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Old 04-13-2011, 03:18 AM   #1
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Default The lawsuit - what elements can and can't be used?

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Old 04-13-2011, 09:03 AM   #2
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Default Re: The lawsuit - what elements can and can't be used?

This is the article that seems to go into the most detail about who owns what...Before Nolan and Goyer and Snyder came on board, there was talk about what WB would/wouldn't be able to depict in a Superman movie. But since then, Goyer and Nolan came up with a story that doesn't look to be focusing on that, but focuses more on when Clark decides to become Superman.

I don't know if we will ever see that part of Superman ie. Krypton exploding, Kal-El crashing on Earth etc. in this movie or any subsequent movies. I think unless WB pay more to the Siegels and Shusters for licensing.


Quote:
Superman co-creator's family given rights

Siegels now control character's Krypton origins

By MARC GRASER | VARIETY

Posted: Thurs., Aug. 13, 2009, 4:34pm PT

Warner Bros. and DC Comics have lost a little more control over the Man of Steel.

In an ongoing Federal court battle over Superman, Judge Stephen Larson ruled Wednesday that the family of the superhero's co-creator, Jerry Siegel, has "successfully recaptured" rights to additional works, including the first two weeks of the daily Superman newspaper comic-strips, as well as portions of early Action Comics and Superman comic-books.

The ruling is based on the court's finding that these were not "works-made-for-hire" under the Copyright Act.

This means the Siegels -- repped by Marc Toberoff of Toberoff & Associates -- now control depictions of Superman's origins from the planet Krypton, his parents Jor-El and Lora, Superman as the infant Kal-El, the launching of the infant Superman into space by his parents as Krypton explodes and his landing on Earth in a fiery crash.

The first Superman story was published in 1938 in Action Comics No. 1. For $130, Jerry Siegel and co-creator Joel Shuster signed a release in favor of DC's predecessor, Detective Comics, and a 1974 court decision ruled they signed away their copyrights forever.

In 2008, the same court order ruled on summary judgment that the Siegels had successfully recaptured (as of 1999) Siegel's copyright in Action Comics No. 1, giving them rights to the Superman character, including his costume, his alter-ego as reporter Clark Kent, the feisty reporter Lois Lane, their jobs at the Daily Planet newspaper working for a gruff editor, and the love triangle among Clark/Superman and Lois.

While ownership of the Man of Steel is one point of all this legal activity, the real issue is money and how much Warner Bros. and DC owe the Siegels from profits they collected from Superman since 1999, when the heirs' recapture of Siegel's copyright became effective.

DC owns other elements like Superman's ability to fly, the term kryptonite, the Lex Luthor and Jimmy Olsen characters, Superman's powers and expanded origins.

In a statement, Warner Bros. and DC said, "Warner and DC Comics are pleased that the court has affirmed that the vast majority of key elements associated with the Superman character that were developed after Action Comics No. 1 are not part of the copyrights that the plaintiffs have recaptured and therefore remain solely owned by DC Comics."

The Shuster estate originally did not participate with the Siegels' case because Shuster has no spouse or children. But his estate later won a ruling of a recapture identical to the Siegels, which will be effective in 2013. At that point, the Siegels and Shusters will own the entire copyright to Action Comics No. 1. That will give them the chance to set up Superman pics, TV shows and other projects at another studio.

If they want to get a new "Superman" or even "Justice League" pic featuring the superhero, Warner Bros. and DC will be forced to go into production by 2011.
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118007269?refCatId=13

http://www.deadline.com/2010/05/shoc...rights-lawyer/

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Old 04-13-2011, 10:36 AM   #3
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Default Re: The lawsuit - what elements can and can't be used?

wtf, so the new movie won't have Krypton, Jor-El, Lara, infant Kal-El, spaceship crash to Earth?????

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Old 04-13-2011, 10:47 AM   #4
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Default Re: The lawsuit - what elements can and can't be used?

omg, i just answered this last night...

Quote:
Originally Posted by DorkyFresh View Post
Snyder said that the lawsuit problems have NO EFFECT on the script what-so-ever. basically, WB just needs to release another Superman film before 2013 and everything SHOULD be alright.




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edit: here's proof that the lawsuit won't effect the script...

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Originally Posted by Sabaoth View Post
From E! online UK,

http://uk.eonline.com/uberblog/marc_...oom_three.html




Diane Lane, through a slip of the tongue maybe(?), has confirmed that Man of Steel is an origin story, "covering the entire range of years, from infancy on."

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Old 04-13-2011, 10:56 AM   #5
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Default Re: The lawsuit - what elements can and can't be used?

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Originally Posted by DorkyFresh View Post
omg, i just answered this last night...







