Contact Us

DC Appeals Siegel Ownership of Half of Superman Rights

Having seemingly secured the rights to Joe Shuster’s half of the rights to Superman, DC Comics and parent company Time Warner’s never-ending battle over collaborator Jerry Siegel’s share of the rights continued yesterday as the case went before a Federal Appeals Court.Arguments were heard by a California Appeals Court in Pasadena, CA, yesterday over whether or not Laura Siegel Larson — Siegel’s daughter — has the right to terminate her family’s share of Time Warner and DC’s existing copyright to the Superman character as ruled by a Californian court in 2008. Daniel Petrocelli, a lawyer working for DC, argued that the 1938 copyright that would be terminated under existing US copyright law is actually invalid due to a 2006 agreement between Joanne Siegel, Larson’s mother (and Jerry’s wife), and DC from 2006. “At the very minimum, we believe we’re entitled to a trial,” Petrocelli told the court, going on to say that, should the Appeals Court agree that the 2006 agreement supersedes the 1938 agreement — or the 1947 post-lawsuit agreement, or the 1973-1975 lawsuit and subsequent agreements — between DC and Siegel, it would “dispose of the entire dispute.”

Marc Toberoff, the attorney working for Larson, is familiar with this argument, as he has recently lost a lawsuit for the Shuster half of the rights to DC on very similar grounds (In that case, a 1992 agreement between DC and Shuster’s sister invalidated any future claim to the rights, it was ruled last month). He argued that the 2006 agreement was itself invalid as DC/Warners changed the royalty terms after the fact, something that Judge Sidney Thomas seemed unconvinced about yesterday; he reportedly asked Toberoff “If there’s a legitimate offer on the 16th [of October, 2006] and the acceptance on the 19th, does it really matter what happens afterward? This suggests there’s probably a genuine issue of material fact.”

No ruling was handed down from the three judge Appeals Court yesterday. Keep looking up, in the sky, for developments.

Best of the Web

More From Around the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://comicsalliance.com using your Facebook account.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on Comics Alliance quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here.

Register on Comics Alliance quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!