Why Should Heirs Control How Content Is Used?
from the it's-a-good-question dept
Just a week after the NY Times ran a poorly thought-out opinion piece suggesting that copyright should be infinite, we find in the NY Times a pretty good example of some of the ridiculous situations caused by heirs owning the copyrights to works they had no hand in creating. That ownership subsequently gives the heirs artistic control over new productions and interpretations of the works, allowing them the power to demand changes to derivative works, or even forbid them. A rather successful play in France is being shut down, after the brother of playwright demanded it be stopped because one of the actors wasn’t Algerian (for an Algerian character). The article explores this quirk of copyright law, and questions why someone who really has nothing to do with an artistic work should be allowed to make such demands at all. It’s one thing to make the claim that heirs deserve compensation, but to then give them artistic control over derivative works of a work they had nothing to do with seems to go against the entire reason of copyright law.