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Journal Xenographic's Journal: Captain Copyright Expires 114

The Canadian superhero Captain Copyright has finally expired, not due to pirates, but because "the current climate around copyright issues will not allow a project like this one to be successful." The cartoon was intended to provide an education in copyright law for children, but it became a focus for criticism when even the Canadian Library Association condemned it for lacking of balance in how it ignored issues like Fair Dealing (Canada's version of Fair Use). Personally, I was hoping we'd see them get sued by DC & Marvel, who claim to own the trademark on the word superhero and vanish in a puff of logic.

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Captain Copyright Expires

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  • So... (Score:5, Funny)

    by LiquidCoooled ( 634315 ) on Tuesday February 13, 2007 @06:25PM (#18004332) Homepage Journal
    So, Captain copyright is dead.

    Is it 85 years after death that his copyright expires and we can create our own free version of him?

    Only 84 years 11 months and 3 weeks to go...
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      They will bring him back 8 different times...just like superman.
    • I wonder... (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      If anyone will make a spoof of him where he gets killed by pirates? :-)
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by _Sprocket_ ( 42527 )

      Is it 85 years after death that his copyright expires and we can create our own free version of him?

      I probably shouldn't mention this... but Disney is working on a direct-to-DVD presentation of Captain Copyright. The upshot is that you'll never get your chance.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Hoi Polloi ( 522990 )
      Don't worry. I have a bunch of copies of him.
    • by cgenman ( 325138 )
      How many years before we're allowed to link to the old site without permission?

      Wait, they "reserved" that right, yet no such right exists? Brilliant start for an educational program about rights.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mrchaotica ( 681592 ) *

        Brilliant start for an educational program about rights.

        Well there's your first mistake -- it's not "educational," it's brainwashing.

    • by syousef ( 465911 )
      Nah you get around that by creating a similar but different character. My proposals:
      1) Captain Constipation. (Copyright laws do that to me)
      2) Captain DRM...and the 5 year prison sentence.
      3) Capital Punishment (for anything creative)
      4) General 'Your mom owes us $5000 for singing happy birthday to you this year alone'

      Captain Copyright my left nut.
    • by SamSim ( 630795 )

      Is it 85 years after death that his copyright expires and we can create our own free version of him?

      I'm pretty sure the creator of Captain Copyright is still alive, so, no.

      Besides, it's surely just a publicity stunt. Remember that time they killed Superman? He was back within a matter of months.

    • The first mistake they made was calling him "captain". Only heroes get to be called that. Super villains are always called "doctor". In the new version, The diabolical Doctor Copyright locks up ideas as property, stealing them from the public domain so no one but he and his already outrageously rich corporate cronies can use them, and profit from them. Here is a lime the first issue... Fools! All these ideas are now my "intellectual property". If you want to see these pictures, hear these songs or read th
  • mod -1 Pedantic (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tverbeek ( 457094 ) * on Tuesday February 13, 2007 @06:28PM (#18004360) Homepage

    Personally, I was hoping we'd see them get sued by DC & Marvel, who claim to own the trademark on the word "superhero", and vanish in a puff of logic.
    Given the facts that A) copyrights and trademarks rights are different things, and B) the word "superhero" doesn't appear anywhere in the name "Captain Copyright", I don't think there'd be much chance of that.
    • Didn't any of you motherfuckers read the title of the parent post? It says to mod it -1 Pedantic, yet you stupid fucking cunts all modded it +1 Insightful. CAN'T YOU EVEN READ??!!? What kind of smegging nerds are you miscreants, anyway?
  • by CrazyJim1 ( 809850 ) on Tuesday February 13, 2007 @06:30PM (#18004398) Journal
    It said they were training kids at grade 1. LOL. What are they going to brain wash them with? "Remember kids, even your parents can't be trusted. If you suspect your mom or dad to be illegally using music or software, call 911 and report them."
    • by purpledinoz ( 573045 ) on Tuesday February 13, 2007 @06:37PM (#18004484)
      Anyone ever see that children's educational music video, "Don't Copy That Floppy", where this rapper does this whole rap about software piracy? That video is hilarious. It's on YouTube: [].
      • by binarybum ( 468664 ) on Tuesday February 13, 2007 @07:07PM (#18004860) Homepage
        holy crap - there's more FUD in that video than a whole generation of parents warning about hairy palms.

