Sunday, August 05, 2007

Superboy Case Update

Jeff Trexler has the decision and report on the latest ruling in the
Superboy case in which Joanne Siegel and Laura Siegel Larson are suing
Time Warner for the rights to Superboy, The latest ruling seems to
have gone against the Siegels, according to Trexler: The entire
decision is posted here.

In a nutshell, the court ruled in favor of Time Warner's motion to
reconsider the prior ruling in favor of the Siegels and vacated the
relevant portions of the earlier ruling, including part of the
statement of facts.

The judge's opinion is worth reading on several counts, especially for
crisp review of the history of the Superman/Superboy cases. William
Patry has a brief run-down on the estoppel issues, which will seem a
bit esoteric to non-lawyers, but you should not let the law-geek bait
get in the way of the judge's analysis of whether Superboy is a
derivative work. (pp. 66-71). The judge calls for further briefing on
that issue but, as reviewing judges often do, lays out a roadmap for
concluding that Superboy was nothing "more than a trivial variation
from the pre-existing material in Superman, other comic book
characters in general, or even more broadly with other comic book
characters." (p. 69)

Of course, this case is far from over, so there may be still more
surprises to come.



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