...a word of advice, THE SEARCH FUNCTION is your friend!


edit: here's proof that the lawsuit won't effect the script...
and as I replied on the other thread, Snyder came onboard after the story was written and Diane Lane's quote doesn't confirm Krypton or the ship crashing on Earth, just that Clark will be shown as an infant, which could be after all that.

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Old 04-13-2011, 11:06 AM   #6
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Default Re: The lawsuit - what elements can and can't be used?

how does Snyder coming on board after the script being written effect what he said? regardless of if he was hired before or after the scripting process, he said that the lawsuit doesn't effect the story. if we are to take Snyder's word on this, that means that they can put whatever they want into the script as long as it's true to the spirit of Superman.

the quote you posted mentions that the Siegels control Superman's Kryptonian origins INCLUDING infant Kal-El. so if Diane's pretty much confirming that the script covers infant Kal-El, then that tells me that what Snyder said was true and the lawsuit doesn't effect the script.....and i can't possibly see a way you can show infant Kal-El without showing his parents or Krypton.

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Old 04-13-2011, 11:18 AM   #7
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Default Re: The lawsuit - what elements can and can't be used?

Snyder was specifically answering a question about Lois Lane being forced to be in the film because of the legal issues:

Quote:
Is it true that Lois Lane has to be in the film due to legal issues?

Zack Snyder: Oh, jeez. I didn’t know that. We’re not doing anything as far as the story goes that’s influenced by any legal issue.

If the story was set up before he got there, then of couse it was already set and he wouldn't have to worry about the legal issues if WB specifically got Nolan and Goyer to write that kind of script (before Snyder was hired.)

I am not saying that I don't think there's the possibilty, I am just don't think it's so definitive by your post about what Snyder said in that interview with Latino Review.

And again, I am not convinced in a definitive way by Lane's statement, just that it is a possibility. If she is talking about her character in relation to Clark, then that's life in Smallville.

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Old 04-13-2011, 11:32 AM   #8
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Default Re: The lawsuit - what elements can and can't be used?

i'll acknowledge that it very well could be the case that they might not necessarily deal with Kal-El on Krypton and they might just pick up from when the Kent adopted him...but from everything i've been following, all signs point to TRUE ORIGIN film...

http://movies.cosmicbooknews.com/con...-cgi-man-steel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zack Snyder
None of the actual story is influenced by the rights issue, but I will say that the way we're approaching it...we're trying to act as if the other movies don't exist, even though we respect [muffled] we think they're cool, we're just kind of...it's time to say, "okay, what would it be like if there had been no Superman movies till now?"

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Old 04-13-2011, 11:55 AM   #9
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Default Re: The lawsuit - what elements can and can't be used?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DorkyFresh View Post
i'll acknowledge that it very well could be the case that they might not necessarily deal with Kal-El on Krypton and they might just pick up from when the Kent adopted him...but from everything i've been following, all signs point to TRUE ORIGIN film...
Quote:
None of the actual story is influenced by the rights issue...http://movies.cosmicbooknews.com/con...-cgi-man-steel
The interview goes:

Quote:
INTERVIEWER: How much was the story kind of dictated by the rights issues that are involved? I mean, like, are there certain characters involved that you have to put in the movie, otherwise you're gonna lose them?

ZACK SNYDER: I mean, I don't know about that. None of the actual story is influenced by the rights issue.
That sounds like he is saying he wasn't forced to to put in characters and events because of the lawsuit. But that doesn't preclude the possiblity that certain things had to be left out. He's talking about the actual story and there does still sound like there are some issues. As we know, there was drama before he joined as to what WB wanted to do with Superman.

WB could've made deals with the estate to include elements of Krypton or early Clark, but I still think it is somewhat of a mess, so I think there is still the possibility that certain elements could be left out. I would love it to be that there aren't any issues at all, but that's not the reality.

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Old 04-13-2011, 12:22 PM   #10
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Default Re: The lawsuit - what elements can and can't be used?

I understand that WB is losing the rights to some of the Superman mythos come 2013, but I thought that they could use anything in a film as long as they went into production by 2011.

Does anyone know for sure?

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Old 04-13-2011, 12:26 PM   #11
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Default Re: The lawsuit - what elements can and can't be used?

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Originally Posted by TheDorkKnight View Post
From what I've heard, or how I've understood it, the MoS-filmmakers can't use certain elements of Superman's origin and whatnot, due to the lawsuit between Warner and the Siegel/Shuster -estates (or something...). So what exactly can and cannot be used in MoS? Or is all this in the past, has a settlement been reached?
Everything. Nothing is in contention. DC still owns half the copyright and all of the trademarks.

