Marvel entered into a legal battle against the heirs of the ‘Avengers’ creators, including Iron Man, Spider-Man, Dr. Strange, Ant-Man, Hawkeye, Black Widow, Falcon and Thor, with the goal of preserving for himself the exclusive rights over those characters, reported this Friday the Hollywood Reporter portal.
The legal claim, which is filed against the current representatives of the creators Stan Lee, Steve Ditko and Gene Colan, seeks to determine that the protagonists of the comics are not eligible to elucidate copyright, as they are works made to order. If Marvel loses, it will have to share ownership of characters worth billions of dollars.
Last August, the administrator of Ditko’s estate (passed away in 2018) presented a ‘termination notice’ of Spider-Man, a character that appeared for the first time in 1962. According to the respective provisions of the copyright law, authors or their heirs can claim rights once granted to a publisher after a certain prescribed time has elapsed. According to the termination notice, Marvel would have to give up the rights to its most iconic character in June 2023.
Meanwhile, Marvel faces other ‘termination notices’, including one presented by Larry Lieber, creator of Iron Man, Thor y Ant-Man. Faced with one of the claims filed, the company claimed to have the right to “exercise creative control over Lieber’s contributions, by having paid him a fee for each page of his work.”