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Old 01-17-2024, 03:52 PM   #1
The Deadman
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DC's Copyrights on Batman, Superman and Others End Soon

https://comicbookmovie.com/justice-l...8918#gs.3r7ua3

In recent years, we’ve seen the copyrights for iconic Disney characters like Winnie the Pooh and Mickey Mouse precursor, Steamboat Willie, enter the public domain. Thus far, that’s only really led to low-budget horror projects with mainstream studios all too aware how unwise it would be to clash with the House of Mouse over copyright law.

Variety reports that DC Comics characters Superman and Lois Lane will enter the public domain in 2034.

Batman will follow in 2035, The Joker in 2036, and then Wonder Woman in 2037.

The clock is ticking.

So, what does that hat mean for these iconic heroes and villains?

The trade explains that we could see a flood of unauthorised Batman comics, for example, arrive in stores.

Movie producers will also be able to put their own spin on these heroes, similar to how we see endless iterations of Dracula and Robin Hood on screen.

Initially, however, they’ll only be able to make use of certain characteristics (when Superman debuted, he could only leap tall buildings in a single bound and was unable to fly).

"Those characteristics are going to fall into the public domain one by one," explains Amanda Schreyer, a media and entertainment lawyer at Morse.

Steven Beer, an IP lawyer at Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, adds: "The public’s perception is the contemporary Superman. It’s distinctive. That gives them a lot of protection."

Warner Bros. has some protection and recent copyrights mean they’ll be able to block many attempted knock-offs.

Alas, as Jennifer Jenkins, director of Duke’s Center for the Study of the Public Domain reveals, "That only prevents uses that are likely to cause consumer confusion about source or sponsorship."

This means rival creators will simply need to make it clear their versions are not coming from DC.

"You could still create a Superman horror movie or Batman horror movie," says Jonathan Steinsapir, an IP attorney at KHIKS.

"You just need to be careful about how you advertise it and how you use images of Superman in a branding sense…Zack Snyder could reshoot it and make his own new iteration of it. You just need to be careful. For example, he definitely couldn’t call it ‘Justice League.’"

The trade elaborates on that, revealing Zack Snyder’s original DCEU pitch to Warner Bros.

involved Bruce Wayne impregnating Lois Lane, only for Superman to raise the Caped Crusader’s son after his death.

Wonder Woman, meanwhile, was set to brandish the decapitated heads of her enemies.

An insider explains his ideas were rejected by the studio for being, and we quote, "super creepy."

As for what this means for the new DCU, the trade says, "At a press event in 2023, CEO James Gunn noted that the next Superman film will introduce characters from ‘The Authority,’ a comic series that launched in 1999, in part because the Superman copyright is about to expire."
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Old 01-17-2024, 03:57 PM   #2
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2035 is way too far in the future right now to say it's "soon." That's still almost 15 years away.
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Old 01-17-2024, 04:15 PM   #3
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2035 is way too far in the future right now to say it's "soon." That's still almost 15 years away.
It's closer to ten, bud
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Old 01-17-2024, 04:25 PM   #4
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I'll be in my mid 40s I don't think I'll care. That's practically senior citizen age.
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Old 01-17-2024, 05:13 PM   #5
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And the last vestiges of quality control will be lost...
WB makes some stinkers occasionally, but at least they keep absolute abysmal **** away. Without them in tin the picture it will be a Wild West of crap.
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Old 01-18-2024, 12:55 AM   #6
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I can just imagine the Snyder fans thinking "this is our year"
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Old 01-18-2024, 03:05 AM   #7
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And the last vestiges of quality control will be lost...
WB makes some stinkers occasionally, but at least they keep absolute abysmal **** away. Without them in tin the picture it will be a Wild West of crap.
I can't really get behind this attitude. Like sure, some things will suck hard but they'll just be some of potentially countless projects featuring these characters, it's not like there will only be crap. And let's not forget that WB are still allowed to use these characters as if nothing happened, they just can't prevent others from using them.
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Old 01-18-2024, 07:04 AM   #8
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I can't really get behind this attitude. Like sure, some things will suck hard but they'll just be some of potentially countless projects featuring these characters, it's not like there will only be crap. And let's not forget that WB are still allowed to use these characters as if nothing happened, they just can't prevent others from using them.
I am usually all for creativity, but having those characters in hands of crappy writers won't do them service. Besides, people who want to use Batman, already can make fanfics and fanart without restrictions.
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Old 01-18-2024, 08:56 AM   #9
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"You could still create a Superman horror movie or Batman horror movie,"
Sure, but we already have Brightburn and Dracula.

Why not comedy films? (Then again, it’s impossible to make them in this politically correct era)
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Old 01-18-2024, 06:16 PM   #10
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I am usually all for creativity, but having those characters in hands of crappy writers won't do them service. Besides, people who want to use Batman, already can make fanfics and fanart without restrictions.
Well, let's put it like this, has DC never put a terrible writer in charge of Batman? From my understanding, Tom King is really hated yet he was the main writer of Batman for three or four years. And the fact that the need to keep a license is what led to just awful movies like TASM, Fant4stic and Dark Phoenix. To assume this sort of copyright inherently guarantees quality control is absurd, in the world of comics there are plenty of terrible comics made just to keep the franchise going.

I just don't buy the idea that after "a measly" 95 years after publication and/or 70 after the death of the author it's nothing but a floodgate for terrible things to be made, because countless people being allowed to use these characters means countless chances for something good to get made and copyright holders give IPs to terrible writers all the time.

"But what if entering the public domain means someone will make a shitty horror movie?"
What if they decide to make a shitty horror movie while still under copyright? Copyright is not a guarantee against dumb decisions.
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Old 01-18-2024, 06:41 PM   #11
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Obviously.
But its still provides token minimum of quality control.
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