Monday, September 21, 2009

Disney Faces Rights Issues Over Marvel; New York Times, 9/21/09

Michael Cieply and Brooks Barnes, New York Times; Disney Faces Rights Issues Over Marvel:

"Walt Disney’s proposed $4 billion acquisition of Marvel Entertainment may come with a headache: newly filed claims challenging Marvel’s long-term rights to some of its superhero characters.

Heirs to the comic book artist Jack Kirby, a creator of characters and stories behind Marvel mainstays like “X-Men” and “Fantastic Four,” last week sent 45 notices of copyright termination to Marvel and Disney, as well as Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Universal Pictures, and other companies that have been using the characters.

The notices expressed an intent to regain copyrights to some of Mr. Kirby’s creations as early as 2014, according to a statement disclosed on Sunday by Toberoff & Associates, a law firm in Los Angeles that helped win a court ruling last year returning a share of the copyright in Superman to heirs of one of the character’s creators, Jerome Siegel."

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