As a fan of Superman, I’ve been keeping a close eye on the lawsuit over rights to the character. The rights to some aspects of Superman have already reverted back to the family of Jerry Siegel, one of the original co-creators of the character. These rights include Superman’s origin story with the baby fleeing Krypton, Superman’s ability to “leap tall buildings in a single bound” and even the iconic blue and red costume. The remainder of the Superman rights are set to revert to the family of the other guy behind the Man of Steel… Joe Shuster.
Of course, Warner Brothers and DC Comics are doing their best to work out something that will benefit the creators’ families while allowing them to continue using the Superman character. In the latest move on Warner Brothers part, as reported by Deadline, Warner Brothers has just filed an appeal to not only reverse some of the earlier legal rulings, but to move the case into an open court.
In a massive 117 page appeal, Warner Brothers said that, “This long-running dispute should be brought to an end.” While there is a lot of small print and legalities being poured over, the bottom line, according to Warner Brothers’ lawer Daniel Petrocelli, is that, “much of this case reduces to a familiar proposition: a deal is a deal”. Warner Brothers further states that Laura Siegel Larson, the lady in charge of the Siegel estate now, backed out on a deal with DC Comics that “guaranteed the family many millions of dollars in cash, royalties, and other compensation”. The families claim that there never was a deal because the proper paperwork wasn’t filed.
Of course, this appeal and move to the open court really doesn’t do much in the way of actually settling the issue, and I expect that the families of Siegel and Shuster’s estates will have a response very soon. Despite the bickering, legal insiders expect that the case will end up back in court sometime later this year.