Is Jack Kirby's Family Greedy? Who Cares!?

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Is Jack Kirby's Family Greedy? Who Cares!?

Worrying about how much money Kirby's heirs "deserve" from his creations is an annoying digression from the real issue.

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Really? You start a column named Social Justice Warrior and then open it up with something as relatively non-controversial (At least on the internet) as "Copyright laws are broken and Jack Kirby deserves far more credit than he gets"?

I DEMAND that you make columns that result in flame wars or I'm going to make ludicrous empty threats in the hopes of provoking arguments that devolve into pointlessly nitpicking, strawmanning, and namecalling.

EDIT: Okay, so with thirty posts in a few hours, I guess I called this one wrong. This IS a contentious issue apparently, even it doesn't appear to be one at first glance.

what does it say that I am more worried about how this will throw a gargantuan monkey wrench in Disney's plans for the Marvel Property, particularly the MCU?

While it's certainly true that Kirby likely deserves more credit than he gets for some of these characters (although he obviously didn't get screwed over to the level of, say, Bill Finger), I do think some of what the family is trying to do is a bit ridiculous.

Seriously... they've been trying to terminate Marvel's copyright of the characters to ostensibly get those rights themselves? To what end, exactly? Marvel would almost certainly have to stop publishing those comics and stop producing all of the related merchandise and various other media. Sure, Kirby's family would likely be able to put together their own licensing deals at some point, but what damage would be done to the characters' popularity in the meantime? I think the potential money they'd be looking at would diminish significantly.

More importantly, though... what claim does the Kirby family really have on the rights to these characters? Sure, Kirby defined how these characters look, but he was NOT the sole creator. Yeah, maybe Stan the Man gets too much credit, but it's ridiculous to say he had NO input in the creation of the characters. Hell, there were probably other people stomping around the Bullpen that gave their input as well. While Kirby's family maybe... MAYBE deserves some portion of the revenue these media titans generate, there's no way in Hell they should get ALL of it.

Falterfire:
Really? You start a column named Social Justice Warrior and then open it up with something as relatively non-controversial (At least on the internet) as "Copyright laws are broken and Jack Kirby deserves far more credit than he gets"?

I DEMAND that you make columns that result in flame wars or I'm going to make ludicrous empty threats in the hopes of provoking arguments that devolve into pointlessly nitpicking, strawmanning, and namecalling.

I promise next week's will be far more trololololo. On the other hand, I was hoping that economic justice would provoke the same effect!

I'm not sure how success by Kirby's heirs would make things better on a grand scale. It sounds like employers would simply add another page of indecipherable legal boilerplate to their contracts, which employees, pushed to the wall anyway, would likely sign without reading.

I'm not going to suggest that artists (let alone anyone else) should somehow feel "lucky" for getting to work for a trivial amount of what their work brings in, but that's frequently the choice: work for a pittance under crappy conditions, or don't work at all and hope that your feeling of self-satisfaction keeps you warm when the unpaid heat goes off.

It seems to me what we need is rights that cannot be contractually signed away at all, under any circumstances. The "no lawsuits, only third-party moderation" clauses that have been quietly slipped into the EULAs of many games are one of many steps off a cliff that our legal system, in its incredibly finite wisdom, have decided are just fine and dandy.

Callate:
I'm not sure how success by Kirby's heirs would make things better on a grand scale. It sounds like employers would simply add another page of indecipherable legal boilerplate to their contracts, which employees, pushed to the wall anyway, would likely sign without reading.

I'm not going to suggest that artists (let alone anyone else) should somehow feel "lucky" for getting to work for a trivial amount of what their work brings in, but that's frequently the choice: work for a pittance under crappy conditions, or don't work at all and hope that your feeling of self-satisfaction keeps you warm when the unpaid heat goes off.

