DC Kills Superman (Again)
Some in Metropolis will use eBay for evil—like selling one’s wife*—but in the heart of the heart of the city, a charitable and well-intentioned soul battles two great forces at once: cancer and DC Comics.
Superman fanboy Thomas Denton, blogger and charitable eBayer, was so grateful for the help his family received from Candlelighters during his young nephew’s bout with cancer, he enlisted a team of comic artists willing to donate their artwork, some of which featured depictions of Superman. We’ll call them Superfriends, just to be snide toward Warner Brothers, DC’s parent company.
Denton set up auctions via eBay’s charitable auction channel to sell the Superfriends’ artwork, all proceeds, minus eBay’s fees**, to be forwarded to Candlelighters. But all was not well. A team of WB lawyers crashed through the skylight and forced eBay to pull the auctions, citing copyright and trademark violations.
DC owns Superman, they said, and Superman’s not allowed to help unapproved cancer patients, not even kids. (Cue dramatic villain music, and raucous, menacing laughter.)
Denton acknowledged his mistake despite being "heartbroken," and refused to play the victim. He asked that concerned Metropolis citizens still donate to Candlelighters. DC wasn’t completely devoid of sympathy and "made a exemption" [sic] for one of the listed items—you know, just to show they’re not complete ungrammatical jerks. Denton will still have to foot the fees for the auctions not reinstated.
This story has an even sadder end than that. Denton blogs he will be shutting down his Superman fan site. "I’ve sort of lost my enthusiasm for promoting WB’s products," he said. All because WB (and other corporations these days) can’t keep its lawyers on a tighter leash.
Can anything save Thomas’s love of Superman? Is it too late for the Candlelighters? Will Metropolis ever be out of the iron grip of the overly litigious?
Citizens of Metropolis, without Superman it’s up to you, and Denton has nine other auctions running at eBay, with a day left to bid.
*If in fact she is, as her jilted hubby claims, a "cheating, lying, adulterous slag of a wife," selling a person is pretty much illegal (and wrong) everywhere, especially on eBay, million dollar bids aside.
**No good deed goes unpunished, eh?