Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Lawyer-Man to the rescue!

The next big superhero fight won’t be some massive inter-company event, nor will it take place on the silver screen in 3D, but instead it will occur in the courtrooms as the lawyer who once made the low-budget film Zombie High has a new calling as an intellectual property litigator while he now battles a real-life corporate Goliath in the form of the Walt Disney company on the behalf of the heirs of comic book artist and legend, Jack Kirby.

Yep, that’s right, Marc Toberoff is attempting to secure the rights for the heirs of artist Jack Kirby — who have sued Marvel Entertainment and its new owner the Disney Co. — as part of an effort to reclaim ownership of the characters he created and/or co-created.
Toberoff claims Kirby created his characters on a freelance basis, rather than as works for hire, and he may reclaim their ownership under a provision of the copyright law that gives authors or their heirs such rights after a given number of years.

The law creates a 56-year threshold for ending older copyrights and a shorter period for newer works, according to the Times.

Toberoff’s suit claims the heirs should profit from new works involving Kirby's material, including movies such as X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Marvel has licensed rights to many of the characters to rival studios, further complicating the suit, the Times says

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