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New 'Lupin III' Commentary Track Celebrates The Glories Of Ignoring Copyrights ( 71

In 2004, film critic Roger Ebert "realized that auteurs weren't the only ones who had things to say about movies, and suggested that experts in other fields or even just fans of the movies could create MP3 commentary tracks to discuss their favorite films, which could then be downloaded and played alongside them." This inspired Slashdot reader #14,247 to produce his own commentary on Hayao Miyazaki's first movie, Lupin III: Castle of Cagliostro -- and 13 years later, to release a new commentary track celebrating the film's 35th anniversary. Robotech_Master writes: Among other things, it offers proof that excessive copyright really harms creativity by restricting the uses people are able to make of prior art -- by showing what can happen when people get away with ignoring copyright and creating anyway. Not only were Lupin III and Cagliostro effectively inspired as "fanfic" of characters and works that had come before, many of those characters and works were effectively fanfic themselves -- and Cagliostro in turn inspired parts of a number of other works that came afterward, including a couple by Disney.
Anyone else have a favorite example of a movie that bends the rules of copyright law?
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New 'Lupin III' Commentary Track Celebrates The Glories Of Ignoring Copyrights

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  • Deep Throat (1972) (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Which kicked off a brief Golden Age [] in American cinema.

  • by Anonymous Coward
  • Disney (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 18, 2017 @12:00PM (#54642677)

    Disney makes it's money from redoing fairy tales. Pinocchio, Peter Pan, Snow White, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty, The Jungle Book. If the current "forever" copyright regime had been in place when those stories were first written Disney would not have been able to take and make them its own.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      That's why they had it enacted afterwards, you see.

  • by Harold Halloway ( 1047486 ) on Sunday June 18, 2017 @12:15PM (#54642709)

    ...because this summary makes almost no sense without them. Someone makes a commentary track for a film and then makes another 13 years later and that's sticking it to the Copyright Man, is that it? ...mmkay...

    • by Robotech_Master ( 14247 ) on Sunday June 18, 2017 @12:22PM (#54642751) Homepage Journal

      It might make a little more sense distilled into this article [], which I wrote for another blog afterward to discuss the matter.

      Effectively, the original Maurice Leblanc Arsène Lupin stories borrowed Sherlock Holmes, much to Conan Doyle's annoyance. Subsequently, manga writer Monkey Punch based Lupin III on the Leblanc stories without permission, much to the Leblanc estate's later annoyance. (He was able to get away with it because Japan didn't honor trade copyrights at the time, and the Leblanc estate didn't even find out until years later.) Castle of Cagliostro drew on the Leblanc stories and the Lupin III franchise, and a number of other works, and inspired countless other works that borrowed from it in return.

      And it never would have happened if the rights holders had been able to shut Leblanc and Monkey Punch down.

      • As a results of the disputes with Leblanc estate, the initial releases of Cagliostro in the US censored the Lupin name. The lead character was renamed "The Wolf" (Lupin is french for "wolf"), for example.

        • Indeed, as I have cause to mention in the commentary track. :) AnimEigo used the alternate English rendering "Rupan."

          (That alternate English rendering makes it a little more understandable why there's an album of romantic Lupin III music called "Isn't it Lupintic". In Japanese, the pronunciation of "Lupintic" is similar enough to "Romantic" to make it work as a pun.)

          After a few years, when more of the Arsène Lupin works had entered the public domain, the renaming wasn't seen as necessary and subsequent

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Lupin the Third: Castle of Cagliostro is an animated film directed by the now famous Hayao Miyazaki. The title character, Lupin III, is supposed to be the descendant of French literary character Arsene Lupin, so there is a kind of fanfic/copyright infringement angle there.

      In fact the Arsene Lupin series engaged in some copyright infringement as well, ripping off the character of Sherlock Holmes. Lupin was supposed to be the world's greatest thief, and Holmes was only able to figure out how he did it and not

  • I'm not really here to plug this, but when it crossed my RSS feed, the timing made it such that I thought users might be interested.

    (No, I'm serious. I wasn't going to post it. It just happens to be topical.)

    I have a podcast called Tales From SYL Ranch []

    that I'm re-launching under my own domain starting July 4. I had previously hosted on //aNONradio []// but when I sort of "found my voice," I decided to go pro.

    In this case, "my voice" was a feature I developed called The Old Fan's Commentary.

    You see, I'm a

  • How about Marvel trying to copyright the word "SuperHero" and suing the shit out of people who referred to characters in their movies as Superheroes?

    That shit swings both ways.

  • by Cipheron ( 4934805 ) on Sunday June 18, 2017 @12:49PM (#54642827)

    It's a fairly well known story, but The Monkey Island series was itself inspired by a Lucasarts game designer's trip to Disneyland and experience of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" exhibit. The twist here is that a film adaptation of Monkey Island was in development, but the project fell through. The original scriptwriting team then ended up pitching the basic plot/premise as the Pirates of the Caribbean film adaptation. And this included incorporating many, many elements and plot devices that were original to Monkey Island into the Pirates of the Caribbean universe.

  • Kurosawa was not happy.

    • Throne of Blood.

      Shakespeare was not happy?

    • Speaking of Kurosawa, I was going to point out that on some of the Criterion editions of Kurosawa's movies, they have very interesting commentary tracks recorded by film historians.

      Kurosawa will not be able to record any commentaries in the future either, since he died in 1998.

  • If there is one movie that happily ignores copyright, it’s La Classe Américaine [] (1993), a.k.a. The Great Détournement.

  • Just finished Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality. It's fanfiction, and is basically Harry Potter in an alternate universe. Funny, heavier on science and logic, also written as if Ender's Game was mixed in. I found it fantastic. Thankfully JK Rowling is apparently content to let it be as long as it's not a commercial endeavor, so that it's allowed to exist.

  • We all know that Romero and O'Bannon created the modern notion of the zombie in "Night of the Living Dead" and failed to copyright it, which is what makes pretty much 25 percent of all fiction today legally possible. Right? RIGHT????!!!!!

The human mind ordinarily operates at only ten percent of its capacity -- the rest is overhead for the operating system.