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Superman, Batman, and more DC characters to enter public domain creates stir on the internet – Let’s dissect what it means

Soon there will be a time when Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and other DC characters will be in public domain. 

Superman, Batman, and more DC characters to enter public domain creates stir on the internet – Let’s dissect what it means
A Still From Batman v Superman

Last Updated: 10.55 AM, Jan 19, 2024


The discussion around DC and the characters that the comic book and now the movie wing have shaped over the years is intense. And ever since James Gunn took the boss chair at the studio with Peter Safran renaming it DCU, all eyes have been glued to the updates about the new era of the Warner Bros wing that keeps coming through various mediums. For years, the superhero genre has been defined by some of the key characters of the studio and the most prominent of them all are Superman and Batman. But now, what if we tell you that both of them with some more are all set to enter the public domain soon?

What Does This Mean?

Yes, we are shocked too. From what we hear now, DCU is about to suffer a big blow as the studio will end up losing exclusive rights to its most five prominent characters from both movies and the comics. If you are confused, this is a mandate that forms from the US copyright laws. As per information available on the internet, no commercial entity can hold any properties for more than 95 years. You read that right. Even Mickey Mouse entered the public domain this year, and that created chaos. He is even considered for a horror movie at this point.

So now as Superman and Batman, with three other characters, are close to entering the public domain, we can imagine the chaos it will cause. Technically, once an IP enters the public domain, it can be used by whoever wants it in their projects without the fear of copyright violation. If these DC characters are made public, there must be many already waiting with 

Which Ones And When Do They Go Public?

There are five major characters that are set to enter the public domain from DC. The first to go is Superman because he is also a veteran in the comics. He will begin the journey in the public domain in 2034, which is even less than a decade. Below is the list of the five:

  • Superman - 2034
  • Lois - 2034
  • Batman - 2035
  • Joker - 2036
  • Wonder Woman – 2037
  • Is James Gunn Prepared Though?

    Well, considering the first movie the filmmaker chose to make us Superman: Legacy hints at him being not prepared. But the fact that he is not putting his entire strength on Clark Kent but introducing some fresh characters and even villains makes us believe there is a plan in place . And to give you a perspective, the ones that enter the public domain will be the original characters introduced during their debut. This means the studio will still have the rights for character traits introduced after that and even many trademarks that do not fall under the copyright laws.

    This means, the Bat symbol and the Superman S still stay with the studio. The fact that the Superman introduced first couldn’t fly but only jump high is also one constraint that anyone using the character from the public domain will have to work with. This means that DC and Warner Bros will still have an upper hand with these iconic characters as they will still be in control of the updated versions.

    Stay tuned to OTTplay for more on this and everything else from the world of streaming and films

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