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  • Apr 26, 2013 @ 01:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Base term on half-life of a product

    To make that work, you would have to argue that if copyright expired on TOS, Paramount would stop making new movies (and whatever else), and also that nobody else would start making equally high quality materials.

    Let's look at this point: Say the Copyright on the original series episodes expired tomorrow, and Paramount could no longer claim exclusive rights to Captain Kirk, the USS Enterprise, or any of the characters and artwork in the TV show.

    The first thing that would happen is that there would be an explosion of amateur fan art and fan fiction. A year or so later, you'd start seeing the first b-quality YouTube movies. 2 years later, you'd see new movies coming out of the same studios that created "Transmorphers".

    But would Paramount bother with another AAA Blockbuster scale movie? Big movies with $100 million budgets are already risky enough; my guess is that the market would become so saturated that nobody would even want to hear the words "Star Trek" for at least another decade afterward.

    So it's an interesting question, whether making Star Trek public domain would be better or worse for society.

  • Apr 26, 2013 @ 01:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Feature, not bug

    Your world of permission-based art sounds like a sterile world indeed...

    Like I said before, some of my favorite work is derivative: I absolutely love parody artists, for example: Weird Al Yankovic has been my hero since I was in junior high school, and I really enjoy seeing what people can do with parodies and covers in the musical world.

    I just honestly don't agree with appropriating visual art from a moral perspective. It may be legal to do, but I often don't agree with what the law allows or doesn't allow. I realize that my views may put me in the minority here, since most people here argue that the less Copyright the better, but it is fun to put questions out there and see what people can come up with.

    Honestly, I've learned some things in this thread - things I wouldn't have if I hadn't taken an adverse position. For example, your comment about people retroactively denying permission was something that I had never considered; I tend to take people at their word, and my word is my bond. So I would never even consider the possibility that someone could give me permission to use a work, then change their mind after I've already put time and money in to creating it.

    So next time you think I'm mocking, consider that I'm just probing to see what people actually think. It often takes a few rounds to get to the meat of the matter.

    It's all good stuff to think about. Thanks for the discussion.

  • Apr 26, 2013 @ 12:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Feature, not bug

    Well, we've answered. A lot of things are wrong with getting permission

    and by your own words

    "Keep in mind that fair use is not something you can proactively establish -- you have to wait until you are sued, and get a lawyer."

    So I guess an artist that relies on other people's work is screwed either way.

    Anyway, I'm done. I see the whole topic is a lot more complicated than it ought be - of course, it always is when lawyers are involved. I'm starting to think that our entire legal system is nothing but an exercise in keeping lawyers in business. I'm glad I decided not to go to law school after all. Not only couldn't I afford it at the time, but I don't think I would have ever passed "Suppressing your conscience 101."

    It's been fun discussing this with you, Leigh. I hope to cross pens some time in the future. =)

  • Apr 26, 2013 @ 12:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Feature, not bug

    Now you're just ignoring the multiple answers that we've offered to that question...

    No, literally all I've heard are variations of "you might not get permission" or "it's just too hard."

    Anyway, I'm done. Everybody just wants to be right on their own terms, rather than actually have a meaningful discussion.

  • Apr 26, 2013 @ 12:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Feature, not bug

    Or, you get lucky and none of that happens. But not everyone does. Casual permission is nowhere near as absolute as you think.

    Still, what's the harm in trying? I've been told that's the polite thing to do. I still fail to see how at least asking permission is somehow harmful.

    If someone says "no", you can still try to claim fair use, but as I've already pointed out: parody artists like Weird Al Yankovic DO ask AND GET permission all the time. So everyone who says "you'll never get permission without a team of lawyers" is just plain wrong.

  • Apr 26, 2013 @ 09:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Just turn it off

    But, seriously, this is information I found within a minute by using the very tool you're complaining about. That's less work than you put into complaining in the first place.

    I know there are various hacks to turn it off. That was never the point.

    The point is that it's a buggy, unreliable feature that Google does not have a clear way to disable.

    I guess I'm turning in to an old grouch: I appreciate the little UI tricks that Google is adding to the search page, but those also destroy the simple elegance of what Google is.

    It's kind of like lowering, chopping, and adding ground effects to a 1955 Chevy... there are certain things that were better before they were "fixed."

  • Apr 26, 2013 @ 08:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Base term on half-life of a product

    Just because Paramount is still making Star Trek movies doesn't mean 50 year old Star Trek episodes should still be under copyright.

    Well, there are no 50 year old Star Trek episodes yet. The show premiered in 1967. We're getting close, though: another 4 years and Star Trek will turn 50.

    And I'm not so sure I agree. The point of Copyright is to encourage artistic creation, and it's clearly working in the case of Star Trek: there's new Star Trek content all the time.

    Where it's not working is with all these old TV shows and series that have been cancelled and nothing else has been done: Robotech/Macross (in the US). Firefly. I Love Lucy. The Andy Griffith Show.

