In 1938, the original designers of the Superman comic book figure assigned their ownership rights to DC Comics for $130. On January 1, 2013, their heirs plan to reclaim those rights in court. The impending Superman litigation will herald a wave of a new type of action, known as copyright termination. The Copyright Act of 1976 (“Copyright Act”) granted the original authors of creative works the right to recover rights assigned to publishers, media companies, and other parties, after a period of thirty-five years. Since the Copyright Act became effective on January 1, 1978, the original authors may first assert their termination rights on January 1, 2013.
Nathaniel S. Strauss,
Anything But Academic: How Copyright’s Work-for-Hire Doctrine Affects Professors, Graduate Students, and K-12 Teachers in the Information Age,
Rich. J.L. & Tech
Available at: http://scholarship.richmond.edu/jolt/vol18/iss1/5