Marvel is suing to keep full control of characters including Iron Man, Spider-Man, Black Widow, Thor, and more as the heirs of Steve Ditko and others filed termination notices over character creations.

(Sony Pictures)

(Sony Pictures)

What’s Happening:

  • The Hollywood Reporter states that Marvel has sued to keep the rights of various characters as heirs of late Marvel character creators including Stan Lee, Steve Ditko, and Gene Colan file for copyright termination.
  • Marvel is stating that the characters are ineligible for copyright termination as the heirs say otherwise. If Disney and Marvel lose the suit, they would have to share co-ownership and profits of the characters with the heirs as they reclaim rights.
  • The heirs are being represented by Marc Toberoff, who had represented the Superman creators against DC for a similar suit, and failed.
  • During that suit, DC was represented by Dan Petrocelli, who will be representing Disney and Marvel now for its similar case, which may not bode well for the heirs.
  • Toberoff also represented Jack Kirby’s estate in a similar copyright termination claim for Spider-Man, Thor, and other characters, which he also lost.
  • The Hollywood Reporter notes that termination provisions of copyright law only apply in the United States.
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