DC finally wins court battle against heirs of Superman creator who were attempting to recapture rights to Superman franchise

// October 19th, 2012 // Comics News


After two years of battling it out in court, DC comics has won a key victory against the heirs of Superman co-creator Joe Shuster who were attempting to recapture the rights to the Superman character. An agreement signed by the family in 1992 blew their attempts.

The Shuster family was attempting to terminate the copyright and take back the rights to the Superman character that was created in 1938. Copyright termination, which came into being as part of the 1976 Copyright Act, allows creators and their heirs to undo any copyright transfer deals after a period of 35 years has elapsed (2013 is the first year this process is allowed). A 1992 deal signed by Shuster’s brother (Shuster had no wife or kids so his siblings became his heirs) was key. The judge ruled that the date it was signed meant it did not qualify for copyright termination. Hence, the Shusters have to wait until 2027 to try this again.

This is a huge deal for DC as if frees the company from any legal liabilities when it launches Man of Steel in 2013 and allows them to move forward with projects such as Justice League.

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