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  1. #1
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    Default "Orphan Works" copyright law dies in House.

    Interesting article in Wired about the "Orphan Works" copyright law... apparently another victim of the credit crisis.

    http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/200...-works-co.html

  2. #2
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    I'm a nostalgic. Sometimes I like things just because they're old.

    But for the sake of humanity, it's probably best that these old properties lie forgotten. It forces us to invent new ideas, rather than animating the dead.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Destiny View Post
    I'm a nostalgic. Sometimes I like things just because they're old.

    But for the sake of humanity, it's probably best that these old properties lie forgotten. It forces us to invent new ideas, rather than animating the dead.
    I didn't like the bill but I disagree with your assessment of letting old properties lie dormant; this goes against the original premise of copyright. Copyright is supposed to exist as an agreement between creators and the public wherein they are granted a monopoly and, in exchange, the property enters the public domain in the future. Congress has legislated the second half of that agreement out of existence. By this point in time, Mickey Mouse should be a public domain entity. That doesn't prevent Disney from using the mouse, it just means others can use Mickey as well. The situation as it stands now is completely out of control and heavily in favor of those with their hooks into legislators.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xeno View Post
    I didn't like the bill but I disagree with your assessment of letting old properties lie dormant; this goes against the original premise of copyright. Copyright is supposed to exist as an agreement between creators and the public wherein they are granted a monopoly and, in exchange, the property enters the public domain in the future. Congress has legislated the second half of that agreement out of existence. By this point in time, Mickey Mouse should be a public domain entity. That doesn't prevent Disney from using the mouse, it just means others can use Mickey as well. The situation as it stands now is completely out of control and heavily in favor of those with their hooks into legislators.
    Sigh.

    Please learn the difference between trademark and copyright.
    Bart Lidofsky

  5. #5
    Crusader of Justice dancj's Avatar
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    If Mickey Mouse is only trademarked, then doesn't that mean anyone can do stories about him in comics as long as they don't show him on the cover?

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    Heretic bartl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dancj View Post
    If Mickey Mouse is only trademarked, then doesn't that mean anyone can do stories about him in comics as long as they don't show him on the cover?
    As much as they can do stories about Superman in comics as long as they don't show him on the cover.

    However, copyright laws extended the length of the copyright so that Steamboat Willie is still copyrighted.

    Now, for example, Sherlock Holmes is out of copyright, but still trademarked. So you can come out with a complete collection of the original Sherlock Holmes stories, but can't use "Sherlock Holmes" in the title, nor can you create original Sherlock Holmes stories without the consent of the Doyle estate.

    A trademark is an encouragement for a company to produce high quality products. By assigning their name to the product, they are putting their reputation on the line. Therefore, if someone uses someone else's trademark, they are not only stealing from the owner of the trademark, but also from the consumer, who assumes that what they are buying is from the owner of the trademark, and therefore has that level of quality.
    Bart Lidofsky

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    Quote Originally Posted by bartl View Post
    Sigh.

    Please learn the difference between trademark and copyright.
    Thanks for being such a pleasant individual and trying to foster a conversation! You really know how to make others understand your point when you're dismissive and condescending! You must lead a fulfilling life.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bartl View Post
    Sigh.

    Please learn the difference between trademark and copyright.
    Sigh. Sigh. Sigh.

    That was a really jerky post you made. If you're so tired of these discussions, don't engage in them. There's no cause for you to be so rude.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonny_B..._Extension_Act

    Copyright prevents derivative works. "Another argument against the Bono Act is an "offshore production" argument: that, for example, derivative works could be created outside the United States in areas where copyright would have expired, such works advancing science or the useful arts, and that US law would prohibit these works to US residents. A movie of Mickey Mouse playing with a computer ( la Sorcerer's Apprentice) could be legally created in Russia and children worldwide could possibly benefit from watching it, but the movie would be refused admission for importation by US Customs because of copyright, resulting in a deprivation to American children."

    Which was my point.

    Sigh. Sigh. Sigh.

  9. #9
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    Or the russian w/e could always make up their own characters instead of Mickey Mouse, you know.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by MartinRedmond View Post
    Or the russian w/e could always make up their own characters instead of Mickey Mouse, you know.
    When I say things like that to publishers they just stare blankly then ask if I'd like to write a revival of Fu Manchu...

    - Grant

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by dancj View Post
    If Mickey Mouse is only trademarked, then doesn't that mean anyone can do stories about him in comics as long as they don't show him on the cover?
    You can't do new work involving Mickey Mouse. That's trademark infringement. You can (theoretically) publish any stories involving Mickey Mouse that have traversed into public domain as long as you in no way use Mickey Mouse as a marketing tool for your product.

