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Seeing the Light

Hi there,

Today we have Michael Dean’s look at last week’s Kirby ruling. It’s the most incisive piece yet on the subject. A taste:

Clearly very conscious of recent editorials and letters in The New York Times expressing outrage at the way that Kirby had been shut out of the massive profits being reaped by Marvel/Disney, McMahon tried to distance herself from that controversy. At the outset of her ruling, she noted, “This case is not about whether Kirby (and other freelance artists who created culturally iconic comic book characters for Marvel and other publishers) were treated ‘fairly’ by companies that grew rich off the fruit of their labor. It is about whether Kirby’s work qualifies as work-for-hire … If it does, then Marvel owns the copyright in the Kirby works, whether that is ‘fair’ or not. If it does not, then the Kirby Heirs have a statutory right to take back those copyrights, no matter the impact on a recent corporate acquisition or on earnings from blockbuster movies made and yet to be made.”

After that, I urge you to read Tom Spurgeon’s commentary (and the corresponding piece by Steve Bissette. I  strongly agree with both, particularly Tom’s outrage and Steve’s call for action.

Also on the site:

In sunnier news, Brian Ralph brings us his first full day on the con floor.

And finally, another in our continuing presentation of SDCC panels, the Page One panel moderated by Douglas Wolk.

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