Dvorak: Smart on Software, STUPID on Comics

Today's Dvorak Uncensored discusses whether or not Disney got screwed on its recent purchase of Marvel:

As we’ve all heard by now, Disney bought Marvel for about 4 billion dollars. At first blush it seems like a deal made in heaven. Disney makes movies and superhero movies are hot right now.

However, due to prior contracts Marvel had with other movie studios, Disney is essentially unable to make any Marvel superhero movies for a very long time, maybe even forever.

...DVORAK! Dude, what the fuck? How can you be so stupid?

Comparing this to the Ebay deal for Skype is misguided at best. This isn't like software licensing or ownership - there's no outside copyright interest in this deal. Marvel has made a business out of owning creator's rights to any and all properties created for Marvel. This is very well known, and was the very reason Image was created.

Sure, as you note, the other studios get to make the movies. So what?

Now, Disney gets the liscensing and royalty fees, the profits from sales of merchandising, and full market share on increased interest in source material (the actual comics and graphic novels). Plus, it gets the jump on new graphic novel source material (now that graphic novels are essentially Hollywood's brand new darling and are being written almost as storyboards for movies, look for Marvel to launch a "Vertigo-like" imprint in earnest, much like it had Epic back in the late 80's - early 90's).

You're a smart dude. But on this, you made a very dumb leap, assuming software liscensing is anything even remotely like likeness, trademark and character ownership.