Marc Toberoff

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Marc Toberoff is an intellectual property attorney specializing in copyright and entertainment litigation, and a staunch advocate of creator’s rights.

He is best known for representing the estates of Superman’s co-creators, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, in ongoing litigation with Warner Bros. and DC Comics over the original copyrights to Superman.[1] The lawsuit has become a seminal case regarding the Copyright Act’s termination provisions which permit authors and their estates to recover their copyrights after lengthy time periods. In 2008, Toberoff secured a favorable ruling in the U. S. District Court for the Central District of California. (“After seventy years, Jerome Siegel's heirs regain what he granted so long ago-the copyright in the Superman material that was published in Action Comics, Vol. 1.”).[2][3] In 2013, after a part of that decision was reversed on appeal, final judgment was entered upholding the heirs’ termination as to Siegel and Shuster’s original Superman story and other early works.

Toberoff also represents the estate of comic book artist/creator Jack Kirby in litigation with Marvel Entertainment regarding the copyrights to Kirby’s co-creations, including The Fantastic Four, X-Men, The Incredible Hulk, The Mighty Thor and The Silver Surfer.[4][5] A petition for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court is currently pending.[6]

In the music industry, Toberoff represents, among others, the children of Ray Charles. On their behalf, Toberoff prevailed in a suit in the Central District of California regarding the copyrights to fifty-one of his songs, including many of his most famous compositions (e.g., I Got A Woman, It’s All Right, Hallelujah I Love Her So).[7][8][9] The case is currently on appeal. Toberoff also represents most of the children of James Brown regarding his copyrights.

Toberoff has been recognized by Forbes Magazine,[10] The Hollywood Reporter,[11] Variety Magazine,[12] and the Los Angeles Business Journal[13] as among the most influential intellectual property attorneys in the entertainment industry.

In 2008, Toberoff convinced the Ninth Circuit to affirm the copyrights of the daughter of Eric Knight in his novel Lassie Come-Home, a case that has helped shape authors’ rights under the Copyright Act.[14][15] In 2005, Toberoff secured a preliminary injunction against Warner Bros’ release of its The Dukes of Hazzard movie on behalf of the owners of the indie film, Moonrunners, from which The Dukes of Hazzard television series was derived.[16] Toberoff has also been active representing writers/creators in the television industry.[17]

Toberoff is a frequent lecturer on creators’ rights and copyright law, and has lectured at Harvard Law School, UCLA’s Entertainment Law Symposium, USC Gould School of Law, and the American Bar Association’s Forum on the Entertainment & Sports Industries, among others. Toberoff is a graduate of Columbia University’s School of Law. Toberoff is also a credited producer or executive producer of a number of feature motion pictures including I Spy, Piranha 3D and Bottle Shock.[18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Warner vexed by legal Man of Steel | Variety". variety.com. Retrieved 2014-04-29. 
  2. ^ "The New York Times". nytimes.com. Retrieved 2014-04-29. 
  3. ^ Siegel v. Warner Bros. Entm't Inc., 542 F. Supp. 2d 1098, 1145 (C.D. Cal. 2008)
  4. ^ "The New York Times". nytimes.com. Retrieved 2014-04-29. 
  5. ^ "Jack Kirby, the abandoned hero of Marvel’s grand Hollywood adventure, and his family’s quest [updated] | Hero Complex – movies, comics, pop culture – Los Angeles Times". herocomplex.latimes.com. Retrieved 2014-04-29. 
  6. ^ http://www-deadline-com.vimg.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/KIRBY-HEIRS-SCOTUS-PETITION-MARVEL-DISNEY-WM__140403023608.pdf
  7. ^ "Court Rules For Ray Charles Children In Copyright Lawsuit (Updated) | Billboard". billboard.com. Retrieved 2014-04-29. 
  8. ^ The Ray Charles Foundation, Inc. v. Raenee Robinson et al., 919 F.Supp.2d 1054 (C.D. Cal. 2013).
  9. ^ "In Dispute Over Ray Charles Songs, Family Gains Victory in Court". nytimes.com. Retrieved 2014-05-08. 
  10. ^ "Nikki Finke Picks The Seven Most Powerful People In Hollywood - Forbes". forbes.com. Retrieved 2014-04-29. 
  11. ^ "Marc Toberoff - The Hollywood Reporter". hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved 2014-04-29. ; “Power Lawyers 2011,” The Hollywood Reporter, July 13, 2011
  12. ^ "Dealmakers: Lawyers | Variety". variety.com. Retrieved 2014-05-01. 
  13. ^ http://www.labusinessjournal.com/accounts/login/?next=/news/2010/oct/11/whos-who-law-marc-toberoff/ (subscription required)
  14. ^ Classic Media, Inc. v. Mewborn, 532 F.3d 978 (9th Cir. 2008)
  15. ^ "Recent movie-related U.S. copyright battles: Lassie," The Globe and Mail, July 26, 2011.
  16. ^ "Warners ponies up ‘Hazzard’ pay | Variety". variety.com. Retrieved 2014-04-29. 
  17. ^ Bernard Weinraub, "'Wild West' Showdown for Early TV Writers; Lawsuit Seeks Royalties for 60's Series," New York Times, July 8, 1999. nytimes.com. Retrieved 2014-04-29.
  18. ^ "Marc Toberoff - IMDb". imdb.com. Retrieved 2014-04-29. 

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