Warner Bros. has emerged victorious in a legal battle with the estate of Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel. This essentially means they can move forward with the franchise after this summer's Man of Steel without any further legal problems.
Earlier today, the the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a lower court should not have granted Jerry Siegel's estate permission to re-capture the rights to Superman in 2008, since DC Comics and the Jerry Siegel family entered into an agreement back in 2001. We reported in October that another court ruled against the estate of the other Superman co-creator, Joe Shuster.
Both estates have tried to relinquish the rights to this popular character for years, exploiting the "termination" provision of the 1976 Copyright Act, which allows artists to get back the rights they gave up early in their careers. Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel sold the rights to Superman for very little compensation in the 1930s. Here's what a Warner Bros. representative had to say about today's legal victory.
"This is a great day for Superman, for his fans, for DC Entertainment and for Warner Bros. Today's ruling vindicates DC Comics' long-held position that it entered into a binding agreement with the Jerry Siegel family in 2001. The Court's decision paves the way for the Siegel's 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."
You can CLICK HERE to read the full decision.