Thursday, May 18, 2017

No key card access to library tonight and early tomorrow morning

The card readers at the doors to the library are temporarily malfunctioning. Law students hoping to stay in the library after hours can stay, but will not be able to re-enter the building after leaving between 11:00 PM tonight and 8:00 AM tomorrow morning. Please talk to staff at the Circulation Desk if you have any questions.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Legal Challenges of Comic Book Movies

Super heroes have become a dominant force in American cinema, and the prevalence of super heroes has inspired studios to create movies that overlap with other movies to create “cinematic universes.” There is a lot of complexity attached to these cinematic universes that may escape the notice of the average moviegoer, and this post will try to draw attention to some of the complexities of the intellectual property law surrounding super heroes.

There are two major companies in charge of super hero comic book publication, Marvel and DC. DC owns the rights to heroes like Batman and Superman. It is also a subsidiary of Warner Bros. Entertainment, which means that the same company owns the film rights to these characters and does not have the same complicated legal structure as Marvel. Marvel, which is currently owned by Disney, owns the rights to characters like Spider-Man and The Avengers. Marvel and DC have always allowed their characters to appear in other books owned by the company. 

While the DC and Marvel shared universes were generally distinct from one another, crossovers were not unheard of. One character owned by both parties, Access, has the power to move between each company’s comic universe. Both companies own the rights to the character, and both have published stories featuring the character independent of the other company.