It’s been revealed that Steve Ditko’s estate is trying to get Spider-Man and Doctor Strange copyright back from Marvel Studios.
This news comes to us from ComicBook and I think that this is going to be something we should keep an eye on.
For those of you who aren’t lawyers and don’t really understand copyright law, it all stems from the Copyright Act of 1976.
The act has a section that allows for creators and even their heirs to regain the rights to a work offering them “giving them an opportunity to share in the later economic success of their works” and “to regain the previously granted copyright or copyright rights.”
However, it’s really not easy for these families to get the rights back to these characters.
Why, you ask? Because of the classification of how these characters were created.
When Ditko created Spider-Man and Doctor Strange, it would have been as “works for hire”.
This means that Marvel would end up having the copyrights to these characters basically forever.
Steve Ditko’s estate fighting to get the rights to Spider-Man and Doctor Strange back
In turn, this means that the Ditko estate will never get any compensation.
That said, the family will argue that these creations were made by Ditko and then sold/licensed to Marvel at the time (perhaps under an unfair deal) which would make them not a work for hire creation.
This isn’t the first time an estate has tried to get the rights back to these Marvel characters.
Jack Kirby’s estate has filed about 45 termination notices of copyright.
What do you make of this news?
Do you think that Steve Ditko’s estate will be about to get Spider-Man and Doctor Strange copyrights back?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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