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Old 04-13-2011, 12:32 PM   #12
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Default Re: The lawsuit - what elements can and can't be used?

I always figured if the heirs owned the copyrights of everything in Action Comics #1 that they'd own Superman too, which would mean no movie at all. But that's not the case.

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Old 04-13-2011, 12:38 PM   #13
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Default Re: The lawsuit - what elements can and can't be used?

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That sounds like he is saying he wasn't forced to to put in characters and events because of the lawsuit. But that doesn't preclude the possiblity that certain things had to be left out. He's talking about the actual story and there does still sound like there are some issues. As we know, there was drama before he joined as to what WB wanted to do with Superman.
i don't it read it the way you are. i'm assuming that you think the story they wrote was done in a way to avoid any further problems....but Snyder specifically said that NONE OF IT WAS INFLUENCED BY THE RIGHTS ISSUE. this means that they don't have to worry about the rights issue when writing about whatever they want. it's very simple...if they have to write a story in order to avoid further problems then the story was influenced by the rights issue. however, Snyder has stated otherwise.

Quote:
WB could've made deals with the estate to include elements of Krypton or early Clark, but I still think it is somewhat of a mess, so I think there is still the possibility that certain elements could be left out.
i think the only real problem is if they don't release it before 2013. i honestly don't think there is a problem with the characters or story.

Quote:
I would love it to be that there aren't any issues at all, but that's not the reality.
of course there are issues, but that doesn't mean the story they've come up with is influenced by these issues. again, as Snyder stated...none of the actual story is influenced (dictated/affected/determined) by the rights issue.




however, i have a feeling you're just gonna come back and insist that there probably ARE issues with the characters and story so i'll end my final reply to you about this matter by reiterating something i said in a previous post.

i'm not an insider. i don't know exactly what's going on with this movie, nor do i claim to. i always keep an open mind and never close myself to my own ideals and biases. it VERY WELL could be the case that they scripted the movie to avoid whatever legal issues they have with the characters and story. HOWEVER, after taking everything that's been said and done around this film into consideration, i firmly believe they intend to retell, or at least cover, Superman's Kryptonian origins as if no Superman films had ever been done before. th'end.

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Old 04-13-2011, 12:52 PM   #14
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Default Re: The lawsuit - what elements can and can't be used?

They will eather do a full retelling of the origin,or open with the Kents finding baby
Kal-el.Perhapes if It Is the second one Introduce the Kents first show a bit of who they
are before finding Baby Kal-el.

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Old 04-13-2011, 01:05 PM   #15
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Default Re: The lawsuit - what elements can and can't be used?

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Originally Posted by DorkyFresh View Post

i think the only real problem is if they don't release it before 2013. i honestly don't think there is a problem with the characters or story.


however, i have a feeling you're just gonna come back and insist that there probably ARE issues with the characters and story so i'll end my final reply to you about this matter by reiterating something i said in a previous post.

i'm not an insider. i don't know exactly what's going on with this movie, nor do i claim to. i always keep an open mind and never close myself to my own ideals and biases. it VERY WELL could be the case that they scripted the movie to avoid whatever legal issues they have with the characters and story. HOWEVER, after taking everything that's been said and done around this film into consideration, i firmly believe they intend to retell, or at least cover, Superman's Kryptonian origins as if no Superman films had ever been done before. th'end.
No, look, it's complicated and I won't complain if WB are free to show the origin in this new movie and that's what we're going to see. This is very tough to argue because we don't have the insider info on the case or the script. It's hard to know all the details or what the truth is.


btw here is an article from today about the lawsuit:
Quote:
New Setback for Warner Bros. in 'Superman' Litigation

12:12 PM 4/13/2011 by Eriq Gardner

A judge has rejected Warner Bros.' attempts to pry open secret documents that purportedly show an agreement between the estates of Superman co-creators Joel Shuster and Jerry Siegel not to make further copyright deals with the studio. The documents are said to also contain a formula for how the two estates will share proceeds on Superman once they successfully terminate Warner's rights to the lucrative franchise.

The two estates has been fighting with Warner Bros. for more than a decade over Superman rights and profits, sending notices in the mail in 1999 that purported to exercise termination rights under the 1976 Copyright Act. The heirs filed suit in 2004 that sought a declaration that they had successfully terminated rights to the first Superman comic book published by Detective Comics in 1938, which contains much of the famous mythology of the Man of Steel. In 2008, on summary judgment, a judge granted that wish.

Recently, Warner Bros. has been doing whatever it can to hold onto its stake in Superman.

Last year, the studio filed a lawsuit against the recently deceased Joanne Siegel and her lawyer, Marc Toberoff, for interfering with its rights via allegedly shady joint venture agreements. To that end, it has demanded production of sensitive documents.

