Thursday, January 20, 2005

Court to Marvel: Pay the Man

As you've likely read by now, a federal judge ruled yesterday that Stan Lee is entitled to 10 percent of the profits that Marvel has made from film and television productions since 1998.

The decision could mean tens of millions of dollars for the 82-year-old Lee, whose lifetime contract with Marvel guarantees him $1 million a year and "participation equal to 10% of the profits derived during your life by Marvel (including subsidiaries and affiliates) from the profits of any live action or animation television or movie (including ancillary rights) productions utilizing Marvel characters."

Marvel released a statement underscoring the court's rejection of Lee's claim to a share of profits from third-party licensees of movie merchandise. Here's John Turitzin, Marvel's general counsel:
"We intend to appeal those matters on which we did not prevail and to continue to contest vigorously the claims on which the court did not rule. We do not expect this decision to have an effect on our financial guidance for 2004, 2005 or our future prospects."
At The Pulse, Tom Spurgeon takes a closer look at the 1998 lifetime contract that was at the root of this lawsuit.

At The Beat, Heidi points out that Marvel stock plunged a full point yesterday, while Lee's POW Entertainment jumped up almost 25 percent.

BBC News looks at the comic-book genius of Stan Lee.

And wins for this headline: "Stan Lee Gets Spidey Cents."