Warner Bros. scores a win in ongoing Superman lawsuit

Warner Bros. scores a win in ongoing Superman lawsuit (photo)

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For almost as long as DC Comics has been raking in money with the world’s most iconic superhero, the creators of Superman, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, and their heirs have been fighting for the proper credit and compensation. While Warner Bros., the parent company of DC, is still set to lose some of the copyrights of the character and concept in 2013, a recent judicial ruling allows the company’s lawyers to move ahead with a lawsuit against Marc Toberoff, the lawyer representing Siegel and Shuster’s heirs.

Deadline broke the news, explaining that while the ruling doesn’t actually settle anything in regards to who owns what aspects of the character and the Superman mythos, it could make proceedings decidedly more difficult for Toberoff and his clients. Toberoff is a well-known intellectual property lawyer, and has previously worked with the estate of Jack Kirby in similar lawsuits against Marvel Entertainment. He has an impressive record of standing up to gigantic media companies, so Warner Bros. has been searching for any way to get him out of the picture.

The root of Warner Bros. lawsuit lies in the fact that Toberoff allegedly went into business for himself, setting up arrangements between his company, Pacific Pictures, and Siegel and Shuster’s heirs. Part of the arrangements even included the Shusters signing Pacific Pictures agreements, “which purport to assign Toberoff the same rights the Shusters had already assured DC.”

So what does this mean about the future of your favorite Superman comic books and the new “Man of Steel” movie? Honestly, not a whole lot right this second. What we’re seeing here are preliminary legal maneuverings, with both sides jockeying for leverage over the other. Even if some of the Superman rights reverted back to the character’s original creators in 2013, it would still be highly, highly unlikely that Superman would cease to exist or fly away to another publisher.

The reason behind this is that neither Warner Bros. nor the Siegels and Shusters would have complete, usable rights to the character, just small individual pieces and shared rights to other parts of the concept. While it would mean negotiating a hefty new licensing deal with Siegel and Shuster’s heirs, it would be completely possible for DC to stay the course with their flagship character, especially since the Siegels and Shusters wouldn’t have the ability to really go anywhere else with Superman.

What do you think about this increasingly complex issue of copyrights, trademarks and intellectual property? Tell us in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”

Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”

But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.


It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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