Disney possibly in danger of losing Spider-Man and Avengers characters

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by TheWarPathGuy, Sep 24, 2021.

  1. Hobbes-timus Prime

    Hobbes-timus Prime TFW2005 Supporter

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    I'm inclined to agree. There's this tendency to take a "first = best" approach to creators. Just because someone created a character for Marvel or DC and that character has since generated billions in revenue, the assumption is that first creator handed Marvel/DC a billion dollar property. But the truth is often that these characters only become as valuable as they are thanks to the work of many, many other creators down the line - often not even in the same medium. Superman wouldn't be what he is today if we hadn't had Richard Donner and Christopher Reeves, as an example.

    So why is it anymore moral for Ditko's children to profit off the work of all the other Spider-Man creators than it is for Disney to profit off their work? What is, say, Mark Bagley owed for Spider-Man's total popularity?

    Creators definitely need to be more fairly compensated and credited - past and present - but handing the whole pie over to the first guy (or his heirs) just because he was first is problematic in its own way.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2021
  2. Tekkaman Blade

    Tekkaman Blade Professor of Animation

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    Well that is how the law works. It comes down to who created the character. And the creators family are following the law as it’s written. That is how it works. Now under the law Marvel can sue and counterclaim. Then it’s left for the court to decide.

    None of our opinions matter. It’s a legal battle and it will play out in the court system. That how it currently works unless a law is changed.
     
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  3. Hobbes-timus Prime

    Hobbes-timus Prime TFW2005 Supporter

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    Yes, but we're discussing if the law is fair in regards to how the corporate legacy comic system works.
     
  4. Tekkaman Blade

    Tekkaman Blade Professor of Animation

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    That’s a different issue it’s called the patent system. It has to be renewed every few years, but like the characters it eventually runs out and is free for all to use. It’s also a much smaller time frame.

    The process from patent application to issuance takes about two years on average. Once a patent is granted, the inventor has the right to prevent others from making, using, selling, offering to sell or importing the patented invention for a basic period of 20 years from the application's filing date.

    This is why when a product first comes out it’s exclusive, but after 20 years you see a lot of knockoff products.

    The patent system is a mess and this has caused a lot of issues in the computer industry making prices go up when they shouldn’t due to some random process or algorithm someone has a patent on.

    I could go on for quite awhile but it’s a different issue than the one discussed here
     
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  5. Tekkaman Blade

    Tekkaman Blade Professor of Animation

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    Unless the law is changed there is nothing you can do about it fair or not. That is how it works.
     
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  6. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP Be strong enough to be gentle

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    Oh no, Disney would only have partial ownership if that's the case! They'd have to share a tiny portion of their billions of dollars with the creators who actually gave them the characters they've made so much profit off of. Noooooo.

    Is it? Is it really?

    I feel like the world has enough Spider-man movies, TV shows, comics, etc, that a little blip in the constant stream of repetitive media isn't the worst thing in the world. I know these characters are loved, but they're also corporatized to shit. Which is fine, but it also means I stopped giving a shit about Marvel around abouts Endgame because it felt less like I was watching characters and stories and more business moves and product management.

    I don't dislike Marvel, but the thought of living without it isn't exactly enough to make me lose sleep. I don't think any IP can, even Transformers. (though I'd be pretty bummed if those went away of course)

    Patents and intellectual properties aren't really the same. As Tekkaman said, a patent is legally owned by an individual for a period of time, and then expires. You can't claim royalties on a patent unless you (somehow) weren't initially paid for its use. (i.e., a company stole it)

    But as Tekkaman also said, it's its own mess of problems, but this here in no way sets a precedent there.
     
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  7. Hobbes-timus Prime

    Hobbes-timus Prime TFW2005 Supporter

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    Uh-huh. What gave you the impression we don't already know that?
     
  8. Tekkaman Blade

    Tekkaman Blade Professor of Animation

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    Well some of the discussions in here did have me questioning if some people understood it.
     
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  9. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP Be strong enough to be gentle

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    Numerous replies in this thread have demonstrated a clear lack of understanding of the laws in place.

    And that's not a slight or anything. It's not like it's a law the average person would know, even within fandoms, but it doesn't mean Tekkaman can't explain it to those who do not understand. Some people have wrongly conflated it with other laws and aspects of legal ownership.
     
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  10. Hobbes-timus Prime

    Hobbes-timus Prime TFW2005 Supporter

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    I'm asking him about what A.O. and I said specifically, thanks. The rest of the posts in the thread aren't relevant to that question.
     
