Monday, September 21, 2009

Kirby heirs vow to reclaim copyrights from Marvel and Disney

The Spirit of Jack is still with us all!

Heirs to the comic-book artist Jack Kirby, who has been credited as the co-creator of characters and stories behind Marvel mainstays like the “X-Men” and “Fantastic Four,” among many others, last week sent 45 notices of copyright termination to Marvel, Disney, Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures and others who have been making films and other forms of entertainment based on the characters.

The legal notices expressed an intent to regain copyrights to some creations as early as 2014, according to a statement from Toberoff & Associates, a Los Angeles firm that helped win a court ruling last year returning a share of the copyright in Superman to heirs of the character’s co-creator, Jerome Siegel.

Reached by telephone on Sunday, Mr. Toberoff declined to elaborate on the statement. A spokeswoman for Marvel had no immediate comment. Disney said in a statement, “The notices involved are an attempt to terminate rights seven to 10 years from now, and involve claims that were fully considered in the acquisition.” Fox, Sony, Paramount and Universal had no comment.

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