DC has filed a surprising new claim in the Superman case.
Source: Daniel Best
The Superman copyright case is a complex legal battle, filled with filings, counter-claims, thefts and surprises. DC didn't disappoint when it filed a new motion asking a U.S. District Court Judge to rule on whether DC holds a 50% ownership in Superman's copyright, based on a claim that it had paid Joe Shuster's heirs $600,000 over the course of several years.
The claim, which used papers from Paul Levitz's collection, is based off a 1992 agreement between DC and the Shuster heirs, in which DC paid an annual bonus to the Shuster heirs in exchange for the Shusters not attempting to reclaim the their portion of the copyright claim. Over the course of 10 years, DC claims it paid Jean Peavy, the sister of Joe Shuster, annual bonuses of between $10,000 and $25,000. In addition, DC claims that it also helped pay off Shuster's final debts and expenses.
Levitz claims that he has numerous correspondence between him and Peavy, including several in which Peavy asks for additional payments. Levitz claims that the publisher agreed to pay the additional bonuses despite "having no legal need to do so."
Should a judge rule in DC's favor, it would force the Superman copyright case into a stalemate. Marc Toberoff and the Siegel heirs would basically be forced to either work with DC to reach an agreement OR sell their 50% share to someone who could work with DC as a result. Full legal documents are provided at the source link, which also does a better job at explaining DC's latest legal maneuver.
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