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Why Do The Siegels Personal Half

I feel there’s truly much more good data out there about this current scenario than the Superboy ruling from awhile again, however there’s sufficient confusion that a FAQ could probably nonetheless be helpful.


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Why do the Siegels own half In 1976, Congress extended the renewal interval from 28 years to forty seven years (an increase of 19 years), making it a complete of seventy five years. Siegel had heirs, Shuster didn’t.

What’s the work-for-rent exception As an illustration, cartoon characters created for Disney by Disney staff are thought-about creations of the Walt Disney company, not their individual workers.

Why was Superman not considered to be a work-for-rent
On this particular occasion, Siegel and Shuster had written the comedian that was the lead story in Motion Comics #1 many months earlier than they bought the story to DC Comics. Therefore, they were not thought of to have written the comedian FOR DC Comics.

Once they sold the primary Superman story to DC Comics, Siegel and Shuster turned workers of DC, so each comic they wrote AFTER Motion Comics #1 Could be thought of work-for-hire, so something created after Action Comics #1 could be owned by DC.

So what do the Siegels personal, precisely The title Superman, the secret identification of Clark Kent, the fact that he’s an alien who came to Earth from an alien planet as a baby, his tremendous strength, invulnerability and ability to leap over tall buildings in a single certain, the purple, yellow and blue costume with a pink “S” on his chest and a red cape on his back, and his fellow reporter, Lois Lane. The Siegels co-own all of that, which is basically every thing.

What do they NOT personal
While the specifics would be decided by a jury, it appears pretty safe to say that they do not personal all the things after Motion Comics #1, like Lex Luthor, Jimmy Olsen, Perry White, Superman being able to fly, Superman’s imaginative and prescient powers, Superman’s expanded origin (the entire “Red Son” stuff).

What about trademarks
DC nonetheless owns all of the notable trademarks, specifically the identify Superman, the “S” image, the visible look of Superman and some other notable features (like the slogan “Up, Up and Away!”).

What does that team cap and team iron man shirts mean that they own the trademarks
Trademarks are for commerce purposes, so commercials and the covers of comedian books. So nobody can advertise a Superman comic guide, in an ad or on the cover of a comedian e book, apart from DC Comics.

What does that mean for the Siegels’ rights to make use of the character
It means that if they were to license Superman to a different firm, like Marvel, that company wouldn’t be allowed to name the character Superman on the cover of the comic, nor would they be ready to make use of the adjustments to the character submit-Action Comics #1, like the extra detailed S on Superman’s chest or the expanded powers.

It’s lots like how DC has a personality referred to as Captain Marvel, but they have to call his e book Shazam! as a result of Marvel has a trademark on the name Captain Marvel.

What does this imply for DC’s rights to make use of the character
They don’t change at the moment. Since they own an equal share, they’ll do what they want, so lengthy as they cut in the Siegels for one half of the income. Similar with the Siegels, who’d need to pay DC one-half of any earnings they acquired from licensing the character to another firm.

So, does it make much sense for the Siegels to license the character to another company
In the mean time, no, not likely.

How much money does DC owe them for Superman’s income since 1999
A jury should decide that.

Do they get a cut of DC’s international earnings, too
No, that is just for the US rights of Superman. DC totally maintains all worldwide rights.

Okay, so what’s this about 2013
In 1998, Congress prolonged copyrights Once more. However, this time, that additional 20 years is on the market not only to authors and their heirs, but in addition to the ESTATES of authors. So Joe Shuster’s estate (executed by his nephew) will certainly be exercising their right of termination, which might be in 2013.

What does that imply for DC
That’s the massive one for them. Then they might possible don’t have any rights to do Superman comics, films, and so on. except on a license from Siegel or Shuster. They’d still personal the trademarks, although, so DC would actually have plenty of negotiating energy, so a deal would be doubtless (if it is not already finished Before then), but it’s not a good place for DC to be.

What’s the present status of the case
DC is, in fact, interesting. And since the monetary issues are to be settled in trial (which is not scheduled to start within the very near future), nothing much adjustments for now. Most definitely, we just see a new spherical of settlement negotiations, with a watch by DC of getting this all taken care of by way of a large examine being handed to the Siegels (do be aware that DC has been very prepared to settle this thing – the Siegels just differ with their phrases).

Further FAQ FOR Just Confusing STUFF You really Do not Must KNOW, SO Read AT Your individual Threat
What exact rights may DC hope for past-Motion Comics #1 The Siegels, in fact, will argue it is all simply derivative of Action Comics #1. This would also be decided by a jury, and since it can be by a jury (and this case seemingly won’t ever see a jury), it really shouldn’t be an enormous deal.

That is strictly a “Do we have to pay them for these things ” query, by the way, not a “Hey, they don’t personal Superman! We changed him enough!” thing.

So wait, if the Siegels could terminate after fifty six years, why did they terminate in 1999, which is sixty one years after Motion Comics #1

A part of the Act gave individuals a five-yr interval by which to terminate, provided they gave notice two years upfront. So the Siegels could have terminated anyplace between 1994 and 1999. They waited as long as they did as a result of they were negotiating a settlement with DC. When that didn’t work by the deadline, they terminated. There were adverts for Motion Comics that includes Superman that got here out earlier than Action Comics #1. Since they fell Before Motion Comics #1’s release, they fell outside of the five-12 months interval, and the Siegels couldn’t terminate them. So DC owns the right to the character who appears in that ad – nevertheless, since it’s devoid of the context of the story, all they own is a brilliant-sturdy man in a black and white outfit (the S isn’t even recognizable, in order that they wouldn’t get that, even) – the identify Superman isn’t even used, so they don’t get that. team cap and team iron man shirts So basically, they get nothing. It’s, like, 10 pages of the ruling, and it quantities to primarily nothing.

When you have any additional questions you’d prefer to see included here, let me know!
Listed below are some questions!

My buddy Kurt requested:
What about all the other Superman tales Siegel and Shuster wrote before Motion Comics #1 Are those thought of work-for-rent Now if Luthor had made his first look then, perhaps they’d suppose in a different way.

Zach Adams asks:
Since trademark protection expires when it’s not used, could the Siegels and Shuster’s property simply not do anything till 2018 or so, and simply trigger DC’s trademark to expire Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen, maybe

But yeah, as you point out, it makes more monetary sense for the Siegels and Shusters to keep the trademark alive, so DC can pay more. Is that settled, or still up for negotiation/litigation All this termination stuff is strictly US legislation. Worldwide law is completely different, and DC is fairly set with it. In any case, once i buy or promote back-problems with Spawn (for instance; I don’t actually try this), Todd MacFarlane doesn’t get any of that money. They may publish Superman comics solely in Canada, sure, but they wouldn’t be able to import them to America for resale.