It appears as if Warner Bros. Pictures has won the high-profile court battle that will see it maintain its copyright stake in the Superman franchise reports THR Esq..
On Wednesday, a federal judge in California granted the studio’s motion for summary judgment on the question of whether a 1992 agreement with Jean Peavy, “Superman” co-creator Joe Shuster’s sister, precludes the estate’s attempt to terminate a copyright grant.
The judge ruled “that 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which represented the Shuster heirs’ opportunity to renegotiate the prior grants of Joe Shuster’s copyrights, superseded and replaced all prior grants of the Superman copyrights.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.”
Despite the studio victory, the parties figure to be in court for many years to come. The result this week however means Warners can exploit Superman however it likes in the near future, including next year’s “Man of Steel”.