    I may be in the minority, but I don't care if someone keeps an exclusive Copyright for a long time if they're actively producing. I actually agree with the concept of artistic integrity, and I think that keeping a consistent vision makes for a better product.

    It's when they stop producing that I think society has the right to force the owner to give up their exclusive rights. Aside from outright piracy, letting things disappear is the absolute worst thing I can think of when it comes to Copyright.

  • Apr 26, 2013 @ 08:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Browncoats unite....

    Yeah, I just read up on it, and it turns out that must-carry is negotiated per cable company. So whatever conditions apply to one cable company in a region don't automatically apply to a competing cable company.

  • Apr 26, 2013 @ 08:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Feature, not bug

    If you imagine getting permission is even possible without lawyers, you are profoundly misinformed

    Really? Because I rebuilt someone's 3D model for another program a while back, and I just sent him an email and asked. And he said "no problem."

    I'm not always saying it's that easy... but where it's possible, it entirely resolves the issue of fair use.

  • Apr 26, 2013 @ 08:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Feature, not bug

    he is unable to know for sure whether his work will qualify or not because the law is unclear?

    Well,that goes back to my original point, doesn't it?

    Getting permission to use a work is unambiguous. If I say, "yes you can do that," then it's impossible for me to come back and sue later.

    Now I'm not saying permission is easy to get. I'm not even saying it's practical. I'm just saying that it does clear up the ambiguity quite nicely, doesn't it?

  • Apr 25, 2013 @ 05:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Feature, not bug

    It's probably because we're disagreeing on the concept of what a collage is.

    I see it as a collection, not a unique work in and of itself... what that guy linked to wasn't what I think of when I think of a collage.

    Now something like this:

    I totally get how the components of that would be fair use, and I am not in the least saying that you have to seek permission or pay royalties for that.

    So I guess my bad for not following someone else's definition of a term.

  • Apr 25, 2013 @ 05:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Feature, not bug

    And if the work isn't fair use? You'll get sued...

    If you get permission, you won't get sued.

    Maybe I don't know what a collage is... because I always thought it was basically just pasting a bunch of pictures on a board or on a wall for display. That doesn't say "transformation" to me. It says "collection."

    Now a mosaic? Yeah, that can be transformative. The photo that the AC linked? I'd call that a mosaic. Different thing.

    And regardless: isn't getting permission still desirable?

    Is there ever a situation where getting permission is a bad thing? Where you should not ask permission if you intend to exploit the work commercially? I can't think of any.

  • Apr 25, 2013 @ 05:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Feature, not bug

    Of course he's correct when it comes to obvious cases of fair use.

    I never argued otherwise!

    what did I say?

    "Or you can get permission to use the work. Then there are no lawyers and now lawsuits."

    That's also 100% correct. If you get permission to use a work, they can't sue you.

    I never said you NEED to get permission. I said that permission protects your work. AC was clearly just trying to hijack the discussion... and he succeeded.

  • Apr 25, 2013 @ 05:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Feature, not bug

    I wasn't talking about fair use.

    My point was that if you get get permission before using someone else's work, then they can't sue you later.

    Having said that, I would not expect a teenage girl to ask permission to put up 1000 images of her favorite movie star on her bedroom wall.

  • Apr 25, 2013 @ 04:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Feature, not bug

    Maybe our definitions of collage differ... but regardless, AC up there is just trolling, and so I'm going to stop feeding him. =)

  • Apr 25, 2013 @ 04:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Feature, not bug

    way to support an argument, there.

    I'm pretty sure I can't use your photo to make 1000 collages, sell those 1000 collages and keep the money.

    Now if I paid for 1000 copies of your photo, that's a different story... you probably can't stop me. But if I made 1000 copies, I am having a hard time seeing how that's legit. (Keeping in mind that a collage is not really transformative.)

  • Apr 25, 2013 @ 04:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: so....

    This was a 1:1 transaction? In other words, for every copy Prince made, he bought one book?

    Then yes - I can see how this becomes a lot less clear. At this point, it's not about getting paid any more, it's about creative control - which people around here don't seem to like very much. =)

  • Apr 25, 2013 @ 04:13pm


    Judges are people, too. They can't be experts in every facet of law.

    It would probably help if courts did a better job of putting specific judges on specific types of cases (and maybe they do, for all I know), but that has its own risks.

  • Apr 25, 2013 @ 04:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Feature, not bug

    If you're selling the collage down at the local art gallery? Then yes.

    If you're just going to put it up on your bedroom wall and moon over all the topless shots of that werewolf guy and that vampire guy, then that's fair use.

  • Apr 25, 2013 @ 04:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Browncoats unite....

    Broadcasters also collect fees from cable and satellite companies that pay to retransmit the broadcasts

    That's not entirely true: apparently, some TV stations are classified as "must-carry", and they cannot charge cable companies. The flip side of the coin is that cable companies (surprise) must carry the TV station.

    But aside from that, my outrage is more one of principle than legality. I don't care for the whole double-dipping thing, as it just serves to raise cable rates without any benefit to the consumer.

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