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Creative Commons & Webcomics 144

Posted by Hemos
from the intentionally-left-blank dept.
xerexes writes "This week Comixpedia is publishing an article written by T Campbell called "Creative Commons and Webcomics" which features a roundtable discussion with comments from Lawrence Lessig, Neeru Paharia, Mia Garlick, JD Frazer and Cory Doctorow. Traditional copyright faces webcomics with an uncomfortable choice. Its restrictions, properly enforced, would mean a virtual end to crossovers and homages, fan art, fan fiction, and many other staples that make the webcomic a more entertaining creation and foster artistic growth. A total lack of copyright, however, leaves unscrupulous readers free to "bootleg" subscription sites, program tools to deprive comics of advertising revenue, and even profit from others' labor without permission. The Creative Commons license presents a possible solution. It lets copyright holders to grant some of their rights to the public while retaining others, through a variety of licensing and contract schemes, which may include dedication to the public domain or open content licensing terms. "
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Creative Commons & Webcomics

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  • by larsoncc (461660) on Monday June 13, 2005 @09:12AM (#12802288) Homepage
    It's not copyright that's the big limiting factor here. Any Web Comic with enough of a following to generate fan art should have its characters and logos trademarked. We're talking about leaving the realm of "doing something neat" and entering the realm of "making a living".

    As far as trademark law is concerned, you either defend it or lose it. Fan art can exist in this realm, as it does with Lucas' properties, but Creative Commons isn't some panacea for all that ails these artists.

    If they want control whilst allowing variations, they need to first pursue trademark protection.
    • How does Lucas get around the "defend or lose" part of trademarks? Do people who want to make a parody download a standard license from the Lucasfilm website and sign it, or what?
    • by Ed Avis (5917) <ed@membled.com> on Monday June 13, 2005 @09:54AM (#12802655) Homepage
      Are you advocating that trademarks should be enforceable on fictional characters? Or just saying that a company that wants to make the most money possible should file for trademarks on everything in sight (true, obviously)?

      Is there a net benefit to 'science and the useful arts' from trademark protection on Captain Jean-Luc Picard (TM)? Does it prevent unwary consumers being ripped off?
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Is there a net benefit to 'science and the useful arts' from trademark protection on Captain Jean-Luc Picard (TM)? Does it prevent unwary consumers being ripped off?

        You don't think so? In that case, I have an "official" Captain Jean-Luc Picard (TM) "Make it so!" Talking Toilet Bowl seat that I want to sell you. It programmed to offer such encouragement as:

        "Make it so!"
        "Tea, Earl Grey, Hot!"
        "Engage!"
        "These are not the droids we're looking for!

        Yours for only four easy payments of 29.95!

        • You see, I don't get the argument that we should grant strong monopoly rights on particular characters to the copyright or trademark holder to prevent them from being 'abused' or to preserve artistic integrity. I'd prefer to see your Picard toilet bowl go on sale, and let the market decide whether it is successful or not.

          Besides, a large company is not the best bet to ensure that merchandising stays true to the original author's intent or to some measure of good taste. Look at what Disney has done to the
          • "You see, I don't get the argument that we should grant strong monopoly rights on particular characters to the copyright or trademark holder to prevent them from being 'abused' or to preserve artistic integrity."

            Allow me to clarify, then.

            First, the character is mine, all mine. I invented him (a detective, in my case) and no one else contributed. I have a past, personality and future all worked out for him. Name too.

            If I do not protect him, you or someone else can create alternate storylines fo
            • If I do not protect him, you or someone else can create alternate storylines for him that have him behaving terribly or way off course. You could kill him, ressurect him (if I kill him), or turn him into a drag queen.

              I think someone needs to be reminded that fictional characters aren't real people. A third party can't change your character; he can only write a story depicting your character in a different light. Your original stories are still exactly as you left them, and if your audience likes your stor
            • If I do not protect him, you or someone else can create alternate storylines for him that have him behaving terribly or way off course.

              Well, of course. And no doubt you would be terribly upset about that. But why is that an argument about the public interest, or progress of science and the useful arts? Why does the 'artistic integrity' of one person justify blocking the artistic impulses of others? After all, if you're offended by some storyline in which Picard is killed off, you're free not to read

      • Trademarks are enforcable on fictional characters. Witness Disney forcing a day care center to remove its characters from its walls.

