ICv2 reports that Stan Lee Media has lost a legal battle over the rights to Conan. Although the big Cimmerian wouldn’t seem to be much of a hot property after last year’s movie flop, the folks at Stan Lee Media dive for any scrap of IP like a hobo battle for a bottle of Thunderbird.
Stan Lee Media’s attempt to reclaim the rights to Conan the Barbarian was dismissed by a federal judge, but the current owners of the failed Internet start-up company are still pursuing an appeal of an earlier decision that dismissed the company’s suit seeking Stan Lee’s rights to Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, and other properties co-created by Lee at Marvel comics (see “Case Dismissed”).
That’s right, the shadowy cabal now running the company—which has NOTHING to do with Stan Lee any more—are also trying to get the rights to Marvel characters just because Stan had a contract with them. They are also suing Stan himself, however, over some complicated finagling over the dates of a contract Lee signed, a claim that no court has found any value in thus far.
Were there ever any scam artists more shady than Stan Lee Media? At its peak—a peak which coincided with the CD-ROM era of interactive entertainment, but not the internet—they had shiny offices which employed 168 terrifically talented animators. But the actual owners—Stan was not much more than a figurehead—beginning with scam artist Peter Paul seem to think that throwing lawsuits against the wall is the best way to extort some money from companies that have put more money into actual development.
Someone needs to write a book about all this.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.