Should Superhero Superpowers Be Considered Property?

from the the-debate-is-on dept

We've had many, many debates around here over the question of whether or not "intellectual property" is actually property. So it seems like many of you might enjoy this article, sent in by johnjac, where some attorneys with way too much free time on their hands discuss whether or not superpowers possessed by super heroes should be considered property or not. I will give you just this short snippet as a taste, which I assume will make you rush over to read the whole thing:
If Superman uses the power of a blue sun to bestow superpowers on another person, is that a taxable asset transfer?  Who would want to try to collect?

If two superheroes marry, share a power, then later divorce, could one be forced to give up the power during the division of assets?  Does it matter who had the power originally?  Even though the shared power may be a non-rival good, one of the two superheroes may still have a claim to exclusivity.  Perhaps the power is a trademark ability of one character, or maybe they signed a superhero pre-nuptial agreement that determined the disposition of any shared abilities.

If one superhero lends a power to another (or to a normal person), does that superhero have an implied right to its return?  In other words, is a bailment created?  I think the answer here is yes.
Enjoy.

Filed Under: copyright, intellectual property, law, property, superheroes, superpowers


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  1. identicon
    Don, 12 Dec 2010 @ 12:59pm

    It worked for obama so it should work for you also.

    If Superman uses the power of a blue sun to bestow superpowers on another person, is that a taxable asset transfer? Who would want to try to collect?

    This would be the same if you loaned a car to some one, they use it to get to work, then YES that would be taxable.

    Just having the super powers would not be taxable as there would be no way to prove the powers were given. But once those powers were manifested into “work” that causes increase of holdings, then that increase could be taxed.

    However if you used those super powers “loaned to you” to save children, and smash bank robbers, where you have no personal increase then there is nothing to tax.


    It would be best to consult an attorney and set up a not for profit corporation where your assets and increase made by your “loaned” super powers can be placed and there by sheltered.

    You could also start a PAC corporation, funded with untold billions, get yourself elected and make your own laws where people with super power are exempt from taxation. It worked for obama so it should work for you also.


    Don

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