Who owns Superman?
Definitely not Luthor. This issue have been the subject of ongoing court battles for years, but US courts decided last January 10 that Warner Bros. (who owns DC Comics) may have had the last box of Kryptonite in their pockets, giving them ownership to the fictional character which has became the symbol of truth, justice and the ‘so-called’ American way.
Here’s what happened:
Superman was created by Jerome Siegel and Joseph Shuster in the 1930s and, according to The Hollywood Reporter, they sold the rights to the character for far less than he was worth early on. Then, in 1976, the new Copyright Act included provisions to give copyrights back to artists who had sold them in the course of unfair bargaining. Using that law, the creators’ estates won a 2008 case that gave them the right to Superman’s backstory, as described in his first comic book appearance, as well as other elements of the character. Based on that decision, Warner Bros. would have to share the profits from franchise products like Man of Steel. However, in 2001, before the estates’ current lawyer, Marc Toberoff, stepped in, Warner Bros. had negotiated a deal with Jerome Siegel’s widow that would constitute fair compensation with fair bargaining for the rights her late husband had sold.
On appeal, the court has now decided that the 2001 deal had not been properly considered in the 2008 Copyright Act lawsuit. Based on a letter between Siegel’s widow’s lawyer and DC, which went over the terms of the agreement, the court found that both sides had already accepted the deal.
So, in short, Warner Bros. owns Superman and the MAN OF STEEL will fly in theaters once again for the production outfit on June 14, 2013.