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Marvel Characters, Inc. v. Kirby

726 F.3d 119 (2013)

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Marvel Characters, Inc. v. Kirby

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

726 F.3d 119 (2013)

Facts

Jack Kirby was a freelance comic-book artist. During Jack’s multi-decade career, a majority of his work was done for Marvel Comics (plaintiff). In 2009, after Jack passed, his children (the Kirbys) (defendants) sent Marvel termination notices, claiming to exercise statutory termination rights under Section 304(c)(2) of the Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. § 304, with respect to works Jack created for Marvel. Marvel filed suit, seeking a declaration that the Kirbys did not have termination rights under Section 304(c)(2) because the works were considered made for hire. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of Marvel, holding that the works were made for hire as a matter of law and thus the termination notices were ineffective. The Kirbys appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Sack, J.)

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