The Siegel vs. DC Comics legal battle is one I've followed since the beginning. I've written about it more than once on this blog. I wrote about it back in law school around the time that the Siegels first filed their VALID Termination of Transfer of Copyright. I have been on their side in this affair, even while recognizing that they were likely fighting a losing battle. However, as with any ongoing litigation with back-and-forth suits and counter-suits and cross-claims and more, there were facts which the public has not been aware. Worse, there have apparently been potentially libelous, outright lies, thefts, breaches of confidences, and more also being spread throughout the various media outlets.
This is not uncommon in a case like this that is worth untold billions of dollars in the long run. There is a reason why corporate hack attorneys like those working for Warner Brothers on this case get the salaries they get -- they win. And they will screw anyone over to be the one who wins it. So, I stand guilty of allowing myself to get caught up in their lies and buy into the info they have quietly spread around for years and now recently quite blatantly (after poisoning the well out there) concerning the Siegel's attorney Marc Toberoff.
I admit, I should never have believed the Corporate snakes who characterized him as a hustler out there trying to wrest a controlling interest over the Superman copyright from the Siegels and advising them against accepting reasonable settlement offers.
Now that Jerry and Joanne Siegel's daughter, Laura, is speaking out publicly, we have a voice out there that is real and not buried under corporate double-speak obfuscation. We now know what has really been going on, and we know that it is flat-out untrue that (1) the settlement offer was reasonable, and (2) that Toberoff was the reason for the rejection. In fact, the settlement offer was rejected before Toberoff was involved in the case.
The only thing apparently true in terms of the Warner Bros characterization of Toberoff over the years is that he is working this case on a contingency. The reality is that nobody other than an equally Brobdingnagian corporation would be able to financially mount a challenge like this unless it was on a contingency. WB has already spent tens of millions of dollars and I am sure they are prepared to spend tens of millions more because the fear of losing billions (and a stream of pink notices for their staff lawyers) is more terrifying to them than burning in Hell for eternity.
I know one thing for sure, I trust the words of the "real" people involved in a case anytime over the measured and controlled automatons in suits and ties that scurry out of the Corporate antpile. I trust them less than politicians.
Below is Laura's letter in full and without edit.