Captain America Comics #1 (March 1941) Copyright MarvelIn Marvel v. Kirby, 10 civ. 141 (SDNY July 28, 2011), District Judge Colleen McMahon of the Southern District of New York determined that Jack Kirby's artistic contributions to such characters as The Incredible Hulk, The Mighty Thor, Spider-Man, Iron Man, the X-Men and the Avengers were works for hire under the 1909 Copyright Act.
Accordingly, the Court found notices of copyright termination sent by Kirby's heirs to be invalid and granted summary judgment to Marvel based largely on the written testimony of Stan Lee.
The decision is detailed and interesting for students of comic books and those interested in the "instance and expense" test of the 1909 Copyright Act.
The complaint is here. Decision below:
Marvel v Kirby McMahon Order 7 28 11
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