Jack Kirby Estate Goes After Marvel and Studios


Bleeding Cool reports that the estate of Jack Kirby, co-creator of Captain America, The Fantastic Four, X-Men, The Avengers, Iron Man, Hulk, The Silver Surfer and Thor has sent notices terminating copyright to publishers Marvel and Disney, as well as Sony, Universal, 20th Century Fox and Paramount Pictures, which have made movies and TV shows based on characters he created or co-created:

Just as the Jerry Siegel estate has done so with rights to Superman, so Kirby’s estate is looking to regain his share of copyright in the characters and their use in comics and other media. the estate is using the same lawyers as the Siegels, Toberoff & Associates, who have been fairly successful in their case against DC/Warner so far.

Such claims, if found valid, would begin from 2014 and, as always, its worth noting that Marvel/Disney will still own the trademarks of the characters in comics, and the studios in movies. The likelihood is that, if successful, the Kirby estate would enter into negotiation with Marvel over terms to continue publishing comics based on his work.

You can read more on this here. The New York Times also had more on the matter:

Heirs to the comic book artist Jack Kirby, a creator of characters and stories behind Marvel mainstays like “X-Men” and “Fantastic Four,” last week sent 45 notices of copyright termination to Marvel and Disney, as well as Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Universal Pictures, and other companies that have been using the characters.

The notices expressed an intent to regain copyrights to some of Mr. Kirby’s creations as early as 2014, according to a statement disclosed on Sunday by Toberoff & Associates, a law firm in Los Angeles that helped win a court ruling last year returning a share of the copyright in Superman to heirs of one of the character’s creators, Jerome Siegel.

Disney said in a statement, “the notices involved are an attempt to terminate rights 7 to 10 years from now, and involve claims that were fully considered in the acquisition.”

For that full article, go here.