                I wonder if to this day those programmers are dropping casual references to their appearance in a "rap video" in attempt to get laid. I probably would.
        • by Firehed ( 942385 ) on Tuesday February 13, 2007 @07:28PM (#18005146) Homepage
          Holy crap... I'd take the world's hairiest palms in order to not have to sit through that whole video. By three minutes in, I was almost ready to pour my scalding beverage all over myself to make it end (thankfully, I remembered that back button).

          Although come to think of it, if all that it takes to absolve myself of any potential guilt about software piracy is mastu... 3) Profit!
        • by xero314 ( 722674 )

          there's more FUD in that video than a whole generation of parents warning about hairy palms.
          Ok as funny as the video is I'm curious what FUD is in it.
          • "Ok as funny as the video is I'm curious what FUD is in it."

            In this day and age ... copying a floppy ???

            Most new computers don't even have floppy drives ... and wouldn't run the games that came off floppies.

            Most games make the majority of their money in the first few months ... after that, they're "binned" - sold at a heavy discount. I've bought "binned" games for $2-$5 (new, still in box, original CD and manuals) - there is no way that the original game programmers were getting any money from those

            • by Aladrin ( 926209 )

              The video isn't new. At the time, ALL games came on floppies. So again... What FUD?

              I haven't seen the video in years, and I refuse to subject myself to it again, and there may very well be tons of FUD in it. The floppy bit is NOT the FUD.

              • The idea behind the original "don't copy that floppy" campaign (and also stated on the video) was that software piracy prevented the development of future versions.

                The fact is (and history has borne this out) that software piracy allowed pirated software to gain mind- and market-share at the expense of software that came with excessive copy protection that prevented piracy.

                So the whole campaign was FUD.

                • Nothing has ever borne such a theory out. There are no hard facts to back it up. No measurements exist with demonstrate this. It's just one more opinion stinking on the heap of opinions about copying things from other people.

                  This is a war fought on both sides by greedy people who want what the other side says they have no right to, and neither side has yet made an objective case as to why they are right. It's like watching three year olds fight over the fire truck.
                • by hany ( 3601 )

                  I assume you mean something like Piracy Built the Romanian IT Industry []. Same theme IMO applies also to other countries with some differences as to the exact amount of piracy, the time it happened, the result it made, etc.

                  Maybe the video in question was not FUD at the time it was created. Creators did not know yet what the piracy will lead to so maybe they honestly believed that piracy is destroying the future. But now we know, based on what we see around us and also based on multiple studies and articles a

          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by RSquaredW ( 969317 )
            It should be noted that the creator of "Tetris", one of the games the rapper mentions, never saw much money for his creation. The Soviet government got most of it, up until the collapse of the USSR. So referencing it in the song is pretty FUDish - there really was no incentive to create in the Eastern Bloc.
            • by KDR_11k ( 778916 )
              Naah, the movie was just a plot by the Soviets to both take American money and destroy American creativity.
      • by dwandy ( 907337 ) on Tuesday February 13, 2007 @08:59PM (#18006186) Homepage Journal
        so ... when the kid says "hey, who are you and what are you doing on my computer?" , was I the only one who thought, Sony? is that you?
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by skoaldipper ( 752281 )
      Do we really need such battlegrounds fought in schools anyways? What ever happened to just the basics like Math, Reading, and History? We try to indoctrinate so much into these little heads at such an early age. Every time I hear of some new curriculum added by a school board, I'm reminded of what future generations of our children will look like [].
    • by sokoban ( 142301 )