        It's not a position of advocation. It's a statement of fact. If you want to protect your works, which is what is at issue here, than there are means to do so. They are more powerful means than the Creative Commons (copyright bound) licensing scheme.

        A company should trademark their name, because if they don't, SOMEONE ELSE WILL. Maybe this doesn't apply to fictional chara
        • Trademarks are enforcable on fictional characters. Witness Disney forcing a day care center to remove its characters from its walls.

          I am not sure this proves anything about trademarks; the visual appearance of Mickey is copyrightable. Now, if I wrote the story:

          'One day Mickey Mouse met Minnie. They lived happily every after. The end.'

          Can I be sued for trademark infringement?

          Of course the question of whether fictional characters can be the subject of a trademark is a question of fact. But the par

    • by serutan (259622) <snoopdoug AT geekazon DOT com> on Monday June 13, 2005 @11:01AM (#12803271) Homepage
      It's interesting to me that most of these discussions assume that preserving the making of money in the entertainment business overrides all other considerations. As Doctorow sums up, "The inkers, artists, writers and pencillers should be protected by statute and practice in a way that guarantees them a decent wage and the means to care for their families." This is always taken as a given. The enterteinment business must endure.

      Why?

      Would a world without professionally produced entertainment be as bad as a world in which you need approval from some central authority every time you access a hard drive or move bytes from one piece of equipment to another? I can live a pretty full life without Madonna, Spiderman or Star Wars. I can't live nearly such a full life if every action I perform electronically is monitored, and everything I personally create and distribute must be checked for possible infringement or I risk losing my house in a lawsuit.

      Preservation of copyright in the modern world creates these consequences. Like the War On Drugs, which currently accounts for 65% of our prison system, the War On Infringement will entail greater and greater enforcement costs. I don't want to pay those costs to preserve an industry that contributes only a few percent to the economy. I also don't want to further entrench the modern notion that ideas and property are one and the same, or that rights and property are one and the same. Given a choice between preserving the profitability of entertainment for the few people who earn a living that way, and perserving the personal freedoms that the other 99.999% of the population will lose -- and it IS a binary choice -- give me the latter.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        "It's interesting to me that most of these discussions assume that preserving the making of money in the entertainment business overrides all other considerations. As Doctorow sums up, "The inkers, artists, writers and pencillers should be protected by statute and practice in a way that guarantees them a decent wage and the means to care for their families." This is always taken as a given. The enterteinment business must endure."

        It's not the perservation that's the issue. It's those who feel that being en
        • While you make a sensible try at going a bit deeper into the matter, it is a pitty you feel the need to post as an AC. The post is good enough to post under your 'own' nick, as far as that goes, obviously.

          Anyhow, some points of disagreement:

          "It's not the perservation that's the issue. It's those who feel that being entertained is an entitlement, and will do everything in their power to see that that happens."

          I would rather say it's a matter of what kind of 'entitlement' it is about. I think that few woul
  • by Denyer (717613) on Monday June 13, 2005 @09:14AM (#12802301)
    http://www.queenofwands.net/d/20050223.html [queenofwands.net]

    http://www.somethingpositive.net/sp02242005.shtml [somethingpositive.net]

    http://www.checkerboardnightmare.com/d/20050224.ht ml [checkerboa...htmare.com]

    http://www.irregularwebcomic.net/fanart/queenofwan ds.html [irregularwebcomic.net]

    Of course, this being Slashdot, five people have probably already posted this by now...

    • An interesting fannish thing I came across yesterday is this [1632.org]. It's a science fiction premise (rednecks transported back in time to 1632), where people can write stories, which then go into an online slush pile, where others can give feedback. An interesting alternative to the traditional model, and it looks like people are having fun doing it.
  • Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by blazer1024 (72405)
    Okay, I didn't RTFA, so I'm guilty of being a slashdotter. Also, IANAL and other standard disclaimers. But why would you need some special general purpose license?

