Image via WikipediaCall it the Man of Steel versus the Men of Steal.
Warner Bros. and DC Comics must share the ownership of copyrights of portions of the Superman oeuvre with the heirs of the superhero's creator, Jerry Siegel, ruled Judge Stephen Larson of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Eastern Division. The case is Joanne Siegel and Laura Siegel Larson v. Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., Time Warner, Inc. and DC Comics (Case No. 04-8400).
The plaintiffs are represented by attorney Marc Toberoff, who successfully represented the heirs of the creator of Lassie in a copyright dispute that was a real bitch. Judge Larson's ruling gives the plaintiffs co-ownership of the first two weeks of the Superman daily comic strips, along with part of the backstory of Superman, such as the superhero's origins on planet Krypton and his crash-landing on earth. The defendants are the sole owners of the copyrights involving the term "kryptonite," master villain Lex Luthor, and the tights-wearing hero's ability to fly.
Superman's X-ray vision would have trouble penetrating the judge's 92-page decision.