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Old 10-14-2019, 02:57 PM   #136
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The fallacy of your argument is shown in two simple words - patent trolls. Before the district court of North Texas showed itself to be sympathetic to patent infringement cases, patent trolls weren't a thing. Now, it's a major industry and a major issue.

Eventually, some clever lawyer is going to convince a jury that yes, any man rides inside large mechanical fighting machine story is an infringement of the copyright on Halo and boom, instant copyright infringement industry. Harland Ellison got them to pay him off for the idea of someone goes back in time to stop something from happening simply because the threat of the lawsuit could have put the project on hold.
That's a problem with a lack of specific laws and proper enforcement.
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Old 10-14-2019, 06:52 PM   #137
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That's a problem with a lack of specific laws and proper enforcement.
No it a problem with human nature. If people can get ahead by gaming the system, someone most likely will. No system is perfect and expecting specific laws that cover every possibility and proper enforcement over a period of time is folly.
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Old 10-14-2019, 07:07 PM   #138
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No it a problem with human nature. If people can get ahead by gaming the system, someone most likely will. No system is perfect and expecting specific laws that cover every possibility and proper enforcement over a period of time is folly.
The laws can be written tighter without having to cover every possibility.
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Old 10-14-2019, 08:49 PM   #139
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Patents aren’t copyrights. There is nothing like “copyright for wizards school”. Someone owns Casper the Ghost...but not ghosts. The Shining...but not scary hotels. Freddy Krueger...but not killer with knives in glove.
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Old 10-14-2019, 10:09 PM   #140
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No one has made the case that with copyright, there'd be no shared story telling.
I was replying to your statement that there was no societal need to build on fictional characters. My point was that there were benefits to doing that. Literature isn't just about answering needs. It also encourages shared values.

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Old 10-14-2019, 10:44 PM   #141
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I was replying to your statement that there was no societal need to build on fictional characters. My point was that there were benefits to doing that. Literature isn't just about answering needs. It also encourages shared values.

Barry
Since you can't copyright values, new characters can pass along the same values as established characters.
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Old 10-14-2019, 10:50 PM   #142
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I was replying to your statement that there was no societal need to build on fictional characters. My point was that there were benefits to doing that. Literature isn't just about answering needs. It also encourages shared values.

Barry
And...you CAN build on someone else's work by licensing....like movies do all the time when they secure the rights to a book.
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Old 10-15-2019, 02:05 AM   #143
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I'm just having a little chuckle imagining how Shakespeare is told by his lawyers: "Sorry, but Holinshed's heirs have tripled their demands, Boccaccio's estate is suing over Cymbeline, and someone who claims to be Chaucer's great-great-great-grandson has filed a complaint about Troilus and Cressida."
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Old 10-15-2019, 02:52 AM   #144
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I'm just having a little chuckle imagining how Shakespeare is told by his lawyers: "Sorry, but Holinshed's heirs have tripled their demands, Boccaccio's estate is suing over Cymbeline, and someone who claims to be Chaucer's great-great-great-grandson has filed a complaint about Troilus and Cressida."
And yet...we DO have copyright now. There can be both just and unjust fights over what is a violation of copyright. And yet....more books are written now than ever. Movies are made. Games are made. Theme parks are built. Tv shows are written.

There is no limit on fiction. Either you are trying to write something "original" -- which you'll have no trouble doing. Or you are TRYING to bank on someone else's material. Which you are precluded from doing and SHOULD be...lest you work out an agreement with the rights holder. Which you may or may not be able to do....which is as it should be.

There's a reason people want to create Disney Princess halloween costumes. Sure, you can buy "Sleepy Queen" costume that looks a lot like (but not too much like) Snow White. But Disney has spent billions on making their version of various Princess characters such that there is a demand to be Ariel or Snow White or any other one.

And you can create any monster and call it Frankenstein....but if you want your Frankenstein to look exactly like the one in the movies....you probably have to pay someone. As you should.

It is no small task to not only create a character but create the demand for a character (or story universe).

And, fwiw, there's only value in these characters because everyone CAN'T copy them. If everyone COULD...then the value would quickly evaporate. What people want is to be able to horn in on Disney's built up value....but if they could then everyone could....and then there'd be no value.

Disney can sell Mickey Mouse ears for a profit. If everyone could sell them...then nobody could make any money. (see Android phones)
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Old 10-15-2019, 03:20 AM   #145
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And yet....more books are written now than ever.
And the reason would NOT be, because we have copyright now, but because we have an ever increasing public domain. Including history, myths, legends, and stories long predating the idea of copyright.
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Old 10-15-2019, 03:33 AM   #146
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And yet...we DO have copyright now. There can be both just and unjust fights over what is a violation of copyright. And yet....more books are written now than ever. Movies are made. Games are made. Theme parks are built. Tv shows are written.
Only very few posters in this thread have challenged the general idea of copyright. Personally, I think it is unavoidable in a capitalist society (which we will be stuck with for a long time, so we will need to have something like copyright for a long time.)

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There is no limit on fiction. Either you are trying to write something "original" -- which you'll have no trouble doing. Or you are TRYING to bank on someone else's material. Which you are precluded from doing and SHOULD be...lest you work out an agreement with the rights holder. Which you may or may not be able to do....which is as it should be.
What you are overlooking is the fact that literature is not exclusively about making money. Shakespeare didn't use Holinshed's Chronicles because they were a smash hit, but because they inspired him. Say there was a brilliant writer inspired by Kafka's Metamorphosis. Under current copyright law they can just use the story and do with it as they please. Which is a good thing, because that writer might produce something just as brilliant as Kafka's story, which would benefit all of humanity. But with eternal copyright, our author would have to deal with the Holtzbrinck Group, one of the most powerful corporations in the publishing business, which owned the copyright before Kafka's works became PD. So our author can bury the idea right at the start.