The documents are said to be "consent agreements" between the Siegel and Shuster estates and their existence came to light during settlement discussions during the first phase of the Siegel trial. Once Toberoff mentioned the presence of these agreements, Warners almost immediately demanded the documents be shared. During the first trial, Toberoff successfully got a judge to agree that those documents were protected by attorney-client privilege.

After Warner Bros. went on the offensive last year, it again demanded access to the consent agreements. This time, with the help of new lawyer Daniel Petrocelli, it argued that the agreement itself was a violation of the Copyright Act and couldn't be insulated from discovery. Warners based the claim that the agreement was illegal on a Ninth Circuit decision (Milne v. Stephen Slesinger) that said that third parties who haven't yet attained copyright control in a work couldn't traffic in future interests.

The prior case, however, didn't address this particular situation, where the heirs of the original creators apparently agreed to negotiate together, and not grant future interests to anyone, including Warners.

Reviewing the situation, U.S. Magistrate Judge Ralph Zaresky won't settle the question of whether such an agreement does in fact violate copyright law, but says that Warners' assertion that it is illegal does not necessarily make it so. "Discoverability...cannot turn on whether Plaintiff ultimately proves to be right in its characterization," writes the judge in an opinion issued on Monday.

The shielded document may contain clues about the future of Superman. By 2013, Warner is set to lose certain rights to the character to both the Siegel and Shuster estates. In the meantime, Warner Bros.’ big-budget reboot Superman: Man of Steel is currently in advanced development and the issue of who will own what is also at the doorstep of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.


http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr...uperman-177832

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Old 04-13-2011, 02:05 PM   #16
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Default Re: The lawsuit - what elements can and can't be used?

The litigation problems won't affect Man of Steel or even Justice League (assuming that is actually coming out in 2013). Anything Superman-related that's put into production prior to 2013 will still be owned by WB.

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Old 04-13-2011, 02:38 PM   #17
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Default Re: The lawsuit - what elements can and can't be used?

I think WB will do fine and just avoid the stuff that the family will own. I think however, they can't avoid paying them up with any archival editions of Superman's books.

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Old 04-13-2011, 02:44 PM   #18
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Default Re: The lawsuit - what elements can and can't be used?

WB should just pay the family what they rightfully are entitled to and then the family should then just back off and not get greedy.

Obviously I imagine its a hell of a lot more complicated than that but in a perfect world that's what should happen.

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Old 04-13-2011, 02:53 PM   #19
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Default Re: The lawsuit - what elements can and can't be used?

So are we hoping that the upcoming new Superman movies will be the franchise the only franchise for a good while. So here is hoping that this new franchise is great that it will lasts up to 12 movies

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Old 04-13-2011, 02:54 PM   #20
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Default Re: The lawsuit - what elements can and can't be used?

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WB should just pay the family what they rightfully are entitled to and then the family should then just back off and not get greedy.

Obviously I imagine its a hell of a lot more complicated than that but in a perfect world that's what should happen.
Yes but we live in a world where a greedy sleezebag is using the family to get his hands on Superman.

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Old 04-13-2011, 03:10 PM   #21
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Default Re: The lawsuit - what elements can and can't be used?

Greed is ramped on both sides, on the family side and on DC.

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Old 04-13-2011, 03:13 PM   #22
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Default Re: The lawsuit - what elements can and can't be used?

I wish they'd just sort this out already. To be honest I reckon if it was sorted soon and WB's came out owning the full rights n that they'd delay release until Summer 2013.

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Old 04-13-2011, 03:32 PM   #23
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Greed is ramped on both sides, on the family side and on DC.
I know this. I just don't want that bottom feeder to have rights to Superman.

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Old 04-13-2011, 04:06 PM   #24
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I know this. I just don't want that bottom feeder to have rights to Superman.
I hope all of them can get this squared away in a timely manner, we need future movies of SM without any future legal issues.

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Old 04-13-2011, 04:14 PM   #25
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Default Re: The lawsuit - what elements can and can't be used?

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I understand that WB is losing the rights to some of the Superman mythos come 2013, but I thought that they could use anything in a film as long as they went into production by 2011.

Does anyone know for sure?
I think that’s correct.

As of 1999, S&S are already getting a cut of Superman – Superman Returns, Smallville, the comics. MOS will be no different. But as I understand it, WB/DC aren’t restricted in terms of their depiction of Superman (at least not yet). In fact, it would be against S&S’s current interests to force WB to make a Supes movie saddled with character and story restrictions.

As you said, though, the rights issue will change substantially in 2013.

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