Discussion in 'Comic Books and Graphic Novels' started by Paladin, Mar 29, 2008.
Sorry if this is old news.
so, he made a deal back in 37, got a decent amount for the era...then later once superman got big, DC started to give them free money each year, then later upped that free amount...then they sue? WTF...i really hate people...siegel made a deal, and while it sucks that superman ended up being a huge money maker, he still signed a contract that said he was giving away his character...
siegel and shuster may have creater superman, but DC MADE superman who he is today... i hate crap like this...stupid money grubbers...
Umm, wtf. 30K a year for not having to do a damn thing, for one character, and they're suing?
Okay, you really, really have no idea what you're talking about here. The way DC screwed Siegel and Shuster out of the rights to Superman is legendary in the comics business. Siegel and Shuster created one of the most iconic characters of the 20th century, but ended up practically living in poverty for the rest of their lives while DC made millions upon millions of dollars off of their creation. Siegel tried to sue for the rights back, but he only succeeded in racking up a bunch of legal bills. It wasn't until the Superman movie came out in the late 70s (forty years after the publication of Action Comics #1) that Siegel made it public how they'd been shafted, and DC still refused to pony up any sort of royalties. It took more court battles and some pressure from current writers and artists to give Siegel and Shuster any sort of compensation for their work. Considering how badly they were screwed over, I'd say Siegel's family is more than entitled to 50% ownership of the character.
There's a very good book by Gerard Jones entitled Men of Tomorrow that describes the whole history of this issue in much greater detail. I highly recommend it.
switchblade, i didnt know that...i was just basing my info off the first post...that does suck then...but it looks like the family will finally get something back then, and if all thats the case, then good for them...
I say Hooray for the little guy, I'm familiar with what they did to the original creators (still goes on) and I'm glad they have lost the sole rights to the character, the gravy train doesnt go on forever
And to be fair to DC, that was how the industry worked in those days. Creators sold all the rights of their work to publishers, and creators knew the chances they took when they did so. Besides, the Superman concept wasn't exactly the most desirable concept when it was being shopped around, and It wasn't like DC were solely out to screw over Seigel and Shuster or any other creator. DC got lucky with Superman who created the Superhero genre. While I feel that the families certainly deserve considerable and fair compensation and have no love for massive corporations, at this point they shouldn't have any say-so in the control of the characters.
They didn't lose the rights they still legally have 1/2 the Shuster rights(no living relatives) Also expect them to appeal it. And it's only the stuff coming from Action comics issue #1. So DC own all the other superman characters completely except for Superman and Lois. The Shusters also don't get the rights to the current S shield, only the original, and they can't get as much as you think. Only things from the first issue of Action. As I said rediculously complicated, and not final till Dc runs out of appeals. There is also the lawsuit over superboy that is still going on.
True. It was possible to get a better deal (Bob Kane and William Moulton Marsden both did), but Siegel and Shuster didn't know how to write up a good contract that would guarantee them greater rights and royalties. They were just a couple of young guys from Ohio who signed whatever contract DC gave them, which is why this whole mess started in the first place.
Though DC was throwing them a bone when they bought Superman. Nobody wanted the idea, and it was Gaines(EC Comics) who passed the idea to DC. Certainly they do deserve compensation, but how much is question. Though I'm rather appalled with myself that I'm siding more with DC on this issue.
Anyone have a more detailed explaination of what went on?
Like I said, Men of Tomorrow is a great resource for the full story behind Siegel and Shuster's shafting (and a lot of other stories from the early history of comic books).
There's most likely a lot of information on it on the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund site, too.
Here's a very good little FAQ about what the ruling means for the future of Superman.
Basically, nothing is going to change until at least 2013, when the Shuster estate gets the ability to terminate its half of the copyright, too.
Just a question....whats to keep DC from say, killing Superman before they lose the copyright? I know he's an iconic character, but if he's not in a comic for say a year, well out of sight out of mind. Just wondering.
so...is this the reason that guys like alan moore has beef with DC?
Alan Moore has the arse with about 3 different publishers because he seems to think that he should have all the rights for stuff that he has created reguardless of whatever he may have signed or agreed to in the past.
In the case of DC, the contracts for V and Watchmen apparently state that he gets the right when they go out of print. Obviously thats never going to happen because they make them lots of money, so he thinks that he is being screwed.
Expect Dc to eventually shell out a lot of money and buy the copyright in the next 5 to 6 years.
Y'know, I never know what to make of this stuff. On the one hand, a contract is a contract, no matter how unbalanced it may be.
On the other hand, I've always been uncomfortable with how copyrights are handled. I don't like how corporations get copyrights for things at the expense of the little guy. That doesn't just apply to fiction, either - most scholarly journals insist on having the copyright to a paper transferred to them before they'll print an article. I think the same happens with most books. That just seems...crappy.
1) Superman makes a lot of money. Even if DC has to pay royalties to keep using him, they'll still probably get a license to do so.
2) If, for whatever reason, DC decides to abandon Superman, killing him off would be ineffective. Whoever licensed Superman from the copyright holders can just bring him back, probably with a story "reboot" that places him outside of the DC universe.
3) If DC did away with Superman and discontinued his comics, whoever licences the character next stands to make a KILLING for being the company to "bring back" Superman.
4) No way the world is going to forget Superman after not being in comics for a year
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