    You can already just give anyone you want permission to use your work... why would giving someone permission to use your characters in a crossover have anything to do with someone bootlegging your site? That makes no sense to me.
    • Re:Why? (Score:2, Funny)

      by jack_call (742032) *
      Well RTFA and IANAL is sort of implied on /. by now, no need of mentioning it.
    • Re:Why? (Score:4, Informative)

      by oneandoneis2 (777721) on Monday June 13, 2005 @10:11AM (#12802799) Homepage
      But why would you need some special general purpose license?

      Because of that "IANAL" thing - true of most people with web content. And just putting a message like "You can copy my stuff within reason" is pretty much equivalent to "Help yourself to everything" if you ever want to take it to a courtroom.

      The CC licenses, on the other hand, ARE written by lawyers. So they say exactly what you want them to say, and when you say "You can do this, but not that" you know that you're not leaving a dozen loopholes to be exploited.

      • Re:Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Rydia (556444)
        Well, I am a lawyer (though not copyright) and I would say theoriginal poster has a point.

        Licenses are simply a way to diseminate the different rights granted by copyrights. The thing is, though, that our new (post-1972) copyright law has an enumerated list of granted rights, any of which may be given or reserved by choice of the creator. Licenses simply are a legal mix of flexibility and technicality that covers the disemination of those rights in a set fashion.

        So, if I were a webcomic author, I can say
      • So, what's wrong with just saying "All work on this site, copyright Joe Blow. All characters, the site logo, and the strip name are trademarks of Joe Blow. This material is protected by all applicable laws, including international treaties"?

        You're producing art. It's automatically protected under copyright, especially if you spend the twenty bucks and register your copyrights, and trademark fees (whatever they are) to register those.

        It seems to me that saying ANYTHING about licensing opens you up to probl
        • So, what's wrong with just saying "All work on this site, copyright Joe Blow. All characters, the site logo, and the strip name are trademarks of Joe Blow. This material is protected by all applicable laws, including international treaties"?

          Nothing's wrong with it, it's just utterly irrelevant.

          CC licenses are for when you WANT to allow others some rights to use your work. If you don't want to do that, just sticking "Copyright, leave it alone" is fine.

          Think of it as the difference between locking all

    • by FLEB (312391)
      It's easier. I could either give you a big license to read, make you email me, or just say "CC Remix License" (or whatever). Having a common, named license means that licensors don't need to find and whackamole every legal angle, and that licensees will (after enough familiarity) have an easily-recongized definition of their rights.

      It also benifits in that a popular common license will have more talk about it, such as third-party legal explanations for the layman and guidance for users, because it is commo
  • by Rekrapt (813221) <tparker@tparker.net> on Monday June 13, 2005 @09:23AM (#12802374) Homepage Journal
    I've always found it ironic that a company like Disney, who made tons of moolah using works that had fallen to the public domain, are the first to sue day care centers and such for painting Mickey Mouse on the wall. They wouldn't be where they are today were it not for the public domain.

    I believe all copywritten works should go to the public domain after 20 years. Period. That should be plenty of time to make money off your work. And if you don't make any money, then it should pass to the public domain so someone else can take it and maybe make some money off of it. The majority of artists/musicians/filmakers/writers never get rich from their work. (Like me!!!) I would imagine that in the public domain, you might have another chance to get some recognition for your art. If you didn't make any money, letting somebody else alter it and re-package it could help you receive some recognition and lead to some $$$ for your other works. Maybe... what do I know... I'm a peasant.

    • by Ironsides (739422) on Monday June 13, 2005 @11:48AM (#12803702) Homepage Journal
      I believe all copywritten works should go to the public domain after 20 years. Period.

      How about 14 years with the option to renew for another 14? You know, how it was orginally way back in 1790.

      Since we're on that note anyway, Copyright Timeline [cni.org]
    • They wouldn't be where they are today were it not for the public domain.
      They did not break the law. But if they don't sue your poster day care centers now, they'll lose the trademarks completely -- opening up the doors for cheap Mickey mice on everything.
    • I think that if you had managed to make money off copyright, your opinion might be changed. Personally I think the laws are fine as they stand. Fifty years is a good number. However I don't think there should be anything in it which controls how you use something privately, like the decss fiasco, or DMCA, that's all a bag of shit. As far as I'm concerned, once you've bought a CD or DVD, you have every right to use it with any hardware you want, and to make backups. But that right ends at your frontdoor, or
      • Personally I think the laws are fine as they stand. Fifty years is a good number.

