Monday, May 21, 2007

Derivative Works

I'd say the biggest (though certainly not the only) problem with copyright extensions is that they prevent derivative works. I can sympathize (though not agree) with authors believing that they should have the exclusive right in perpetuity to sell their book as written, but the real importance of the public domain is that it allows bits and pieces to be appropriated and used by other writers. While my "Han Solo Meets Frodo" novel might survive litigation by Lucas and the Tolkien estate, my inability to pay for lawyers to defend myself will prevent me from trying to publish it.

Disney made lots of money stealing from other authors building on past works, and that's not as possible to do.

...what I said plus a bit more actual law and case history here.