Shuster Heirs Lose Final Appeal

Over at The Beat, Jeff Trexler explains and analyzes yesterday’s decision that affirmed that the Shusters could not terminate their half of the Superman copyright. According to Deadline, WB said that ”We are obviously very pleased with the court’s decision.” Jeff provides his usual incisive commentary:

Is it fair that the Shuster heirs only secured a meager pension while the Siegel heirs stand to gain tens of millions of dollars in exchange for the same rights? Arguably not, but from a legal perspective it’s a cautionary tale as old as the biblical story of Jacob and Esau, who sold his precious birthright for some lentil soup. Immediate benefits can be extremely costly in the longer term, especially if an attorney isn’t on hand to negotiate a better deal.

Read Jeff’s entire analysis here. Also news articles at Deadline and Variety. You can read the actual (unpublished) decision here.

I’ve made my opinion known on the Shuster side of the case before. The lawsuit is as complicated, dramatic, and unbelievable as any issue of Superman ever was. But it is real, and thus completely separate in a way that affects real people through (literally) life and death decisions. I present all sides (there are more than two) in the book so you can make up your own mind. Many people have told me that they really liked the way I did the lawsuit — though they hated having to read it.

So in footnote #1 of this new court document:

Cue me blinking. I know other authors and collectors who have worked with lawyers on both sides of this case in terms of providing information — I have not. It’s kind of cool to be part of the record, but it still feels a little strange.

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