There are many aspects to modern Copyright law that are just plain broken.
Using Disney as one example, they purchased the "rights" to various works (Peter Pan
and Winnie the Pooh
for example) and arguably made a right pig's ear out of them and continue to churn out spin-off crap that's probably got JM Barrie, AA Milne etc spinning in their graves.
Dreamworks is guilty of this as well (How to Train Your Dragon
springs to mind).
The previously mooted idea of continuing the copyright so long as someone who holds the right continues producing works related to it would only serve to make this worse as the companies would merely continue to churn out crappy sequels and spin-offs to keep their copyright alive.
Years ago, I wanted to make an amateur movie of The Saint
- something that has never been done properly - and wrote to Leslie Charteris to ask if I could do that.
I received a letter saying "Sorry, but the film rights have been purchased by others" and I wouldn't be able to do so - the actual creator of the work didn't have the right to let a person make a movie of his work as it would impact on the ability of a company to make money off it.
It's not like I would be claiming that I invented the character - it would be suitably credited as Leslie Charteris' creation - and it certainly wouldn't be a "rip off" of any film made as the films have been consistently fucking awful (toning down the Saint's lawlessness, changing his origins, making him an American...), and in the unlikely event that I made any money out of it, a chunk of the profits would've been sent to Mr Charteris.
Copyright is not about ensuring the creator gets paid or preventing people from stealing an idea and claiming it's their own, it's about ensuring big companies can protect their profits and own things they didn't even create.
All it does is promote people churning out works that are more or less rip-offs with barely disguised expies because they cannot say "I'd like to do Winnie the Pooh/Simon Templar/Peter Pan/How to Train Your Dragon properly
edited 11th Mar '14 11:35:59 AM by Wolf1066