Saturday, March 29, 2008

Superman: this is going to change everything....

The rights of the Siegel family heirs to the character of Superman have been ruled on in the US this weekend. As expected, it's complicated and will no doubt be appealed by Time warner.
But the important summary is that the Siegel family heirs now effectively have co-ownership of the character of Superman as represented in Action Comics #1:
a copyright interest in the Superman material that Siegel and Shuster created before they were employed at DC--namely, the material that appeared in Action Comics #1.
The concluding paragraph in full:
After seventy years, Jerome Siegel’s heirs regain what he granted so long ago -– the copyright in the Superman material that was published in Action Comics Vol. 1. What remains is an apportionment of profits, guided in some measure by the rulings contained in this Order, and a trial on whether to include the profits generated by DC Comics’ corporate sibling’s exploitation of the Superman copyright.
You can barely peruse any of the comics sites over the weekend without falling over these links, with possibly the best summary, including a perfect FAQ from Jeff Trexler here.

The visual comes from this week's All Star Superman by Morrison & Quitely but it's timing is eerie.
In an interesting aside to the whole issue, Neil Gaiman makes his comments on the whole thing and, if I'm reading it right, just invited publishers to bid for publication of an Angela or Medieval Spawn comic. Which may just be a throw-away coment or, who knows, could be a sign that he's looking to move along with all this and, more importantly, get those Miracleman stories back into print.

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