After Disney (Marvel) bought Fox I asked a question on whether Marvel own the rights to certain DC characters and someone posted this picture to represent all the characters Marvel (now) has access to.

After a while I noticed long before Fox was sold to Disney that characters such as the X-Men, Wolverine, Sabretooth (pictured below) along Sony Pictures characters such as Venom, Doctor Octopus were frequently used in the cartoon show 'Ultimate Spider-Man (TV series)".

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After some research I found the creators of the cartoon are Marvel and the distributors are Disney; Wouldn't they be infringing copyright laws using these characters ?

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1 Answer 1


If you look at the top of that chart, you'll see it refers specifically to Live Action rights. Animation rights are negotiated separately. For precisely these kinds of situations, Marvel Entertainment is structured into a few dozen subdivisions so that different legal entities can produce different kinds of media using the same characters.

Generally speaking, Marvel Films International produces theatrical films, Marvel Television produces shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Inhumans, Marvel Animation produces the cartoons, Marvel Worldwide publishes the comic books, with a score of other companies holding rights for foreign market, Internet content, etc.

So when a company like Sony wants to make a Spider-Man movie, they license rights specifically for that purpose. They cannot make cartoons or TV shows based on that property without purchasing further rights from the license holders, and there's usually nothing preventing the owner from selling those rights to another studio.

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