Today, a decision was handed down in one of the lawsuits involving Superman and the Siegel family. The Siegel family — including Joanne Siegel and Laura Sigel Larson — were granted half the copyright to Superman in 1999, and the present case involved their share of the revenue from such Superman appearances as Smallville. The Siegels argued that a “sweetheart deal” from Warner Bros. led to lower than market value licensing fees for the use of Superman.
However, the court did not see it that way, and ruled that the fees were within market value.
DC released a statement, reading:
DC Comics and Warner Bros. Entertainment are very gratified by the court’s thorough and well-reasoned decision in this matter. The decision validates what DC and Warner Bros. have maintained from the beginning, which is that when they do business with each other, they always strive for – and achieve – fair market value in their transactions. We are very pleased that the court found there was no merit to plaintiffs’ position that the Superman deals were unfair to DC Comics and, by extension, the plaintiffs.
The decision can be read here.