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  1. #76
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    Good for the Ditko Family Estate. I hope they take Disney/Marvel to the cleaners with this. I wouldn't mind seeing Spider-Man put into better hands.

  2. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by FFJamie94 View Post
    The Kirby situation has already been settled, which gives what's going on now a precident.

    They won't get Co ownership, we're dealing with contracts that were made 60 years before this new laws were put into place.
    They will settle, probably come to some sort of agreement And life will go on.

    Lee also pretty much sold his shared to Marvel earning himself some of the profits. So Lee didn't hold the rights to Spider-man, but became the face for Marvel instead.
    The changes in the Law are why the Superman creators are going after Warner Bros again ( I can actually see the Kirby Estate doing the same). Do not believe me? Why else would Disney be suing to protect their ownership of The Avengers?

  3. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    The nearest thing to gospel truth in comics is this utterance by one of the great prophets:
    "Kid, comics will break your heart."
    -- Jack Kirby.



    It's not "one could argue", that is the argument. Marvel as a company depends on Stan Lee for its hold on the IP and that's why Disney/Marvel as a corporation need to uphold the Stan Lee side of the Marvel Method narrative. Which is also why Marvel/Disney as a company cannot ever be relied on for disseminating truth.



    I have a question to ask. What cause have the Ditko Estate given anyone for making insinuations and accusations of them being greedy and so on? Until this week, nobody knew anything about Ditko's family on account of the man being famously private. Without proof you have people here, and not just here but elsewhere, rational and normal people in other contexts I will add, making accusations about a dead man's family asking redress for the exploitation of his labor. Does that strike anyone here as a graceful thing to do? The case with Ditko is not at all like Stan Lee where at the time of his death he had a public falling out with his daughter and we have documented and corroborated evidence that his final years were a total s--tshow and claims of "elder abuse".

    We don't know anything or a great deal about Ditko's personal life but the few things we do know point to him being close with his family from his early to his late years. Unless people bring out new evidence, making insinuations and claims is irresponsible. The lawyer representing Ditko Estate, and Larry Leiber, Gene Colan's Estate and others is Marc Toberoff who had success securing royalties for Ray Charles' music and Jim Brown's music for their families. Are you going to say it's a bad thing for the families of iconic African-American artists to get royalties for a musician whose work was exploited by a white-dominated music industry? Are you going to say that it's wrong for Athena Finger, Bill's grand-daughter to get royalties for grandpa's stolen work? Sure Ditko didn't have direct relatives but you know what Peter Parker isn't directly related to Aunt May either, obviously he owes her nothing because they aren't blood relatives you know.

    I have to say seeing so many whine about new Spider-Man content to the point they attack Ditko's family and make aspersions about them is the most profoundly disappointing thing about this.
    We all know how you feel about it, Jack.

    Do I like the fact the artists didn't get their due? No, i don't. But we all know how these things play out and it'll end in a settlement of some kind and Marvel/Disney will just go on doing what they always do: Reaping rewards and filling their pockets.

    As for Toberoff? That dude is a crook himself. What was his intention again? Oh, that's right, try to get copyright back with the Siegel and Shusters so he, himself, could buy it from them (for next to nothing). Make no mistake, that man does not have moral or altruistic notions at heart here.

    And certain cases are harder to prove than others. At best, they can sue for a bigger royalty pay-out. But there is no way they'll get full rights to Spidey or Doc Strange. It's a ploy. I can tell you that as someone in a legal profession. Why hit Marvel now? Why not hit DC for The Creeper or The Question too? Because.... who have movies coming out this year and next? Come on now...

    In the end they'll get a larger royalty check and maybe a one off settlement. But no trademarks will be lost. I won't bother getting into the Stan side of things because you can never discuss that rationally. But, regardless of how you feel, the man has a legal credit as "co-creator". In the end, he WAS an employee on the payroll. The artists were mostly freelance (Kirby was cheated out of Captain America due to that matter when Simon tried to get copyright in his name). They'll trot out the "oh, but since Stan was the co-creator, and he was working for Timely/Marvel, Any work he did comes under work for hire." I can see it happening.
    Last edited by Somecrazyaussie; 09-25-2021 at 10:54 AM.