        Well, which is it? Do you like the existing laws, or would you prefer 50 years?

        Because, in case you didn't know, today's copyright lasts closer to 150 years than to 50.
  • Legality bites (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mister_llah (891540) on Monday June 13, 2005 @09:26AM (#12802400) Homepage Journal
    As an aspiring comic myself, I have to say the concept is pretty good (of flexible license as opposed to copyright)... one of my larger worries is that my actual comics (not just the sketches on my art site) ... will be stolen and/or plagerized, this provides at least a source for advice and subject for consideration.

    If you didn't read the article and are a comic or other artist, it's worth a read through!
    • " As an aspiring comic myself, "
      your aspiring to be a comic?
      Or do you mean:
      "as a comic artist, I am aspiring to make a living off my work."?
      If yuou are successful, they will be stolen.

      every see a photocopied dilbert cartoon pinned to a cube? Technically, copyright infringement.

      This may have changed, but years ago I read the bill watterson never liscened his work for anything but the comics. How many Calvin and Hobbs shirts and stickers do you see?
      • At present, more aspiring to be a comic, I figure if I can come up with enough ideas I won't suck for a year or two if I try to do anything with it.

        ===

        Indeed, it is hard to protect a joke or likeness, impossible even...

        Just because it is hard, though, doesn't mean it shouldn't be done... artists need food, same as anyone else
  • by StreetFire.net (850652) on Monday June 13, 2005 @09:28AM (#12802413) Homepage

    This reminds me a lot of a problem my company is facing. One of partner sites that uses our free video hosting software http://video.freevideoblog.com/ [freevideoblog.com] gets a lot of "fan" dedications to popular TV shows like Buffy the Vampire slayer or Anime music videos set to popular songs. It's damn good work, and IMOHO only creates more awareness and popularity to the original work, but because we're paranoid of getting sued by the RIAA and MPAA, we have to delete those videos from the system.

    I have to wonder how the Music industry gets around this as often I hear music that "samples" tracks from other artists, or even sound bites from TV and the movies. So I know there is a process in place to take an original work and modify it (And combine it with your own original work) to create your own unique art...but I don't know what it is, or where that shade of gray turns black.

    I have to say that in this lawsuit happy time I'm more inclined to ere on the side of caution, but I feel a lot of unique and original work is lost or covered up by folks like myself moderating content off the system.

    Anyhow just some idle rambling from my own experience.

    -Adam
    • I feel a lot of unique and original work is lost or covered up by folks like myself moderating content off the system.

      It's not that bad.

      Most people mixing up their own derivative works for fun will share within their circle of friends privately, or via centralized services that haven't grown big enough to care about being legally anal, or via decentralized p2p (which is where I find most of those anime music vids, halo vids, GTA trick vids, CS cheater vids, WoW "hammertime" vids, and whatnot).

      • Most people mixing up their own derivative works for fun will share within their circle of friends privately, or via centralized services that haven't grown big enough to care about being legally anal, or via decentralized p2p (which is where I find most of those anime music vids, halo vids, GTA trick vids, CS cheater vids, WoW "hammertime" vids, and whatnot).

        True, but it's still unfortunate the really good stuff can't make it onto more mainstream web-sharing services. Bit Torrent is great, but I wouldn

    • PS: As an aside to my above post. My company is currently operating in the negative (as any new start up does). So if the RIAA/MPAA comes a knocking asking for a cut of the profits, right now we'd just hand them a bill :-)
    • I have to wonder how the Music industry gets around this as often I hear music that "samples" tracks from other artists, or even sound bites from TV and the movies. So I know there is a process in place to take an original work and modify it (And combine it with your own original work) to create your own unique art...but I don't know what it is, or where that shade of gray turns black.

