Judge: Superheroes Belong to Marvel

Heirs of comic artist claimed they deserved the copyright, judge disagrees

Thursday, Jul 28, 2011  |  Updated 2:26 PM PDT
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Judge: Superheroes Belong to Marvel

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A New York judge has ruled that Marvel Worldwide Inc. owns the copyrights to more than a dozen superheroes, including Spider-Man, X-Men, Iron Man, rejecting the claims of a legendary artist's estate.

Judge Colleen McMahon ruled for the company on Thursday. Marvel had sought to invalidate 45 notices sent by the heirs of artist Jack Kirby to try to terminate Marvel's copyrights, effective on dates ranging from 2014 through 2019.

The famed artist died in 1994. The comics were published between 1958 and 1963.

Marvel had said the work was done "for hire," a legal term that would render the heirs' claims invalid. A lawyer for the Kirby family did not immediately return a telephone call for comment.
 

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