Without Copyright, Hollywood Would Never Be Incented To... Make A Bunch Of Remakes?

from the nothing-new-under-the-sun dept

We keep hearing about how the entertainment industry needs strong copyright in order to create incentives for the creation of new and original content, saying that without such things, there would be no new creative works at all. And, at the same time, we have the very same people mocking any cultural attempts to build new content by remixing and mashing up old works into something new. So I'm curious to see how those same people explain the fact that Hollywood's entire focus these days seems to be on taking old works and redoing them, rather than creating new and "unique" stories:
In fact, over the next 12 months, audiences can expect to see a new episode or version of "Planet of the Apes," “The Avengers,” “Spider-Man,” “Fright Night,” “The Great Gatsby,” “When Worlds Collide,” “RoboCop,” “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark,” “The Thing,” “Creature from the Black Lagoon,” “The Raven,” “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” “Red Dawn” and “Footloose.”

Add those to recent updated versions of “Winnie the Pooh,” “Clash of the Titans,” “Karate Kid,” “Alice in Wonderland,” “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “War of the Worlds,” “Arthur,” “Charlotte’s Web,” “The Tourist” and “A Nightmare on Elm Street.”

And deja vu happens when you turn the television on too.

This fall ABC are bringing back the 1970s series “Charlie’s Angels,” FOX is awakening “The Flintstones,” MTV has its hands on “Teen Wolf,” and we’ve already been slapped with Aaron Spelling’s “90210” and “Melrose Place” on the CW, while NBC re-imagined “The Bionic Woman” and “Knight Rider.”
But Hollywood is producing all these wonderful "new" and creative works, right? And remixing old works isn't creative at all?

Filed Under: hollywood, movies, remakes, tv shows


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Aug 2011 @ 10:52am

    Re: Re:

    No. The community here LIKES remakes. We feel that remixing and re-hashing ARE art, and can add value.

    We just want Hollywood to admit it's true.


    Um, don't you think the fact that they're making remakes is because they know it's true that people like them?

    Because if it is true, then by locking up characters under copyright and trademark, the public loses access to all kinds of derivative works that are currently blocked. If so, then the IP laws are not meeting their stated purpose: to provide more art to the public.

    The public got to see the copyrighted work to begin with. That's the public's side of the bargain. And it will enter the public domain when the copyright expires. The other side of the bargain is that the copyright holder gets certain exclusive rights, including the right to make remakes and other derivative works. The public doesn't get those rights by design. Yes, some things are temporarily locked up, but so what? The public gets their end of deal too.

    If we judge Hollywood by their actions, based on all the re-hashes that creative community produces, then we conclude that they DO agree that re-hashes are art.

    Of course they know this. This whole argument is a silly straw man from the get go.

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