  11. Tekkaman Blade

    Tekkaman Blade Professor of Animation

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    Your discussing philosophic ideas and and who made the characters popular, which has nothing to do with the laws in place and even if people agreed on aspects of it would still not change the laws and how they work. That type of thing would be more appropriate in the Marvel comic discussion thread, not as much in a thread about if Disney will lose the rights to characters due to legal issues as Philosophy has absolutely nothing to do with and will have no affect on the ongoing legal situation.
    I was discussing how the law works and how nothing your talking about will change that no matter your opinion.
     
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  12. Hobbes-timus Prime

    Hobbes-timus Prime TFW2005 Supporter

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    It actually has to do with whether we think the law is fair, which is on-topic even if it isn't actionable.
     
  13. wheeljack01

    wheeljack01 Happiness is a warm gun

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    Right on!
     
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  14. Tekkaman Blade

    Tekkaman Blade Professor of Animation

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    Be careful then too much speculation into if a law is fair may run a fowl of Rule 3.
     
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  15. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP Be strong enough to be gentle

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    In this case, what's more fair? A multi-billion dollar company that has profited off these characters immensely and grown into a corporate super-giant, or the few remaining creators and/or the loved ones of those individuals who created said immensely popular characters?

    If we're talking fairness, let's talk fairness. Disney could absolutely afford to pay the relatively minuscule fees to placate the creators/families and still be rolling in it from merchandising and license deals of their own. Nobody wants to take these characters away from them, they just want to see some of that absurd amount of income Disney rakes in given Marvel and those characters are arguably what ballooned Disney into the corporate juggernaut it is today.
     
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  16. Hobbes-timus Prime

    Hobbes-timus Prime TFW2005 Supporter

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    Well, since the multi-billion dollar giant compensated all the other creators who contributed to the success of the IP, it seems like it has more right to the sum total of their work than just one of those creators (and definitely more than his children). Which isn't me siding with Disney. But the reality is it's not "a few remaining creators" responsible for Spider-Man's success (or *insert Marvel/DC character here*). It's literally hundreds (if not thousands), most of them still alive and still working, and I was saying that I think they get overlooked in these kinds of discussions. I wish there was a way to include them in these kinds of battles because that's what is truly fair. Ditko's children might be owed what Ditko should have been more fairly paid, but Mark Bagley is still alive and contributed more to the overall Spidey mythos than Ditko did. So let's get him paid, too, you know?

    Yes, agreed, and already stated so in a previous post. But for more than just Ditko is my point. Funneling the whole thing to a single creator's estate isn't anymore fair than one billion dollar company having it. Let's recognize the huge group endeavor and try to reward them all in accordance with their actual contributions.
     
  17. TheSoundwave

    TheSoundwave Bounty Hunter

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    I wouldn't worry too much about the MCU ending. Even if Disney doesn't win, they'll still partially own the rights to the characters. And I don't see the creators' heirs trying to force Disney to stop making movies that bring in billions of dollars. I'd assume they'd get something from those movies, as co-owners. They'd probably just work out a new deal, like that Spider-Man thing that happened with Sony a couple years back (remember when everyone was freaking out about that? It ended up being nothing...it's barely memorable to me at this point).

    Although if the MCU ends in 2023, I'd honestly be okay with that. I feel like the MCU has kind of passed its heyday. Which isn't to say they won't make any more good movies, but for me the hype and momentum isn't really there anymore. At this point we've gotten more than enough superhero movies that we can go back and revisit, and at some point it'll just become a soap opera. It honestly might be better for the MCU to end while it's ahead...I feel like their formula and strategies become more and more transparent with each movie, and I question how much longer they can hold on before audiences start to get fatigued. If we can get past Guardians 3, I don't really need to see any more.
     
  18. Tekkaman Blade

    Tekkaman Blade Professor of Animation

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    As I keep pointing out there are the families of 5 creators trying to get back the right's not just Ditko's. And they are only doing this now due to how copyright law is set up. If successful likely other creators will follow suit as their copyright windows open up. But as it only does 56 years after the creation of the character some have to wait awhile.
     
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  19. Hobbes-timus Prime

    Hobbes-timus Prime TFW2005 Supporter

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    None of that addresses the issue I was raising. Those families are going after the copyrights of different creations and there's no indication Ditko's heirs are planning to share with the numerous other creators who have worked on Spider-Man projects through the character's history.
     
  20. Tekkaman Blade

    Tekkaman Blade Professor of Animation

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    And that has nothing to do with the lawsuit, nor would they be required to so, again your stating philosophies and platitudes that have nothing to do with the lawsuit making many of your statements confusing. In a way that is hard to follow. Which is why we keep responding to you with facts because many of the points you bring don't seem to make sense to us.
     
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