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Book Talk & Exchange of Views > Copyright and Moral Right

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message 2: by Andre Jute (new)

Andre Jute (andrejute) | 4851 comments Mod
I take a hard line on my property. Here's what I posted on KB in a thread discussing this very subject.

[quote author=mathewferguson link=topic=145144.msg2119714#msg2119714 date=1363230644]
In the UK, Sherlock Holmes passed into the public domain in 1980. In the US, this will not happen until 2023.

So instead of a book of amazing new stories we have lawyers trying to sue out of existence anyone who dares to use those characters. Despite them being 86 - 126 years old.

Writers can freely write OZ stories. Writers can freely write stories about Greek and Roman gods. These is a public good from having those characters and stories enter the public domain. The public domain and public good is crushed by toxic heirs such as in this case. It's bad for all of us.
[/quote]

The main thing that a writer invents and owns is his characters. Individual characters is generally what distinguishes one novel from another. Inventing persuasive individual characters and the ability to develop them is what distinguishes quality literature from me-too crap.

Real writers invent and build their own characters.

"Authors" who demand the right to use other writers' characters are thieves. That applies regardless of how long those authors are dead.

Period.


message 3: by Claudine (new)

Claudine | 1110 comments Mod
Which is why I cannot abide the "new" style Jane Austen books or the books where all those characters from Bronte, Austen etc are now suddenly brought to life as vampire hunters. The mind boggles on a whole different level of ick that this is what it takes to bring classics to life for the younger generations.

My feeling is get off your damn butt and read the classic not the remake vampire laden dreck.

Regarding the article, if there are no legal heirs left alive who can claim the rights to the stories or a foundation protecting the right of the original author, then they should fall within the public domain but should be protected from being used for useless silly fluff like some of the stuff floating around now. In a Utopian world, authors who rip off those classics like Sherlock Holmes should be made to pay a royalty fee into a slush fund which in turn should be used for the upkeep of libraries worldwide.


message 4: by Daniel (new)

Daniel Roberts (Daniel-A-Roberts) | 467 comments Well said, both of you.

For the same reasons, Koontz' re-write of Frankenstein over a series of novels forever lost my $$'s over anything he's done. Mary Shelley may be in the grave, but I'm sure she's spinning fast enough to turn the Pacific into buttermilk.


message 5: by Andre Jute (new)

Andre Jute (andrejute) | 4851 comments Mod
Claudine wrote: "In a Utopian world, authors who rip off those classics like Sherlock Holmes should be made to pay a royalty fee into a slush fund which in turn should be used for the upkeep of libraries worldwide."

[SMACKS FOREHEAD] I wish I thought of that first. It's so obvious... It could actually be a richly funded institution because one of the main offenders is films, and the license could be a flat fee plus a percentage of the take.

Whenever I arrived at a new university, I'd ask, "Which way to the Carnegie?" It's amazing how many universities have Carnegie Libraries, funded by the bequest of the steel magnate.


message 6: by Andre Jute (new)

Andre Jute (andrejute) | 4851 comments Mod
Daniel wrote: "Mary Shelley may be in the grave, but I'm sure she's spinning fast enough to turn the Pacific into buttermilk. "

Kench!


message 7: by Claudine (new)

Claudine | 1110 comments Mod
Don't get me started on movies. The only films in recent times that have come close to the book for me are the Tolkien adaptations by Peter Jackson. His treatment of the films vs the book was absolutely brilliant. I haven't seen The Hobbit yet but I imagine it will be treated the same especially as it is part one of a trilogy.


message 8: by Andre Jute (new)

Andre Jute (andrejute) | 4851 comments Mod
We're big Tolkien fans in my house, and very finicky about movies, and not a single complaint was heard about the veracity of Jackson's films, either of fact or spirit.


message 9: by Claudine (new)

Claudine | 1110 comments Mod
Jackson was brilliant in his handling.

All too often a book is filmed and changed until it is all but unrecognisable. The disclaimer of Based on (insert book title) which is splashed across the screen before the movie starts doesn't even being to mitigate the disaster that is bound to follow.


message 10: by Claudine (new)


message 11: by J.D. (new)

J.D. Hallowell | 97 comments Andre Jute wrote: "We're big Tolkien fans in my house, and very finicky about movies, and not a single complaint was heard about the veracity of Jackson's films, either of fact or spirit."

The opinions in my house differ significantly from those in yours. The films were magnificent, but they cut, radically altered, or glossed over several sections that were, for us, central to the themes of the books.


message 12: by Andre Jute (new)

Andre Jute (andrejute) | 4851 comments Mod
J.D. wrote: "The opinions in my house differ significantly from those in yours. The films were magnificent, but they cut, radically altered, or glossed over several sections that were, for us, central to the themes of the books."

I've written for film and know how difficult it is to fit any literature at all rich, never mind long, into a film of any reasonable length. A standard length film is the action and dialogue of about fifty or sixty of your pages, at most. So I make allowances. Considering the restrictions, I thought Jackson did exuberantly well.


message 13: by Andre Jute (new)

Andre Jute (andrejute) | 4851 comments Mod
Claudine wrote: "http://www.smashwords.com/profile/vie...

Raping the classics."


Yes, that's taking the girlie conversion to ludicrous lengths. Not even the Martians are safe from this woman.


message 14: by Claudine (new)

Claudine | 1110 comments Mod
I agree that Jackson left out a lot. He said once in an interview that if they'd filmed the books as is, he'd have made something like 6 or 7. Hollywood I think, and the film world in general, seem to have come up with 90 minutes as being a magic number for a movie. That just narrows the creativity down when faced with something like Tolkien. You cannot ever do it justice in the way that the fans would have it done. Overall though, he did a brilliant job. I was horrified when I heard that there was going to be a film. I saw the first one and was very happy with the way he treated the storyline in general.

Andre, ja that is just....no words.


message 15: by K.A. (new)

K.A. Jordan (kajordan) | 3042 comments Andre Jute wrote: "Claudine wrote: "http://www.smashwords.com/profile/vie...

Raping the classics."

Yes, that's taking the girlie conversion to ludicrous lengths..."


I can't believe I saw that! I'm tempted to d/l one just to see if the author has any talent at all. However, looking at the covers, I suspect it's going to be grossly oversexed.

Never mind.


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