U.S. District Judge Otis Wright has ruled that a 1992 agreement between DC comics and Jean Peavy, sister of Superman co-creator Joe Shuster, has superseded the Shuster heirs’ claim to exercise a copyright termination right.
Changes made by Congress in 1999 gave some heirs to copyrights the opportunity to terminate deals, under certain conditions. Peavy was hoping the reclaim rights to Superman on this basis.
The 1992 deal that scuppered their claim saw DC agree to cover Joe Shuster’s debts and pay Peavy $25,000 a year for the rest of her life. At the time, DC’s then execuitve VP was Paul Levitz, and he did warn the heirs that the deal would “fully resolve any past, present or future claims against DC.”
Warner Bros. are currently contesting the 2008 ruling that saw 50% of the Superman rights handed to the heirs of Jerry Siegel, and that hearing is set for November 5th.
This Kryptonian Bleak House might finally be about to reach its final chapter.