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Old 10-20-2019, 04:00 PM   #211
pwalker8
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Originally Posted by leebase View Post
Disney wants to keep control of its characters and stories. People are advocating that those should go into public domain. Ergo...gimme gimme
Of course it's going to eventually go into public domain. That's the contract. I want to get paid for code that I wrote 20 years ago and are still in use. The company says they already paid me. What's the difference?

Your whole arguing point seems to keep circling around to "because I say so, and if you disagree you are saying gimme, gimme, gimme". I say that someone who creates something under a set of rules and then gets the rules changed so they will get paid even more is the one saying gimme, gimme, gimme.

You basically assert that copyright should be permanently assigned to the author and his or her heirs because, well, I guess because you say so. So far you haven't given any real rational for it, any benefit to society as a whole, why you think this is a good idea. You just say, because I say so and if you disagree you want something for nothing.
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Old 10-20-2019, 04:13 PM   #212
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Originally Posted by leebase View Post
If 70 years after JK Rowling dies....anybody is still interested in writing Harry Potter fan fic it will be because some corporation is continuing to invest money into the Harry Potter franchise keeping it in demand. Such a corporation is owed the fruits of it's labor.

...

But then....nobody is going to care that orphaned works are in the public domain. If people cared, they wouldn't be orphaned works in the first place. (care in enough quantity to matter).
You seem to believe that:

1) If nobody invest money in a story, people will lose interest in it.
2) Corprations will only be willing to invest money in stories if they can have copyright to them.

Do I understand you correctly?

And if I do, how do you square this with the many, many examples to the contrary? (King Arthur, Robin Hood, norse mythology, roman mythology, pretty much any mythology really, Jane Austen's works, Charles Dickens' works, Sherlock Holmes, Beauty and the Beast, Snow White, etc etc etc)


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The real desire is as always "gimme gimme gimme". People want books they don't have to pay for. People want to leach off the name recognition of characters they didn't create. Gimme gimme.
No, that's not the real desire. You are mistaken. Lots of people have explained, at length, our arguments against eternal copyright.
You need not agree with those arguments, of course, but it's getting really old to see you pretend that they don't exist.
Are you calling us liars?
Or do you simply not understand what we write?
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Old 10-20-2019, 04:20 PM   #213
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Originally Posted by leebase View Post
Disney wants to keep control of its characters and stories. People are advocating that those should go into public domain. Ergo...gimme gimme
All those characters/stories that you don't want under copyright (Snow White, Pinocchio, pocahontas, Mulan, ...), Does that make you one of the gimmie gimmies?
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Old 10-20-2019, 04:57 PM   #214
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Originally Posted by leebase View Post
Society has the stories available for purchase. That's the good.
Except a lot of stories, memoirs, histories, etc. are *not* available for purchase, because they were published decades ago, aren't in public domain yet, and are decaying in hard copy.

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Why should there ever be a time when society takes possession of the rights holder's intellectual property any more than any other type of property? Why shouldn't the heirs of the author inherit the value like every other type of property....subject to the same taxes as any other property?
As discussed above, property can help resolve disputes over rivalrous or scarce goods, but it can create disputes when expanded to non-rivalrous or non-scarce goods like stories, ideas, and so on.

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Fiction is not like medicine or mechanical contrivances where there is only SO MANY ways to accomplish a task.
If 1st-person accounts, memoirs, histories, and so on are lost, other people can't just create new ones in place of the old.
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Old 10-20-2019, 06:17 PM   #215
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Originally Posted by MarjaE View Post
Except a lot of stories, memoirs, histories, etc. are *not* available for purchase, because they were published decades ago, aren't in public domain yet, and are decaying in hard copy.
Re-write the copyright laws to require active renewal (every x years) after the author dies. Missing the renewal automatically places the "orphaned" work into the public domain.

Problem solved.
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Old 10-20-2019, 08:38 PM   #216
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...

As discussed above, property can help resolve disputes over rivalrous or scarce goods, but it can create disputes when expanded to non-rivalrous or non-scarce goods like stories, ideas, and so on.

...
If you look at the thesis whose link I posted earlier, there is a quote from Thomas Jefferson which explains why he does not consider stories, ideas and the like as property.

The basic rational is if you have a book, and someone takes it, then you no longer have the book. You are lessen and damaged. On the other hand, if you have a book and someone copies it, then you are in no way damaged or lessened. You still have the property you had to begin with.

In general, what copyright does is provide a method for making sure that authors are paid for their work. Jefferson was both a writer and a scientist. The writing desk that he created is still in use. Benjamin Franklin, as most know, was a writer, publisher and inventor. He invented bifocal glasses, the Franklin stove and the lightning rod, among other things. He got his start as a newspaper publisher and started writing to provide content for his newspaper. Franklin was quite frustrated with the fact that other newspapers would copy his stories in their papers without credit or payment.

