The fight over who owns the rights to Superman really is, it seems, a never-ending battle. Following a legal ruling that many believed awarded the rights to Warner Bros. once and for all back in January, attorney Marc Toberoff is headed back to court on behalf of the heirs of Jerry Siegel one more time according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Toberoff's new suit goes after DC Comics' parent company on a number of new fronts, including the suggestion that - if Warners did agree on a legally binding contract with the Siegel heirs in 2001 as the January ruling declared - then the company had failed to live up to the terms of its own agreement. "DC failed to perform or even tender performance by March 31, 2002, the date agreed upon," Toberoff argues in the new suit. "DC anticipatorily breached by instead demanding unacceptable new and revised terms as a condition to its performance; accordingly, the Siegels rescinded the agreement, and DC abandoned the agreement."
Additionally, Toberoff is arguing that U.S. copyright law prevents the transfer of termination rights through contracts; this is a long-time tactic of the attorney's, and one that has actually worked in the past. In this particular case, however, it feels more than a little unexpected and potentially desperate considering that that argument has previously failed in Toberoff's attempt to reclaim Joe Shuster's half of the rights to Superman from Warners/DC.
Toberoff has filed his new suit in lower federal court in California; Warners last week filed papers asking for a summary judgment in its favor following the January decision by the Ninth Circuit of Appeals, writing that it believed that the matter could be "fully and finally resolved in the next 60 to 90 days." That, it now seems, may have been wishful thinking.Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's FACEBOOK and TWITTER!