  4. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by NC_Yankee View Post
    The changes in the Law are why the Superman creators are going after Warner Bros again ( I can actually see the Kirby Estate doing the same). Do not believe me? Why else would Disney be suing to protect their ownership of The Avengers?
    There has been no changes in the law that can affect the copyright that came into effect with the publishing of Action #1. As it stands, that will enter public domain in another decade or so. At best they can get a bigger pay out before then. That case goes back to court because you have individual estates going at different times.

  5. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen Kane View Post
    Good for the Ditko Family Estate. I hope they take Disney/Marvel to the cleaners with this. I wouldn't mind seeing Spider-Man put into better hands.
    The most likely outcome is Disney settles with the Estate.

  6. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. NickerNacker View Post
    Reading the termination for Spider-Man, it states that Patrick Ditko is only seeking the copyright contents of AF #15 - "Spider man! published in amazing Fantasy Vol.1, No. 15". This would only include Spider-Man/ Peter Parker, Aunt May, Uncle Ben, and the burglar. The rest of the Ditko Spidey rogues and supporting cast are not included.
    Do you have the link for that? Just wondering.

  7. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen Kane View Post
    Good for the Ditko Family Estate. I hope they take Disney/Marvel to the cleaners with this. I wouldn't mind seeing Spider-Man put into better hands.
    Whatever happens the Ditko's famaily will not win sole ownership of Spider-Man, Marvel/Disney will retain some rights if not the majority of rights so they will not be able to place Spider-Man in "better hands".

  8. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by FFJamie94 View Post
    Lee also pretty much sold his shared to Marvel earning himself some of the profits. So Lee didn't hold the rights to Spider-man, but became the face for Marvel instead.
    Riesman's biography of Lee goes into this. But Lee never earned himself "profits" (in the sense of a cut on Spider-Man merchandise daily sales, he absolutely never got that). Nor was Lee becoming "the face of Marvel" a compromise as part of that deal. At the end of Lee's life, he was a millionaire certainly but he wasn't exactly as rich as he liked people to assume he was. He barely earned money from his cameos which he loved doing above all else, and certainly Marvel as a company had a push-pull attitude to him.

    Quote Originally Posted by Somecrazyaussie View Post
    As for Toberoff? That dude is a crook himself.
    What is your evidence for this claim, based on his past conduct? I need evidence for claims about any aspersions on the Ditko Estate and their attorney and I think anyone who uses extreme language in characterizing the Ditko Estate as "Greedy" and their lawyer as the "crook" based on no prior knowledge and citations ought to examine where these claims come from. If you know Toberoff personally in real life and so on, either DM me, or share the full gossip for everyone. Otherwise keep the random insinuations to yourself.

    Publicly, Toberoff's an attorney who specializes in IP law and advocating for royalties for his clients from big companies and he's done that for comics but also for music and other fields and he has had success in that line. It's seems bizarre to object to people recruiting a lawyer who's a professional at these cases and who's had success in squeezing dough out of companies. Would you rather the Ditko Estate hire Lionel Hutz rather than someone who all indications suggest is good at his job? You want the underdog to win or do all they can to performatively come off as the underdogs, and have no chance at all?

    Why hit Marvel now?
    The window is 2023 and this is the correct time as many outlets have pointed out.

    Why not hit DC for The Creeper or The Question too?
    The Question was created for Charlton Comics (and later acquired by DC) while The Creeper was DC proper. Unlike Marvel, Ditko wasn't in a situation where he was treated and paid as a freelance artist while he was doing 90% of the work every issue. He was credited as writer-artist for The Question at Charlton Comics. For the Creeper, Ditko served as artist, with writer Don Segall being his co-creator. DC in general after Jeanette Kahn and Paul Levitz actually instituted a better royalty program than Marvel (not to say they aren't jerks, as Alan Moore attests). Kirby for instance finally stepped into a toy shop after DC allowed him to earn stuff on New Gods merchandise. It's also likely that contracts were different.

    Marvel has with rare exceptions treated its freelancers far worse than DC has especially over the last decades. This doesn't excuse DC or make them to be morally superior, but the facts are facts. Jim Starlin has said multiple times he made more money for KGBeast showing up in Batman V. Superman than he did for Thanos. Len Wein said he made more for Lucius Fox's appearances in the Nolan film than from Wolverine appearances in movies.
    Last edited by Revolutionary_Jack; 09-25-2021 at 12:00 PM.
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  9. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    What is your evidence for this claim, based on his past conduct? I need evidence for claims about any aspersions on the Ditko Estate and their attorney and I think anyone who uses extreme language in characterizing the Ditko Estate as "Greedy" and their lawyer as the "crook" based on no prior knowledge and citations ought to examine where these claims come from. If you know Toberoff personally in real life and so on, either DM me, or share the full gossip for everyone. Otherwise keep the random insinuations to yourself.
    Don't like being challenged, do you? When you do, you either find ways to shift the goal posts in order to support your postulations or outright claim a person is making "insinuations" with regards to their arguments. Okay, I'll play this game if you wish. Although I find it a tedious prospect of entering into a protracted battle with a individual who went on a hate campaign after reading Riesman's biography (Which, more often than not, seems to be the "well-spring" with which you refer back to).

