View Full Version : The Seigels reclaim some of Superman.

08-14-2009, 08:19 AM
This means the Siegels -- repped by Marc Toberoff of Toberoff & Associates -- now control depictions of Superman's origins from the planet Krypton, his parents Jor-El and Lora, Superman as the infant Kal-El, the launching of the infant Superman into space by his parents as Krypton explodes and his landing on Earth in a fiery crash.

DC owns other elements like Superman's ability to fly, the term kryptonite, the Lex Luthor and Jimmy Olsen characters, Superman's powers and expanded origins.


Allegory Comics
08-14-2009, 08:44 AM
See, here's the thing ... we all know how big a Superman fan I am. So obviously I want to honor the creators, but I also want what's best for the character, and I don't think the family getting any rights is best for the character.

First, I think DC did royally screw Siegel and Shuster. They bought Superman for $125 and then when they heard the two were going to organize a strike (because Bob Kane sold them out) they were quickly fired (and Kane got a raise). They died virtually penniless. That's not right. On the other hand, they did sign the contract, and they bear some responsibility for that. Still ... I think DC should have treated them better.

For the record, they did regain credits and some pay around the time Superman: The Movie came out. Was it enough? I don't know.

Second, the copyright law changed retroactively after they signed their agreement with DC, and they were able to reclaim some of the rights in 1993. Shuster had already died by this point, so I don't think his family should have any rights to anything, sadly. Siegel died in 1996, so his family should be able to get no more than three years pay for DC to use the character. That would be fair. I don't want to see the families gain total control of the franchise - or even partial control over major elements of it. They didn't do anything to create the characters; why should they own anything?

I think if the families get the franchise, it will be the real Death of Superman. They have neither the resources, finances, or marketing savvy to grow the Superman brand. I predict if they get it, you'll see Superman everywhere - in the silliest places, just so they can cash in. There may even still be a comic, but not at DC. It would be some small, unknown publisher who makes Superman their flagship title. People will lose respect for the character because he won't have the care and attention DC gave him. He'll eventuall make less and less appearances, as people stop caring, and in 20 years, he'll be gone completely.

I want DC to respect the creators (not the families), and I hope the families realize this will only damage the legacy of Siegel and Shuster by removing Superman from the public eye. The best thing they could do is leave him where he is so people can enjoy their work for decades more to come.

What the families are doing is NOT respectful to Siegel and Shuster. It will only hurt them in the end, and it will kill Superman more permanently than Lex or Doomsday ever could.

08-14-2009, 09:06 AM
Seems DC owns what is important, which would be Superboy and Adult Superman. Not very many stories that could be told with a baby Superman. DC can either alter the origin, or never mention it again.

08-14-2009, 09:55 AM

The DarkMind
08-14-2009, 10:06 AM
So in other words we can expect Supermans origins to be retconned in the near future :laugh:

08-14-2009, 11:06 AM
Young Clark Kent wanted to fight for his country, but his sickly physique got him judged 4-F and excluded from the Army! Not to be deterred, he signed up for a top-secret program in which he was injected with Super Man Serum (eww!) and exposed to Vita-Rays by top Army scientist Vril Dox, turning him into....SUPERMAN!


The DarkMind
08-14-2009, 11:49 AM
:w00t: I LIKE IT! newt, you're a genius... despite that "being southern" ailment :thumbs:

08-14-2009, 12:21 PM
From the article:

In 2008, the same court order ruled on summary judgment that the Siegels had successfully recaptured (as of 1999) Siegel's copyright in Action Comics No. 1, giving them rights to the Superman character, including his costume, his alter-ego as reporter Clark Kent, the feisty reporter Lois Lane, their jobs at the Daily Planet newspaper working for a gruff editor, and the love triangle among Clark/Superman and Lois.

This was my understanding of what the Siegels might eventually wind up with and it appears they have. If so, that means they could make their own movie with the character as he appears in the first issue: Slick back hair, less-graphic "S", leg bindings, etc., and of course, the limited powers. For some reason I find that appealing, a more simplistic Superman, and would be interested in seeing a movie or other merchandising featuring that character. Regardless, it's a terrific victory. Here's hoping the spirits of Siegel and Shuster are resting a little easier.

L Jamal
08-14-2009, 12:49 PM
Note it's says Siegel's copyright. Superman was created by Siegel and Shuster, so DC maintains 1/2 the copyright for whatever Siegel does gain. What this means is that Siegel's heirs has the ability to use the portions of Superman that they have a right to and do not infringe upon DC's copyrights and TM. Essentially, it's not much they can do but reprint the stories they have rights to and/or start anew from those stories without using the Superman Trademark (which DC owns) and any reprints they did do would require them to pay DC 1/2 the profits.

What's important is that they own a very small part of Superman and any revenue that DC generates using that small part of Superman requires that they pay Sigel's heirs 1/2 of the revenue generated by that small part they they do own.

