DC Keeps Rights To Superman

Discussion in 'DC Comics' started by Shazam, Oct 18, 2012.

  1. Shazam Registered

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    This just doesn't seem right. You'd think that the least DC could do is take care of the family of the guys who made it possible for them to make billions since 1938. Without those two young men, there would be no "super hero".

    Thoughts?

    Maybe that's why they will never be as successful as Marvel in Movies.
     
  2. Hush Wee Little Puppet Man

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    Why should DC pay people that had nothing to do with the character and its creation? These families have done jack diddly and are just money grubbing *******s.
     
  3. Dangerman Registered

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    Not only that both families after getting the rights back sold them away twice. Before asking for them back again and the Siegel family was about to do it a third time had it not been for their money grabbing lawyer Toberoff stepping in. Personally I think DC should flat out own the rights to Superman and just pay the families royalty fees.
     
  4. The Batman The Dark Knight

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    ...Um...apparently, DC's been paying these people 4 million bucks since 1975. What more do you want them to do when they guys who actually created Supes are long gone?
     
  5. Cain Gentlebane

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    It's about time.
     
  6. Micromind Registered

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    I agree with you that heirs have right to receive money from WB but what does making successful movies has got anything to do with how much amount they receive ? Let alone the reason why Marvel Studios is getting more success with their movies ?

    As far as I remember, Marvel is facing similar lawsuit from the estate of Jack Kirby. They want rights to the characters Kirby created back as Marvel has not paid them enough money for using them.
     
  7. TruerToTheCore Registered

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    I hardly care about "modern Superman" and that is including Morrison so DC losing Superman wouldn't have bothered me at all. Perhaps we would have gotten something better.
     
  8. SuperFerret King of the Urban Jungle

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    What a stupid thing to say.
     
  9. TruerToTheCore Registered

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    No. A very intelligent thing to say.
     
  10. SuperFerret King of the Urban Jungle

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    It's people like you that make me very glad that you'll NEVER see the Superman you claim is the real one again. Being unwilling to concede that change and adaption is necessary in communal storytelling is a very valid reason for one to revel in spiting you. :hrt:
     
  11. TruerToTheCore Registered

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    Guys like you are the reason the bad guys win.

    Funnily enough, this week at work a young woman (early 20s), me and a bunch of other guys were at lunch. Someone remarked that another guy looked like Clark Kent. Then a short discussion started and the girl suddenly explained to the guys that Superman is the one who disguises himself as an ordinary human opposed to most of the other superheroes.

    I was very happy. There is hope.
     
  12. SuperFerret King of the Urban Jungle

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    The bad guys that prefer a Superman that isn't some sort of overgod pretending to be human as recreation?
     
  13. hippie_hunter The King is Back!

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    Except DC has been taking care of the families of the Superman creators after the pressure became too mounting for the publisher. Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster were given annual pensions of $80,000 per year along with health insurance and credits in all Superman comics. After Shuster died, DC paid off all of his debts and gave $25,000 per year to his siblings in an agreement with the Shuster Estate. And to go even further, DC under Paul Levitz' tenure paid Jean Peavy in excess of what was legally required of them. I don't know the details about the Siegels, but the Shusters were taken care of pretty well.

    What we have here is a greedy lawyer who is taking advantage of these families so that he can get the Superman IP for himself, despite the fact that the Shusters had no case whatsoever because they gave up their copyright claims back in 1992. He's the same guy who tried to get all of the Marvel characters using the Kirby family despite the fact that they had no case either.

    Marvel has been successful because they started out separated from the studio system and could solely focus on their comic book properties and keep them faithful to the source material. When they were bought out by Disney, Disney ensured that things would stay the same. And look at people who are in charge of making these films: Kevin Feige, Joss Whedon, Jon Favreau, and Joe Quesada. These people are clearly in love of the material they're adapting and are focused not only on making good movies, but great movies faithfully adapted for film.

