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October 2012

Epic Copyright Battle Between Superman Heirs and Warner Bros

What would it be like if you had to fight Superman?  You may be thinking, "Superman is the hero, so why would he fight me?"  Work with us for a minute.  After all, when the concept of "Superman" was first developed, he was a villain and not a hero.  Superman_Man_of_Steel_125

Imagine for a moment going mano-a-mano against the Man of Steel.  Just regular, mortal you against a brightly-garbed warrior who has super-strength, can fly, is faster than a speeding bullet, and has only one weakness.  It doesn't sound like much fun.  It would seem rather hopeless ... unless you had some Kryptonite in your back pocket.

The heirs of the two co-creators of the legendary comic book hero must feel just as hopeless at times in their fight over what they feel is "truth, justice and the American way."  They have been battling the powerful media conglomerates, Warner Bros. and DC Comics, for many years in a series of (seemingly) never-ending lawsuits.  The heirs claim entitlement to full ownership of the Superman copyrights.

Warner Bros. and DC Comics say the heirs never owned the rights and the two corporations have nothing wrong.  Their position is that even if the heirs did have valid claims at one time, the heirs agreed to let Warner and DC keep the copyrights in exchange for increased royalty payments and other compensation.

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Whitney Houston's Family Doesn't Trust Bobbi Kristina's Ability To Handle Money

Whitney Houston’s mother, Cissy Houston, and sister-in-law, Marion Houston, filed a request in court to change the terms of Whitney Houston’s will.  They want to delay when Bobbi Kristina receives her inheritance in order to protect her.   Whitney_Houston_performing_on_GMA_2009_51

The will created a “testamentary trust” for Bobbi Kristina.  What is a testamentary trust?  It’s when a will calls for money to be held in trust for one or more beneficiaries, usually so they can receive money spaced out over time instead of all at once.  It’s far from perfect, as we discuss in this article, because a testamentary trust does not avoid probate, which can be expensive, messy and very public.

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