster outright sold the rights to DC.
SkaarJones - 1/10/2013, 12:56 PM
Superman is free!!!
DukeAcureds - 1/10/2013, 12:58 PM
LP4@ You're right, they are not in the legal right. They have also not done anything to desrve the money and power that the rights would afford them. I'm not disputing that at all. But I am saying that these are the wishes of Siegal and Shuster. So there's no need to be such a grump towards the estate, duder.
DukeAcureds - 1/10/2013, 1:09 PM
LP4@ Just to clarify, I say "grump" because that is what you sound like, if you read your comments back, objectively.
(puts on old man's voice)
"I'll tell you why they won, 'Cause their the goddamn dubya-bee and they can do whatever the hell they goddamn please, because they bought the goddamn rights fair and goddamn square and if these low-life, hippy bums want any goddamn money for themselves they should go out and get a goddamn job!"
DioFoRio - 1/10/2013, 1:16 PM
if anything it's just a siren call to any creators out there....handle your biz and get a good lawyer to make sure you don't get screwed. You don't hear about this type of stuff too much now a days. Different times. They are looking for handouts...shit don't work that way.
JohnnyTorch - 1/10/2013, 1:17 PM
Wow, they couldn't even give them a settlement. . ? They missed the most important question. "What Would Superman Do" WB doesn't deserve him. .
TheTank - 1/10/2013, 1:20 PM
these kids didn't deserve anything. And I dont even agree with WB having to give them anything out of respect. Siegel and Shuster have passed away, and they sold the rights fair and square, maybe if they were still alive it may be a different story, but these people are their grandkids pressing charges for shit they weren't even a part of. WB owns Superman. Im surprised this case even went on this long
JULEZ13 - 1/10/2013, 1:21 PM
FINALLY!! ITS ALL OVER!

SUPERMAN IS FINALLY SAFE!!!

I'm just glad that we will be able to get more DC Superman stories and movies without waiting for them to settle with the heirs or worse! The fear that if the heirs would've won that Disney/Marvel would've bought the rights, and with the way Disney has been buying lately (not that I find anything wrong with that) it would have been inevitable!!
JohnnyKrypton - 1/10/2013, 1:22 PM
@LP4

BARVO!!!

Siegel & Shuster (particularly Siegel) were not the honest, put-upon victims it has become fashionable to portray them as (much like Jack Kirby).

DC (or National, rather) took far better care of them than people think (they each had an unheard of 10-yr contract that also paid big royalties - $50-75k/yr at a time when the avg US salary was $950- by FAR the highest pay in the industry).

Read 'Superman: The High-Flying History of America's Most Enduring Hero' for the full history
JohnnyKrypton - 1/10/2013, 1:22 PM
er, *BRAVO!!!
DukeAcureds - 1/10/2013, 1:32 PM
Ultimately, though, I am glad that the case went the way it did. Better the devil you know than the devil you don't, which could have ended up being Disney.
YourMomsFavorite - 1/10/2013, 1:41 PM
@JonnyTorch they did try to settle, they have acctually paid them multiple times, and they keep coming back...all i know is it's good that it's over, I'd rather have the company that has been faithful to the character, than people who want to take it for their own use, who declined to settle on money in 02 or 03 and they got what they deserved for being greedy...and as far as respect DC/WB took care of the men who created Supes for the rest of their natural lives, and on every Superman publication product it acknowledges their creation by saying created by Jerry and Joe...so yeah glad Superman is free and ready for them to stop being so hesitant with promoting him since they always thought they might lose him!
1 2

Please log in to post comments.

Don't have an account?
Please Register.