In a move that sent shockwaves across the online comic book community, Judge Otis Wright III of U.S. District Court of Central California ruled that the person/entity that purchased something actually owned it.
Source: Court Says: SUPERBOY/ SUPERMAN Rights Case is Over
On April 18, 2013 creator rights in America officially died as Judge Otis Wright III of U.S. District Court ruled that 100% of the rights to Superman and related properties belonged to DC Comics. Quoted from Nerwsarama:
In court April 18, 2013, Wright ruled that “The Court holds that the 2001 settlement agreement between DC and the Siegels re-granted the Siegels’ Superman, Superboy, and a Superman advertisements that ran in the 1930s to DC in return for substantial advances and royalties,” and that the motion of DC/WB to end these litigations is granted.
That’s lawyer speak for “DC owns Superman, now leave me alone.”.
This is especially difficult for the heirs of Jerry Siegel because of the specific mention of Superboy. This aspect of the case started in 1943, again, from Nerwsarama:
…when a five-page Superboy story was printed while Jerry Siegel, who contended he had pitched such a story, was in the Army deployed in service of WWII. After litigation, he and co-creator Joe Shuster were paid $94,000 "to end all claims." Adjusted for inflation to today's rates, that's the equivalent of approximately $884,000.
For a judge to rule that a measly $884,000 would be enough to purchase the rights to a character who had appeared in a five page long story that only the original creator (although, not actual owner due to already having sold that off) could have possibly come up with is preposterous. Furthermore, we all know that Superman would still be who he is today if DC hadn’t forced, at gun point, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster to sell their creations and then went on to publish Superman comics for 75 years. If DC had paid them what Superman would eventually be worth, then not only would they both still be alive due to money transfusions, but the world would be at peace, panda bears would be plentiful, and there would be no pain, no sickness, and no suffering.
To quote a close personal friend; “DC BAD!”
Written or Contributed by GHERU
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