Is Jack Kirby's Family Greedy? Who Cares!?

WaltIsFrozen

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medv4380 said:
If you're not willing to follow up your rant with actual respect for anyone other than "artists" that you recognize as "artists" on this issue then you're opinion is mute.
As one coder to another, you've got two syntax errors in a row. It's YOUR opinion is MOOT.
 

shirkbot

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LysanderNemoinis said:
I think the family is entitled to what is, in all honesty, rightfully theirs. And I don't even care about American comics at all, seeing as how I think manga is much superior. But now that I have addressed the issue of the article, will anyone answer my question has to whether or not The Escapist is going to turn into MSNBC (with games) or if there will actually be diverse opinions among those who produce columns and/or shows.
I see Greg Tito has already responded to you, and I agree with his point that The Escapist is for Nerds/Geeks of all political stripes. I would like to add, however, that The Escapist seems to always be on the lookout for new content, so if you don't like what you see, why not write something yourself and submit it?
 
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Why does it bother people so much that Kirby's heirs are attempting to right a tremendous wrong done to Jack? The only conclusion I can draw is that it's because Jack Kirby was an artist, and culturally, we consider the arts to be, at best, a scam. As far as people who don't work in a creative field are concerned, being an artist means an easy life, far divorced from what 'real' people do. You can almost hear the grinding of teeth when people say things like "Kirby should have considered himself lucky to be working at all" in the same tones used when explaining why people who slave away at McDonald's on subsistence wages ought to be ashamed of themselves for having ended up with that job in the first place.
I think this really misses the point of why people aren't happy with what the Kirby family is doing. People don't think the arts is a scam, but they think that trying to refight a legal battle from 50 years ago, due to your connection to a man 20 years in his grave, when the result will be transferring the copyright to the family (effectively holding Marvel hostage, telling them to either pay the family whatever licensing fees they request or see a multibillion dollar empire go up in flames) and making themselves rich, is a greedy and selfish move. It would be the same thing if I tried to press a claim on Heinz ketchup because my father originally developed the recipe, and I was demanding that Heinz stop making ketchup because the recipe belongs to me.

It would be one thing if they just wanted an amount of financial compensation in return for officially giving the properties to Marvel, but 45 copyright terminations would gut the company to no one's benefit but their own. At a certain point, it stops being "righting a wrong for Jack" and starts being "getting rich by ruining a company and breaking the hearts of millions of fans."
 

BrotherRool

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shirkbot said:
BrotherRool said:
I'm broadly against large inheritances in all areas. It's very human to want your own family to be well provided for, instead of providing for everyone, but that doesn't make it right. It's not just a creative thing. It's kind of scary in the US just how powerful political dynasties have often been and business owners handing over their businesses to their children isn't just unfair, but often terrible for the business.

On the other hand, I'm not going to sleep badly if friggin' Disney has to pay some people some money for once.
I'm similarly against large inheritances, but in this instance I'm more frustrated that this is even a legal case. These characters are still popular, they are still making money, but they are 50 years old and I want that copyright to expire.

That said, I know my stance is the least likely to gain ground, so I'll take solace in a megacorp paying an under-appreciated artist's family.
Oh yeah hugely so. I can stand 'within the artists lifetime' but the idea that copyright carries on, potentially half a century after death and that corporations can retain their copyright for generations and generations...

I understand that copyright is important so that artists get paid for their work, but ludicrously long copyright only benefits companies and the very richest of artists. Sure someone might pay JK Rowling more for Harry Potter right knowing they're going to last another 75 years or whatever, but I doubt anyone gives a toss about even Dan Brown's copyright lasting longer than his life. The Da Vinci Code is almost on the edge of obscurity now, whose going to care in 22nd century?

And if Dan Brown can't get extra money for the ridiculous copyright then why would the 99% of other creative people? These ridiculous copyrights don't help people who make art, they help companies stay rich off other people making art.
 

