Saturday, March 29, 2008

Siegel Estate Prevails in Superman Copyright Case

]Source: NY Times

LOS ANGELES — Time Warner is no longer the sole proprietor of Superman.

A federal judge here on Wednesday ruled that the heirs of Jerome Siegel — who 70 years ago sold the rights to the action hero he created with Joseph Shuster to Detective Comics for $130 — were entitled to claim a share of the United States copyright to the character. The ruling left intact Time Warner’s international rights to the character, which it has long owned through its DC Comics unit.

And it reserved for trial questions over how much the company may owe the Siegel heirs for use of the character since 1999, when their ownership is deemed to have been restored. Also to be resolved is whether the heirs are entitled to payments directly from Time Warner’s film unit, Warner Brothers, which took in $200 million at the domestic box office with “Superman Returns” in 2006, or only from the DC unit’s Superman profits.

Still, the ruling threatened to complicate Warner’s plans to make more films featuring Superman, including another sequel and a planned movie based on the DC Comics’ “Justice League of America,” in which he joins Batman, Wonder Woman and other superheroes to battle evildoers.

If the ruling survives a Time Warner legal challenge, it may also open the door to a similar reversion of rights to the estate of Mr. Shuster in 2013. That would give heirs of the two creators control over use of their lucrative character until at least 2033 — and perhaps longer, if Congress once again extends copyright terms — according to Marc Toberoff, a lawyer who represents the Siegels and the Shuster estate.

“It would be very powerful,” said Mr. Toberoff, speaking by telephone on Friday. “After 2013, Time Warner couldn’t exploit any new Superman-derived works without a license from the Siegels and Shusters.”

That is, until 2033 when Superman enters the public domain.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Joss Whedon's New Musical

started shooting today.
Whedon stated "During the strike I started writing a musical intended as a limited internet series, three episodes of approximately 10 minutes each." ...

Whedon described the musical as "the story of a low-rent super-villain, the hero who keeps beating him up, and the cute girl from the laundromat he's too shy to talk to."

"Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Blog" stars Neil Patrick Harris as Dr. Horrible, Nathan Fillion ("Firefly," Serenity") as Captain Hammer, Felicia Day ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer") as Penny, "And a cast of Dozens!" Whedon concluded.
(If you're wondering who Felicia Day played on Buffy, the answer is: Vi, probably the least annoying of the Potential Slayers featured in the show's final season... She survived the finale, but has been very low-profile in the Season 8 comics ... if she's appeared at all.)

"Dude, I'm Dating Your Dad"

Saturday, March 15, 2008

"Whatever Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger"

Monday, March 10, 2008

Indy IV Final Poster

Don't fuck it up. Don't fuck it up. Don't fuck it up.

The Mayflower Monsieur

I voted for Eliot Spitzer. More, I was an enthusiastic supporter of Eliot Spitzer. (I even met him once... well, saw him from a close seat, anyway... He kicked off his campaign after the convention in Buffalo with a tour of the state that ended in front of the NYC building his father grew up in, a former tenement which happens to be across the street from my former tenement.)

But I don't support him anymore. Now, I call for his resignation -- not because I care that he cheated on his wife, or that he (over)paid for sex, but because he's a goddamn fucking hypocrite of the first order.

When he was AG, I remember watching a press conference he oh-so-shamelessly called to promote himself announce that his office had brought down similar prostitution ring. He was so filled with righteous indignation he was practically shaking at the podium. ... Course, we now know he was likely on the receiving end of a killer blow job from a hooker concealed within the podium at the time. . . So that explains that.


Spitzer is no different to me now than closet case senators who try to write homophobia into the constitution while performing fellatio on strangers in airpiort men's rooms.

So, um, Spitz? Don't let the door hit you. Or--wait--do let it hit you. Repeatedly about the face and head. (Not to mention: the GROIN.)

And--it must be said: what a WASTE. He was about to preside over the Democrats retaking the state senate for the first time in 40 years... which would've done away with a mind-boggling amount of patronage-type corruption (of the sort that would inevitably infect any party in power for so long).

Will that still happen? Who knows? If it doesn't because of what Spitz did with his pee-pee, I'll be really, um, pissed.

Until today, I thought--a lot of people thought--that Spitzer would be president someday. What a f***ing waste.

On the bright side (if there is one), I like David Paterson -- Spitzer's Lt. Gov -- a lot. I wish him great success. He will be NY State's first African-American governor. (And, yes, he has endorsed Hillary Clinton.) As far as I know, Paterson will be NY State's first legally blind governor, too. (At the rally, you could really tell he was visually impaired.)

I think it's safe to say he will be NY State's most progressive governor in many decades--perhaps ever. Of course, he was once a staffer for David Dinkins, which doesn't exactly inspire confidence in his ability to get things done. Well, we'll see.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The Sweetest Part

of tonight's primary results was not Hillary's decisive victories in Ohio (14 points) and Rhode Island (18 points), no. Or her squeeker victory in Texas.

Those were sweet, no question.

But nope. The SWEETEST part of all this is rabid neocon Hillary-hater Andrew Sullivan's despair:
I couldn't watch [Hillary's victory speech].

No, of course you couldn't. You couldn't bear to hear the truth, as Hillary put it: "Not one candidate for their party's nomination, Democrat or Republican, has gone on to win the White House without winning the Ohio primary."

Sullivan continues:
I just had a Jager shot, and hope to get drunk very soon. So this is my last post of the night.

Mmmm... I suppose the only way that could be sweeter is if he promised it was his last post ever.

Monday, March 03, 2008


I'm shocked--shocked I say--to discover POLITICS influencing a campaign for the presidency.
A memo obtained by The Associated Press suggests Obama's economic policy adviser privately told Canadian officials to look at the Democratic candidate's attack on free trade as "political positioning" rather than policy.

Obama today conceded the meeting did take place, but said the memo mischaracterized what his chief economist told the Canadians. He has yet to provide us with an explanation of just what his chief economist did say to the Canadians, or why he would even meet with them in the first place.

It should also be noted that Obama denied the meeting took place at all until the memo surfaced.

In other words: he's been caught in one big, honkin' whopper of a lie. (Let's watch the media give him a pass for it -- though, to be fair, they are paying at least *some* attention. Nothing like the conniption fits they'd be throwing if it was Hillary, but -- some attention is better than none.)

Anyway, I tend to take a dim view of any presidential candidate caught in such an incredible act of duplicity, especially one whose entire sales-pitch to the American people is that he's a different kind of politician, presumably the kind who would not spend months savaging his opponent for her (honestly, only lukewarm) support of NAFTA while quietly reassuring a foreign government not to lose too much sleep 'cause he doesn't mean a word of it.

That's audacity, all right. But it's not the audacity of hope.

My audacious (and, admittedly unrealistic) hope is that the Democrats of Texas and Ohio are paying close attention.