Tuesday, May 18, 2010

DC Comics Goes After Kryptonite Attorney in Superman Suit

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 23:  The Superman c...Image by Getty Images via Daylife
DC Comics, which is owned by Time Warner's Warner Bros. division, wants damages from Marc Toberoff, the attorney representing the heirs of Superman co-creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster in a copyright suit against the media giant (see "TUOL" post 8/17/09).

In a 56-page complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, the media company seeks declaratory relief concerning alleged copyright termination and assignment issues, and accuses the attorney of interfering with the economic advantage of his clients' agreements with the comic book publisher (DC Comics v. Pacific Pictures Corp., IP Worldwide LLC, IPW LLC, Marc Toberoff et al.).

According to the plaintiff's suit, the Man of Steel's creators never challenged DC Comics' copyrights and their families abided by lifetime compensation agreements entered into with the media company until Attorney Toberoff came onto the scene like Lex Luthor threatening Metropolis (that part's not in the complaint). The plaintiff claims Toberoff persuaded Siegel and Shuster's descendants to repudiate the compensation agreement that resulted in the lawsuit Joanne Siegel & Laura Siegel Larson v. Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. et al (Case No. 04-8400). DC Comics accuses Toberoff of violating U.S. Copyright laws and  exploiting the Superman franchise to the media giant's detriment.

As Jimmy Olsen might say: "Jeepers!"

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