Patrick S. Ditko, brother of the late cartoonist Steve Ditko – who was a co-creator of such popular characters as Spider-Man and Dr. Strange – has requested that the copyright under Disney control of both characters be terminated. The measure was filed with the United States copyright office on August 26.
Disney did not sit idly by and now Marvel is preparing a lawsuit to ensure it retains ownership of several iconic characters, who were born in the comics and are part of its cinematic universe.
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Thus, Marvel will file a lawsuit against the heirs of creators such as Stan Lee, Steve Ditko and Gene Colan, in order to obtain a statement that establishes that, since the characters created by them arose under the model of works made to order, they do not would be eligible for termination of copyright.
In this way, Marvel and Disney seek to secure rights to Doctor Strange and Spiderman, who are directly involved with the request of Ditko, but also of other iconic characters of his franchise, such as Iron Man, Ant-Man, Hawkeye, Black Widow and Falcon.
In this dispute, Marc Toberoff, the attorney who represented Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster in a lawsuit by Superman against DC Comics, will be in charge of defending the position of Patrick S. Ditko’s brother. On the other hand, the Disney-Marvel lawsuit will be in the hands of Dan Petrocelli, the attorney who represented DC in the aforementioned Siegel and Schuster case. In that case, the win went to DC.
Although in this type of legal conflict the large companies tend to be the winners, in case this time the opposite occurs, Marvel could lose the rights to some of its most popular Avengers in June 2023.