Marvel Comics and Creator Settle Lawsuit over Ownership to “Ghost Rider”

Following a long battle with as many twists and turns as a comic book storyline, Marvel Comics and the original creator of “Ghost Rider” have settled a lawsuit concerning ownership to the iconic anti-superhero.  While details of the settlement are slim, it is believed that Marvel shall retain all rights to the flame skulled motorcycle rider.
GhostriderIn a 2011 ruling, the district court granted summary judgment for Marvel, finding that Friedrich had handed over to Marvel any rights he had in the comic in a 1978 contract. However, in its recent decision, the Second Circuit found it unclear whether the contract even included Ghost Rider, which was created years earlier. Further, the appeals court could not find clear intent to specifically include the renewal rights. The 1976 Copyright Act gives authors a right to renew the copyright upon expiration, regardless of whether they have transferred or assigned their rights during the original copyright term.
The parties reported to the District Court that the lawsuit has been settled in full.   The court gave the parties until October 14th to hammer out the final settlement agreement.  While there are no details about any money exchanging hands, Marvel is expected to retain full rights to the character and will be free to exploit it in further movies….hopefully without Nic Cage.