Copyright Law

Marvel, Not Comic Artist's Heirs, Owns Incredible Hulk, Fantastic Four and More


Heirs of a comic-book artist who claimed a legal right to Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk, the Fantastic Four and other superheroes today lost a round before a federal judge in New York.

The Walt Disney Co., which paid $4 billion in 2009 to acquire Marvel Worldwide Inc., owns the rights to the iconic characters created for the comic books Marvel published, the Company Town blog of the Los Angeles Times reports.

But “sometimes you have to lose in order to win,” said attorney Marc Toberoff, who represents Jack Kirby’s heirs in the case and has vowed an appeal. “We knew when we took this on that it would not be an easy fight given various arcane and contradictory ‘work for hire’ decisions under the 1909 Copyright Act.”

Bloomberg also has a story.

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