WaltIsFrozen

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LysanderNemoinis said:
Though it's funny that despite politics being "beyond the scope of this website," The Escapist is always utterly liberal, and with this new column, is pretty much saying, "Hey look, we're so left-wing it hurts!"
The Escapist employs interesting writers who are passionate about their subjects and have strong points-of-view. If you disagree with them in any way, The Escapist provides you a forum to air those grievances. Yet, you still whine because they aren't adhering to a platonic ideal of ideological diversity. As if conservative views should be beneficiaries of some sort of editorial affirmative action simply because you might disagree with what you've read. If you're hurting so much for a conservative take on geek news, nothing is stopping you from doing it yourself.
 

Gerardo Vazquez

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LysanderNemoinis said:
And I don't even care about American comics at all, seeing as how I think manga is much superior.
That single line of dialogue was probably more controversial than this entire article.
 

WaltIsFrozen

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Gerardo Vazquez said:
LysanderNemoinis said:
And I don't even care about American comics at all, seeing as how I think manga is much superior.
That single line of dialogue was probably more controversial than this entire article.
I think this is the geek equivalent of "Sigh. I don't even OWN a television."
 

LysanderNemoinis

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WaltIsFrozen said:
As if conservative views should be beneficiaries of some sort of editorial affirmative action simply because you might disagree with what you've read.
Why not? Every other minority gets affirmative action because they're a minority. And seriously, one has to admit that when it comes to all media, conservatives are outnumbered about 100-1, especially in entertainment where actually holding a conservative viewpoint is liable to get you blacklisted from Hollywood.
 

RossaLincoln

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BrotherRool said:
shirkbot said:
BrotherRool said:
I'm broadly against large inheritances in all areas. It's very human to want your own family to be well provided for, instead of providing for everyone, but that doesn't make it right. It's not just a creative thing. It's kind of scary in the US just how powerful political dynasties have often been and business owners handing over their businesses to their children isn't just unfair, but often terrible for the business.

On the other hand, I'm not going to sleep badly if friggin' Disney has to pay some people some money for once.
I'm similarly against large inheritances, but in this instance I'm more frustrated that this is even a legal case. These characters are still popular, they are still making money, but they are 50 years old and I want that copyright to expire.

That said, I know my stance is the least likely to gain ground, so I'll take solace in a megacorp paying an under-appreciated artist's family.
Oh yeah hugely so. I can stand 'within the artists lifetime' but the idea that copyright carries on, potentially half a century after death and that corporations can retain their copyright for generations and generations...

I understand that copyright is important so that artists get paid for their work, but ludicrously long copyright only benefits companies and the very richest of artists. Sure someone might pay JK Rowling more for Harry Potter right knowing they're going to last another 75 years or whatever, but I doubt anyone gives a toss about even Dan Brown's copyright lasting longer than his life. The Da Vinci Code is almost on the edge of obscurity now, whose going to care in 22nd century?

And if Dan Brown can't get extra money for the ridiculous copyright then why would the 99% of other creative people? These ridiculous copyrights don't help people who make art, they help companies stay rich off other people making art.
This is immaterial to the situation as it exists though. I agree that copyright lasts too long. But the law is the law, so if people who didn't do anything to create something can own the copyright in near perpetuity, what's wrong with the estate of the creator - as allowed by the same law, incidentally - trying to get some fairness? If you think no one should own these characters today, fine, but you have to know that isn't going to happen, right?

And again, it's the principle that matters here. There are more issues at stake than the length of copyright. This case isn't arguing that copyright should be shorter, it's arguing that people shouldn't get screwed so easily out of copyright. Different conversation.
 

BrotherRool

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RossaLincoln said:
This is immaterial to the situation as it exists though. I agree that copyright lasts too long. But the law is the law, so if people who didn't do anything to create something can own the copyright in near perpetuity, what's wrong with the estate of the creator - as allowed by the same law, incidentally - trying to get some fairness? If you think no one should own these characters today, fine, but you have to know that isn't going to happen, right?