It seems to me what we need is rights that cannot be contractually signed away at all, under any circumstances. The "no lawsuits, only third-party moderation" clauses that have been quietly slipped into the EULAs of many games are one of many steps off a cliff that our legal system, in its incredibly finite wisdom, have decided are just fine and dandy.

I didn't want to get bogged down by it here, but here is one way: If the default setting is no longer allowed to be "you're screwed unless we decide to be generous", it gives the labor side of the equation tremendously more leverage in negotiations. That default setting is currently one of the reasons freelancers have had such a difficult time even kind of banding together collectively. Like the Guilds note, the courts interpretation of the law vis a vis Kirby undermines their own collective bargaining rights.

Oh wonderful, yet another way to shove politics into gamers' faces. Yes, I know this one wasn't political, but come on. Is it possible for one day, just one, where games can just be enjoyed and life can just be lived without having to hear how horrible I am for being a straight, white male? You know, if we really want diversity, maybe The Escapist should have a show or column by someone who doesn't march in left-wing lockstep like all the others? But I forgot, diversity is only diversity when it comes to the color of your skin, your gender, or who you like to have sex with - not thoughts.

RossaLincoln:

Falterfire:
Really? You start a column named Social Justice Warrior and then open it up with something as relatively non-controversial (At least on the internet) as "Copyright laws are broken and Jack Kirby deserves far more credit than he gets"?

I DEMAND that you make columns that result in flame wars or I'm going to make ludicrous empty threats in the hopes of provoking arguments that devolve into pointlessly nitpicking, strawmanning, and namecalling.

I promise next week's will be far more trololololo. On the other hand, I was hoping that economic justice would provoke the same effect!

Economic Justice?

Sounds like a very boring super hero league. xD

<.< Unless it includes the likes of lawyer heros like Daredevil and She-Hulk.

Anyway, neat article. It's a shame that Kirby got screwed over, and while I'm not sure if the family should get EVERYTHING, they should get something out of this.

As for the legal stuff, I'm not 100% sure that if they family wins that it will help the nation at large, but it be nice to see the courts going on the side of someone besides a big company.

I mean, I'm pretty sure that supreme court case about games a while back went the way it did more because of how it would affect some pretty big companies rather than how it affected consumers.
I know that sounds cynical, but this supreme court has been pretty kind to large corporations thus far.

Also, good name to call this piece. I assume it was meant to be preemptive. ;p

LysanderNemoinis:
Oh wonderful, yet another way to shove politics into gamers' faces. Yes, I know this one wasn't political, but come on. Is it possible for one day, just one, where games can just be enjoyed and life can just be lived without having to hear how horrible I am for being a straight, white male? You know, if we really want diversity, maybe The Escapist should have a show or column by someone who doesn't march in left-wing lockstep like all the others? But I forgot, diversity is only diversity when it comes to the color of your skin, your gender, or who you like to have sex with - not thoughts.

What is your opinion on the issues discussed in this piece?

Someone please let me know? Did Kirby work within the Marvel offices in their much proclaimed 'Bullpen" era? or did he work from home or a personal office space? This is going to be a key determinant. I hate to say it, I have looked at the Kirby case a lot, and I have to say while Kirby in hindsight probably deserves more and more credit than he got, I still do not think that there is any legal basis to challenge the status quo. At least none that will succeed.

Kirby was the artist, but he was part of the collaborative Bullpen environment. Office space and facilities were provided by the employer. He was work for hire. A temp if you will by todays nomenclature.

Jack Kirby was pretty much the case study for "starving artist". He was a brilliant artist with an eye and hand and use of colors we had never ever seen before. He was also a piss poor business man. A simmering bundle of grudges that to all appearances never had the ability to properly assess the value of his own work, market it, or capitalize properly on his own fame. Case in point his DC Fourth World stuff. After he felt screwed by Marvel, he then, as the industries rock star artist, moved to DC. Did he negotiate a hugely lucrative contract? Nope. He did some self created stuff as well. How many here know what books or characters those are? Be honest.