What is likely to happen is 1) DC stops using and referring to that part of Superman or 2) DC buys or licenses the rights from the Seigels for some fee. Since Lois and Clark are instrumental parts of Superman, we are likely to see the latter.

08-14-2009, 05:39 PM
Did you hear the news? The seigels reclaim some of Superman which mean the comic strips, and issue 4 of Action Comics. Even Action Comics number 1.
DC lost some of the rights to Superman, and that is very weird. I feel Superman will be out of print in the future, and that would be bad. If The Seigels take all of the rights of Superman, DC won't publish Superman anymore, and that won't even work if they do that. If you go to www.supermanhomepage.com, www.newsarama.com, and www.superherohype.com, you will find out what i mean. Hope this will interest you.

08-14-2009, 05:50 PM
Eh, whatever. It's all a clusterfuck. Let's say Seigels gets Clark and DC gets Kent.

08-14-2009, 06:00 PM

08-14-2009, 06:49 PM
Here's the view on it over at Newsarama


Paul Sanderson
08-14-2009, 08:23 PM
Seems DC owns what is important, which would be Superboy and Adult Superman. Not very many stories that could be told with a baby Superman. DC can either alter the origin, or never mention it again.

Agreed. This won't affect DC too much.

Allegory Comics
08-14-2009, 09:25 PM
Wrong. This will have a HUGE affect on DC one way or the other.

Either they ...

A) settle for big $$$
B) lose the rights and license them from the families for big $$$
C) walk away from the elements in questions and rewrite the origin - a Superman origin that doesn't include Krypton, Jor-El, Lara, or Lois Lane.

I think (A) is the most likely and would have the least affect (except in the pocketbook), and (C) would be the least likely and the most damaging.

Either way, it's kinda a big deal.

I wonder if DC knew they would be losing some of these elements, and maybe that's why they're rewriting (or "updating" as they say) his origin in "Superman Secret Origin" beginning next month. Dan DiDio said 2010 will be the year of Superman. I wonder if this new origin and big plans for 2010 somehow came from this lawsuit.

What people aren't saying yet is the dangerous prescendent this will set in future cases of creators (and their descendents) seeking to regain their rights or squeeze publishers out of more pay.

08-14-2009, 09:37 PM
Are you trying to tell us if it affects the DC universe, will it be no more Superman forever? I hope not.

Paul Sanderson
08-14-2009, 09:43 PM
Yes, this will undoubtedly cost Time Warner a fair chunk of change, but other than that, no, this will affect DC very little. Firstly, the Siegel's have only gotten the copyright (not the trademark) back to some of the very early stories. Secondly, none of this affects publication of Superman stories now or into the short term future. Long term, yes, TW will have to make some sort of settlement arrangement with the Siegel's (as they don't own the largest proportion of Superman, they really can't do anything with their copyright except get some money), but that was always a given. Either way, like I said, in the end, this doesn't affect DC itself overly.

08-14-2009, 09:54 PM
I really think DC comics are doing the right thing, and The Seigels are doing a very studpid thing, and that is not nice. They need to stop and let it go. They should leave DC comics alone, and i think DC comics should fight back because they did not do anything wrong. The Seigels are blaming DC for nothing. Don't you agree?

Allegory Comics
08-14-2009, 09:57 PM
I think it could be potentially BIG changes for DC, but I think they'll happen slowly so not to appear as big or uncomfortable to readers. But when it's all done (say 5 years from now) if you compare it to where we are right now, you'll notice how far we'd gone.

We'll wait and see. I'm hoping DC takes care of Jerry and Joe rightly, but I don't want to see anything happen that would jeopardize the future of Superman, his origin, his characters, his powers, or anything, at DC Comics.

Paul Sanderson
08-15-2009, 04:49 AM
There'll be a pay off and that'll be that. Readers won't notice a thing ultimately.

08-15-2009, 01:20 PM
The Siegels are asswipes that don't deserve shit as far as I'm concerned. Yes Jerry and Joe did but their descendants that never even met them shouldn't be getting a damn thing.

08-16-2009, 10:39 PM
I hear in 2013, The seigels would get the copyright of Superman, but not the trademark. I think DC is keeping Jerry & Joe's legacy alive, but I think The Seigels are just being greedy and mean. Either way, Superman cannot be pulled out of the DC universe, and it will not happen. The Seigels might get the copyrights of Superman in 2013, but not the trademark. The trademark of Superman stays with DC. FOR SURE!

Paul Sanderson
08-26-2009, 02:55 AM
I think by that time a settlement between both parties will have long been reached that will have resolved the situation.

08-31-2009, 05:09 PM
Just kill him off and use one of the alternates SM. Or just use that guy from legion.

This time, maybe they will kill him off, just not to pay the nut. :D

09-01-2009, 09:03 AM
Isnt this D.C.'s round about way of saying you own the Earth 2 Superman and the old bitchy Lois we killed in Crisis????