Here is a brief excerpt of my blog post as featured on the Canadian Intellectual Property Blog dealing with the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeal's recent decision to deny the estate of the late comic book illustrator Jack Kirby the right to terminate its copyright licenses as per §304 17 USC. The Court found the works in question were works for hire and therefore fell under the exception to the §304 protection. The full post is available here.
The US Court of Appeal for the 2nd Circuit ruled yesterday that the estate of famous comic book illustrator Jack Kirby could not terminate the copyright license held by Marvel Comics and Disney corp. (Marvel/Disney). Jack Kirby is known as one of the most prominent comic book illustrators of all time. He began his career as an illustrator in the 1930s when he created the now famous Captain America series.
At issue in this case were drawings Kirby did between 1958 and 1963. Jack Kirby’s children sought to apply the complicated “termination provision” found in §304 17 USC. This provision allows the owner of a copyright protected work to terminate any assignment or license agreement after a defined period which depends on whether the work was created before 1978.