Category: copyright

Kirby: King of comics

Just finished reading this. Wow! Jack Kirby sure got screwed by the comics industry, mostly because he was all about taking care of his family. I can get behind that.
His heirs are suing Marvel for rights to the characters he created, and while I usually am not for this stuff (ie. they didn’t do the work, why should they get the benefit?) I figure, if Marvel is still making money off them, why can’t his heirs benefit, also?
It’s a good book, with many (large) illustrations. I recommend it highly

Categories: Art, cartoons, copyright

Lessig V Helprin (Lessig FTW!)

Over on the Huffington Post Lawrence Lessig wrote a (rather long) review/rebuttal of Mark Helfrin’s Digital BarbarismThe Solipsist and the Internet (a review of Helprin’s Digital Barbarism)–where he, basically tears Helprin’s aruments a new asshole.
This quote is worth everythingelse rolled together in the article.

One might as well say the world of non-copyright gave us Mozart, Bach and Beethoven, while the world of copyright gave us Britney Spears. That too would be a bad argument, but just sort of argument that is at home in this book.

Basically, it seems, Helprin’s book is remarkably un-researched, and not worth anyone’s time who is actually interested in copyright law, and the mess it is in today.

Categories: books, copyright, Open Source

Can I just say FUCK Shepard Fairey?

Steelerbaby Blues – News – News – Pittsburgh City Paper
I don’t really care if his art is derivative, and that he steals all his ideas from elswhere. I don’t care that he tags stuff in the street. I don’t care that he’s a massive sellout to the ideas he espouses.
Wait a minute–
Yes I do. Nothing irks me more than some asshole who claims “fair use”* when he literally steals other artist’s work without acknowledging it (until he’s made to), and just barely doing anything to it to modify it, and turns around and issues a cease and desist order to some one who uses one word that he claims he’s trademarked and that no one else can use–never mind that it’s a very common word in the english language–in a product that bears no resemblance to his own in any way.

*Which as collage artist, I know that the work has to be tranformed in some way, so it’s not just a copy, and there are a lot of legal gray areas, and the law is pretty screwed up, as is most of the copyright code (see my post here). But we can leave that for another time.
So,I’d just like to say:



Categories: Art, copyright

How Copyright Restrictions Suppress Art:

An Interview With Nina Paley About “Sita Sings The Blues” |

I’m an advocate for fair copyright laws. Which we don’t have at this point. The copyright laws serve big corporations, and already rich artists (but mostly corporations), and the article above points out a lot of reasons why. there’s also, a 42 minute vidoe interview with Nina Paley, which is well worth watching.
Some hightlights:

After pouring three years of her life into making the film, and having great success with audiences at festival screenings, she now can’t distribute it, because of music licensing issues: the film uses songs recorded in the late 1920’s by singer Annette Hanshaw, and although the recordings are out of copyright, the compositions themselves are still restricted. That means if you want to make a film using these songs from the 1920s, you have to pay money — a lot of money (around $50,000.00).

It’s a classic example of how today’s copyright system suppresses art, effectively forcing artists to make creative choices based on licensing concerns rather than on their artistic vision.

The music in Sita Sings The Blues is integral to the film: entire animation sequences were done around particular songs.

Categories: Art, copyright, Politics