    Why you feel the need to educate me on Toberoff is incredibly insulting when I am well aware of who he is and what he is known for "the man who comic companies fear!". But, for the sake of civility, i will attest that you are, indeed, correct. He is good at what he does. But his conduct during the Superman lawsuit was overwhelmingly suspect and, at points, did exceed the usual parameters of normal attorney/client boundaries. Allow me to elucidate (have a red bull or triple shot espresso. This shall be immeasurably long winded)

    The Shusters entered into a contractual agreement with DC during the court case that occurred in the later half of 1992. Now, rather then enter a protracted legal back and forth in the courts (one they most likely would have lost given most cases prior to that upheld previous rulings) or settle for a large pay out, they took the option of re-granting DC Shusters rights in exchange for a annual stipend thusforth. The contract was very clear in that, by entering this agreement, they wavered any future attempts to petition further lawsuits on that matter.

    Siegel, on the other hand, DID retain his share of the rights to Superman. This passed to his next of kin upon his death (his wife and children). They served DC a termination notice for Superman that was effective in 1999 under the provisions of the copyright act 1976. This little provision allowed creators to terminate grants of their work 56 years after securing copyright claim/ownership to said works. Warner's entered into negotiations and their offer of $3 million, annual stipends of $500.000 and amended bylines in all superman related publications was accepted (accepted. Not signed off on).

    The Shusters (the preavy's rather) saw this agreement and wanted a bigger slice of the pie for themselves. So, they contacted Toberoff and entered into a 50/50 joint venture with Toberoff's picture company. He then contacted the Siegel's, got them to sack their existing legal counsel, and then got himself appointed as their new legal representation. After which he, and his colleague, outright offered them $15 million to sign over their 50% share to him (can you not see how such practice is suspect?)

    (Citation: Ricca (2014), Peary said this in a 2011 deposition to lawyers representing Warner Bros. the corporate owner of DC Comics.^ From a motion filed on August 13, 2010 by one of Toberoff's attorneys in the 2010 lawsuit (Document 30, 2:10-cv-03633)

    As for the Shusters? Well, they knew what they were entering into when they signed that contract in 1992. That would be like buying an item, getting use out of it, then returning it to the store when you see the same thing for sale demanding to have it at the new price. Some would say that it isn't a case of avarice. But, when you step back and view the bigger picture, you can see that it is. The Shuster estate, rightly or wrongly, took a deal. One that ultimately proved to have been short-sighted in the long run (although they weren't to know that at the time). Did Warner's cheat them with that contract? In my opinion, they did. But, the Shuster estate took it nonetheless.

    (Citation: mid-2001, Joseph Shuster’s nephew, Mark Warren Peary (“Peary”), after researching copyright issues on the internet, sought out attorney Marc Toberoff in connection with the potential termination of Joseph Shuster’s copyright grants.")

    Link to the timeline compiled by Bleeding Cool in 2011 here - https://bleedingcool.com/comics/rece...roff-timeline/

    The window is 2023 and this is the correct time as many outlets have pointed out.
    In the valley of the blind, the one eyed man is king, eh? How about opening the other one just a tad for me here?

    Yes, they had a 5 year window that took effect from 2018. Which they are perfectly within their right to do. However, they could have pulled the trigger in 2020. Why wait for the moment when both characters are being featured in two big feature films are set to be released. But I am sure you'll ascert that is purely coincidental and not a ploy to help bolster any chances of cultivating publicity for their case and thus increase the chance of a larger monetary settlement (And, before you "insinuate" I am making disparaging remarks towards the Ditko Estate here, I am merely pointing out an observation that there is more to it than getting in before the 2023 deadline)

    As I attested in my previous posts, I do not champion big companies stepping over the little guy. Each case has mitigating circumstances that impact each contractual dispute on a individual basis. The Siegel/Shuster suits were a vastly different set of circumstances to the one the Kirby estate faced. In Ditko's case here, the outcome will be similar to the Kirby outcome - a one off settlement in conjunction with larger stipends. For Kirby, he got that "co-created byline" and, possibly, his original artwork back.