Stan Lee was in many ways the best thing that ever happened to Kirby. Stan Lee out PT Barnums PT Barnum. He is perhaps the worlds greatest marketing guy. Consumers should be thanking the gods that he found his calling in Comics rather than selling us something like Cigarettes or Beer. It was the marketing push, the ability to sell the art that gave value to the art. The words as much as the pictures. And quite frankly Lee is or was a better businessman than Kirby. It sucks. Especially from Kirby's point of view. But how much is it the courts role to protect one from oneself and ones ability to make informed and coherent business decisions?

Have both the public's and the comic companies opinions changed regarding creator rights in modern times? Yes, most certainly. And part of that is the industry has evolved and grown from 5 cent funny books for kids on the rack in the drug store to a billion dollar industry. The law evolved over time as well. But a key legal principal is that law is not retro active. 1960's copyright law would still be the authoritative body for anything involving Kirby and Marvel, would it not? (and as far as that "new" 1970's contract that Marvel offered Kirby. No that is not an admission of anything claimed by the plaintiffs. The fact that apparent major changes to copyright law were already in the pipeline heading to Congress is just as much a legitimate justification for that new contract as any ulterior motive. Marvel's lawyers would have been negligent to not know what was coming legally and start creating contracts to reflect it.)

Kirby's family probably has a legitimate case to withdraw the rights to any actual Jack Kirby created art. They could block Marvel or seek payment for any use or reproduction of Kirby's actual drawings. That is his body of work. His and only his drawings of Mr. Fantastic, the Thing, etc. Not the characters. Not the character designs. Just his actual line work.

RossaLincoln:

LysanderNemoinis:
Oh wonderful, yet another way to shove politics into gamers' faces. Yes, I know this one wasn't political, but come on. Is it possible for one day, just one, where games can just be enjoyed and life can just be lived without having to hear how horrible I am for being a straight, white male? You know, if we really want diversity, maybe The Escapist should have a show or column by someone who doesn't march in left-wing lockstep like all the others? But I forgot, diversity is only diversity when it comes to the color of your skin, your gender, or who you like to have sex with - not thoughts.

What is your opinion on the issues discussed in this piece?

I think the family is entitled to what is, in all honesty, rightfully theirs. And I don't even care about American comics at all, seeing as how I think manga is much superior. But now that I have addressed the issue of the article, will anyone answer my question has to whether or not The Escapist is going to turn into MSNBC (with games) or if there will actually be diverse opinions among those who produce columns and/or shows.

I'm broadly against large inheritances in all areas. It's very human to want your own family to be well provided for, instead of providing for everyone, but that doesn't make it right. It's not just a creative thing. It's kind of scary in the US just how powerful political dynasties have often been and business owners handing over their businesses to their children isn't just unfair, but often terrible for the business.

On the other hand, I'm not going to sleep badly if friggin' Disney has to pay some people some money for once.

Great article Ross. Its nice to finally have something positive to attribute to such a shitty, stupid term like "Social Justice Warrior". Looking forward to next weeks article!

LysanderNemoinis:
Will anyone answer my question has to whether or not The Escapist is going to turn into MSNBC (with games) or if there will actually be diverse opinions among those who produce columns and/or shows.

Short answer: No.

Slightly longer answer: The Escapist employs writers and creators to make entertaining articles and videos related to geek culture. Political leanings - one way or the other - are beyond the scope of this website. The only political party we belong to is Geek.

RossaLincoln:
Is Jack Kirby's Family Greedy? Who Cares!?

Worrying about how much money Kirby's heirs "deserve" from his creations is an annoying digression from the real issue.

Read Full Article

You know what's more annoying? People who can't tell that it's pure and simple greed. Artists who think that their work is so superior to every other endeavor that they deserve more rights than anyone else.

