Monday, November 22, 2004
(My November contribution to IP Memes follows.)
THE MOVIE IS 65, BUT THE BOOK'S STILL NOT PUBLIC DOMAIN
65 years after its screen debut, a four hour, four disc set of "Gone With the Wind" has just been released on Warner Home Video. And 55 years after author Margaret Mitchell's death, her estate continues to aggressively guard its copyrights. Australian Web site Project Gutenberg earlier this year added Gone With the Wind to its database of texts accessible freely online. Australian law protects the copyright in such works until 50 years after the author's demise. The latest extension of U.S. copyright law nearly doubles that, as lawyers for Ms. Mitchell's estate were quick to point out. Project Gutenberg has removed the book, though it remains unclear which country's law would govern in this case. No word on whether the demand letter threatened "a good lashing with a buggy whip."
- IGN Insider, Gone With The Wind: 65th Anniversary Collector's Edition
- International Herald Tribune, The end user: Copyright patchwork
- Gone With The Wind quotes
MPAA, MARVEL JUMP ON THE LAWSUIT BANDWAGON
Following the lead of the Recording Industry of America (which has recently added a 10-year old to its ranks of defendants), the Motion Picture Association of America has begun suing individuals suspected of trading unauthorized movie files on P2P networks. Meanwhile, Marvel Enterprises, which owns the rights to characters such as The Incredible Hulk and the various X-Men, is going after the creators of City of Heroes, a massively multiplayer role-playing game that allows players to create characters Marvel says are too similar to its own. Will it be long before the players themselves are in Marvel's crosshairs? Says Weblogs, Inc. co-founder Jason Calacanis: "Heck, I'm going to turn my brother in for drawing Wolverine in his 8th-grade notebook!"
- Miami Herald, Music piracy suits hitting home
- PC World, MPAA Sues First Movie Swappers
- USA Today, Marvel sues two companies over role-playing game
- Jason Calacanis weblog post
Where I come from, $200 million is real money. To see how Disney/Pixar spent that much on licensed promotions for its film The Incredibles, check out blogger Alan Taylor's chronicle of over 325 official Incredibles-related items, including a set of Incredibles-branded weightlifting gear, necessary to help banish calories from Incredibles-branded Pop-Tarts. (Via Waxy)
WHO SAYS YOGA AND LAWSUITS DON'T MIX?
First there was Bikram Choudry, suing studio owners perceived to stand in the way of the Starbuck-ification of his 26-posture series. Now there's the dispute between Roger Avary (incidentally, co-writer of "Pulp Fiction") and Microsoft, who Avary alleges snatched his idea for a "virtual" yoga studio. Microsoft recently announced a new Xbox game called "Yourself! Fitness" that Avery says he pitched to Microsoft last year without reaching any agreement. Sounds like the perfect opportunity for litigants to replace "Respectfully Submitted" with "Namaste."
- SF Gate, Yogis go to court over poses, Copyright dispute turns yoga into a legal exercise
- Yourself! Fitness
- Ireland Online, Pulp Fiction writer sues Microsoft
TIVO ANNOUNCES ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY FOR HACKS
TiVo, famously dubbed "God's Machine" by FCC Chairman Michael Powell, has just slipped a bit lower in the divine firmament. By March of next year, TiVo users will no longer simply see their recorded programming speeding by when they fast-forward through recorded commercials. Instead, they'll see ads — not the ones they recorded, but ads placed there through partnerships between TiVo and other advertisers. However, TiVo is one of the most hackable, and hacked, consumer electronic devices on the market today, so intrepid users are no doubt even now plotting ways to thwart TiVo's efforts to make them view ads when what they're trying to do is skip ads. TiVo already walks a tightrope in taking a hands-off approach to hackers who handily circumvent its copy protection. Now its paid advertisers will add their voices to those who want TiVo to clamp down harder on hobbyists tinkering under the hood.
Unless otherwise expressly stated, all original material of whatever nature created by Denise M. Howell and included in the Bag and Baggage weblog and any related pages, including the weblog's archives, is licensed under a Creative Commons License.