Sunday, September 23, 2007

Superboy lawsuit update, Sept. edition

Jeff Trexler at Trexfiles has the latest update on the Superboy lawsuit. The last time we were here, the judge had overturned a 2006 ruling that said the Siegels had recaptured the rights to Superboy. He wanted more information from each side (the Siegels and DC/Warners) that showed whether the original Superboy pitch from the early 1940s was or was not derivative (under the law) of Superman, which would determine whether or not there were any copyrightable elements in the original pitch - and thus whether there were any copyrights to recapture to begin with.

It happens that the judge in the Superboy case is also the judge in a separate case the Siegels have against DC/Warners regarding the rights to Superman himself. In a nutshell, changes to copyright laws over the years have allowed the original copyright owners (Siegel and Shuster) to regain the copyrights in certain cases (see this Newsarama series of articles on the Superman matter). That's an interesting case in itself, and hinges on a lot of the same copyright law, but outside the scope of the Legion Omnicom.

Anyway, the judge heard from both sides in both cases on Sept. 17 about various legal items, and ordered that (among other things) the trial date for the Superman lawsuit will start on January 28, 2008, and the date for the Superboy suit will be some time after that. So barring any pre-trial settlements, I don't expect to have anything new for a while.

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