      The test of legality used to boil down to something like "does the work stand on its own without the sampled material, and
      • Thanks for the input it sounds like you have some solid industry insight. I too have to wonder why Audio/Video copyrights get protection to the point of stiffling other artist, yet visual arts have more lenient creative commons...probably because less money is at stake.
      • For example, I once estimated that to clear the samples in *one* of my tracks from back in 2000, it would cost something like $50k-$100k, far more than the entire album it was from would ever generate even in gross profit.

        I'm not familiar with your work (or, maybe I am but just don't recognize you from your slashdot name), but that is a really sad state of affairs.

        The worst part is that the RIAA types would see you as a drain on society, eg, they wouldn't see your work as being a contribution to the arts
  • Prohibiting parody? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by HyperBlazer (830880)
    From TFA, quoting JD Frazer:

    a bitter ex-fan decides to take the strips and replace the writing with, say, something you might find in Penthouse Forum. Not to say that there isn't a market for that kind of thing, just that UserFriendly has always been PG-rated for very specific reasons. I also don't appreciate someone else taking years of my own sweat and tears and in minutes turning it into something of which I don't particularly approve.

    Could someone with more legal knowledge than me clear something

    • Could someone with more legal knowledge than me clear something up: wouldn't such use of Frazer's comics be considered parody, and therefore fair use? Or at least, so the "bitter ex-fan" could argue.

      My understanding is that to be parody, it would have to be "poking fun" at the original material. Just "changing the words" constitutes a derivative work and that falls under copyright. (That distinction is what led the folks who thought they owned "This Land" to threaten legal action against JibJab [jibjab.com]. What go

  • program tools to deprive comics of advertising revenue, and even profit from others' labor without permission
    wget is evil!
  • Bull-pucky. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by njfuzzy (734116) <ian&ian-x,com> on Monday June 13, 2005 @09:37AM (#12802496) Homepage
    Stuff and Nonsense.

    With traditional copyright, you can still authorize people to do all of the things mentioned. Sometimes, I think the only reason there is a movement to create something new is because people don't understand the current standard.

    • Hmmmm, let's see. You could start a cultural sharing movement based on either a) mass education of people as to the capabilities of the existing law or b) acknowledge the capabilities of the traditional law and use them to encourage sharing through a specific set of licenses that emphasise that only *some* rights are reserved.

      One of these movements has a future and one of them does not.
      • Then the point of the exercise is to help the Creative Commons people, not the webcomics creators? Because in terms of helping the webcomics the parent seems right, they manage crossovers and fan art just fine right now under current law.

        • You're absolutely right and I think I misunderstood the GP. I thought he was saying the whole of the Creative Commons movement was a waste of time because of the capability of existing copyright law - not that it isn't that helpful to start a new webcomics movement when the laws work as they are.
    • I think the real reason that people are creating a new 'movement' with regards to copyright is to distance themselves from the decaying foundation that copyright is built on.

      After all, would you really want to be part of the run-of-the-mill copyright system when a new bill to be passed in the not so distant future may change or compromise your intent for a work's enjoyment?

      The reason that people don't understand the current standard is partly because it keeps changing. Trademark rights over URL names
      • none of which has anything to do with creative commons.

        All creative commons does is give a packeaged choice to creaters, based on current copyright system.
        • I didn't mean to sound as if it actually is a new copyright system. Rather, I think that CC attempts to lay out packages in plain english terms.

          I know it may sound silly, but I think it gives some people a little peace of mind to know their liscense actually means rather than think of liscensing terms as 'someone else's job'.

          To me, knowing the actual rights I have gives a feeling of separation from the normal copyright system because I don't need a lawyer to interpret all the definitions. Creative Comm
    • Re:Bull-pucky. (Score:2, Insightful)

      by kitty tape (442039)
      That's kind of the point of these Creative Commons licenses. They are not trying to create new laws. They are taking existing laws of copyright and saying "here are some prepackaged ways you can give everyone specific rights". Otherwise, people would have to make up their own copyright statement each time or license to different people individually.
      • And furthermore, the prepackaging ensures that large groups of works have compatible licenses (not all of the CC licenses are compatible with one another, but that's understood and intentional).

