Fox Tries To Kill Watchmen
from the thank-you-intellectual-property... dept
To be honest, the whole concept of selling off exclusive rights to a story idea for a movie never made that much sense. If multiple studios want to make multiple movies out of the same concept, why shouldn't that be allowed, letting the best movie win in the marketplace? If the original content creators feel strongly about a vision, then they can sign up to work with one particular studio to make sure the movie is more true to life -- but it shouldn't require "exclusive" rights. In fact, we've already seen this in practice. Technically, no one can copyright a true news story -- so movie studios have no exclusive rights to making a movie out of a news story. Yet, they will often still buy the rights -- without it being legally necessary. There are a few reasons why: it signals to others that you're making a movie on the topic and it often comes with ties to those close to the original story to get them involved in the project. Why aren't the same things done with adaptations?
We've seen a few authors recognize this. Jonathan Lethem freed up his latest book for anyone to make a movie out of it -- so long as they promised to put the movie into the public domain five years after it was completed. And then there's Paulo Coelho, who freed up one of his books and told fans to make their own movies about parts of it -- which he would stitch together into a larger movie. If Fox really wanted to make a Watchmen movie, it should have done so. It shouldn't now prevent someone else from doing so -- or, even worse, get a cut of the action for doing nothing.