And again, it's the principle that matters here. There are more issues at stake than the length of copyright. This case isn't arguing that copyright should be shorter, it's arguing that people shouldn't get screwed so easily out of copyright. Different conversation.
I basically agree, I was just responding to a tangent more than reflecting on the actual situation here. In principle I would like the laws to be hugely different, but if they're not Kirby's family are just as suitable (or better) recipients than some monolith corporation. And I also get that it is fair that artists get acknowledged more for their rights to their creations, particularly someone like Kirby who was so influential and in a position outside the company where he's very justified in having those rights.

This isn't a problem that just affects creative types though. Engineers, scientists and programmers are in situations where they frequently find their work being taken out of their hands unfairly. I think it's almost routine now for software companies to make their employees sign contracts where the company not only owns all the ideas they create working for the company, but also any ideas that the employees have in their freetime. Corporations own their employees brains.
 

JPArbiter

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RossaLincoln said:
JPArbiter said:
One of my points here in this piece is that so far, the courts insist the Kirbys don't even have the right to bring the case under the law. It would be a real victory if SCOTUS decides otherwise. Then of course the fun begins, and I imagine every CPA in Los Angeles is about to die of priapism just thinking about the accounting battles ahead.
back income means back taxes :p
 

WaltIsFrozen

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LysanderNemoinis said:
Why not? Every other minority gets affirmative action because they're a minority.
Uhhh...no. That's not what affirmative action is. At all. Affirmative action is an effort at righting past wrongs.

Even if affirmative action was what you think it is, the idea that (a) it should apply to political points of view or (b) conservatives are a "minority" in any substantial way is laughable. And I'm not using that word rhetorically. I am laughing at you. Your "woe is me" persecution complex and sense of entitlement are hilarious to me. Ha ha ha ha ha....

LysanderNemoinis said:
And seriously, one has to admit that when it comes to all media, conservatives are outnumbered about 100-1...
Once again, the idea that this is a problem with media and not conservatism. Maybe if there was a bigger market for conservative media, this wouldn't be an issue. After all, who are we to question the wisdom of the invisible hand of the marketplace.
 

Pyrian

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RossaLincoln said:
And again, it's the principle that matters here.
I still don't see how. You're claiming that you're for creative people retaining rights to their work. But what you're actually arguing for is non-creative people taking money away from a company that does create. So, your principle had better be good, because the direct result is in diametric opposition. You claim that this principle will help other creatives, but I don't see any such mechanism, since what we're actually discussing is the interpretation of a poorly written contract several decades (and laws) prior, and not any fundamental changes to how contracts can or will be written. The standard, decades-old boilerplate by which a company nails down its ownership of the material it commissions is in no way impacted by this ruling.
 

LysanderNemoinis

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WaltIsFrozen said:
LysanderNemoinis said:
Why not? Every other minority gets affirmative action because they're a minority.
Uhhh...no. That's not what affirmative action is. At all. Affirmative action is an effort at righting past wrongs.

Even if affirmative action was what you think it is, the idea that (a) it should apply to political points of view or (b) conservatives are a "minority" in any substantial way is laughable. And I'm not using that word rhetorically. I am laughing at you. Your "woe is me" persecution complex and sense of entitlement are hilarious to me. Ha ha ha ha ha....

LysanderNemoinis said:
And seriously, one has to admit that when it comes to all media, conservatives are outnumbered about 100-1...
Once again, the idea that this is a problem with media and not conservatism. Maybe if there was a bigger market for conservative media, this wouldn't be an issue. After all, who are we to question the wisdom of the invisible hand of the marketplace.

My mentioning of affirmative action was mostly in jest, and given my politics, I'd think that would be a given. Just because something bad to people who share a similarity with you, it doesn't entitle you to special treatment. That's a "woe is me" attitude.