I write code for a living. Even without a formal contract stating as such it's pretty clear that it's Work for Hire. Are You going to fight for an absurd right that I have copyright ownership? It would be stupid, and what's more stupid is that "Artists" think that their work is Sooo much more important that say the writer that the writer should get nothing but the contract for that one single solitary story and that they should get all re-imagined works copyright forever.

How how about Kirby's colorists? What do they get, or do we only count the person who made the pencil sketch?

If you're not willing to follow up your rant with actual respect for anyone other than "artists" that you recognize as "artists" on this issue then you're opinion is mute. Though I'd love to see you try to rational John Ramerios rights to all things Doom over John Carmacs Just For Fun.

It was clear that Kirby's work was work for high. Had he made them on his own and sought publication I might be included to agree with his estate. As it stands, Kirby's work on the "new gods" was sub par, and makes me suspect that Kirby was next to nothing without a good writer like Stan at his back, and a support team to keep things going smoothly.

BrotherRool:
I'm broadly against large inheritances in all areas. It's very human to want your own family to be well provided for, instead of providing for everyone, but that doesn't make it right. It's not just a creative thing. It's kind of scary in the US just how powerful political dynasties have often been and business owners handing over their businesses to their children isn't just unfair, but often terrible for the business.

On the other hand, I'm not going to sleep badly if friggin' Disney has to pay some people some money for once.

I'm similarly against large inheritances, but in this instance I'm more frustrated that this is even a legal case. These characters are still popular, they are still making money, but they are 50 years old and I want that copyright to expire.

That said, I know my stance is the least likely to gain ground, so I'll take solace in a megacorp paying an under-appreciated artist's family.

faefrost:
Someone please let me know? Did Kirby work within the Marvel offices in their much proclaimed 'Bullpen" era? or did he work from home or a personal office space? This is going to be a key determinant. I hate to say it, I have looked at the Kirby case a lot, and I have to say while Kirby in hindsight probably deserves more and more credit than he got, I still do not think that there is any legal basis to challenge the status quo. At least none that will succeed.

Kirby was the artist, but he was part of the collaborative Bullpen environment. Office space and facilities were provided by the employer. He was work for hire. A temp if you will by todays nomenclature.

Jack Kirby was pretty much the case study for "starving artist". He was a brilliant artist with an eye and hand and use of colors we had never ever seen before. He was also a piss poor business man. A simmering bundle of grudges that to all appearances never had the ability to properly assess the value of his own work, market it, or capitalize properly on his own fame. Case in point his DC Fourth World stuff. After he felt screwed by Marvel, he then, as the industries rock star artist, moved to DC. Did he negotiate a hugely lucrative contract? Nope. He did some self created stuff as well. How many here know what books or characters those are? Be honest.

Stan Lee was in many ways the best thing that ever happened to Kirby. Stan Lee out PT Barnums PT Barnum. He is perhaps the worlds greatest marketing guy. Consumers should be thanking the gods that he found his calling in Comics rather than selling us something like Cigarettes or Beer. It was the marketing push, the ability to sell the art that gave value to the art. The words as much as the pictures. And quite frankly Lee is or was a better businessman than Kirby. It sucks. Especially from Kirby's point of view. But how much is it the courts role to protect one from oneself and ones ability to make informed and coherent business decisions?

Have both the public's and the comic companies opinions changed regarding creator rights in modern times? Yes, most certainly. And part of that is the industry has evolved and grown from 5 cent funny books for kids on the rack in the drug store to a billion dollar industry. The law evolved over time as well. But a key legal principal is that law is not retro active. 1960's copyright law would still be the authoritative body for anything involving Kirby and Marvel, would it not? (and as far as that "new" 1970's contract that Marvel offered Kirby. No that is not an admission of anything claimed by the plaintiffs. The fact that apparent major changes to copyright law were already in the pipeline heading to Congress is just as much a legitimate justification for that new contract as any ulterior motive. Marvel's lawyers would have been negligent to not know what was coming legally and start creating contracts to reflect it.)

