Over the course of the last several years the rights to Superman's character had come into question. Things had gotten heated more recently in the last two years when Attorney Marc Toberoff, representative to both the Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster estates took Warner Brothers to court over the rights to the character. Toberoff claimed that the rights to the character should revert back to the Estates.
Now it seems there have been some big developments in the case. Earlier today a Federal Judge in California issued a summary judgement on behalf of Warner Brothers. The ruling determined whether an agreement made in 1992 between Jean Peavy (former Joe Shuster estate representative) and DC Comics "precludes the estate's attempt to terminate the copyright grant." According to the Judge;
…The 1992 Agreement, which represented the Shuster heirs’ opportunity to renegotiate the prior grants of Joe Shuster’s copyrights, superseded and replaced all prior grants of the Superman copyrights. The 1992 Agreement thus represents the parties’ operative agreement and, as a post-1978 grant, it is not subject to termination.
When Shuster died in 1992, Jean Peavy (his sister, and former representative to his Estate) struck a deal with DC Comics after "asking the company to pay all of her brother's final debts and expenses." DC in turn, agreed and cited that it would be the "last and final deal that (Shuster would have) with DC, and would fully resolve any past, present or future claims against DC Comics."
So, in a nutshell, DC and Warner Brothers can now rest easy knowing that they are one step closer to owning the rights to Superman. What do you think of the summary verdict? For those interested, you can read the full court ruling here.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter