Disney doesn’t own Marvel Superheroes, says Stan Lee’s former company

It looks like Stan Lee’s superheroes are going to war with each other, again. Stan Lee Media, Inc. allegedly is reporting that it still owns the rights to all of Stan Lee’s comic book characters. SLMI claims that back in October of 1998 Stan Lee signed off all the rights to his superhero characters for shares in the company. The company, 14 years later, has filed an infringement complaint which would be the first step in taking an aggressive action to a long litigation that will have to be done by jury trial because statutes of limitation limit such trials between Disney or Lee himself.

SLMI claims that during the dot com crash it had filed an alternative agreement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in March of 2000 with a strong indication it still owned the rights to the characters.

Here is where it gets strange. Stan Lee in November of 1998, just a month after originally signing the rights off to SLMI, signed a written agreement with Marvel Enterprises Inc. which we all know now that the Walt Disney Company now owns, allegedly.

Sticky situation here. SLMI is asking for $5.5 BILLION it says the Walt Disney Company owes from superhero movies and merchandise.

It will be hard to prove something that happened 14 years ago but proof of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission could be all it takes for this to go to trial.

 

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLORADO
Civil Action No. _1_:12_-_cv_-_02663_
STAN LEE MEDIA, INC. Plaintiff,
v.
THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY, Defendant.

 

COMPLAINT FOR COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT
INTRODUCTION
1. Spider Man, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, The X-Men, The Fantastic
Four, and most of The Avengers are among the best known comic book characters of all time and all were created by the comic book genius Stan Lee.  Motion pictures starring these characters released within the past three (3) years have generated box office receipts in excess of $3 billion.  Defendant The Walt Disney Company has represented to the public that it, in fact, owns the copyright to these characters as well as to hundreds of other characters created by Stan Lee.  Those representations made to the public by The Walt Disney Company are false.  The true facts are that Stan Lee Media, Inc. owns the copyrights to Stan Lee’s creations.  Accordingly, Plaintiff Stan Lee Media, Inc. is entitled to the billions of dollars of profits that have been kept by Defendant Disney.
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Steve Ahmad
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Steve Ahmad is a writer dedicated in bringing you every angle of every story in the most transparent way . <a href="http://nerdreactor.com/about/">Meet the Nerd Reactor Team</a></a>