the dark side of copyright

–snipped from Dunc’s post on clubjade.net
As an individual who deals with licensing/fair use/copyright of the Libraries’ electronic resources and has an interest in — okay, just a slight obsession with — Star Wars, I found this article in the Washington Post highly amusing in a sad sort of way.

“…Yet as anyone watching this industry knows, there is a deep divide between those who believe that obsessive control is the hybrid’s path to profit and those who believe that freer access will build stronger, more profitable ties. Predictably, on the Vader-side of control is often a gaggle of lawyers who continue to act as though nothing interesting has changed in copyright law since the time of John Philip Sousa. These lawyers counsel their clients that control is always better. They ridicule efforts to strike a different balance with the army of creators being called into the service of their clients. It is for the privilege of getting to remix a 30-year-old series that these new creators are told they must waive any rights of their own. They should be happy with whatever they get…”

Of course, as a writer and contributer to the SW GFFA (“galaxy far, far away” for my non-SW readers), I’m guilty of waiving my rights when I submitted my short stories for publication to the Star Wars Adventure Journal. LFL owns my characters, planets, ships, & creatures, etc. Am I happy with the results, i.e., my characters, planets, ships,  referenced in other SW-licensed works, my 15 minutes of fame, and 10s of fans who like my stories? Well… yeah. But will I be graceful the day I find out that someone has killed off Alex Winger and I have no say in the matter?

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One thought on “the dark side of copyright

  1. Interesting article. I don’t know how I’d feel about signing away my rights to my own ideas and work…although someday I’ll find out, I’m sure. “Fair use” seems to be an oxymoron in many ways because it doesn’t seem fair that after you do all this work, someone else can profit from it with not even a shred of credit going your way.

    Of course, this has a great deal of importance the academia area also with publishing in journals. And so many people don’t truly understand the implications of this.

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