Daddy Todd wrote:
why do some suppose there's a MORAL requirement?
Probably because there was an angry protest by a few authors when those first IDW omnibus reprints of DC and Marvel material came out. I think they had been paid for the old DC trade reprints but not the IDW reprints.
But yes, it all hinges on the wording of the original contracts and John Ordover
discovered, IIRC, that neither LA Times Syndicate nor Paramount had file copies of all the contracts signed by the many writers and illustrators of the post-TMP comic strips - and neither most of the creators. A red tape nightmare.