Some time back, Stan Lee formed a group known as Stan Lee Media Inc. That financial enterprise was short-lived and ended in a fiasco that had shareholders grabbing for bits and piece of anything they could find, including the rights to Lee’s characters. Since then, legal battles aplenty have ensued (no pun intended). Now, yet another fight between lawyers without super powers is going down as Disney, SLMI, Marvel and a Pennsylvania-based Broadway revue try to figure out who the hell owns what.
The problem started when said revue, Broadway: Now and Forever, used some bits and pieces of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. Then Marvel stepped up and said “No! That’s ours, bitch!” (actual quote may have been somewhat different) followed by SLMI poking their nose in to provide licensing to the revue. The problem is, SLMI didn’t actually own the rights. As a matter of fact, they don’t even properly exist any more.
Disney/Marvel is suing SLMI, SLMI is filing complaints against Disney because they can’t make money from licensing the show, and nobody seems to know what’s going on except for the lawyers. In the end, it’s not Stan Lee doing all the yelling and screaming, just a pack of SLMI shareholders that want some of their lost money back. Worse yet, they just keep trying new scams to get the job done.
I’m not a huge fan of the way Disney/Marvel does business, particularly with regards to the shit way they treat their creators’ copyright ownership issues, but these SLMI guys are just wankers. They’ll lose again and then probably come back for more once they figure something new out. A complete waste of time, but at least the lawyers are being kept busy, right?
Thanks to THR for the heads-up.