Disney sues to keep Marvel superheroes | Financial issues
Larry Lieber who helped create the Iron Man, Thor and Ant-Man characters, among others, was sued by Disney, which paid billions of dollars in 2009 for its Marvel acquisition. Lieber is the brother of cartoonist Stan Lee, who passed away a few years ago, who is also considered the great man behind the Marvel heroes. The collection also focuses on the heirs to Steve Ditko and Donald L. Heck. They co-created Spider-Man and Black Widow respectively.
According to Disney, the accused parties have recently indicated that they want the rights to the creations they have returned. Ditko’s heirs pointed to US legislation that makes it possible to restore rights once they are transferred to publishers after a certain period of time. So Disney should return the rights to Ditko to Spider-Man in June 2023.
The entertainment group opposes this and is asking the judge to “confirm” that the moves are invalid, simply because they had absolutely no rights to the numbers they created. Additionally, Disney maintains that comic book makers have worked for Marvel for years, editing their comics and paying them per page, for example. As a result, the rights have always been with Marvel. Disney states that by acquiring Marvel, it subsequently acquired all rights to the cartoon characters.
Almost all Marvel comics have been filmed in recent years. This series turned out to be one of the most successful movie series in the history of Hollywood. If Disney loses business, it may have to share its profits from Marvel movies with other rights holders. Years ago, a similar case occurred between Disney and the heirs of comic book author Jack Kirby, who also worked for Marvel. A settlement with the Kirby family was agreed in 2014.
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