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Old April 26th, 2012   Sentinel119 is offline   #49
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I actually agree with you Keith. A signed deal is a signed deal. The creator signed it because at the time they were happy with the terms. Just because outside factors changed, does not mean the agreement with the contract should as well.

You cant sell a house and if a month later the market swings to a total sellers market go back to the buyers and say, 'You know, it'd only be fair if you gave me more money.' You already did the deal.

I tend to go to the side of the contract. As long as the terms haven't been violated, then no one can claim unfairness.
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Best explanation I have read to date. The deal for Superman wasn't a bad deal at the time and for DC to go back and give them more money at any point is generosity on the part of the company that did not have to be done. The possession of Kirby's art is probably the only bad part of the contract. The rest was all work for hire so it was owned by the company. I am sorry that he wasn't given ownership but as it was stated no one knew that these characters would be huge hits. Superman was shopped around for about a year and could not be sold.
 
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Old April 26th, 2012   Matches is offline   #50
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It's just a part of the whole 'work for hired' business.
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With respect, I think there's more to it than that. "Watchmen" was not a work-for-hire creation, and neither Moore/ Gibbons nor DC understood it to be so at the time. Both sides expected the rights to revert to the creators within a year or two of the series' publication. It didn't happen because the book has stayed in print continuously since it was published, an eventuality neither side appears to have foreseen. DC of course has benefitted greatly from this, and Moore feels he was cheated. I don't necessarily agree that just because Moore feels he was cheated, that he WAS cheated, but there's a bit more to the issue than the notion that a deal's a deal.

Kirby's situation is completely different, and honestly I'm not sure those items even belong in the same discussion. Suffice it to say that there is a dispute as to whether Kirby's work really was work-for-hire. The industry was VERY bad in those days about actually getting signed contracts, and Marvel took some arguably illegal steps to get contracts signed after the fact.

The Superman thing is yet another entirely different issue. Superman was not a work-for-hire creation in any way, shape or form.
 
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Old April 26th, 2012   Bagged & Boarded is offline   #51
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With respect, I think there's more to it than that. "Watchmen" was not a work-for-hire creation, and neither Moore/ Gibbons nor DC understood it to be so at the time. Both sides expected the rights to revert to the creators within a year or two of the series' publication. It didn't happen because the book has stayed in print continuously since it was published, an eventuality neither side appears to have foreseen. DC of course has benefitted greatly from this, and Moore feels he was cheated. I don't necessarily agree that just because Moore feels he was cheated, that he WAS cheated, but there's a bit more to the issue than the notion that a deal's a deal.
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I hear what you are saying...it might not have been work for hire but the deal was the deal...Moore should have realized that best case scenerio it *could* have been a hit, not gone out of print...etc. He's a smart guy. DC and Moore may have expected it to go out of print within a year or two but they both knew it was a possibility it wouldn't right? Otherwise, it wouldn't have been in the contract.

Like I said I am not expert in this matter. Just how I am seeing it. Correct me if I am missing something.
 
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Old April 26th, 2012   Matches is offline   #52
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I hear what you are saying...it might not have been work for hire but the deal was the deal...Moore should have realized that best case scenerio it *could* have been a hit, not gone out of print...etc. He's a smart guy. DC and Moore may have expected it to go out of print within a year or two but they both knew it was a possibility it wouldn't right? Otherwise, it wouldn't have been in the contract.
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At the time there really wasn't any precedent for comics remaining in print like that. The TPB industry hadn't really taken off. Watchmen was one of the first "evergreen" books. I suppose with the benefit of hindsight either Moore or DC could've foreseen the possibility, but neither did.

That doesn't void the contract or anything, though - it's a perfectly valid deal even if it worked out differently than the parties intended.

There's a difference between having the legal right to do something, and the moral right, though. Legally I don't think anyone seriously disputes that DC is within its rights. It's more an issue of whether DC is honoring the spirit of the original deal. Personally I don't have any ethical problem with Before Watchmen but I get why some people do.
 
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Old April 26th, 2012   Bagged & Boarded is offline   #53
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At the time there really wasn't any precedent for comics remaining in print like that. The TPB industry hadn't really taken off. Watchmen was one of the first "evergreen" books. I suppose with the benefit of hindsight either Moore or DC could've foreseen the possibility, but neither did.

That doesn't void the contract or anything, though - it's a perfectly valid deal even if it worked out differently than the parties intended.

There's a difference between having the legal right to do something, and the moral right, though. Legally I don't think anyone seriously disputes that DC is within its rights. It's more an issue of whether DC is honoring the spirit of the original deal. Personally I don't have any ethical problem with Before Watchmen but I get why some people do.
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I agree. I don't see an ethical problem either but I get why Moore and others are upset.

