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  1. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by timrollpickering View Post
    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.
    And you'd be correct. It is a complex quagmire. But the 1998 one you are referring too was an extension to the 1976 Act and is called The Sonny Bono Act or, as some jokingly refer to it as, The Mickey Mouse Protection Act lol.

  2. #92
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    Which is a misconception reflecting the campaign run against it focusing on a particular corporation. But I guess "The Let's Be More Like The European Union Act" didn't sound as snappy. The 20 year extension in the Bono Act was in large part responding to the EU harmonising copyrights at life +70 years and thus adding 20 years on top of the Berne minimum. Some EU member states had already gone that far in extending their author's rights (*) for such long periods e.g. (West) Germany reached it in the 1960s. Sure Disney and Bono and lots of others were interested in the Act and benefitted from the extension but it was part of the broader thrust of US IP law aligning to international norms rather than just down to a few corporate interests asking for special treatment.

    (* In a lot of continental European countries the concept in question is not focused on the right to copy but rather the integral rights of the author. Hence legal terms like "urheberrecht" and "droit d'auteur" which both mean "author's right".)

  3. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by timrollpickering View Post
    Which is a misconception reflecting the campaign run against it focusing on a particular corporation. But I guess "The Let's Be More Like The European Union Act" didn't sound as snappy. The 20 year extension in the Bono Act was in large part responding to the EU harmonising copyrights at life +70 years and thus adding 20 years on top of the Berne minimum. Some EU member states had already gone that far in extending their author's rights (*) for such long periods e.g. (West) Germany reached it in the 1960s. Sure Disney and Bono and lots of others were interested in the Act and benefitted from the extension but it was part of the broader thrust of US IP law aligning to international norms rather than just down to a few corporate interests asking for special treatment.

    (* In a lot of continental European countries the concept in question is not focused on the right to copy but rather the integral rights of the author. Hence legal terms like "urheberrecht" and "droit d'auteur" which both mean "author's right".)
    In European law, individual creators and families tend to have rights more than corporate-owned organizations in USA, right?

    Like I know that in EU, movie directors have copyright over films whereas in America directors don't and the movies belong to the production companies (though the movie unions tend to provide enough benefits and royalties). I believe in France and Belgium, the rights of characters like Asterix and Tintin belong to the creators and their families and not the publishers.

  4. #94
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    Tintin's an interesting case as the heirs found they did not have all the rights in court a few years back. IIRC a fan newsletter had reproduced panels from the stories. The estate and its company Moulinsart has been extremely tight in its control of the rights and went after just about every fan use going. However in court a 1942 contract was produced that was ruled that Hergé had given the rights to his publisher Casterman and thus they not Moulinsart were the ones who had the right to pursue reproduction infringement.

    I don't know how far the rights to the stories and characters etc... have wound up but I would note that nobody got upset about corporations and/or courts screwing over the little guy in that case. Nick Rodwell, the director of Moulinsart and second husband of Hergé's widow, is the self-proclaimed most hated man in Belgium because of how he's handled the estate.

    But in general continental European law is much more author friendly and some countries don't recognise corporate authorship at all. There's the concept of "moral rights" which has spread to the UK which recognises the writer's integral right in the work. Here's how the UK government website sums them up as distinct from the economic rights more traditionally associated with the term "copyright":

    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-righ...d-by-copyright

    Moral Rights

    Works often mean more than just the economic value they can generate from their exploitation they can be very special to the person who creates them as they have invested a lot in the work, emotionally and/or intellectually. As a result, copyright works need to be protected in ways that are different to traditional forms of property. Moral rights protect those non-economic interests.

    Moral rights are only available for literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works and film, as well as some performances.

    Unlike economic rights, moral rights cannot be sold or otherwise transferred. However, the rights holder can choose to waive these rights.

    There are four moral rights recognised in the UK:

    The right to attribution

    This is the right to be recognised as the author of a work. This right needs to be asserted before it applies. For example, in a contract with a publisher, an author may state that they assert their right to be identified as the author of their work.

    The right to object to derogatory treatment of a work

    Derogatory treatment is defined as any addition, deletion, alteration to or adaptation of a work that amounts to a distortion or mutilation of the work, or is otherwise prejudicial to the honour or reputation of the author.

    The right to object to false attribution

    This is the right not to be named as the author of a work you did not create. This would prevent, for example, a well-known author being named as the author of a story they did not write.

    The right to privacy of certain photographs and films

    This right enables someone who has commissioned a photograph or film for private and domestic purposes to prevent it from being made available or exhibited to the public. For example, this would allow you to prevent a photographer from putting your wedding photographs on their website without your permission.
    It's because of this that I always wince when the term "work for hire" is used for British created stuff (although moral rights mainly come from the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988). The author is the author regardless of how the economic rights are first held and distributed - the general rule is that if you're a salaried employee creating in the course of employment then the employer gets the economic rights but a freelancer gets the economic rights in the first instance; however the terms of the contract can supersede this. But even in the case of a salaried employee they're still legally the author in a way that someone doing work for hire isn't.
    Last edited by timrollpickering; 09-29-2021 at 04:36 AM.