Kirby's family probably has a legitimate case to withdraw the rights to any actual Jack Kirby created art. They could block Marvel or seek payment for any use or reproduction of Kirby's actual drawings. That is his body of work. His and only his drawings of Mr. Fantastic, the Thing, etc. Not the characters. Not the character designs. Just his actual line work.

I'll just repeat that apparently, Marvel thought he might have had a claim, so when his contract came up, they gave him a new one requiring him to give up all such claims forever. Also too, see the Copyright Act of 1976 for why in fact this is more complicated than you describe.

Greg Tito:

LysanderNemoinis:
Will anyone answer my question has to whether or not The Escapist is going to turn into MSNBC (with games) or if there will actually be diverse opinions among those who produce columns and/or shows.

Short answer: No.

Slightly longer answer: The Escapist employs writers and creators to make entertaining articles and videos related to geek culture. Political leanings - one way or the other - are beyond the scope of this website. The only political party we belong to is Geek.

Well, thanks for the answer, but it's still the answer you'd get from someone who works at MSNBC. In both cases, it's like asking a fish what they think about the water in the tank. "Water? What, water?" Though it's funny that despite politics being "beyond the scope of this website," The Escapist is always utterly liberal, and with this new column, is pretty much saying, "Hey look, we're so left-wing it hurts!"

But as always with the case of these things, I don't even know why I bother to complain or voice my opinion. It's useless to argue, because the other side will never, ever win. Ah well... Guess I'll just try to enjoy video games until they're all BioShock Infinite.

JPArbiter:
what does it say that I am more worried about how this will throw a gargantuan monkey wrench in Disney's plans for the Marvel Property, particularly the MCU?

Fortunately for those of us who also LOVE the MCU, a favorable verdict wouldn't simply result in Marvel having to stop making movies. I stress I am not a copyright lawyer, and for a follow up on this topic I'll be consulting one, but my layman's understanding is that issues like the fact that Marvel has unveiled different takes on the characters over the years, the fact that Stan Lee gets co-creator credit on most of them, and other related complications, mean that this is more a matter of "who owns how much of what", not "who owns all or nothing".

One of my points here in this piece is that so far, the courts insist the Kirbys don't even have the right to bring the case under the law. It would be a real victory if SCOTUS decides otherwise. Then of course the fun begins, and I imagine every CPA in Los Angeles is about to die of priapism just thinking about the accounting battles ahead.

medv4380:
If you're not willing to follow up your rant with actual respect for anyone other than "artists" that you recognize as "artists" on this issue then you're opinion is mute.

As one coder to another, you've got two syntax errors in a row. It's YOUR opinion is MOOT.

LysanderNemoinis:
I think the family is entitled to what is, in all honesty, rightfully theirs. And I don't even care about American comics at all, seeing as how I think manga is much superior. But now that I have addressed the issue of the article, will anyone answer my question has to whether or not The Escapist is going to turn into MSNBC (with games) or if there will actually be diverse opinions among those who produce columns and/or shows.

I see Greg Tito has already responded to you, and I agree with his point that The Escapist is for Nerds/Geeks of all political stripes. I would like to add, however, that The Escapist seems to always be on the lookout for new content, so if you don't like what you see, why not write something yourself and submit it?

Why does it bother people so much that Kirby's heirs are attempting to right a tremendous wrong done to Jack? The only conclusion I can draw is that it's because Jack Kirby was an artist, and culturally, we consider the arts to be, at best, a scam. As far as people who don't work in a creative field are concerned, being an artist means an easy life, far divorced from what 'real' people do. You can almost hear the grinding of teeth when people say things like "Kirby should have considered himself lucky to be working at all" in the same tones used when explaining why people who slave away at McDonald's on subsistence wages ought to be ashamed of themselves for having ended up with that job in the first place.

