Marvel Superheroes almost went to court
Massachusetts Law Updates 2014-09-29
Legendary comic book artist Jack Kirby was the creator or co-creator (along with the equally famous Stan Lee) of some of Marvel Comics' greatest superheroes, including the Hulk, the Fantastic Four, Thor, Iron man, the Avengers, X-Men, and more. However, while Stan Lee was an employee of Marvel Comics, Kirby was treated as a freelance artist, putting him in the legal category of "work for hire", so he did not collect royalties for the work he did, nor does his family collect royalties now on the huge amount of money made from these characters in comics or films. (Jack Kirby died in 1994.) On September 29th, the U.S. Supreme Court was expected to decide whether or not they would hear the case in which the family of Jack Kirby sued Marvel Comics (now owned by Disney) for compensation for the creations of Jack Kirby. It was expected to be a landmark case in copyright law. It will never be heard, because Marvel Comics has settled the case (on September 26th), just days before it might have gone to the Supreme Court Justices. To read about this, one might consider these articles in the news: How the Supreme Court and Jack Kirby Could Change Everything. Marvel and Jack Kirby Family Settle Long-Running Legal Dispute. Marvel & Jack Kirby Heirs Settle Legal Dispute Ahead of Supreme Court Showdown Wikipedia has information on Jack Kirby's life and career in general. For information on copyright law, see the Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries web page "Law on Copyright".