Most of the founding fathers were men of letters and well understood both the need to encourage authors and inventors, as well as the need for those writings and inventions to be made available to the public, for others to build on. Of course, there is one big point that hasn't really been brought up yet.

Back then, much of the writings were works of philosophy, science, history and the like rather than fiction, though of course fiction existed. Most educated people had read books like Ivanhoe or Pilgram's Progress, but it was history, philosophy and political theory that drew much of their attention. It's impossible to write such works without building on other such works. Perhaps it's possible to write a novel without building on someone else's work, but that's beside the point. Copyright is for all books, not just some.

Rather interestingly, when Franklin invented his stove, the Gov. General (the US still being a collection of colonies) offered him a patent to be the sole person who could manufacturer the stove. Franklin declined it because as he wrote in his autobiography "As we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours; and this we should do freely and generously,”
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Old 10-20-2019, 09:34 PM   #217
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Originally Posted by leebase View Post
Disney wants to keep control of its characters and stories. People are advocating that those should go into public domain. Ergo...gimme gimme
Or maybe it's just what they believe is right? Impugning someone's motives isn't a positive way to advocate for your point of view.

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Old 10-21-2019, 03:01 AM   #218
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Of course, there is one big point that hasn't really been brought up yet.

Back then, much of the writings were works of philosophy, science, history and the like rather than fiction, though of course fiction existed. Most educated people had read books like Ivanhoe or Pilgram's Progress, but it was history, philosophy and political theory that drew much of their attention. It's impossible to write such works without building on other such works. Perhaps it's possible to write a novel without building on someone else's work, but that's beside the point. Copyright is for all books, not just some.
I am not entirely sure I can believe that it is possible to write fiction without building on someone else's work. It is rather on point, and not beside the point. It is possible that even back then they recognized that fiction relies on research done of previous works. Since there was plenty of non fiction around, borrowing from fiction could be avoided. And yes, copyright has to be for all books equally. What entity would decide if something is fact or fiction?

Greek mythology again. You couldn't create your own version of greek mythology today. Way back then the people actually believed that the stories passed on were true. It took until Plato that someone showed that there were fiction elements in it. Today it is rather difficult to create your own mythology and make it believable. A vain attempt is the modern flat Earth movement ().
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Old 10-21-2019, 07:19 AM   #219
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I am not entirely sure I can believe that it is possible to write fiction without building on someone else's work.
Basically, it's not. If the history of interpretation has taught us anything, it's pretty much two or three things. Authors are, generally speaking, great readers. Only a small portion of what they've read they knowingly and intentionally integrate into their work. The rest tends to slip in subconsciously. There are many people who champion the idea that you don't need anything in order to create great cultural artefacts, but there are virtually no practical examples of this notion in literature, or much of art at all. You at least need to know how to read and write. In the case of folk poetry or prose, you need to know how to compose a story, which mostly comes from listening to elder folk singers around you (I won't go into the specifics or orality and all that, though it would be fascinating). If you've ever taken a look at writings from very young people, or simply people without a wide range of life experience, their writing seems trite and generic, quite unlike what we'd call great art. For every one such person that shows some spark of originality, there are untold millions that do not. Having the bare-bones basic means to produce something, as a rule, does not equate to much, not when building a table, and not when trying to write.

I'd refrain from analogies with the Greeks and Romans, not just because they believed some things to be true, but also because they did not view "originality" or "genius" the way we do post-Romanticism. They also did not value solitary, aloof poets and frequently mocked them. Much of what works we have inherited from them had a viable social function within their political framework. The great tragoedians composed their plays for audiences that already knew the plot, all the characters and the resolution. They were more interested in the author's specific execution and delivery of well known plotlines. If one believes Aristotle, the "art" for them seems to have been in the way the thing was put together - how would the author motivate a character or resolve a conflict that the myth tells us must happen at some point in this story, etc. Comedy would be an infinitely more troublesome discussion, but it's worth noting that tragedy was always considered the higher art-form. In essence (I'm aware this post is chock-full of generalisations, but I believe the principles stand), one could claim that the need to be well-versed in a host culture as a prerequisite for creating in it comes from this ancient outlook.

In other words, it's not that myths cannot be created today, it's more that they serve no relevant function within the rest of our cultural framework. Except, of course, in epic fantasy or marketing, where old and new myth-making techniques come together in fantastic and frightening forms.

I've just noticed that in the past few days I've been writing these posts filled with verbose, dense cra...- I mean commentary, and I don't know when to stop. You guys inspire me! Keep the discussion going!
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Old 10-21-2019, 07:33 AM   #220
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I am not entirely sure I can believe that it is possible to write fiction without building on someone else's work. It is rather on point, and not beside the point. It is possible that even back then they recognized that fiction relies on research done of previous works. Since there was plenty of non fiction around, borrowing from fiction could be avoided. And yes, copyright has to be for all books equally. What entity would decide if something is fact or fiction?

