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.
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.
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. =)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.