The Superman saga continues: The Man of Steel was not undervalued

July 09, 2009 | 11:44 p.m.
Action no 1

Over at the Company Town blog, Claudia Eller talks about another ruling by a judge in the long-running feud between the family of Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel and the corporate relatives Warner Bros. and DC Comics.  This phase of the trial, though, was not between the family and the companies, but rather was a decision about business practices and the value of the Man of Steel. Here’s an excerpt:

A U.S. district court ruled today that Warner Bros. had paid “fair-market value” license fees to its corporate sibling DC Comics for the rights to “Superman.”

Last year, the heirs of Superman co-creator Jerome Siegel claimed that Warner Bros. and DC Comics, both owned by Time Warner Inc., had struck a “sweetheart deal” that deprived them of their fair share of royalties. A federal judge last year awarded the Siegel heirs — his widow and daughter — half of the copyright to the Superman material published in the comic book “Action Comics” No. 1. What hadn’t been decided was whether the license agreements between the Burbank studio and DC Comics from 1999 to 2002 represented “fair-market value.”

The judge’s decision was a plus for Warner Bros., which has been in a long-running legal battle with the heirs of the comic’s co-creator who last year won a stake in the U.S. copyright to the character.

READ MORE ON COMPANY TOWN

– Jevon Phillips

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