This from the Telegraph: Marvel Enterprises, the creator of comic book heroes including Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk and X-Men, is suing The Walt Disney Co for $55m (£29m). Marvel says it is owed royalties generated from animated television programmes based on the characters that were broadcast on Disney's ABC Family channel in the US. According to a lawsuit filed in a Los Angeles court, Marvel originally reached agreements in the late 1990s for the cartoon characters to be used by Fox Family Worldwide, the US television company. Disney inherited the rights after it bought Fox Family Worldwide in 2001. Marvel alleges that Disney has not kept proper records of royalties due under the agreements. The company also alleges that Disney failed to aggressively market the shows following the renewed popularity of the characters after they were featured in a series of blockbuster Hollywood films in recent years. Marvel finally claims that it is owed money from the licensing of music associated with the television shows.
This lawsuit is just the latest legal controversy to hit Disney. The media giant is also being sued for alleged copyright infringement on the song The Lion Sleeps Tonight, which featured in the Lion King film and musical. That lawsuit alleges the song is based on another song called Mbube ("lion" in Zulu) that was written by a Zulu migrant worker in 1939.
The IPKat wishes someone would make a film about him. Then he too could get in on the action and start suing for colossal sums. He also notes that, with good drafting and meaningful compliance with licence terms, most contract-based disputes can usually be avoided.
Marvels here, here and here
More royalties here, here and here
Tuesday, 20 July 2004
Posted by Jeremy at 5:45:00 am