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03/01/2011

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Alexander Jablokov

I think the issue is less Mickey qua Mickey, but the fact that keeping Mickey safe has the side effect of making it difficult to compile, sample, anthologize, or collect from disparate sources. For example, you want to use some song lyrics from 1940, so you need to go on a lengthy and expensive search for copyright holders or fear expensive legal proceedings. Can you get along without those lyrics? Or course you can. But the writer of the lyrics and music, and the original singer, are long dead. Mickey is a going concern.

And the question for me is not whether copyright inhibits creativity, but whether or not it encourages it. After all, copyrights are an artificial creation that require effort to maintain. If they are merely neutral in effect (not inhibiting), there's no reason to have them.

Alexander Jablokov

I think the issue is less Mickey qua Mickey, but the fact that keeping Mickey safe has the side effect of making it difficult to compile, sample, anthologize, or collect from disparate sources. For example, you want to use some song lyrics from 1940, so you need to go on a lengthy and expensive search for copyright holders or fear expensive legal proceedings. Can you get along without those lyrics? Or course you can. But the writer of the lyrics and music, and the original singer, are long dead. Mickey is a going concern.

And the question for me is not whether copyright inhibits creativity, but whether or not it encourages it. After all, copyrights are an artificial creation that require effort to maintain. If they are merely neutral in effect (not inhibiting), there's no reason to have them.

Kris ├ůsard

What Alexander said. The side effect of Disney lobbying for longer extensions in order to keep Mickey exclusive is that everything else gets frozen up as well.

Then there is the irony inherit in the fact that the Disney empire is founded on feature films based on public domain characters and stories - now nobody else is allowed to take that route with anything created later than Mickey.

So I think most people just want for Disney to finally lose their exclusive rights to the mouse, so that Disney then may realize that it wasn't the end of the world for them, and that there's no real need to keep pushing copyright.

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