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Posts tagged “Guardians of the Galaxy

Kirby and Marvel Settle Out of Court

Just days before the Supreme Court was set to take the matter into conference, Marvel and the family of Jack Kirby have settled their long running legal dispute over the comic legend’s rights to the characters he created or co-created. Here’s their joint statement:

“Marvel and the family of Jack Kirby have amicably resolved their legal disputes, and are looking forward to advancing their shared goal of honoring Mr. Kirby’s significant role in Marvel’s history.”

Widely viewed as one of the Kings of Comics, Kirby created or co-created some of the biggest names on the page and now on the big screen in the superhero blockbusters that Hollywood has profited from in recent years. However, while his often partner Stan Lee was a Marvel employee, Kirby was a work for hire and had no rights to Captain America, The Fantastic Four, the Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, the original X-Men and the plethora of other characters he played a pivotal part in bringing to life. The settlement between Marvel/Disney is confidential, but you don’t have to be a Supreme Court Justice to know that if a deal was reached this late in the process, it must be a healthy one for the Kirby’s – who were holding a lot of the cards for once.

It was a long legal road for them and Marvel to get to today’s deal. After failing repeatedly in lower courts, Lisa Kirby, Neal Kirby, Susan Kirby and Barbara Kirby petitioned the High Court on March 21 for a hearing on the matter. In their petition, the heirs wanted SCOTUS to rule in favor of their assertion that they had the right in 2009 to issue termination notices on 262 works that the comic legend helped create between 1958 and 1963. Those 45 notices went out to Marvel/Disney, Fox, Universal and Paramount Pictures and others who have made films based on the artist’s characters under the provisions of the 1976 Copyright Act. Marvel sued in 2010, after failing to reach an agreement back then with the Kirby family to invalidate the termination notices. Jack Kirby himself passed away in 1994.

Despite initial indifference and then objections from Disney-owned Marvel, SCOTUS agreed to take the case into conference to consider if they would actually hear it. That conference, where the nine Justices would ostensibly be sitting around talking about comic as well as copyright, was scheduled for September 29. The Kirby family and their legal point had a lot of support and not just among the fanboys. SAG, the WGA and the DGA back in June submitted a brief to the High Court in favour of having the Kirbys’ petition granted.

All things considered, and with the billions that Marvel/Disney have made off the films filled with characters Kirby created, this 11th hour deal should come as no great surprise – except for how long it took them. The bottom line and PR risk that the media giant was taking if SCOTUS had agreed to move the family’s petition up to an actual hearing would have sent a shudder through the market and the town. As well, if there had been a hearing and if then the High Court had found for the Kirbys, the results would have thrown Marvel/Disney into turmoil as they would have to negotiate for millions and millions with the family on everything from The Avengers, this summer’s big hit Guardians Of The Galaxy, with the popular Groot character a Kirby creation, and the all the characters in the notices if they wanted to keep the franchises going at Disney and other studios. And there would have been royalties on the already made movies like the 2008 hit Iron Man and 2012’s The Avengers with its billion dollar plus box office, to name a few. As well a wide variety of copyrights across the industry, including those at Warner Bros and DC Comics, would suddenly be in play as the work of writers, composers and others designated under a freelancer or the work for hire status could suddenly gain a piece of what they created in what would now be seen as a much more traditional employee/employer arrangement.


Guardians of the Galaxy – By My 8 Year Old Son *****

Guadians-Of-The-Galaxy-2014Guardians of the Galaxy is about a thief called Star Lord, an alien called Gamora, a racoon called Rocket, a tree called Groot and a warrior called Drax who all come together to save the galaxy from Ronan. Star Lord steals an orb which has inside of it the Infinity Stone. The Infinity Stone is so powerful that it can destroy galaxies. Ronan steals the orb with the Infinity Stone and uses its power to attack Xandar. The Guardians of the Galaxy battle Ronan to save the planet.

My favourite parts of the movie are the start when Star Lord dances to the song called ‘Hooked On A Feeling’ by Blue Swede. I also  like when the Guardians first come together in the prison to escape, it’s funny and chaos all in one. I like Star Lord because he’s funny and cool.

Guardians of the Galaxy is the BEST movie of the year. I give it 10 stars and I can’t wait for a next movie.


Guardians of the Galaxy – Simon Delart

Guardians of the Galaxy print by Simon Delart. Click on the image for full size individual prints.

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The Amazing Spider-Man 2 – Lights, Camera, Action

With the emergence of Electro, Spider-Man must confront a foe far more powerful than he. And as his old friend, Harry Osborn, returns, Peter Parker comes to realize that all of his enemies have one thing in common: OsCorp. Two new featurettes for The Amazing Spider-Man 2.


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Guardians of the Galaxy – First Press Release

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