    Unless Disney believes they have a air-tight case, their lawyers with negotiate with Toberoff/the Ditko's and settle out of court with the terms shrouded in secrecy because everyone will have to sign NDA's in order for the plaintiffs to see a cent. But I can guarantee that the Ditko estate will not get ownership. Not in this instance. Trying to do so is just a shock tactic. The real aim is the get the other party to back down and pay up. These cases always are.

    Again, if you wish to debate this further, I am more than obliging to do so. Otherwise we should just call a spade a spade, digress that we have differing views on certain aspects of this topic, and move along to something more salivating than the ins and outs of copyright laws under the American legal jurisdiction. Because it has never made for riveting dinner conversation unless the individuals are legal eagles using their individual settlements as metaphorical measurements for their manhood
    Last edited by Somecrazyaussie; 09-25-2021 at 08:39 PM.

  10. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Somecrazyaussie View Post
    Don't like being challenged, do you?
    You calling Toberoff "a crook" and me asking you to clarify what your basis is, isn't any kind of challenge.

    Why you feel the need to educate me on Toberoff is incredibly insulting when I am well aware of who he is
    I obviously don't know you outside CBR Community Forum. I feel it's best to presume no prior history in these discussions after all.

    Link to the timeline compiled by Bleeding Cool in 2011 here - https://bleedingcool.com/comics/rece...roff-timeline/
    Hmm...well that kind of evidence is interesting and worth pondering. I thank you for sharing this. I can't say I fully understand this right now, so I'm not going to judge either way but then I never presumed nor needed anybody involved to be a saint to start with.

    Yes, they had a 5 year window that took effect from 2018. Which they are perfectly within their right to do. However, they could have pulled the trigger in 2020. Why wait for the moment when both characters are being featured in two big feature films are set to be released.
    2020 was the year of Pandemic and the Election, who knows what the situation was like for the Estate Owners and others. Given that such an announcement would bring a lot of media attention and pressure it would obviously require a certain preparation. Remember that Spider-Man No Way Home was originally supposed to be released either last year or sometime earlier this year, and the release date fluctuated and people doubted the movie was releasing because of the trailer delay and these termination notices were filed a month ago and being reported this week.

    But I am sure you'll ascert that is purely coincidental and not a ploy to help bolster any chances of cultivating publicity for their case and thus increase the chance of a larger monetary settlement (And, before you "insinuate" I am making disparaging remarks towards the Ditko Estate here, I am merely pointing out an observation that there is more to it than getting in before the 2023 deadline)
    It does make sense to embarrass the corporation and upstage them so this is neither here nor there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Somecrazyaussie View Post
    Don't like being challenged, do you? When you do, you either find ways to shift the goal posts in order to support your postulations or outright claim a person is making "insinuations" with regards to their arguments. Okay, I'll play this game if you wish. Although I find it a tedious prospect of entering into a protracted battle with a individual who went on a hate campaign after reading Riesman's biography (Which, more often than not, seems to be the "well-spring" with which you refer back to).

    Why you feel the need to educate me on Toberoff is incredibly insulting when I am well aware of who he is and what he is known for "the man who comic companies fear!". But, for the sake of civility, i will attest that you are, indeed, correct. He is good at what he does. But his conduct during the Superman lawsuit was overwhelmingly suspect and, at points, did exceed the usual parameters of normal attorney/client boundaries. Allow me to elucidate (have a red bull or triple shot espresso. This shall be immeasurably long winded)

    The Shusters entered into a contractual agreement with DC during the court case that occurred in the later half of 1992. Now, rather then enter a protracted legal back and forth in the courts (one they most likely would have lost given most cases prior to that upheld previous rulings) or settle for a large pay out, they took the option of re-granting DC Shusters rights in exchange for a annual stipend thusforth. The contract was very clear in that, by entering this agreement, they wavered any future attempts to petition further lawsuits on that matter.

    Siegel, on the other hand, DID retain his share of the rights to Superman. This passed to his next of kin upon his death (his wife and children). They served DC a termination notice for Superman that was effective in 1999 under the provisions of the copyright act 1976. This little provision allowed creators to terminate grants of their work 56 years after securing copyright claim/ownership to said works. Warner's entered into negotiations and their offer of $3 million, annual stipends of $500.000 and amended bylines in all superman related publications was accepted (accepted. Not signed off on).

