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Wired Interview with Copyright Comic Authors 31

Posted by timothy
from the didja-always-want-to-be-a-comedian? dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Wired has an interesting interview with the authors of a recent book about comics, fair use and the permissions culture. There is also a gallery of some of the most interesting pages from the comic. According to the interview, their next project is going to be on the history of musical borrowing and the way law has affected it. 'Picture a conversation between Bach, Robert Johnson and John Lennon, in comic book form.' Now *that* would be 'Strange Fruit,' indeed."
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Wired Interview with Copyright Comic Authors

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  • Strange Comparison (Score:5, Informative)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Monday June 19, 2006 @06:04PM (#15564905) Homepage Journal
    "'Picture a conversation between Bach, Robert Johnson and John Lennon, in comic book form.' Now *that* would be 'Strange Fruit,' indeed."

    I doubt that Bach and Lennon would lynch Johnson, though lynching Black Americans is what "Strange Fruit" is about [pbs.org].
  • Strange Fruit (Score:4, Informative)

    by Quirk (36086) on Monday June 19, 2006 @06:11PM (#15564956) Homepage Journal
    For those who don't know..." "Strange Fruit" [wikipedia.org]is a song most famously performed by Billie Holiday that condemns American racism, particularly the practice of lynching and burning African Americans that was prevalent in the South at the time when it was written.

    Holiday's phrasing was so unique that every song is a treat, but 'Strange Fruit' was, perhaps, the song for which she is best known.

  • if they would just stick to "don't copy that floppy".

    Eeeveryone would be happy and no-one would get hurt.
  • by -Brodalco- (938695) on Monday June 19, 2006 @06:12PM (#15564967)
    ..Captain Copyright, that canadian government produced comic about the importance of obeying copyright rules. Why is it the governments are always so bad at creating effective propaganda?
    • Re:Sure Beats... (Score:3, Informative)

      by mboos (700155)
      Not so... the site is from the Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency, which is an organization of Canadian writers and publishers, not the government.
    • The .aspx extensions on their pages showed me that they were running .NET, most likely on a Windows server (mono is a Linux port). I reported them to M$-UK so that they do an investigation. Those bastards had better not be disrespecting copy-right law. Bill Gates needs to keep shoes on his little children.
  • Irony (Score:4, Informative)

    by payndz (589033) on Monday June 19, 2006 @06:16PM (#15564990)
    I kind of like the irony that the central character in the strip - Akiko - looks an awful lot like Hopey from Jaime Hernandez's 'Love & Rockets'. Is this a job for Captain Copyright?

    The comic does make a good point, though. The copyright laws (worldwide, not just in the US) are seriously fucked up if corporations are demanding thousands of dollars just because somebody's movie-theme ringtone can be heard in the background of a documentary.

    • Re:Irony (Score:2, Funny)

      by phaggood (690955)
      > Akiko and Strange Fruit

      Wow, I came to click "reply" on the weak attempt at humor at the expense of this desparate song, then I see the comment on Akiko and thought the author meant this [markcrilley.com] AKiko, and while catching up on Crilly's newest stuff, Billie Holiday comes out of my iPod with the song.

      All while I'm supposed to be working. The net is a 900 foot tall vampire what feeds on productivity.

      Ooh, I wonder what Wikipedia has on "giant vampires"....
  • So... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Kamineko (851857) on Monday June 19, 2006 @07:18PM (#15565366)
    Is it illegal for Slashdot to mention the names of the authors or the title of the book?

    The book is called 'Bound By Law? Tales From the Public Domain', and it is co-written and produced by Keith Aoki, James Boyle and Jennifer Jenkins. The art is by Aoki.

  • by siriuskase (679431) on Monday June 19, 2006 @07:28PM (#15565418) Homepage Journal
    That is the point that must be driven into the heads of the don't know/don't care people. The various industries that benefit from the long copyrights are very good at invoking the welfare of the artists, the actual creators of IP, even though most artists can't live off the royalties. Live performance is the only way to make a living for most of those who can make a living off their creations. All the money gets eaten up by the starmaking machinery behind the popular song, film, and book.

    If you didn't see Courtney Love does the Math [jdray.com] in the Weird Al thread, please read it. it is a rather intelligent rant from the artist POV.

    A shallow understanding of copyright law would make it seem that artists and their fans would be on opposite sides of this issue. But, except for a few who have retired on their royalty checks and no longer need to create or perform, that isn't the case. It is fans and artists vs the distribution industry. As soon as everyone understands that it is artists who should get paid for creating and while the distributors should get paid for distributing, and royalties should only be an incentive to artists as originally intended, then maybe our culture will belong to us and not locked up in private hands. Once an artist goes public with his work, then it is no longer private property. The copyright is simply a reward for contributing to the public forum. Wasn't that the original intent of the US short copyright?
    • Creators do benefit from copyright, actually. When the laws were enacted way back when it was common practice to reprint author's works without permission or compensation. Often the original author's name would be be removed entirely, or abridged to the point where the original meaning was ruined. The laws today continue to protect creators from seeing their works misapproriated-- and it's pretty much the only power a creator has to protect himself.

      I'm not saying copyright law isn't broken in many ways,
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Often the original author's name would be be removed entirely, or abridged to the point where the original meaning was ruined.

        Check out the (C) Copyright liner on a major label CD, it doesn't say (C) Copyight Artist/Band but (C) Copyright Label because they don't own their own songs anymore.

        The laws today continue to protect creators from seeing their works misapproriated-- and it's pretty much the only power a creator has to protect himself.

        That power is meaningless because it can be ripped off from t

        • Check out the (C) Copyright liner on a major label CD, it doesn't say (C) Copyight Artist/Band but (C) Copyright Label because they don't own their own songs anymore.

          Those bands didn't have to sign their rights away. There are plenty of musicians who self-publish or work with smaller labels where they can retain control.

          That power is meaningless because it can be ripped off from the authors through market power: You either cede it to the publisher or you won't get published.

          If you're talking about books, y
          • You make a good point in that the contracts in some industries are more exploitive than in others. This problem might be eliminated by making new acts less eager to sign anything handed to them, but it could also be fixed by making copyrights nonsellable assets. The talent itself is nontransferable, why should the copyright? It isn't much of an incentive to create if it is owned by someone without the necessary talent or if the original creator has died. Sure, a collection of copyrights might make a nic
    • You're absolutely right about the intent. It was the intent of the framers of the Constitution that an artist would not be able to live their entire life on one work.

      That is, unless they lived less than 17 years.

      It was an incentive to continue to perform -- not an incentive to sit back and collect.

      • The problem with creative property (ugh, but it does sound better than IP) is that without some sort of law, it can't be owned outright like material property. The minute it is shown, displayed, or performed in public, it is out of the bag. In the olden days, it meant other people could write it down, sing it, or otherwise reproduce it with there own hands which usually didn't make as good of a copy, certainly not an accurate copy. Now that virtually identical copies can be made for little cost, natural
  • by leoxx (992) on Monday June 19, 2006 @10:29PM (#15566171) Homepage Journal
    You should publish a link to Captain Copyright! [captaincopyright.ca] Of course, you definitely don't want to link to the blog of the guy who exposed the various copyright infringements that Captain Copyright was partaking in [sooke.bc.ca], or the EFF's DRM counter force: The Corruptables [eff.org]!

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