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Warner Bros, DC Comics Win Royalty Case

”Superman“ heirs said ”sweetheart deal“ cut them out of millions.

A U.S. district court judge on Wednesday ruled that Warner Bros. had paid "fair market value" license fees to DC Comics for the rights to "Superman."

 

A case had been brought last year by Joanne Siegel and Laura Siegel Larson (widow and daughter of Superman co-creator Jerome Siegel, respectively) against the studio, regarding copyright royalties. The plaintiffs claimed that Warner Bros and DC were involved in a "sweetheart deal," which, in turn, made their royalty amounts lower.

 

Last year, a federal court awarded the Siegel heirs half of the copyright in the famed Action Comics #1 edition, which features Superman.

Remaining to be decided, however, was how much that copyright interest was worth.

 

A statement from Warner Bros said, "DC Comics and Warner Bros. Entertainment are very gratified by the court’s thorough and well-reasoned decision in this matter. The decision validates what DC and Warner Bros. have maintained from the beginning, which is that when they do business with each other, they always strive for — and achieve — fair market value in their transactions.  We are very pleased that the court found there was no merit to plaintiffs’ position that the Superman deals were unfair to DC Comics and, by extension, the plaintiffs."