The family of Steve Ditko has filed a lawsuit Marvel and Disney. This is a copyright battle over the termination of copyright for both Spider-Man and Doctor Strange. These characters were originally drawn for some considerable time and co-created by Steve Ditko. This was filed with the US Copyright office on August 26th.
The 1976 Copyright Act allows creators or their heirs to terminate a copyright after 56 year. If the court finds in favor of Ditko’s family, the copyright would end in 2023 for both characters.
In the past, the courts have ruled that the comic creators were “work for hire” and ruled against the comic creators. The Jack Kirby Estate filed 45 different copyright terminations but always denied. After the ruling, Marvel did settle with the Kirby family on their own.