As for the invisible hand of the marketplace, that's proven every time the rare movie with a moderately conservative or religious message is released, and it makes an assload of cash whereas a movie really pushing liberal politics doesn't do so well. Compare Son of God with Noah, for instance. And the same with ratings for Fox and MSNBC or CNN. And talk radio? It's not even a contest. If Comcast wanted better ratings, they'd put some conservatives on MSNBC, but they don't want to because of politics, pure and simple. Same with Hollywood. The market is there, but the media is totally in the bag for one side of the political aisle. But like I said before, your side is going to win, without a doubt. Like the song says, "Come on, get happy". In about twenty years, there will only be one political party, and you'll have your way all day, every day, so chill.
 

lastjustice

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Did Jack Kirby get screwed? .. Absolutely. He is an unfortunate casualty of greedy tactics of an industry that was first really taking off at the time. Legally he was dead in the water. He was a poor businessman, but a brilliant artist. Just because I happen love his work doesn't mean I should demand his children and grandchildren just get money from marvel for past sins. If Marvel really wanted be classy, they should given him some sort of golden parachute ages ago when he was alive. They opted not to do so, and if that is their choice for cutthroat business men with in it uphold their right be what they are, then so be it. They legally don't owe Kirby jack! (even if they owe a great deal to him creatively, this isn't morale court. Karma be damned.)

So what are is heirs really fighting for? Jack has been dead for 20 years, and if they haven't figured out how keep their lives going since then, then they just suck at life. Just seems like now that Disney has given marvel even deeper pockets, they really want to keep the fight alive. They can have frivolous law suits if they choose, but in the end I don't see them getting anywhere and doing nothing but wasting tons of people's time and money. I'm not going stop being a marvel fan just because it happens have some skeletons in it's closet. Especially considering DC basically killed one of it's competitors in court, Fawcett comics thru litigation and attempted copyright Superheroes to stop anyone else form getting in on the action (comics.) Every thing if it's been around long enough has a dark under belly you'd rather not see.
 

RossaLincoln

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Pyrian said:
RossaLincoln said:
And again, it's the principle that matters here.
I still don't see how. You're claiming that you're for creative people retaining rights to their work. But what you're actually arguing for is non-creative people taking money away from a company that does create. So, your principle had better be good, because the direct result is in diametric opposition. You claim that this principle will help other creatives, but I don't see any such mechanism, since what we're actually discussing is the interpretation of a poorly written contract several decades (and laws) prior, and not any fundamental changes to how contracts can or will be written. The standard, decades-old boilerplate by which a company nails down its ownership of the material it commissions is in no way impacted by this ruling.
The entire point of my article was about how this case has bigger ramifications, and that it doesn't matter what you or I think of the Kirbys. This case is solid on the merits.
 

RossaLincoln

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lastjustice said:
So what are his heirs really fighting for?
See the last section of page 1, half of page 2, all of page 3.


lastjustice said:
I'm not going stop being a marvel fan just because it happens have some skeletons in it's closet. Especially considering DC basically killed one of it's competitors in court, Fawcett comics thru litigation and attempted copyright Superheroes to stop anyone else form getting in on the action (comics.) Every thing if it's been around long enough has a dark under belly you'd rather not see.
I'm not asking that you stop. Heck, I'm a Marvel fan. This issue is about arresting bad, unfair, con artisty-worker scamming practices and reversing court rulings that actually make things worse for contractors of all stripes, not whether we have to stop reading Marvel comics or going to see the movies. That said, it's best to deal with, and purge, skeletons in closets rather than pretend they never happen. He who forgets the past and all that.

I will add, and I'm sorry for repeating myself from an earlier comment, that a judgment in favor of the Kirby estate is not likely to cause the sudden end of the MCU. There will be serious and lengthy questions about who owns how much of what. And remember, Stan Lee is credited as co-creator on those characters, so Marvel does have *some* ownership rights. Just not ALL of them.
 

WaltIsFrozen

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LysanderNemoinis said:
As for the invisible hand of the marketplace, that's proven every time the rare movie with a moderately conservative or religious message is released, and it makes an assload of cash whereas a movie really pushing liberal politics doesn't do so well. Compare Son of God with Noah, for instance.
Which one of these is supposed to be the conservative movie that proves your point? Because "Son of God" hasn't even come close to "Noah" in terms of box office and the highest-grossing film of the year "Captain America : The Winter Soldier" got a lot of flack from conservatives for its liberal themes.

