Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

January 20, 2005

Marvel Loses One, Wins... Something

The news clogging up the chatboards and the news services yesterday and today is word that Marvel Enterprises, Inc. will challenge Stan Lee's recent win in district court over a 1998 contract stipulation that seems to grant him a percentage of movie and television profits. You can read a pretty straight version of what's gone down in wire stories like this one and a version with all of the Myth of Stan Lee stuff sprinkled on it in stories like this one. The main point of interest in the story thus far is that many people seem to think that it has something to do legally with one of the public moral jusifications of the suit, Stan's role in co-creating various Marvel characters. It really doesn't.

With appeals certain to follow, I hope that no one loses sight of Marvel's continuing string of impressive licensing deals, something I think may be the most significant outcome of the movie success. The latest is a deal with Corbis for distribution of digital content, which you can read about here or see in presentational action here. The things about this arrangement I find compelling at first glance is that it's comics-based, lots of different characters are highlighted (Domino?) and that it essentially serves as both a potential profit source and free advertising for Marvel's characters.
posted 5:42 pm PST | Permalink

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