Archived Discussion

This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

Gus: I don't know. Fan-Speak , maybe?

Darksasami: Characters, of course.

Okay, time and time again I am tempted to make an entry here (as I have just done), and time and time again I am hesitant about where to slot the entry in. I've placed my contribution in the opening sentence with the others, but there's only so many times you can do that before the sentence becomes preposterous. I'd clean the entry up, but I can't figure out how to go about it — it's almost as though, in order to be able to make entries on this index, the entire index has to be rewritten from scratch.

What do you think? I could have a go.

Gus: I did a little restructuring in the entry to make adding examples easier. Naturally, if you want to add to or alter the "header" text, your should go for it. (I'll also add the entry to the Index-Index, so that the example entries can be strung together in navigation.)

Whogus The Whatsler: Thanks! That's much better.

Tabby: What about an addendum for characters that are often assumed to be public domain but are actually still under copyright? None spring to mind immediately, but I know they're lurking at the corners of my brain.

Sukeban: The public domain status of Tarzan and Peter Pan is somewhat muddy, for example.

Looney Toons: Indeed! IIRC, Peter Pan has been granted an essentially eternal copyright in the United Kingdom, but has long been in the public domain everywhere else in the world.

thatother1dude: Can somebody think of some characters often mistaken for being in the public domain (I can think Tarzan and a couple more if I had some time)

Thenodrin: Peter Pan only recently entered public domain in the US. It has been public domain in the UK for a few years. A story in the Vertigo comic "Fables" had to be rewritten because the British writer didn't know that the character wasn't public domain in the US at the time he planned the story. Also, my partners and I in the Fellowship of the White Star RPG thought that Larry Talbot, the Wolfman, was public domain. But, he isn't. Which, I think, makes him the only Universal Classic Monster that isn't public domain.

fleb: I cut this bit, because while interesting, it's really not about God the character, which is obviously available from pre- and post-KJV English Bibles.
Note, though, that since works owned by the British Crown are granted perpetual copyright in the UK, the King James Bible is still under copyright there. To this editor's knowledge, the sovereign has never attempted to sue anybody for using God in a derivative work.

Air Of Mystery: To be absolutely clear on this: if I wrote a short story in which JRR Tolkein murdered a puppy, I would no doubt make an enemy of Mrs Tolkein, but copyright would legally allow me to do this, correct?

BigT: Copyright would. But I'm not sure about libel. Can it be posthumous?

Inkblot: What these characters need is a crossover.

Ununnilium: Given the willingness of the American Congress to repeatedly extend copyright durations whenever the media industry feels threatened, it is entirely likely that nothing will ever again enter the public domain in the United States except by accident, oversight, or deliberate placement there. This means that, for Americans at least, the current pool of public domain characters are probably all there ever will be in the public domain.

No. No no no no. No no no, no no no, no.


Metz77: Do we have a page for notable public domain works? If not, we should.