Stan Lee Media just sued Disney for $5.5 billion (Gulp!)

Stan Lee Media Inc. is at it again. First, they wanted all the cash from the box-office flop Conan, and now they're going for, well ... basically everything else Stan Lee has ever created.

Stan Lee Media Inc. believes that they own the rights to all Stan Lee creations. As such, they feel they should receive profit from Spider-Man, Iron Man, X-Men, and the bulk of the Avengers. That's a lot of comic cash, but do they have any actual right to it?

The most notable thing about Stan Lee Media Inc. is that Stan Lee has had nothing to do with them for a long time. In fact, it is only through his supposedly selling the rights to all his characters back in the '90s in exchange for shares in SLMI that this suit is even taking place.

SLMI filed for bankruptcy after the dot-com bubble burst. Do they still retain the rights they once supposedly had?

Disney obviously doesn't think so. Stan Lee signed over the rights to his characters to Marvel Enterprises, and Marvel is owned lock-stock by the House of Mouse. From where they stand, it's game, set and match.

They're probably right. And regardless of what SLMI is or is not entitled to, they don't have the kind of capital to do battle with one of the biggest corporations in American history.

All this begs a much larger question, though—does anyone care about the artists and their families who were instrumental in creating these characters?

(via Deadline)

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