Greek mythology again. You couldn't create your own version of greek mythology today. Way back then the people actually believed that the stories passed on were true. It took until Plato that someone showed that there were fiction elements in it. Today it is rather difficult to create your own mythology and make it believable. A vain attempt is the modern flat Earth movement ().
It's beside the point because the non fiction works are a clearer example. It's very hard to argue that one can write history or philosophical works without depending on other works. Sure, you can also make the argument with fiction as well, though it's not as clear cut. Leebase's basic argument is that one can write about wizard schools without referencing Rowling's work, or that one can draw a mouse that doesn't look like Mickey (trademark rather than copyright of course). I'm simply going past that argument, to an area when it's more straightforward.

Rather obviously, I believe that artists tend to borrow from each other all the time - in fiction, in music, in movies and so on. The ability to do so without violating copyright depends on if you define copyright strictly or expansively. I've already shown that some authors make claims that are very expansive, so expansive that they claim that anything that is sort of like something in one of their stories is a copyright violation.

I don't know that one can't create one's own mythology. I would argue that is exactly what Lucas did with Star Wars, the force and the Jedi. I would not be surprised if quite a few people believe that the force is real. Tolkien did a pretty good job at creating his own mythology as well. Frodo Lives! While the idea of vampires and werewolves can be traced back quite a ways, the modern spin on vampires, werewolves, zombies and urban fantasy could be said to be a modern mythology.
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Old 10-21-2019, 07:49 AM   #221
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I don't know that one can't create one's own mythology. I would argue that is exactly what Lucas did with Star Wars, the force and the Jedi. I would not be surprised if quite a few people believe that the force is real. Tolkien did a pretty good job at creating his own mythology as well. Frodo Lives! While the idea of vampires and werewolves can be traced back quite a ways, the modern spin on vampires, werewolves, zombies and urban fantasy could be said to be a modern mythology.
The mythology might be Lucas's own. But he took the framework from Joseph Campbell, who had built on C.G. Jung, etc. ...

http://moongadget.com/origins/myth.html
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Old 10-21-2019, 11:06 AM   #222
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The mythology might be Lucas's own. But he took the framework from Joseph Campbell, who had built on C.G. Jung, etc. ...

http://moongadget.com/origins/myth.html
We all know that you build on the works of others, well ok, most of us do. Certainly, the story of Star Wars was the classic quest story. It's been said that there are only seven basic plots in a story.

The Star Wars mythos was built on top of many of the Japanese Samurai movies, which was based a lot on some of the various Daoist beliefs and the idea of chi (also spelled Ki or Qi).
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Old 10-21-2019, 11:11 AM   #223
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A lot of Star Wars was from Dune, which used various sources and Lucas used some classic Japanese stuff, like Hidden Fortress. IMO there is little original in Star Wars. I loved the original in 1979 when I saw it in the Cinema. The third with teddy bears a lot poorer. Least said about the Toy company funded Phantom Menace the better. $100 M from Hasbro.

People DO still create mythology that's believed. Scientology. Or Wicca, it's only since the 1950s. The Mediums and Seance stuff invented by people PROVEN to be frauds at the time, in the 19th Century.

The myths about Kennedy, Area 51, Apollo and Twin Towers.

The Czarist era myths about Jewish People invented by Russians.
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Old 10-21-2019, 11:24 AM   #224
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We all know that you build on the works of others, well ok, most of us do. Certainly, the story of Star Wars was the classic quest story. It's been said that there are only seven basic plots in a story.

The Star Wars mythos was built on top of many of the Japanese Samurai movies, which was based a lot on some of the various Daoist beliefs and the idea of chi (also spelled Ki or Qi).
(good one)

That is the reason why I am thinking that creating a new unique myth is very difficult. Make it work in our world, and it will be even harder. You mentioned vampires earlier. Many vampire stories acknowledge that the book about Dracula exists, and that it got some things right and other things wrong. Now hear what really happened. Anne Rice did it very clever by incorporating the first book into the story itself. Go to the urban fantasy genre and almost all books rely on the idea that one or more existing real myths are actually true.
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Old 10-22-2019, 08:49 AM   #225
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(good one)

That is the reason why I am thinking that creating a new unique myth is very difficult. Make it work in our world, and it will be even harder. You mentioned vampires earlier. Many vampire stories acknowledge that the book about Dracula exists, and that it got some things right and other things wrong. Now hear what really happened. Anne Rice did it very clever by incorporating the first book into the story itself. Go to the urban fantasy genre and almost all books rely on the idea that one or more existing real myths are actually true.
ok, I think I understand what you are saying, and it's certainly true. If I can use the saying without violating copyright, there is nothing new under the sun. I was going to point to the modern flesh eating zombie movie but I find the idea actually goes all the way back to ancient Mesopotamia.
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