I think this really misses the point of why people aren't happy with what the Kirby family is doing. People don't think the arts is a scam, but they think that trying to refight a legal battle from 50 years ago, due to your connection to a man 20 years in his grave, when the result will be transferring the copyright to the family (effectively holding Marvel hostage, telling them to either pay the family whatever licensing fees they request or see a multibillion dollar empire go up in flames) and making themselves rich, is a greedy and selfish move. It would be the same thing if I tried to press a claim on Heinz ketchup because my father originally developed the recipe, and I was demanding that Heinz stop making ketchup because the recipe belongs to me.

It would be one thing if they just wanted an amount of financial compensation in return for officially giving the properties to Marvel, but 45 copyright terminations would gut the company to no one's benefit but their own. At a certain point, it stops being "righting a wrong for Jack" and starts being "getting rich by ruining a company and breaking the hearts of millions of fans."

shirkbot:

BrotherRool:
I'm broadly against large inheritances in all areas. It's very human to want your own family to be well provided for, instead of providing for everyone, but that doesn't make it right. It's not just a creative thing. It's kind of scary in the US just how powerful political dynasties have often been and business owners handing over their businesses to their children isn't just unfair, but often terrible for the business.

On the other hand, I'm not going to sleep badly if friggin' Disney has to pay some people some money for once.

I'm similarly against large inheritances, but in this instance I'm more frustrated that this is even a legal case. These characters are still popular, they are still making money, but they are 50 years old and I want that copyright to expire.

That said, I know my stance is the least likely to gain ground, so I'll take solace in a megacorp paying an under-appreciated artist's family.

Oh yeah hugely so. I can stand 'within the artists lifetime' but the idea that copyright carries on, potentially half a century after death and that corporations can retain their copyright for generations and generations...

I understand that copyright is important so that artists get paid for their work, but ludicrously long copyright only benefits companies and the very richest of artists. Sure someone might pay JK Rowling more for Harry Potter right knowing they're going to last another 75 years or whatever, but I doubt anyone gives a toss about even Dan Brown's copyright lasting longer than his life. The Da Vinci Code is almost on the edge of obscurity now, whose going to care in 22nd century?

And if Dan Brown can't get extra money for the ridiculous copyright then why would the 99% of other creative people? These ridiculous copyrights don't help people who make art, they help companies stay rich off other people making art.

LysanderNemoinis:
Though it's funny that despite politics being "beyond the scope of this website," The Escapist is always utterly liberal, and with this new column, is pretty much saying, "Hey look, we're so left-wing it hurts!"

The Escapist employs interesting writers who are passionate about their subjects and have strong points-of-view. If you disagree with them in any way, The Escapist provides you a forum to air those grievances. Yet, you still whine because they aren't adhering to a platonic ideal of ideological diversity. As if conservative views should be beneficiaries of some sort of editorial affirmative action simply because you might disagree with what you've read. If you're hurting so much for a conservative take on geek news, nothing is stopping you from doing it yourself.

LysanderNemoinis:

And I don't even care about American comics at all, seeing as how I think manga is much superior.

That single line of dialogue was probably more controversial than this entire article.

Gerardo Vazquez:

LysanderNemoinis:

And I don't even care about American comics at all, seeing as how I think manga is much superior.

That single line of dialogue was probably more controversial than this entire article.

I think this is the geek equivalent of "Sigh. I don't even OWN a television."

WaltIsFrozen:
As if conservative views should be beneficiaries of some sort of editorial affirmative action simply because you might disagree with what you've read.

Why not? Every other minority gets affirmative action because they're a minority. And seriously, one has to admit that when it comes to all media, conservatives are outnumbered about 100-1, especially in entertainment where actually holding a conservative viewpoint is liable to get you blacklisted from Hollywood.

BrotherRool:

shirkbot:

BrotherRool:
I'm broadly against large inheritances in all areas. It's very human to want your own family to be well provided for, instead of providing for everyone, but that doesn't make it right. It's not just a creative thing. It's kind of scary in the US just how powerful political dynasties have often been and business owners handing over their businesses to their children isn't just unfair, but often terrible for the business.

