Supreme Court could muddle up next ‘Spider-Man’ MCU plans
We come at a time when more and more iconic films and stories are affected by the termination provisions of copyright law. These provisions allow authors or their heirs to claim the rights to their works after a certain period of time. While this can generally be a smooth process, it is often not like it is with the Friday 13 franchise. Similar to this situation, some people trying to get Marvel characters back have issues with Marvel and Disney. Concretely, those who create “works made for rental” are not supposed to be able to recover their works. But because the documentation on these projects is pretty flawed, it’s hard to decipher which Marvel characters were created for hire and which weren’t. Now that the Supreme Court is getting involved, it could cause trouble for Spider Man and other Marvel superheroes.
As reported via THR, the board game The game of life is part of a lawsuit under review by the Supreme Court. The heirs of Bill Markham, who created the prototype of The game of life for Milton Bradley (now owned by Hasbro), attempted to prove that the game was not designed to be rented. Obviously, this is a similar situation to those involving Marvel characters or the Friday 13 series, and the Supreme Court ruling could change the way these copyright cases are viewed.
As stated in Markham’s petition which seeks to define the eligibility for termination of commissioned works made prior to the copyright law of 1976:
“What is at stake is the ownership of the copyrights to thousands and thousands of works written before the 1976 law, including many paintings, sculptures, films, plays and other creative works. like the board game here. Given the extraordinary duration of copyright under the 1909 Act (approximately a century), these ownership disputes will continue to arise for decades, subject to fundamentally conflicting rules unless and until such time. Court intervenes.
Many people who have fought against Disney over this naturally support this petition. As such, it will be really interesting to see what decision the Supreme Court makes and how that will affect these properties such as Spider Man go forward. Of course, we won’t know how that will turn out until 2022.
Meanwhile, the Marvel Cinematic Universe movie Spider-Man: No Path Home is currently showing in theaters.