I just feel like when you sign a contact you should try to imagine every possible scenerio. But like you said...there wasn't a precedent.
 
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Old April 26th, 2012   Matches is offline   #54
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I just feel like when you sign a contact you should try to imagine every possible scenerio.
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You should. Part of what I do for a living is draft contracts, though, and sometimes it's just impossible. As the saying goes, life is what happens while you're busy making plans.
 
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Old April 26th, 2012   Bagged & Boarded is offline   #55
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You should. Part of what I do for a living is draft contracts, though, and sometimes it's just impossible. As the saying goes, life is what happens while you're busy making plans.
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Yeah man...I'll defer to your expertise. I know nad about the subject. I work in insurance and the only contracts I read are lease agreements. Exciting stuff as you can imagine.
 
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Old April 27th, 2012   Jake1823 is offline   #56
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There's a difference between having the legal right to do something, and the moral right, though. Legally I don't think anyone seriously disputes that DC is within its rights. It's more an issue of whether DC is honoring the spirit of the original deal. Personally I don't have any ethical problem with Before Watchmen but I get why some people do.
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This is pretty much it. Very few are arguing the legal side of this, as most, like me, are not educated or qualified enough to do so.

From a moral aspect, I'm pretty bummed with all of this.

Oh, and Stan Lee weighed in on the subject of Jack Kirby being credited for the Avengers.

Yuck.
 
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Old May 4th, 2012   Jake1823 is offline   #57
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Robot6 gives some ways to give back to Jack Kirby's legacy if you're seeing the Avengers movie.

Conflicted about The Avengers? Here’s your solution

Three more ways to spread The Avengers love (and some money)

I kinda like A Buck for Jack, but might go with the Hero Initiative.
 
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Old May 4th, 2012   Amentep is offline   #58
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Hmmm, I don't really see why Stan's response is a "yuck". Seems like he's pretty much saying he's not getting a creator credit and he only has a producer credit because that's part of his current contract.
 
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Old May 4th, 2012   Jake1823 is offline   #59
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Lee's still a man with some clout at Marvel. If he said that Jack deserved more respect, which he does, Marvel would at least listen. But, here, he chose to pretty much stay on the sidelines. That disappoints me, especially when I think about Stan raking in the money with these properties.

But it's been revealed that the movie does mention Kirby in the post-credits. So yay for that, I guess.
 
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Old May 4th, 2012   superfriend is offline   #60
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took my kid to go see The Avengers but i just bought tickets for The Pirates - Band of Misfits movie with the same showing time instead.

it appears there was room in both theatres for everyone (so we didn't exclude anyone from getting a ticket to the Pirates movie), the theatre got the full price of our tickets whatever movie we saw (same pricing for both shows)...the only dif was Marvel didn't get any credit for the ticket purchase or any residual monies that might've come their way.

it's a little underhanded but come to find out there's nothing illegal about it. huh, i'm like a corporation!

it's mostly to appease my delicate sensibilities...Marvel's going to make a killing with this thing anyway.
 
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Old May 9th, 2012   Jake1823 is offline   #61
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How about some good news?

The Avengers ‘campaign’ raises $1,100 for The Hero Initiative

Imagine if this was backed by Marvel...
 
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Old May 9th, 2012   dl316bh is online now   #62
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The Superman thing is yet another entirely different issue. Superman was not a work-for-hire creation in any way, shape or form.
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The Superman situation sounds like a tangled mess all around. The more I read about it, the more it seems like there was actually a deal ready to be signed before Marc Toberoff become involved. Sounds like this whole thing could have been resolved a long time ago.

How about some good news?
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It was nice to see that, but it seems some folks are disappointed there wasn't more.
 
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Old May 10th, 2012   Matches is offline   #63
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The Superman situation sounds like a tangled mess all around. The more I read about it, the more it seems like there was actually a deal ready to be signed before Marc Toberoff become involved. Sounds like this whole thing could have been resolved a long time ago.
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Eventually it will be. Superman is worth more to DC (which owns the trademark and will continue to do so) than it is worth to anyone else, S&S's heirs included. It's just a matter of how big a check DC is going to have to write.

It reminds me of when Derek Jeter was a free agent and some folks seriously thought he would leave the Yankees.
 
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Old May 11th, 2012   Jake1823 is offline   #64
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Now Roger Langridge Quits Marvel And DC Comics Over Ethical Concerns

So we have Roberson and now Langridge. It'll be VERY interesting to see who else quits the Big Two. That is, if anyone does at all.
 
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