    The Shusters (the preavy's rather) saw this agreement and wanted a bigger slice of the pie for themselves. So, they contacted Toberoff and entered into a 50/50 joint venture with Toberoff's picture company. He then contacted the Siegel's, got them to sack their existing legal counsel, and then got himself appointed as their new legal representation. After which he, and his colleague, outright offered them $15 million to sign over their 50% share to him (can you not see how such practice is suspect?)

    (Citation: Ricca (2014), Peary said this in a 2011 deposition to lawyers representing Warner Bros. the corporate owner of DC Comics.^ From a motion filed on August 13, 2010 by one of Toberoff's attorneys in the 2010 lawsuit (Document 30, 2:10-cv-03633)

    As for the Shusters? Well, they knew what they were entering into when they signed that contract in 1992. That would be like buying an item, getting use out of it, then returning it to the store when you see the same thing for sale demanding to have it at the new price. Some would say that it isn't a case of avarice. But, when you step back and view the bigger picture, you can see that it is. The Shuster estate, rightly or wrongly, took a deal. One that ultimately proved to have been short-sighted in the long run (although they weren't to know that at the time). Did Warner's cheat them with that contract? In my opinion, they did. But, the Shuster estate took it nonetheless.

    (Citation: mid-2001, Joseph Shuster’s nephew, Mark Warren Peary (“Peary”), after researching copyright issues on the internet, sought out attorney Marc Toberoff in connection with the potential termination of Joseph Shuster’s copyright grants.")

    Link to the timeline compiled by Bleeding Cool in 2011 here - https://bleedingcool.com/comics/rece...roff-timeline/



    In the valley of the blind, the one eyed man is king, eh? How about opening the other one just a tad for me here?

    Yes, they had a 5 year window that took effect from 2018. Which they are perfectly within their right to do. However, they could have pulled the trigger in 2020. Why wait for the moment when both characters are being featured in two big feature films are set to be released. But I am sure you'll ascert that is purely coincidental and not a ploy to help bolster any chances of cultivating publicity for their case and thus increase the chance of a larger monetary settlement (And, before you "insinuate" I am making disparaging remarks towards the Ditko Estate here, I am merely pointing out an observation that there is more to it than getting in before the 2023 deadline)

    As I attested in my previous posts, I do not champion big companies stepping over the little guy. Each case has mitigating circumstances that impact each contractual dispute on a individual basis. The Siegel/Shuster suits were a vastly different set of circumstances to the one the Kirby estate faced. In Ditko's case here, the outcome will be similar to the Kirby outcome - a one off settlement in conjunction with larger stipends. For Kirby, he got that "co-created byline" and, possibly, his original artwork back.

    Unless Disney believes they have a air-tight case, their lawyers with negotiate with Toberoff/the Ditko's and settle out of court with the terms shrouded in secrecy because everyone will have to sign NDA's in order for the plaintiffs to see a cent. But I can guarantee that the Ditko estate will not get ownership. Not in this instance. Trying to do so is just a shock tactic. The real aim is the get the other party to back down and pay up. These cases always are.

    Again, if you wish to debate this further, I am more than obliging to do so. Otherwise we should just call a spade a spade, digress that we have differing views on certain aspects of this topic, and move along to something more salivating than the ins and outs of copyright laws under the American legal jurisdiction. Because it has never made for riveting dinner conversation unless the individuals are legal eagles using their individual settlements as metaphorical measurements for their manhood
    Very interesting analysis.

    More stuff like this is needed.

    But ultimately it comes down to what I believed will happen in the first instance, there will be a settlement between Disney and the Ditko Estate. The details of which will never be made public.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Username taken View Post
    Very interesting analysis.

    More stuff like this is needed.

    But ultimately it comes down to what I believed will happen in the first instance, there will be a settlement between Disney and the Ditko Estate. The details of which will never be made public.
    Exactly. We will never know because it will likely never make it to court. Out of court settlements.

    In the one instance, Disney is within their right to protect their IP. I don't like that artists and writers got crummy deals and that shady contractual practices in the past forced them to sign their life away pretty much (look at the Simon Captain America lawsuit and the pressure Marvel placed on Kirby to side with them).