      "Remember kids, even your parents can't be trusted. If you suspect your mom or dad to be illegally using music or software, call 911 and report them."
      You mean, like what DARE teaches kids in the United States.
  • *Gasp* (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HerrEkberg ( 971000 ) on Tuesday February 13, 2007 @06:34PM (#18004440) Homepage
    Who will now protect us from the evil Dr. Copyleft?!
    • It think its "Captain Copyright's" side kid "DRM Lad" we have to worry about
      • Do not fear! After an unadvised fling with blonde temptress Goldie Gold-digger, DRM Lad develops a nasty cocaine habit and blows all his money on gold-plated copy-protected CDs. Eventually he is found in a ditch choked to death on his own encryption scheme.
  • Where's "Captain Put-"Haha"-Descriptor Man"?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Captain Copyright expired when a melting glacier fell on him.

    Yet another Canadian superhero suffering from copyright climate change. Can you still deny the truth after this?
  • His wife... (Score:5, Funny)

    by markbt73 ( 1032962 ) on Tuesday February 13, 2007 @06:40PM (#18004528)
    ...Tenille Copyright, is said to be inconsolable. And they thought love would keep them together. The fools.
  • back when I was a college student in Canada. And still have first editions of many Canadian comix from the 80s that friends of mine published.

    Remember when patents and copyrights only lasted a reasonable amount of time? I do.
    • Wow, my hat is off to you sir. To be at least 98 years old and to be posting on slashdot, you sir are truly a geek.
      • Patent laws in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, the UK, and other countries have not matched those in the US. You seem to have a very US-centric way of viewing things. Disney doesn't rule in China, just as an example, heck S Korea has denied Starbucks a trademark even.
        • Wow, sorry. Being a site that has more Americans the non-Americans I figured you were an American.
          • I am, I'm both. I'm a dual citizen of Canada and the US - and I even went on a tour of Australia and New Zealand back when I was a Canadian writer. Brought back Bill Gibson's Hugo Award, since he wasn't at Aussiecon.
  • by Apple Acolyte ( 517892 ) on Tuesday February 13, 2007 @06:43PM (#18004570) []

    In August 2006, we took the Captain Copyright website offline so that we could revise its content in response to the criticisms the site had received. We worked extensively on revising the original lessons and we commissioned someone with expertise on the creation of educational materials to prepare new lessons on the Creative Commons, fair dealing and the public domain. We also sought the assistance of an advisory panel of educators and copyright experts with a range of perspectives on copyright, and every lesson was submitted to them for rigorous review. We then incorporated their revisions to the lessons so that they could be thoroughly teacher-tested.

    Despite the significant progress we made on addressing the concerns raised about the original Captain Copyright initiative, as well as the positive feedback and requests for literally hundreds of lesson kits from teachers and librarians, we have come to the conclusion that the current climate around copyright issues will not allow a project like this one to be successful. It is difficult for organizations to reach agreement on copyright issues at this time and we know that, in the face of continuing opposition, the materials will not be used in the classroom. Under these circumstances there is no point in our continuing to work on this project.

    We began this project because teachers told us that copyright had become too much a part of their students' daily lives for it not to be taught in the classroom, and they told us they needed a teaching tool to help them do it. We still believe that creating such a tool is important, but we also now believe that no single organization can take the lead on such an initiative. We truly hope that there will come a time when the copyright community - including educators, librarians and copyright collectives - can work together to provide a unbiased teaching tool that provides teachers and students with a balanced view of copyright.
    • by QuantumG ( 50515 ) *
      Balanced view of copyright: it's evil but a bunch of people have gotten rich and powerful from it, so now we can't get rid of it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Adambomb ( 118938 ) *

      as well as the positive feedback and requests for literally hundreds of lesson kits from teachers and librarians
      See, now I know we canadians are small in terms of demographics, but I do not see how one could be so pleased about "literally hundreds" of lesson kits. How many primary and secondary educational instutitions do we have in canada again?

