3 Count: Superhero Dramas

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1: Stan Lee Media Loses Appeal Over ‘Conan the Barbarian’ Rights

First off today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that Stan Lee Media Inc (SLMI) has lost in court once again, this time in the 9th Circuit denying an appeal on the character of Conan the Barbarian.

SLMI was a company founded by Stan Lee in the 1990s but went bankrupt and prompted Stan Lee to return to Marvel, thus giving him no affiliation with his namesake company. During that bankruptcy rights to many SLMI-owned characters, including Conan the Barbarian, were sold off SLMI has constantly argued that the liquidation was improper and that it still holds the rights.

However, courts have repeatedly disagreed and, in this case, the lower court ruled in favor of Conan Sales Co., the company that acquired the rights in 2002, and dismissed the case. The appeals court has now upheld that dismissal.

2: Marvel Copyright Appeal Denied Again

Next up today, Lucas Siegal at Newsarama reports that the estate of comic book legend Jack Kirby has lost yet another appeal in its bid to obtain the rights to many of Kirby’s creations, including The Fantastic Four, the X-Men and more.

Kirby’s estate filed a notice of termination with Marvel, which would have allowed it to terminate earlier agreements with the company and have the rights in Kirby’s creations returned to them. However, the lower court ruled that the Kirby was an employee of Marvel Comics and, thus the works weren’t eligible for copyright termination.

The Kirby Estate appealed that decision and lost on the appeal, they asked for a new hearing as a last-ditch effort and that motion too has been denied, likely bringing an end to the case.

3: Russian Social Network Vkontakte Eyes Deals With Online Video Services

Finally today, Vladimir Kzlov at The Hollywood Reporter writes that the Russian social media website Vkontakte is reported to be in negotiations with various rightsholders about the possibility of bring legitimate streaming video to the service.

Vkontakte has earned a reputation as being a haven for pirated and infringing content, an image the company wishes to shed. However, historically Vkontakte has been victorious when sued, until last year when it lost a case to Gala Records, which came just before new anti-piracy legislation was passed in the country.

Rumors are that Vkontakte is working with online video partners such as RuTube, which is owned by the natural gas company Gazprom though both companies declined to comment.

(h/t: @voxindie)


That’s it for the three count today. We will be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.

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