    DC on the other hand never had such an advantage. They were owned by Warner Bros. when DC movies started getting made and Warner Bros. has a lot of properties to manage and the people who are in charge of making them are corporate minded people more focused on trying to make movies for the lowest common denominator as opposed to making a good movie first and foremost. Now Batman and Superman have gotten it pretty good recently thanks to Thomas Tull being a fanboy at heart and getting people like Christopher Nolan and Zack Snyder on board, but DC properties have overall been plagued with getting producers like Jon Peters and Joel Silver attached.

    The way DC treated Siegel and Shuster has absolutely nothing to do with the quality of their movies. And even considering such an idea is intellectually lacking.
     
  14. hopefuldreamer Clark Kent > Superman

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    I'm curious, what do you think they would have done?

    I genuinely don't know much about this legal battle, but if DC had lost Superman, would the comics still somehow get made and sold? And if so, how?
     
  15. hippie_hunter The King is Back!

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    I think that if DC lost, Superman would end up in legal limbo and wouldn't be used at all.

    Even though they wouldn't own the character, DC owns almost all the trademarks related to him and other copyrights surrounding the character, so if Toberoff tried to take the character to another non-Warner Bros. owned company, they wouldn't be able to use the vast majority of elements that people like about Superman such as being able to fly and his weakness to kryptonite, almost all of his villains including Lex Luthor, and the iconic \S/ symbol. Who the hell would want to have a Superman with none of that?

    Another problem would be what company would take it up? No company would want to deal with the trademark and copyright mess that would result from Toberoff taking over the character out of fear of Warner Bros. suing the crap out of them for infringing upon their trademarks and copyrights. So that would rule out any indie studios. Also, the major movie studios that could afford to make a Superman film aren't going to want to sour relations with Warner Bros. Any sane comic book company isn't going to want sour relations with DC because their writers often do DC projects as well.

    And add in the fact that now that the courts have stated that the Shuster Estate cannot reclaim their half of the Superman copyright, what we have here is an instance no one else can really take it up because you kinda need 51% approval on these things.
     
  16. hopefuldreamer Clark Kent > Superman

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    Yeah that's pretty much what I thought would be the case. Just thought maybe Truer new something I didn't as he seemed to be able to imagine some kind of outcome in which DC loosing could have resulted in some magically 'better' comic than what we have currently...

    Unless his idea of a better Superman IS one without the ability to fly, no weakness to kryptonite, and with entirely new villains...

    Or maybe he was just looking for a way to put down the modern version of Superman again, without actually thinking about the logic of what he was saying... :whatever:
     
  17. Keyser Soze AW YEEEAH!

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    I think this is a difficult, complex situation, with compelling arguments on both sides of the coin. I'm sick of callous fanboys reducing it to "Oh look at those greedy, money-grabbing scumbag family members." Every time someone simplifies it to that, I feel compelled to show them this letter written by Joanne Siegel, Jerry Siegel's widow, shortly before her death:

    http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/2011/03/joanne-siegels-posthumous-appeal-to-warner-bros/
     
  18. Lead Cenobite Exquisitely Empty

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    I don't think the heirs are scumbags or greedy necessarily, although I don't know what's really going through their heads. I just don't want Superman to be ruined by this.
     
  19. Shazam Registered

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    I agree.........
     
  20. KevanG Pragmatic Villain

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    I'm not surprised DC kept the rights, they can out-lawyer pretty much anyone especially if it means they might have a tiny chance of losing one of the icons.
     
  21. Baramos Registered

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    If DC had lost they would have had to pay the heir some more money to keep making stuff with Superman. I hardly doubt the heirs would just sit on the property. They just wanted some money.
     
  22. Mace Dolex Powerful User

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    Who holds the rights to Superboy then, the Salkinds or DC? The reason I ask if maybe they can finish off the rest of the Superboy TV series on DVD.
     
  23. Shazam Registered

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    yep.......That's all.....and DC would not have felt it....
     
  24. hippie_hunter The King is Back!

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    I certainly wouldn't call the Siegel family to be greedy or scumbags. They don't deserve the label. Their lawyer on the other hand......

    Also, it's so blatantly obvious that legal set Joanne to write that letter.
     
  25. hippie_hunter The King is Back!

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    DC won the rights back in appeals. However they aren't going to finish the Superboy TV series on DVD because sales of the first season weren't strong enough.
     

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