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      While I'm ordinarily willing to give people the benefit of the doubt, and I must say it is great to see the feedback acknowledged, I'm a little disappointed they did not pursue this worthy goal further. It *is* worthwhile to get educational materials to teachers and students about the nature of copyright, and providing a balanced presentation is really important. The initial version didn't have that, which is an acknowledged problem. It missed the mark by a wide margin. I give full credit for being hone
      • by QuantumG ( 50515 ) *
        Assuming, of course, that you beleive copyright should have anything to do with consumers. I'm of the opinion that little Billy shouldn't need to be educated as to what he is free to copy and what he isn't free to copy because everyone should be free to copy anything, and copyright should only apply to people who are selling copies. So, just like little Billy doesn't need to be taught the legality of insider trading, little Billy shouldn't need to be taught the legality of copyright.
  • Quick, someone put together a super hero to defend the public domain, fair use, and/or call for the outright abolishment of copyright.
    • Quick, someone put together a super hero to defend the public domain, fair use, and/or call for the outright abolishment of copyright.

      I already did.* I called him Captain Copyright. But because I didn't claim any trademark rights and donated the character to the public domain, this outfit was able to use him for their own purposes instead.

      *(OK, I didn't really. But it makes for an ironic example of how things would suck without copyrights and trademark rights. They can be used for good as well as fo

    • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

      Quick, someone put together a super hero to defend the public domain, fair use, and/or call for the outright abolishment of copyright.

      "Captain Sensibility" doesn't have quite the same ring to it, though.
    • I think someone already has [].

  • by edwardpickman ( 965122 ) on Tuesday February 13, 2007 @06:53PM (#18004670)
    A friend was curious and checked it out. Marvel never trademarked the term "superhero". That was ten years ago so it might have changed since. Each of their characters are trademarked but not the term in any fashion. It's debateable if the term can be in of itself be trademarked at this point. He was trademarking some things at the time and I know he was tempted to establish a "Superhero" trademark but it would mostly be a logo trademark.
    • by tverbeek ( 457094 ) * on Tuesday February 13, 2007 @07:15PM (#18004976) Homepage
      DC and Marvel filed a joint trademark registration (#73222079) on "super heroes" back in 1979, when a toy manufacturer produced a line of licensed action figures featuring both of their characters. DC has a registration for "Legion of Super Heroes" (their long-running team series), and Marvel has registered "Marvel Super Heroes". One or the other publisher periodically issues a cease-and-desist to people who they feel are infringing on one of these trademarks, and this is why (for example) Malibu Comics instead called their specially-powered characters "ultras".

      As far as I know, the trademark has never been challenged/defended in court. If it were, it's hard to say whether it's become generic enough to go public-domain like "refrigerator" and "aspirin", or if it'd cling to proprietarity like "Xerox"® and "Band-Aid"®. But it is on the books.
      • XEROX is just barely hanging on there, and Xerox has to do a lot of work all the time just to avoid genericide. Personally, I wouldn't bet a penny on SUPERHERO having any distinctiveness. And the evidence gathering for that would probably be loads of fun.
      • "refrigerator" was/is a brand-name?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 13, 2007 @06:55PM (#18004698) []

    It details all of his various "adventures", including stealing (that is what they want us to call it isn't it?) content from wikipedia and breaking the licensing terms by not providing a source. Also the pesky little scamp attempted to tell us that we were "not permitted to copy or cut from any page or its HTML source code to the Windows [TM] clipboard (or equivalent on other platforms) onto any other website." - what a wonderful place the web would be if we all followed the rules of the captain.

    May he rest in hypocritical peace - or is that phrase copyright someone?
  • by bky1701 ( 979071 ) on Tuesday February 13, 2007 @06:57PM (#18004708) Homepage
    Come on, you know you wanna. ;)
    • Thanks for that! That tag made me laugh for a good five minutes straight, and totally brightened an otherwise unremarkable evening.
  • Did we see a body? NO! This is comics, so it guarantees that, a year or several down the line, a new writer will bring Captain Copyright back, revealing that his death was faked, surprising allies and enemies alike with his return to glory!

