Judge Rules In Favor Of Warner Brothers For Rights To Superman

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Today, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Warner Brothers will retain and control the rights to the Man of Steel over the family of co-creator and writer Jerry Siegel.

This latest chapter, in what is considered by many to be an ongoing battle, stems from a 2001 letter by Siegel family’s then attorney stating that “they accepted DC Comics‘ offer of October 16, 2001 in respect of the Superman and Spectre properties.” Therefore, the court views this document as a legally binding contract and it overturns a 2008 ruling that the Siegels have a right to reclaim Jerry’s half of the Superman rights from Action Comics #1, and combined with the recent ruling against the estate of artist Joe Shuster, it pretty much cements Warner Brothers as having full control over the character.

Warner Brothers have released this statement:
“This is a great day for Superman, for his fans, for DC Entertainment and for Warner Bros. Today’s ruling vindicates DC Comics’ long-held position that it entered into a binding agreement with the Jerry Siegel family in 2001. The Court’s decision paves the way for the Siegels finally to receive the compensation they negotiated for and which DC has been prepared to pay for over a decade. We are extremely pleased that Superman’s adventures can continue to be enjoyed across all media platforms worldwide for generations to come.”

The Siegel family can file an appeal with Supreme Court, however for the moment the matter of ownership has been decided and the Siegels will receive a settlement based on the 2001 letter.

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