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