    In a perfect world, a fair world, they would look at these deals and go, "You know, these guys really do deserve a bigger royalty check". But they don't see that because, as has always been the practice, they claim that any work was paid for on a "work for hire" basis. It's how they screwed the image guys over in the 90s.

    What this case should do is make the bigger companies/corporations to reevaluate their royalty programs. If they don't, they'll just keep seeing more of these lawsuits.
    Last edited by Somecrazyaussie; 09-26-2021 at 04:39 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    You calling Toberoff "a crook" and me asking you to clarify what your basis is, isn't any kind of challenge.



    I obviously don't know you outside CBR Community Forum. I feel it's best to presume no prior history in these discussions after all.



    Hmm...well that kind of evidence is interesting and worth pondering. I thank you for sharing this. I can't say I fully understand this right now, so I'm not going to judge either way but then I never presumed nor needed anybody involved to be a saint to start with.



    2020 was the year of Pandemic and the Election, who knows what the situation was like for the Estate Owners and others. Given that such an announcement would bring a lot of media attention and pressure it would obviously require a certain preparation. Remember that Spider-Man No Way Home was originally supposed to be released either last year or sometime earlier this year, and the release date fluctuated and people doubted the movie was releasing because of the trailer delay and these termination notices were filed a month ago and being reported this week.



    It does make sense to embarrass the corporation and upstage them so this is neither here nor there.
    All good, my friend. Sorry If I came across as abrasive. Trust me, I don't like the practices or contracts that writers and artists are forced to sign. Yes, they are all legal and above board. However it doesn't mean that I like it. Far from it. It was much, much worse before they made changes to the copyright laws.

    Professionally, I respect Toberoff's prowess as an attorney. However, in the Superman lawsuit, he was certainly more than a bit opportunistic. And his conduct soured me on him as a person. No, I don't know him, of course. But a guy who instigates legal action, with an eye on getting a deal himself by trying to rip off his clients, isn't one I wish to make acquaintances with.
    Last edited by Somecrazyaussie; 09-26-2021 at 05:01 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Somecrazyaussie View Post
    All good, my friend. Sorry If I came across as abrasive.
    At this stage, it'd be hard for me -- of all people -- to make a fuss about that, lol!!!

    No, I don't know him, of course. But a guy who instigates legal action, with an eye on getting a deal himself by trying to rip off his clients, isn't one I wish to make acquaintances with.
    That's fair, certainly his conduct in that situation isn't clear.

    Either way, the system is filled with imperfect people.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Somecrazyaussie View Post
    The Shusters entered into a contractual agreement with DC during the court case that occurred in the later half of 1992. Now, rather then enter a protracted legal back and forth in the courts (one they most likely would have lost given most cases prior to that upheld previous rulings) or settle for a large pay out, they took the option of re-granting DC Shusters rights in exchange for a annual stipend thusforth. The contract was very clear in that, by entering this agreement, they wavered any future attempts to petition further lawsuits on that matter.

    ...

    As for the Shusters? Well, they knew what they were entering into when they signed that contract in 1992. That would be like buying an item, getting use out of it, then returning it to the store when you see the same thing for sale demanding to have it at the new price. Some would say that it isn't a case of avarice. But, when you step back and view the bigger picture, you can see that it is. The Shuster estate, rightly or wrongly, took a deal. One that ultimately proved to have been short-sighted in the long run (although they weren't to know that at the time). Did Warner's cheat them with that contract? In my opinion, they did. But, the Shuster estate took it nonetheless.
    IIRC the legal situation in late 1992 was different for Siegel & family from the Shusters. The 1976 Act limited those who could file for termination to the creator, widow/er, children and grandchildren and the Siegel half of the copyright had that entire list available to terminate and claim. However Shuster died that summer and did not leave a widow or descendents so there was nobody eligible to file a termination notice - his siblings, nephew and niece did not qualify. So they signed a deal tidying up the situation to get Joe's debts paid off and a stipend for his siblings with all previous agreements settled and the possibility of any future action nullified.

    It was only subsequently with the 1998 Act that the definition of heir was broaden to allow non-spouse or descendant heirs to file termination notices. It also added a further 20 years to the copyright term. So once again you have an agreement with terms that became rather more significant when the law was later changed. And the courts actually ruled that this contract meant they couldn't file for termination at the 75 year mark being a post 1978 grant of copyright which is not something that was so clear beforehand - the assumption being that the termination is inalienable and couldn't be cut off by contracts years in advance.

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