  5. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by timrollpickering View Post
    But in general continental European law is much more author friendly and some countries don't recognise corporate authorship at all. There's the concept of "moral rights" which has spread to the UK which recognises the writer's integral right in the work.
    Thank you for sharing this.

    "Being more like Europe" is a cliche but certainly there's proof across the Atlantic that you can walk and chew gum at the same time. That you can be fair and decent and honorable with creators and the economy doesn't have to be an anarcho-syndicalist utopia.

    Obviously it's not perfect and Estate Managers can be clueless and make mistakes, but it's definitely better than how the American comic book industry is run.

  6. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Thank you for sharing this.

    "Being more like Europe" is a cliche but certainly there's proof across the Atlantic that you can walk and chew gum at the same time. That you can be fair and decent and honorable with creators and the economy doesn't have to be an anarcho-syndicalist utopia.

    Obviously it's not perfect and Estate Managers can be clueless and make mistakes, but it's definitely better than how the American comic book industry is run.
    Ehh is not all sun and rainbow. You are likely to own the right of your character, but often you are in no position to manage the distribution if it in any significant way, leading to aforementioned character going into oblivion. An example I remember vividly was the character of "Jonathan Steel" a character originally published by Italian pubblisher Bonelli, till the author got into some arguments and took the character with him to another Italian pubblisher, Star Comic(rebooting the story as he wanted) then again got into argument with Star Comic, and got...missing from public view for few years, reappearing with an indi publishers, who can manage to sent a small book per year, with....extremely vary art, as they rely on young hungry cheap artists whose style can be....uh mm...mileage may vary...<remember this case because I bought everything about the character till the art started becoming not worthy the expense and the wait....I am already pining for Guyver...and I have pretty much lost hope it will be ever finished...likely will end up like Berserk>

  7. #97
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    My two cents -

    I hope Marvel/Disney loses control of Spider-Man. Marvel has done a terrible job of managing Spider-Man for about thirty years now. He has thrived despite their choices not because of them. Anything that challenges Marvel Editorial's mismanagement of the character is fine by me.
    "So you've come to the end now alive but dead inside."

  8. #98
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    Given the importance of the Ditko Estate Lawsuit, I thought it was good to go over the available evidence of the creation and authorship of Amazing Fantasy #15.

    I wrote a post "Who Created Spidey?" about it. My argument isn't legal but it certainly addresses some of the misconceptions people have about the making of Spider-Man and why Stan Lee's claims to creations is so shaky.

    https://elvingsmusings.wordpress.com...reated-spidey/

    What you see here is my opinion but look at it, and see my sources and read them to see if you can come up with and offer something else.

  9. #99
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    "So you've come to the end now alive but dead inside."

  10. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Given the importance of the Ditko Estate Lawsuit, I thought it was good to go over the available evidence of the creation and authorship of Amazing Fantasy #15.

    I wrote a post "Who Created Spidey?" about it. My argument isn't legal but it certainly addresses some of the misconceptions people have about the making of Spider-Man and why Stan Lee's claims to creations is so shaky.

    https://elvingsmusings.wordpress.com...reated-spidey/

    What you see here is my opinion but look at it, and see my sources and read them to see if you can come up with and offer something else.
    Ditko himself defended it wasn't a creation, but a co-creation (while putting Stan in a bad light, nonetheless). He might have been wrong, but for a person who claims to be covering the facts, I think including Ditko's take in the subject would be a source that shouldn't be left uncovered.

  11. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shunt View Post
    Ditko himself defended it wasn't a creation, but a co-creation (while putting Stan in a bad light, nonetheless). He might have been wrong, but for a person who claims to be covering the facts, I think including Ditko's take in the subject would be a source that shouldn't be left uncovered.
    How I saw it was that, Ditko when he said it was a co-creation was alluding to the fact that when he got the original Kirby pages if it was Lee's idea or Kirby's idea originally. He assumed that Lee had the initial idea but then later Kirby claimed he came up with Spider-Man.

    Spiderman existed as a concept and title well before Kirby came to Marvel, and if Kirby hadn't come to Marvel, Spiderman wouldn't be a Marvel character.

    So it's demonstrable and provable that Lee did not come up with the idea of Spiderman. That whole "I saw a spider on the wall and got inspired". That never happened.

    To be honest, it's kind of shocking that Kirby didn't get credit on Spider-Man. Other Marvel characters like Iron Man have four listed co-creators, with Kirby among them but Kirby had way more to do with Spider-Man than he did on Iron Man and yet his name is absent.

    Lee downplayed Kirby's input later on but if Kirby's name isn't on the byline and the byline should be resolved to the person who did the most, then it should be Steve Ditko's name there and certainly not Lee's.
    Last edited by Revolutionary_Jack; 10-22-2021 at 04:42 AM.

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