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Judge rules that Spider-man and co. belong to Marvel Comics

The heirs of artist Jack Kirby had attempted to terminate Marvel’s copyrights over several characters, including Iron Man and the Incredible Hulk.

Image: Geoff Kirby/Press Association Images

A NEW YORK  judge has ruled that Marvel Worldwide Inc. owns the copyrights to more than a dozen superheroes, including Spider-Man, X-Men, Iron Man, rejecting the claims of a legendary artist’s estate.

Judge Colleen McMahon ruled for the company today and said that the case was not about whether or Kirby or another Marvel artist Stan Lee were the creators of the Marvel characters, rather it was about whether the artists were treated ‘fairly by the company, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Marvel had sought to invalidate 45 notices sent by the heirs of artist Jack Kirby to try to terminate Marvel’s copyrights, effective on dates ranging from 2014 through 2019.

The famed artist died in 1994. The comics were published between 1958 and 1963.

Marvel had said the work was done “for hire,” a legal term that would render the heirs’ claims invalid.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the decision also affects film characters as well as those in comic books, meaning that money made from movies like X-Men, The Avengers and Iron Man may have been called into question.

-Additional reporting by AP

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Emer McLysaght

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