In Marvel Characters, Inc., et. al. v. Lisa Kirby, et. al., 2013 WL 4016875 (11-3333-cv), a case closely watched in the comic book industry and more generally among artists and publishers, the Second Circuit affirmed the district court decision that Marvel owns artwork created by famed comic book artist Jack Kirby under the work made for hire doctrine in copyright law. In interpreting the 1909 Copyright Act, the Court found that the drawings were works made for hire because they were created at the “instance and expense” of Marvel, which induced Kirby in the creation of the works and Marvel had the right to direct and supervise the manner in which Kirby carried out the work. The analysis of the Marvel decision was first published in the Fall 2013 edition of the Federal Bar Council Quarterly, Vol. XXI, No. 1.
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