A Fact-Check for the Four-Color World

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

A Plea for Help

If you follow comic news, then by now you've probably heard about the Siegel/DC Superboy legal battle that saw some action last week. The Siegels' suit alleges that Smallville infringes on the copyright of the character of Superboy, a copyright that the Siegels (and not Warner Brothers) own.

With that question at issue, the case has the potential to be the greatest comic-related lawsuit since a federal judge declared in 2003 that the X-Men are not human.

Given the subject matter, and some aspects of the story that I'm a little unclear on at the moment, I thought it would be worthwhile to put together an piece on the issue to share here. The history, the copyright issues, my opinion, etc.

Unfortunately, the thing that's stymieing me at present is a lack of resource material. I'd like to get my hands on two things before I attempt to opine at length on the issue. I haven't been able to find either of these, and I thought it best to just ask if anyone could point me in the right direction. What I'd like are:

1) The 1947 decision that declared that Jerry Siegel owned the Superboy copyright. I'd prefer to get the full-length decision, but if anyone knows the citation number (e.g. 616 F.2d 42) or the actual case name, that would help me find it at the library.

2) Judge Lew's summary judgment decision from last week. He issued a written decision, and Variety and Newsarama managed to quote it some. I'd like to see it for myself. This is guaranteed to not be at the library, so I'll have to get it online somehow.

Any help?