  • Speaking of Comics (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Crapshoot (880704)
    Sinfest.net is one of my favorites - great strip, now available as a book.. And the idiot who argued that people shouldn't get paid for their work - pray tell, what is your job ?
  • You mean like how Metallica wants to stop you from stealing their CD's? I guess if it's a "cool" cartoon, it's bad to rip it off, but if it's an "evil" CD, then it's OK to rip off. I hope this article helps people see why copyright issues are so complex -- you just can't treat one media differently from the other. Many hours of labor are involved in the initial creation of ANY product, and the people who put in those hours deserve just compensation and equal protection under the law.
    • Nobody automatically deserves to get paid just because they put time and effort into something. They have to convince their audience that what they made is worth paying for.

      For example, if I spend six hours combing and gelling my hair into a very specific style, that's a lot of time and effort... but it doesn't give me the right to demand money from people who pass me on the sidewalk, or to demand that they not look at my hair unless they're willing to pay, or even to claim that I own that hairstyle and no
  • Doujinshi (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pbooktebo (699003) on Monday June 13, 2005 @09:52AM (#12802638)
    I love the Creative Commons license, but I actually think that the example Lessig gives in his book "Free Culture" of the douginshi is a better market example.

    Doujinshi are illegal comics that are openly tolerated because the legal owners know that the comics actually help the overall market (a fan fiction that keeps people interested, trains aspiring artists, and promotes creative freedom.

    Of course, another reason that they flourish, was provided to Lessig by a Japanese buisinessman, who said, "we don't have enough lawyers," to prosecute the cases. If only!

    The same issue exists for all artistic endeavors (although music, through sampling, seems to be at the forefront these days). It really is worth considering the dampening effect that these policies have on creativity and innovation.
  • Already done that. Myself and several others produced a print suitable minicomic in pdf format that is free to download, read, print, sell. The only restrictions we had were no changes to it allowed. There've been some distributed at various conventions in dead tree format. Watch out for "Deadly Bear Attacks". As for my normal comic, I don't worry about it. It's purely a hobby and I'm not after any compensation for doing it.
    • There've been some distributed at various conventions in dead tree format. Watch out for "Deadly Bear Attacks"

      Deadly Bears Attack can be found here [keenspace.com]. It's a thread on the Keenspace forums with links to various sites where the PDF might still be hosted. Feel free to download and distribute the PDF file. It's licensed under Creative Commons to allow making and selling copies but not modification of the content. Instructions for printing the comic are also available in or linked from the thread. If yo

  • ... program tools to deprive comics of advertising revenue ...

    Now WTF does *that* mean?

    You don't have things like Adblock in mind, do you? Let me point out that no one has a RIGHT to advertising revenue. I am quite sure I don't have any obligation, moral or legal, to look at the ads.

    • Let me point out that no one has a RIGHT to advertising revenue. I am quite sure I don't have any obligation, moral or legal, to look at the ads.

      I hope you're right, but this issue hasn't been litigated and might well come down the other way once it is. A web page, served with embedded ads, may be considered a work covered by copyright and therefore protected from unauthorized derivative works, e.g. abridgments or ad-free versions.

      The closest analogous case we have is ArribaSoft, which deemed thumbnai

      • Re:Hold on a sec (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Kaa (21510) on Monday June 13, 2005 @11:26AM (#12803504) Homepage
        A web page, served with embedded ads, may be considered a work covered by copyright and therefore protected from unauthorized derivative works, e.g. abridgments or ad-free versions.

        Nah, I don't think this will fly. At all.

        Under this theory, for example, I would be prohibited from doing anything destructive with a book -- e.g. tearing out some pages. This theory would immediately make the fast-forward button on VCRs/DVD players illegal. I guess it would make the mute button on the TV remotes illegal as well.

        In fact, given the recent law explicitly giving permission to non-copyright-holders to modify and redistribute movies (primarily to take out cursing/sex/violence) -- I estimate the chances of this theory making it past the appeals court at zero.

        Publishers might make a case for Trespass to Chattels, or Trespass, or Unfair Competition, or some other garbage tort that would boil down to "the courts are obliged to support my dumb-ass business model".

        There might be a case against someone who strips ads and redistributes web pages (adless) to other people. Not against the end user, though.