I know your reply: why don't they create their own giant bug? But what if they want to use passages from the actual story, putting them in a different context, and what if precisely this kind of montage was essential for the new story?

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There's a reason people want to create Disney Princess halloween costumes. Sure, you can buy "Sleepy Queen" costume that looks a lot like (but not too much like) Snow White. But Disney has spent billions on making their version of various Princess characters such that there is a demand to be Ariel or Snow White or any other one.

And you can create any monster and call it Frankenstein....but if you want your Frankenstein to look exactly like the one in the movies....you probably have to pay someone. As you should.

It is no small task to not only create a character but create the demand for a character (or story universe).

And, fwiw, there's only value in these characters because everyone CAN'T copy them. If everyone COULD...then the value would quickly evaporate. What people want is to be able to horn in on Disney's built up value....but if they could then everyone could....and then there'd be no value.

Disney can sell Mickey Mouse ears for a profit. If everyone could sell them...then nobody could make any money. (see Android phones)
But all this only makes sense in a context where creativity has already been reduced to nothing but a commodity. I guess in a world in which that nightmare is reality, there is nothing to say against your points. But we don't quite live in that world yet, and limited copyright is one of the few things we are holding onto, keeping us only halfway down the cliff.
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Old 10-15-2019, 08:05 AM   #147
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Patents aren’t copyrights. There is nothing like “copyright for wizards school”. Someone owns Casper the Ghost...but not ghosts. The Shining...but not scary hotels. Freddy Krueger...but not killer with knives in glove.
And if you read the examples that I gave, you will see that people actually are suing for copyright infringement over wizard schools, people going back in time to fix things and post apocalypse journeys and in some cases getting money. So, while in theory, you can't copyright such things, at one time, you could only patent physical devices. Lawyers push the envelops all the time. The practice even has a name, a Novel legal theory.
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Old 10-15-2019, 08:36 AM   #148
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Only very few posters in this thread have challenged the general idea of copyright. Personally, I think it is unavoidable in a capitalist society (which we will be stuck with for a long time, so we will need to have something like copyright for a long time.)



What you are overlooking is the fact that literature is not exclusively about making money. Shakespeare didn't use Holinshed's Chronicles because they were a smash hit, but because they inspired him. Say there was a brilliant writer inspired by Kafka's Metamorphosis. Under current copyright law they can just use the story and do with it as they please. Which is a good thing, because that writer might produce something just as brilliant as Kafka's story, which would benefit all of humanity. But with eternal copyright, our author would have to deal with the Holtzbrinck Group, one of the most powerful corporations in the publishing business, which owned the copyright before Kafka's works became PD. So our author can bury the idea right at the start.

I know your reply: why don't they create their own giant bug? But what if they want to use passages from the actual story, putting them in a different context, and what if precisely this kind of montage was essential for the new story?



But all this only makes sense in a context where creativity has already been reduced to nothing but a commodity. I guess in a world in which that nightmare is reality, there is nothing to say against your points. But we don't quite live in that world yet, and limited copyright is one of the few things we are holding onto, keeping us only halfway down the cliff.
He's also confusing copyright and trademark. Mickey's ears are protected by trademark, not copyright.

In an interesting coincidence, I'm reading Neil Gorsuch's new book "A Republic, If you Can Keep It" which is a collection of speeches, articles and legal opinions that he wrote, collected to make various points. One such point was a speech on how the current legal system has been twisted. A clever lawyer can tie someone up in court for a decade, running up expenses until the other party simply settles because they can no longer afford it. It's the whole basis of the patent troll industry. Harlan Ellison extracted money from the studio making the Terminator movie for much the same reason, not so much because he would have won, but because the time and money required to fight was more than the settlement.

People are already doing what Leebase says they can't and won't.

One of the more interesting examples of what would happen in Leebase's world is what has happened with the Sherlock Holmes copyright.

https://www.ihearofsherlock.com/2015...l#.XaWshyUpDyU

Basically, the copyright for Sherlock Homes had many claimants and many people licensed the Sherlock Homes character from someone who didn't actually hold the copyright. The rights to LOTR in the movie industry was also the subject of a long, long legal battle which ended up holding up the production of The Hobbit movies for quite a few years.

These are probably two of the most lucrative literary copyright works so it's not particularly surprising that both were tied up in the courts for long periods of time.
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Old 10-15-2019, 11:29 AM   #149
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At times, I need to track down historical works, essays, memoirs, etc. from the 1920s through 1940s. It's hard. When I was still abled enough to go to the library, I tried interlibrary loans. But one important essay had disappeared from multiple collections. Or I may want to track down more recent studies. But many are locked down by academic prublishers charging hundreds of dollars. And often selling poorly-scanned editions. And others are just out of print, wth skyrocketing prices.

With material property:

Anna makes a chair. It's a very nice chair.

Barbara makes one just like it. It's also a very nice chair.

With intellectual property:

Anna writes a book. It's a very nice book.

Barbara musn't write one just like it, that'd be infringement.

Anna prints a book. It's a very nice book.

Barbara musn't print a book just like it, that'd be infringement.

So when people say that material property and intellectual property should be treated the same way, I'm left wondering why?-- it's not like they're the same thing-- and how?
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Old 10-15-2019, 02:05 PM   #150
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I think that perpetual copyright for written works makes sense, but only if they do not make use of any words that are in the public domain.
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