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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Stan Lee Media sues film company, says it owns Conan


Stan Lee Media, Inc., a company founded by comic book legend Stan Lee, wants a judge to rule that it is still the rightful owner of the character Conan the Barbarian. In a lawsuit filed Aug. 19 in federal court in L.A. and obtained by EW, SLMI is demanding 100 percent of the film’s proceeds. The company claims its bankruptcy in 2001 would have prevented anyone from taking the rights to the Conan character away. In the suit, Stan Lee Media, Inc. claims the company was betrayed by a former lawyer who made an illegal deal to transfer the rights to another company that would later green-light this summer’s Conan movie. The poorly reviewed remake earned $10 million on its opening weekend, barely beating the debut of the original Conan the Barbarian in 1982."


Fucking corporations. You didn't invent the character, and you deserve no money for him.

Note that Stan Lee is no longer involved with this company, and has even been sued by them!


Anonymous said...

IANL, but most international treaties and national laws in Europe and the US protect rights at a duration of 70 years post mortem autorem. Anybody could do a conan film, especially after the original stories. So... that's ridicoulus. IF my understanding of copyright laws is right.

Lord Gwydion said...

Actually, U.S. copyright law is a mess (large part thanks to Disney successfully petitioning the government to change it every time Steamboat Willie, and therefor Mickey Mouse, comes close to entering public domain).

Most European countries and Australia are life +70 years. Some countries, such as where I live in South Korea, are life +50 years. So while Conan is still protected in the U.S. he's public domain where I'm sitting.

IANAL as well, though.

Kenwolf said...

they are not saying they own conan, they are saying they have the rights to use it in a commercial way. that's how i take it.

this is the same company that sued marvel comics a few years ago, saying they owned everything that stan lee created.

The Happy Whisk said...

I've been out of the media loop for a few weeks and didn't know any of this. I do like Stan Lee on the whole, and hope things don't get too ugly.

Thanks for the question on my blog, Dan. That was fun. And for sure, I work way harder at home.


DWei said...

Everyone sues everyone these days so it doesn't come to a surprise to me that this is happening.

The Happy Whisk said...

DWei: So true.