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A Marvel of a Claim

Written by Jody Tsigarides on 25 March 2010

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The dispute between the owners of the Marvel Comics and the heirs to one of its creators appears to be rumbling on.

It has been reported that the heirs of Jack Kirby who was an artist responsible for creating some of the most well know Marvel Comic characters have reportedly entered into a dispute with Walt Disney (the now owners of the comics) over who has the rights to the artwork.

It is believed that 45 notices of termination were issued by the claimants under U.S Copyright law which allows an author or his estate to terminate a licence to use their copyright after a certain number of years.

It is thought that the main issues at hand when this battle reaches trial is whether the works were created by Kirby as an independent contractor (in which case his estate will be entitled to royalties) or as an employee for the comic (in which case they will not).

These matters often settle out of court but at the moment there exists claims and counterclaims and more claims and with so much at stake this may not go away easily for Disney.

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