    Which would likely make your product more difficult to market than it was worth, and most likely trigger a lawsuit from Disney, whose lawyers would certainly have a different interpretation of "marketing tool" than you do. My guess is they'd claim that the presence of Mickey Mouse period was the sole marketable element of the product and thus you're infringing trademark, and they'd likely make you spend every penny you or any of your descendants for several generations would ever earn to defend your right to publish, because the point wouldn't be to take you to court because in legal terms a settlement is always better than a verdict because you can control the settlement you get (esp. if you're the one with the deep pockets) but you can't always control a verdict. Plus if a settlement goes against you, you can privatize it so that it doesn't become a precedent. If a verdict goes against you, that's a gift of trouble that keeps on giving...

    In other words: new Mickey stories? No. Old PD Mickey stories? Maybe.

    Trademarks - such as Mickey Mouse - don't go into public domain as long as the trademark holder keeps using them. In comics that gets interesting because the back issue market can be claimed as continued use of a trademark, meaning you wouldn't necessarily have to keep publishing issues of MUCUS THE GREAT to keep the trademark active, though in the event of a contested trademark, contemporaneous publishing would certainly be to your benefit.

    - Grant

  12. #12
    Heretic bartl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xeno View Post
    Thanks for being such a pleasant individual and trying to foster a conversation! You really know how to make others understand your point when you're dismissive and condescending! You must lead a fulfilling life.
    Look at the tone of the message to which I was replying. My response was appropriate.
    Bart Lidofsky

  13. #13
    Heretic bartl's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Steven Grant;7703324]Which would likely make your product more difficult to market than it was worth, and most likely trigger a lawsuit from Disney, whose lawyers would certainly have a different interpretation of "marketing tool" than you do. My guess is they'd claim that the presence of Mickey Mouse period was the sole marketable element of the product and thus you're infringing trademark, and they'd likely make you spend every penny you or any of your descendants for several generations would ever earn to defend your right to publish, because the point wouldn't be to take you to court because in legal terms a settlement is always better than a verdict because you can control the settlement you get (esp. if you're the one with the deep pockets) but you can't always control a verdict. Plus if a settlement goes against you, you can privatize it so that it doesn't become a precedent. If a verdict goes against you, that's a gift of trouble that keeps on giving...

    In other words: new Mickey stories? No. Old PD Mickey stories? Maybe.[quote]
    If there are any PD Mickey stories, which I doubt (unless Disney flubbed the copyright renewal).

    Trademarks - such as Mickey Mouse - don't go into public domain as long as the trademark holder keeps using them.
    And vigorously defend them; that's a reason why Disney is so anal-retentive about going to court with them. Also, why Coca Cola sends out reps to bars ordering "rum and Coke" and suing if they served any other cola. Trademarks HAVE been lost by the original company not defending them hard enough; examples include aspirin (in the U.S.), pilates, thermos, and, as I frequently point out, "Webster's Dictionary".

    One term where a trademark has been granted and should not have is "Ugg Boots"; a generic term in Australia, granted as a trademark to the first company who brought them to the U.S.

    In comics, the copyright vs. trademark issue is currently making its way with Superman and Superboy.
    Bart Lidofsky

  14. #14
    Crusader of Justice dancj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bartl View Post
    One term where a trademark has been granted and should not have is "Ugg Boots"; a generic term in Australia, granted as a trademark to the first company who brought them to the U.S.
    And of course another obvious example is "Super-Hero" on the cover of comics which is held by Marvel and DC jointly.

    "Webster's Dictionary" sounds like a crazy one to lose though.

  15. #15
    Junior Member Imaginos666's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=bartl;7707641][QUOTE=Steven Grant;7703324]Which would likely make your product more difficult to market than it was worth, and most likely trigger a lawsuit from Disney, whose lawyers would certainly have a different interpretation of "marketing tool" than you do. My guess is they'd claim that the presence of Mickey Mouse period was the sole marketable element of the product and thus you're infringing trademark, and they'd likely make you spend every penny you or any of your descendants for several generations would ever earn to defend your right to publish, because the point wouldn't be to take you to court because in legal terms a settlement is always better than a verdict because you can control the settlement you get (esp. if you're the one with the deep pockets) but you can't always control a verdict. Plus if a settlement goes against you, you can privatize it so that it doesn't become a precedent. If a verdict goes against you, that's a gift of trouble that keeps on giving...

    In other words: new Mickey stories? No. Old PD Mickey stories? Maybe.
    If there are any PD Mickey stories, which I doubt (unless Disney flubbed the copyright renewal).


    And vigorously defend them; that's a reason why Disney is so anal-retentive about going to court with them. Also, why Coca Cola sends out reps to bars ordering "rum and Coke" and suing if they served any other cola. Trademarks HAVE been lost by the original company not defending them hard enough; examples include aspirin (in the U.S.), pilates, thermos, and, as I frequently point out, "Webster's Dictionary".

    One term where a trademark has been granted and should not have is "Ugg Boots"; a generic term in Australia, granted as a trademark to the first company who brought them to the U.S.

    In comics, the copyright vs. trademark issue is currently making its way with Superman and Superboy.

    Xerox has a pretty aggressive marketing campaign for defending its name, too. They frequently run print ads reminding people it's not a generic term.

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