I had heard a while back that the families of the two men who created Superman were taking Warner Bros. and DC comics to court over the rights to the Superman property. I honestly didn’t think the courts would have favored the creators, especially in this day and age where the ones with the money usually control the outcome.
Siegel Grabs Some “Superman” RightsBy Garth Franklin Friday August 14th 2009 07:55AMIn a court ruling on Wednesday, the family of “Superman” co-creator Jerry Siegel has “successfully recaptured” rights to the first two weeks of the daily Superman newspaper comic-strips, as well as portions of early Action Comics and Superman comic-books says Variety.
The ruling means that the Siegels effectively now control depictions of Superman’s origins from the planet Krypton, his parents Jor-El and Lora, Superman as the infant Kal-El, the launching of the infant Superman into space by his parents as Krypton explodes and his landing on Earth in a fiery crash.
DC retains control of other elements like Superman’s ability to fly, the term kryptonite, the Lex Luthor and Jimmy Olsen characters, Superman’s powers and expanded origins. As of 2013, the estates of Siegel and fellow co-creator Joel Schuster will own the entire copyright to Action Comics No. 1 which allows them to take the property to another studio. Thus if Warners and DC want to do another project with the Man of Steel in any capacity, it must head into production by 2011.