Warner Bros. Retains Superman
Warner Bros. has recently won a major victory in the appeals court regarding control of the Superman franchise through their subsidiary DC Comics, with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirming Warner Bros.’ argument that it has a binding deal with the estate of Superman co-creator Jerome Siegel in 2001, compensating the estate in exchange for the studio’s continued hold on the copyrights to the iconic superhero.
A federal court ruled back in 2008 that Siegel’s estate could reclaim its copyright as part of a law that allows artists to undo an earlier deal after 35 years. The appeals court has rejected said ruling due to the settlement reached in 2001. However, the estate can still appeal to the United States Supreme Court.
Warner Bros. has already won a similar court battle against the estate of Superman’s co-creator Joseph Schuster.
“Today’s ruling vindicates DC Comics’ long-held position that it entered into a binding agreement with the Jerry Siegel family in 2001,” Warner Bros. said in a statement. “The Court’s decision paves the way for the Siegels finally to receive the compensation they negotiated for and which DC has been prepared to pay for over a decade. We are extremely pleased that Superman’s adventures can continue to be enjoyed across all media platforms worldwide for generations to come. “