But, as Disney continues to move towards incorporating the Marvel franchise into the parks and streaming platforms, we’ve seen a few different legal cases arise. Earlier this year, Disney came to an agreement with Sony regarding the rights to select Spider-Man movies, and now they’re looking to resolve another dispute that could result in losing full copyright ownership to many Avengers characters.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Marvel has filed a lawsuit against a multitude of former comic book artists and writers in the hopes that they can retain complete ownership of many Avengers characters.
This comes after Steve Ditko (who worked on Spider-Man), Larry Lieber (who was a Marvel writer known for co-creating Iron Man, Thor, and Ant-Man), and other former Marvel creators recently filed a notice of termination for various characters in the franchise.
If you’re not familiar, a notice of termination is a provision under copyright law that allows “authors or their heirs can reclaim rights once granted to publishers after waiting a statutory set period of time.” If these creators were to be granted their notice of termination, it would result in Disney/Marvel losing their full ownership over the characters (though they may still co-own them).
Marvel’s suits focus on identifying “who should be deemed the statutory author” and they do believe that they would maintain a portion of the rights to these popular Marvel characters (though they would need to share profits) if the cases were to go in the favor of the creators.
Of course, this is an ongoing story, so we’ll be sure to bring you the latest updates as more developments are made.
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