[rumori] pho: pho--Why Should We defend Public Domain?

From: Don Joyce (djATwebbnet.com)
Date: Wed Dec 27 2000 - 22:38:11 PST

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>From: Tom Barger <tomsongATearthlink.net>
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>Another mention of Disney at inside.com. This points out the original
>motivation of why we are experiencing copyright wars. It all goes back
>to Disney's initiatives to create permanent ownership of literary
>properties, and getting an uneducated naive person like Sonny Bono to
>enact legislation. Keep in mind Michael Eisner's obsessive
>strike-breaking tactics during Writer's Guild strike. It seems to me
>that Eisner sits at a desk yelling at writers and wields a big red
>pencil on manuscripts, (and in his mind) that this makes him an artist.
>There was certainly some goodwill during this period when a number of
>people believed that a special exemption to the Gershwin Estate's to a
>hundred years would benefit his heir (nephew)...but Disney piggybacked
>its' claim for Mickey Mouse, and it opened the floodgates for permanent
>claim to ownership of literary characters created by long-dead authors.
>Scoff if you will, but the greed apparently knows no bounds (at the
>public's expense.) We may imagine a scenario where Disney will copyright
>every beloved classic in history---Frankenstein, Hunchback, Pocohantas,
>Tarzan, Pinocchio, etc. It is difficult to keep the public educated as
>to why public domain is an inalienable right---any of you on list care
>to elucidate the importance of sampling or updating well-beloved themes
>in public domain? Bear in mind Will Shakespeare's plagarism.
> Created by A.A. Milne after his son,
>Christopher Robin,
> fell in love with a black bear in a London
>zoo, Pooh appeared in 1926 when Winnie the Pooh, with now-classic line
> drawings by E.H. Shepard, was published.
>Forty years later, in 1966, Pooh debuted in his first Disney featurette.
> The ensuing onslaught of Pooh films, videos
>and TV shows has made the bear ''a massive Disney franchise,
> dwarfing everything else in popularity,''
>says Rich Ross, Disney Channel general manager, except, of course, for
> Mickey.
> Disney's interest in the franchise picked up
> after it paid a reported $375 million to
>acquire the remaining copyright to the
> children's icon earlier this year. Disney
>had come precariously close to losing any
> legal claim to the hallmark character.
>Before the Copyright Term Extension Act of
> 1998 -- sponsored by the late Sonny Bono --
>became law, Pooh's copyright was due
> to run out in 2006. The Bono Act, however,
>extended copyright terms by 20 years, so
> Pooh remains indentured to Disney until
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