LysanderNemoinis said:
If Comcast wanted better ratings, they'd put some conservatives on MSNBC, but they don't want to because of politics, pure and simple.
MSNBC doesn't give a shit about liberalism beyond simply counter-programming to Fox News. Their morning anchor is a conservative former Congressman and they've twice (!) cancelled their highest-rated and most liberal show for ruffling the feathers of the powers-that-be.
 

LysanderNemoinis

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WaltIsFrozen said:
MSNBC doesn't give a shit about liberalism beyond simply counter-programming to Fox News. Their morning anchor is a conservative former Congressman and they've twice (!) cancelled their highest-rated and most liberal show for ruffling the feathers of the powers-that-be.
If you're talking about Joe Scarborough, then I think it might be my turn to laugh at you, because he's about as conservative as I am liberal. Sure, he might have been more right of center back in the day, but he's long since switched sides. I'm sad to say I've watched their morning show if only to see what the other side says, and trust me, he's liberal through and through.
 

lastjustice

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RossaLincoln said:
lastjustice said:
So what are his heirs really fighting for?
See the last section of page 1, half of page 2, all of page 3.
That's what is called a Rhetorical question, you're not supposed to answer those heh. (remembers a time at work when a "special" guy that works as a cart guy screwed up and guy chewed out over the walk by a manager..... "How many times do I have to tell you to clean all the garbage out of the carts?....." Says the manager.... "special guy replies to the Rhetorical question. "A couple more!" Manager has his logical center of his brain implode "You argh...just get back to work!" Lastjustice dies laughing listening, and promptly looks busy since he a viable target if the manager were find a more favorable person tee off on with his frustration.)



RossaLincoln said:
lastjustice said:
I'm not going stop being a marvel fan just because it happens have some skeletons in it's closet. Especially considering DC basically killed one of it's competitors in court, Fawcett comics thru litigation and attempted copyright Superheroes to stop anyone else form getting in on the action (comics.) Every thing if it's been around long enough has a dark under belly you'd rather not see.
I'm not asking that you stop. Heck, I'm a Marvel fan. This issue is about arresting bad, unfair, con artisty-worker scamming practices and reversing court rulings that actually make things worse for contractors of all stripes, not whether we have to stop reading Marvel comics or going to see the movies. That said, it's best to deal with, and purge, skeletons in closets rather than pretend they never happen. He who forgets the past and all that.

I will add, and I'm sorry for repeating myself from an earlier comment, that a judgment in favor of the Kirby estate is not likely to cause the sudden end of the MCU. There will be serious and lengthy questions about who owns how much of what. And remember, Stan Lee is credited as co-creator on those characters, so Marvel does have *some* ownership rights. Just not ALL of them.
Yeah but those people who screwed Jack Kirby probably don't even work for Marvel anymore. Heck some of them are probably dead. How far are we letting this go before we just are like "enough time has passed...get over it."? None of the original players are left on the field besides Stan Lee who is largely removed from the situation at this point. This just again let's make a morale point because we want money not because people we are punishing were ones who directly screwed Kirby or people getting the money were ones who busted their asses make the company run.

As someone who busts my ass, and gives more than my due regularly I get the frustration of working for peanuts, but I agreed to work for it time being. I wish they'd stop just saying how much they appreciate and do as Cuba Gooding Jr.'s character in Jerry Mcquire, SHOW ME THE MONEY! My kids aren't going come back in 50 years and sue Sam's club because my greatness was given to them for way too little. I was the chump who sold it for what I did, and it's my fault for not demanding more and staying there. I like what I do, I just wish they paid me a more respectable wage for it. Being underappreciated and hardworking seems be the blood huge ass companies function on. I think there's more wrong with the collective planet than Marvel comics on their willingness to enslave others for something that really doesn't exist. (money is just an imaginary score assigned to everything, and only holds value as long as the collective people of the world say it does. It's an agreed upon lie.) In a perfect world people get their due and not have make bulletproof contracts to make sure greedy heads of companies give what they are truly worth as the life blood of their company. That isn't the world we live in, and so if you really want make sure you won't get screw, get a lawyer and have it in writing when it comes to money before you sign jack.