On the other hand, I'm not going to sleep badly if friggin' Disney has to pay some people some money for once.

I'm similarly against large inheritances, but in this instance I'm more frustrated that this is even a legal case. These characters are still popular, they are still making money, but they are 50 years old and I want that copyright to expire.

That said, I know my stance is the least likely to gain ground, so I'll take solace in a megacorp paying an under-appreciated artist's family.

Oh yeah hugely so. I can stand 'within the artists lifetime' but the idea that copyright carries on, potentially half a century after death and that corporations can retain their copyright for generations and generations...

I understand that copyright is important so that artists get paid for their work, but ludicrously long copyright only benefits companies and the very richest of artists. Sure someone might pay JK Rowling more for Harry Potter right knowing they're going to last another 75 years or whatever, but I doubt anyone gives a toss about even Dan Brown's copyright lasting longer than his life. The Da Vinci Code is almost on the edge of obscurity now, whose going to care in 22nd century?

And if Dan Brown can't get extra money for the ridiculous copyright then why would the 99% of other creative people? These ridiculous copyrights don't help people who make art, they help companies stay rich off other people making art.

This is immaterial to the situation as it exists though. I agree that copyright lasts too long. But the law is the law, so if people who didn't do anything to create something can own the copyright in near perpetuity, what's wrong with the estate of the creator - as allowed by the same law, incidentally - trying to get some fairness? If you think no one should own these characters today, fine, but you have to know that isn't going to happen, right?

And again, it's the principle that matters here. There are more issues at stake than the length of copyright. This case isn't arguing that copyright should be shorter, it's arguing that people shouldn't get screwed so easily out of copyright. Different conversation.

RossaLincoln:

This is immaterial to the situation as it exists though. I agree that copyright lasts too long. But the law is the law, so if people who didn't do anything to create something can own the copyright in near perpetuity, what's wrong with the estate of the creator - as allowed by the same law, incidentally - trying to get some fairness? If you think no one should own these characters today, fine, but you have to know that isn't going to happen, right?

And again, it's the principle that matters here. There are more issues at stake than the length of copyright. This case isn't arguing that copyright should be shorter, it's arguing that people shouldn't get screwed so easily out of copyright. Different conversation.

I basically agree, I was just responding to a tangent more than reflecting on the actual situation here. In principle I would like the laws to be hugely different, but if they're not Kirby's family are just as suitable (or better) recipients than some monolith corporation. And I also get that it is fair that artists get acknowledged more for their rights to their creations, particularly someone like Kirby who was so influential and in a position outside the company where he's very justified in having those rights.

This isn't a problem that just affects creative types though. Engineers, scientists and programmers are in situations where they frequently find their work being taken out of their hands unfairly. I think it's almost routine now for software companies to make their employees sign contracts where the company not only owns all the ideas they create working for the company, but also any ideas that the employees have in their freetime. Corporations own their employees brains.

RossaLincoln:
[quote="JPArbiter" post="6.853666.21124488"]

One of my points here in this piece is that so far, the courts insist the Kirbys don't even have the right to bring the case under the law. It would be a real victory if SCOTUS decides otherwise. Then of course the fun begins, and I imagine every CPA in Los Angeles is about to die of priapism just thinking about the accounting battles ahead.

back income means back taxes :P

LysanderNemoinis:
Why not? Every other minority gets affirmative action because they're a minority.

Uhhh...no. That's not what affirmative action is. At all. Affirmative action is an effort at righting past wrongs.

Even if affirmative action was what you think it is, the idea that (a) it should apply to political points of view or (b) conservatives are a "minority" in any substantial way is laughable. And I'm not using that word rhetorically. I am laughing at you. Your "woe is me" persecution complex and sense of entitlement are hilarious to me. Ha ha ha ha ha....

