Warner Bros. Wins Big Court Ruling In Fight Over Superman
Warner Bros. has won a blockbuster victory that could entitle it to maintain its copyright stake in Superman.
On Wednesday, a federal judge in California granted the studio's motion for summary judgment on the question of whether a 1992 agreement with Jean Peavy, the sister of Superman co-creator Joe Shuster, precludes the estate's attempt to terminate a…
Here's the full ruling.
The judge ruled "that the 1992 Agreement, which represented the Shuster heirs’ opportunity to renegotiate the prior grants of Joe Shuster’s copyrights, superseded and replaced all prior grants of the Superman copyrights. The 1992 Agreement thus represents the parties’ operative agreement and, as a post-1978 grant, it is not subject to termination."
Because Warner Bros. is in the middle of production on next summer's big-budget Man of Steel, directed by Zack Snyder and produced by Christopher Nolan, the studio likely will take tremendous comfort with the latest ruling. It comes after years of nasty litigation with Marc Toberoff, the attorney for the estates.
"We respectfully disagree with its factual and legal conclusions, and it is surprising given that the judge appeared to emphatically agree with our position at the summary judgment hearing," Toberoff says in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.
Warners had no comment on the ruling.