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Last Updated: Saturday, 17 July, 2004, 13:46 GMT 14:46 UK
Marvel sues Disney over royalties
Spider-Man 2
Spider-Man was also created into two successful films by Sony
Comic book giant Marvel is suing the Walt Disney Company for $54.8m (29.3m) in a row over TV royalties.

Marvel says it is owed for royalties generated by made-for-TV episodes of Spider-Man, X-Men and The Incredible Hulk on Disney's ABC Family channel.

The comic company claims Disney has not kept accurate records of royalties due under inherited agreements made before Disney acquired Family in 2001.

Disney said they had not yet seen the filed papers so could not comment.

Episodes of the three shows were made in the late 1990s, with Disney inheriting the right to air them and sell them on home video and to foreign markets, Marvel said.


The comic company says it is owed millions of dollars in royalties, including from the licensing of music associated with the shows.

Marvel also said Disney did not market the programmes aggressively enough, given the renewed interest in the three titles since they have been made into blockbuster films by other studios.

"Indeed, although Disney is the heir to these important rights, it has treated these profitable properties as second rate," Marvel stated.

"Disney's accounting statements ask Marvel to swallow as reality the tall tale that Disney has continued to lose money on the popular series and that Marvel is not entitled to any profit distribution," it added.

Marvel did however acknowledge that Disney did pay some disputed royalties when asked.

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