LysanderNemoinis:
And seriously, one has to admit that when it comes to all media, conservatives are outnumbered about 100-1...

Once again, the idea that this is a problem with media and not conservatism. Maybe if there was a bigger market for conservative media, this wouldn't be an issue. After all, who are we to question the wisdom of the invisible hand of the marketplace.

RossaLincoln:
And again, it's the principle that matters here.

I still don't see how. You're claiming that you're for creative people retaining rights to their work. But what you're actually arguing for is non-creative people taking money away from a company that does create. So, your principle had better be good, because the direct result is in diametric opposition. You claim that this principle will help other creatives, but I don't see any such mechanism, since what we're actually discussing is the interpretation of a poorly written contract several decades (and laws) prior, and not any fundamental changes to how contracts can or will be written. The standard, decades-old boilerplate by which a company nails down its ownership of the material it commissions is in no way impacted by this ruling.

WaltIsFrozen:

LysanderNemoinis:
Why not? Every other minority gets affirmative action because they're a minority.

Uhhh...no. That's not what affirmative action is. At all. Affirmative action is an effort at righting past wrongs.

Even if affirmative action was what you think it is, the idea that (a) it should apply to political points of view or (b) conservatives are a "minority" in any substantial way is laughable. And I'm not using that word rhetorically. I am laughing at you. Your "woe is me" persecution complex and sense of entitlement are hilarious to me. Ha ha ha ha ha....

LysanderNemoinis:
And seriously, one has to admit that when it comes to all media, conservatives are outnumbered about 100-1...

Once again, the idea that this is a problem with media and not conservatism. Maybe if there was a bigger market for conservative media, this wouldn't be an issue. After all, who are we to question the wisdom of the invisible hand of the marketplace.

My mentioning of affirmative action was mostly in jest, and given my politics, I'd think that would be a given. Just because something bad to people who share a similarity with you, it doesn't entitle you to special treatment. That's a "woe is me" attitude.

As for the invisible hand of the marketplace, that's proven every time the rare movie with a moderately conservative or religious message is released, and it makes an assload of cash whereas a movie really pushing liberal politics doesn't do so well. Compare Son of God with Noah, for instance. And the same with ratings for Fox and MSNBC or CNN. And talk radio? It's not even a contest. If Comcast wanted better ratings, they'd put some conservatives on MSNBC, but they don't want to because of politics, pure and simple. Same with Hollywood. The market is there, but the media is totally in the bag for one side of the political aisle. But like I said before, your side is going to win, without a doubt. Like the song says, "Come on, get happy". In about twenty years, there will only be one political party, and you'll have your way all day, every day, so chill.

Did Jack Kirby get screwed? .. Absolutely. He is an unfortunate casualty of greedy tactics of an industry that was first really taking off at the time. Legally he was dead in the water. He was a poor businessman, but a brilliant artist. Just because I happen love his work doesn't mean I should demand his children and grandchildren just get money from marvel for past sins. If Marvel really wanted be classy, they should given him some sort of golden parachute ages ago when he was alive. They opted not to do so, and if that is their choice for cutthroat business men with in it uphold their right be what they are, then so be it. They legally don't owe Kirby jack! (even if they owe a great deal to him creatively, this isn't morale court. Karma be damned.)

So what are is heirs really fighting for? Jack has been dead for 20 years, and if they haven't figured out how keep their lives going since then, then they just suck at life. Just seems like now that Disney has given marvel even deeper pockets, they really want to keep the fight alive. They can have frivolous law suits if they choose, but in the end I don't see them getting anywhere and doing nothing but wasting tons of people's time and money. I'm not going stop being a marvel fan just because it happens have some skeletons in it's closet. Especially considering DC basically killed one of it's competitors in court, Fawcett comics thru litigation and attempted copyright Superheroes to stop anyone else form getting in on the action (comics.) Every thing if it's been around long enough has a dark under belly you'd rather not see.

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