    Even if there were a body, all it means is they'd wait six months and pass the identity on to a new, teenage Captain Copyright, whose only link with the original is the name and the costume's color scheme -- and, of course, the same villains will show up, gunning for th
    • Pfft! Even a body means nothing. The dead body could still have been a clone, for example, or a robot, or from an alternate timeline / dimension, or even a real dead body could be resurrected with alien technology... or all of the above.

      Superheroes don't die, their books just go on hiatus...

      • Yeah. In comics, death is the least permanant injury.
        • Look, you stupid Bastard. You've got no arms left.

          Captain Copyright: Yes I have.


          Captain Copyright: It's just a flesh wound.

          If they had their way, in Soviet Canukistan, Captain Copyright would expire YOU! Unfortunately the Wayback Machine doesn't have a copy ... only in Canada you say? Pity ...

      • by Phisbut ( 761268 )

        Even a body means nothing. The dead body could still have been a clone

        But isn't a clone pure copyright infringement of my DNA sequence?

        • No, you can't copyright a DNA sequence, as it's not something you explicitly created.

          Patenting's all good, though :-P

          Gee, that would be good. An X-Men storyline about the patent litigation following Jean Grey's next resurrection...

          • by Phisbut ( 761268 )

            No, you can't copyright a DNA sequence, as it's not something you explicitly created.

            My parents created my by "writing" my DNA sequence: A-G-T-T-G-A-C-C-T-A-G-G-A ...

            Anything you write is implicitly copyrighted, right?

    • Of course there's no body!
      He didn't really die!
      It's just that the effect of the super transformation formula has gone and he went back to his original identity of Evil Dr. RIAAlity!

      They could have been much more successful if they haven't tries to reverse the role of a superhero into one that is protecting those that want to rule the planet from the evil public...
  • Something about sharks and professional courtesy come to mind...
  • They've been fighting for citizen privacy also with the authorities wanting to check library records..
  • by Spazntwich ( 208070 ) on Tuesday February 13, 2007 @07:18PM (#18005020)

    It is official; Netcraft now confirms: Captain Copyright is dying

    One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered Captain Copyright community when IDC confirmed that Captain Copyright market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all servers. Coming close on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that Captain Copyright has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. Captain Copyright is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.

    You don't need to be a Kreskin to predict Captain Copyright's future. The hand writing is on the wall: Captain Copyright faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for Captain Copyright because he is dying. Things are looking very bad for Captain Copyright. As many of us are already aware, Captain Copyright continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

  • But, but, but... without Captain Copyright who will step forward to encourage 1st graders to turn their parents in for Copyright violation and pirating!?!?
  • I'm sure the story ended on a cliffhanger. Or am I getting confused here? Does anyone have a copyright infringing mirror of this?

  • struck down by his evil undead nemesis Rictus Stalemate, a Greater Power Lich with a hideous visage and devious mind.

  • by Scareduck ( 177470 ) on Tuesday February 13, 2007 @09:05PM (#18006262) Homepage Journal
    his brother, Professor Patent.
  • I think we all see the irony in this....
  • It's actually pretty simple: If you're going to use something copyrighted to create something new that you use for educational or non-profit purposes, you can do that - and your creation becomes copyrighted itself so any commercial use still requires both your and the original copyright owners' permission.

    A teacher can use clippings from newspapers and textbooks to create his own teaching materials. As long as he doesn't sell it, and all the sources are paid for, this is fair use.

    A fan can create a free fan
  • What the hell is that snake with the raised eyebrows doing in the background? [] And why is Captain Copyright raising his eyebrows back at the snake?
  • Every kid should at least read all the stuff from Captain Copyright, so it's a bit ashamed that this site is now down. Of course, I don't mean the cartoons, I am talking about the more than terrible copyright page of the captain himself. After they have read all of that they know what is wrong with society.

The other line moves faster.