The news has been around social media in recent hours and has rocked MCU fans. Marvel and Disney could lose the rights to several superheroes soon. We explain everything you need to know about this case.
Marvel in court to retain character rights
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been around for more than ten years on our screens and its end is not expected immediately given everything that is in preparation for the next few years. We even wonder if an ultimate end point is possible as there is material and stories to tell. Despite a long-term plan, there could be an obstacle to thwart Marvel and Disney’s plans. Patrick Dikto, rights manager for Steve Dikto’s work, recently filed a request to recover the rights of Spider-Man and Doctor Strange. Two strong characters who will also soon return to the MCU during phase 4 and, we imagine, thereafter.
How can the person hope to succeed?
To understand this matter, one must look at the law in force in the United States. There it is possible for the authors (or descendants) to assert their right to their work after 35 years. This right, invented in 1976, should allow, in the idea, to the authors to regain control of the creations brought into the world at the beginning of their career and which they sold for one reason or another. However, the 1976 law does not allow you to do everything you want. It is specified that it is not possible to claim copyrights if the creations were made for remuneration. That is, they were not bought after the fact but ordered. Which makes sense, since a contract has framed the work.
Marvel and Disney want to play on this point to keep the characters. A counterattack was even launched, with lawsuits filed against several parents of authors: Patrick Dikto, Larry Lieber, Keith Dettwiler, Don Heck and Don Rico. To top it off, the idea of attacking the descendants of Stan Lee’s work, by prevention, is being studied according to the serious The Hollywood Reporter. It will be up to American justice to clarify the conditions under which Marvel obtained the rights of the characters concerned. And the stakes are high since it is about Spider-Man and Doctor Strange, as has already been said, but also major figures like Iron Man, Black Widow, Hawkeye, and others.
Can money settle everything?
However, even if Marvel / Disney is defeated, neither should we sound the alarm bells and imagine that the MCU is going to end. Their financial strength suggests thatan agreement could be reached in order to preserve the rights. It is easy to imagine, in the worst case scenario, that a big check will be signed to calm the ardor of those who would legally take back the copyrights. Past examples have proven that money can solve everything – no surprises. One of the best known is that of Superman, when the descendants of Jerry Siegel won their battle against DC Comics but the publisher was able to continue using the character anyway. Perhaps this is the end that Patrick Dikto and the others hope for. An exciting dossier, which will have to be followed, and which may hold some surprises in store for us.