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Re: [dvd-discuss] Possible counterargument (was Re: Digital Rights Management... )

On Thu, 10 Jan 2002 11:39:50 GMT, "Steve Hosgood" <steve@caederus.com> wrote:

>A lever against silly length copyrights might be to show the public and
>(funnily enough) the media industries themselves how such copyrights hurt them.
>The BBC has just started a series called "Micawber" featuring David Jason
>playing the eponymious character from Charles Dickens's out-of-copyright
>works. Dickens's estate gets no say in it, and no income of course. The BBC
>profit by selling the series all over the place, their scriptwriters earn a
>living writing it, David Jason and a cast of many Brit thesps get paid for
>making it. And the public enjoy(?) watching it. None of this likely if
>Dickens's work was still in copyright.
>"Bridget Jones's Diary" is a direct steal from "Pride and Prejudice". The
>guy who plays "Mr Darcy" in both this and the BBC's recent dramatisation
>(Colin Firth) has managed to benefit *twice* from Jane Austin's works not
>being in copyright.
>"10 things I hate about you" is pinched from Shakespeare's "Taming of the Shrew".
>So are many other TV and movie plots.
>Granada Television (Britain again) were very successful with their "Adventures
>of Sherlock Holmes" TV series starring Jeremy Brett. Some of the stories were
>loosely based on Conan Doyle's stories, the rest were modern inventions.
>Hollywierd's "Adventures of Sherlock Holmes's younger brother" would probably
>have been disapproved-of had Conan Doyle's estate been able to have a say in
>the matter, but hey, the copyright expired! Not to mention "Young Sherlock
>Holmes", "Murder by Decree" and "Without a Clue". And that's just a few of the
>ones *I've* seen!

The hilarious fact is that, 200 years ago, we in the US were ripping off
everything and everyone. Picture this scene in an 18th century printing

[an East India publishing magnate:]
So, Mr. Franklin, it comes to our attention that you have been freely
quoting--nay pilfering--the words of Messrs Locke and Rousseau. We consider
these scribes to be among our top international properties. Why look
here--just last month you appropriated and entire page and one half of M.
Voltaire--our very top money maker for the last six quarters!

After a date with our barristers it looks like Poor Richard will be quite a
bit more so!