        Yes, I understand that you could make it a contract case -- make the user explicitly agree to a contract on the first page of the web site and then you can sue him for breaking that contract. However this has to generate so much ill will and bad publicity that I'd actually want to see someone try it.. :-)
        • This theory would immediately make the fast-forward button on VCRs/DVD players illegal.


          That's absolutely correct, actually, if I remember the Betamax decision correctly. Fast-forwarding through commercials creates an unauthorized derivative work.
          • This theory would immediately make the fast-forward button on VCRs/DVD players illegal.

            That's absolutely correct, actually, if I remember the Betamax decision correctly. Fast-forwarding through commercials creates an unauthorized derivative work.

            The "problem" (for corporations who own the copyright of other people's work) here is that anyone can press fast-forward. But don't worry, at the rate DVDs are going, by the time they're replaced with high definition discs, you won't be able to fast forward

        • Re:Hold on a sec (Score:2, Interesting)

          by lucas_picador (862520)
          I think you're right. The courts seem to think you're right, for the time being. The problem is that the copyright statute says you're wrong, and only the vauge fair-use balancing test stands in the way of the statutory language. The House Report on the 1976 Amendments is ridiculously broad in its characterization of unauthorized derivative works: reading their comments, you start to realize that a personal discussion of the plot of a movie you just watched with a friend would constitute copyright infringem
        • I'd actually want to see someone try it.. :-)

          Here you go:
          http://www.checkerboardnightmare.com/d/20010103.ht ml [checkerboa...htmare.com]

          Jw
      • The US Congress -- even though it's the bitch of movie studios -- recently passed the Family Entertainment Copyright Act, which allows for people to use the fast forward button to go past "objectionable" content. Now that Bush has signed the legislation, not only are ClearPlay's smut-/violence-/etc.-free DVD players legal, but the fast forward button is, too.

        I think a case could be made for one's HOSTS file falling under the same rubric -- you're filtering out objectionable content from Websites. You obj

        • ... yes, and the legislative history of the Act will bear on the interpretation the courts give it, and they might well take a narrow view of what constitutes "objectionable" content. The courts have again and again propped up commercial activity as laudable and sexual speech as subject to censorship. There's nothing to stop them from making the same distinction here.

          On the other hand, maybe the courts will be the good guys here and use this tool -- created by Republican cultural censors -- to expand the

  • As an aspiring comic-writer (see .sig) I would love to quit my job and draw all day long. As a realist, I know that this will likely never happen. However, if it /does/ happen, I would like some way to profit from it while giving people the right to do with it what they want. Being also very busy, I haven't looked into it (considering it will likely never be an issue).
  • An article having to do with webcomics and absolutely no plug for Penny Arcade in the Slashdot post? Amazing!
  • Interesting note in there about Creative Commons being a perfect fit with educational materials. I agree that it's good to distribute educational materials as widely as possible, but when one of your prime concerns is accuracy, you might not want "remixing," etc.

    Of course, a lot of this happens in curriculum development anyhow. When you're stuck for ideas, you look at activities and lesson plans others have written and pull what's relevant to adapt to what you're doing - no reason to reinvent the wheel. A

  • ...and even profit from others' labor without permission.

    My god, not that. Oh, Jesus, I think I'm going to vomit. Just the thought of someone profiting from others' labor without permission makes me sick.

  • The Creative Commons site features a set of educational comics done under the CC license.

    This sounds really interesting. I've always felt that the future of education is in comics. I really wanted to see what had been done when I saw this quote, but, alas, I couldn't find it on their website. Does anyone know what he's specifically talking about or, even better, have a direct link to said comics?
  • So, you have a panel on webcomics, and only one of the five people there happens to be a webcomics guy.

    (to say nothing of the quality of his work, oy!)
  • I am currently in film school. I want to direct films that are entertaining, yet make me and the other people involved some money. As others have said, if I can't eat, I'm not going to be making many films.

    However I think the current situation regarding copyright is, quite frankly, bullshit. So I am going to do something in return for the limited right to exclusivity copyright should provide me.

    I am going to place a clause with my films stating that they are to revert to Creative Commons after 11 years. A

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