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Author Topic: SIEGELS SUE SMALLVILLE'S SUPERBOY  (Read 13846 times)
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Gangbuster
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« Reply #16 on: May 05, 2006, 08:05:35 PM »

I don't see how Jerry Siegel's wife and daughter could not win this case. They filed a 2-year termination notice in 2002 and got the rights to Superboy back in 2004, as the judge recently ruled. He also opined that Smallville was in violation of the copyright, but left it to a jury to decide.

Basically, it boils down to this bit of history: A young Clark Kent was never shown as NOT being Superboy. Siegel submitted a Superboy proposal in 1938, but DC didn't want it at the time. In 1945, when he was away at war, they published it without permission...so in the 1947-48 legal proceedings Siegel was awarded sole custody of Superboy. He then sold the Superboy copyright to DC for a period of time.

The Siegel's understanding, and the legal understanding, of Superboy (and Jerry continued to write Superboy comics until about 1966) is that "Superboy" stories are the adventures of Superman before he was Superman. Also, any other characters that have been named Superboy during this time, like Elliot Maggin's Superboy Prime (1985) or Kon-El (1993) now belong to the Siegels.

Warner Bros. is trying to argue this: Smallville is a show about a young Clark Kent, not a young Superman. Thus, they are not in violation of the copyright. They will probably fail, and the Siegels will own all Smallville episodes since 2004. This is why:

1) In several Smallville promotional photos, "young Clark Kent" is shown with an 'S' on his chest. He always wears red and blue in the episodes.

2) Since 2004, young Clark Kent has been nicknamed "Superboy" on the show. I believe that both Chloe and the Aquaman character have called him this.

3) Lana Lang, Pete Ross, and even the town of Smallville were created in Superboy comics.

My guess is that Smallville will move forward, but that WB will have to pay lots of money, for DVDs, reruns on ABC family, etc.

Here are the ramifications of this: a young Superman could be defined by law as legally being always Superboy, which I like. While DC still owns the "Superboy" trademark, like Marvel owning "Captain Marvel," the Siegels own the content of every Superboy story ever written, even the most recent Superboy series, if I'm not mistaken. The Superboy TV show, which went through several years of legal wrangling before WB finally got control of it, now automatically belongs to the Siegels. If this is true, I am very happy.
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ShinDangaioh
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« Reply #17 on: May 05, 2006, 09:39:30 PM »

I've got a silly question.

If it is found that the Siegel's own everything introduced in the Superboy comics and assoicated with Superboy, wouldn't that include the Legion of Super-Heroes as well?
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Gangbuster
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« Reply #18 on: May 05, 2006, 09:45:44 PM »

I don't think so. Basically, they would own the right to use Superboy in print. However, DC would still own the trademark (the right to stamp "Superboy" on a product) so if the Siegels sold Superboy items or stories separately, they would have to put some other label on it, similar to the way all Captain Marvel stories now have "Shazam!" on the cover.
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Great Rao
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« Reply #19 on: September 24, 2007, 03:59:43 AM »

More updates on this:

http://www.trexfiles.com/2007/09/the_latest_on_the_supermansupe.html
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Lee Semmens
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« Reply #20 on: September 25, 2007, 01:23:09 PM »

I've got a silly question.

If it is found that the Siegels own everything introduced in the Superboy comics and assoicated with Superboy, wouldn't that include the Legion of Super-Heroes as well?

No, because Jerry Siegel didn't create such characters or concepts as Lana Lang, Krypto, Legion of Super-Heroes, or even Smallville (early stories were set in Metropolis).

The Siegels would have no legal claim on anything in Superboy or Adventure Comics not actually created by Jerry Siegel.
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« Reply #21 on: September 25, 2007, 06:10:00 PM »


No, because Jerry Siegel didn't create such characters or concepts as Lana Lang, Krypto, Legion of Super-Heroes, or even Smallville (early stories were set in Metropolis).

That was Otto Binder.
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AMAZO
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« Reply #22 on: September 25, 2007, 07:51:01 PM »

Otto Binder really did do a lot to flesh out the Superman universe didn't he? It's amazing just how many of his stories and concepts have hung around. After Jerry Siegel, I'd have to say Binder is the most important Superman writer.


(I like Morrison too)
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Klar Ken T5477
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« Reply #23 on: September 26, 2007, 10:13:55 AM »

And Edmond Hamilton.

And whoever came up with The Empty Doom (Phantom Zone) in "Superman Vs Atom Man".

Binder also created Brainiac AND Kandor.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2007, 10:21:56 AM by Klar Ken T5477 » Logged
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