Friday, August 22, 2008

Scraping the Barrel of Scrutiny

Two interesting recent developments in the storytelling domain :

It's "funny" how a company that has built an empire on ransacking the public domain and obtaining the rights to others' work is so concerned with protecting their own work. Not that I don't understand the desire to hold on to what they have - but again, what they have largely came from elsewhere!
For instance, I know of a "Mom & Pop" shop owner who had his windows painted with Disney characters. He received a "cease & desist" letter from the Disney corporation. The "corker" is that he'd had them painted to promote the fact that he had their officially licensed party goods of their latest movie in stock.

How paranoid are we, anyway? It's bad enough that we speculate on the morality and behavior of authors past from shreds of evidence. Do we have to have such a clause as this one?



1 comment:

Danielle Mari said...

The Disney thing doesn't really shock me... that their iron-clad grip turns out to be a leaned process seems pretty logical to me. (Though I think I do share your wry enjoyment that they face a sort of ironic struggle here. I acted in a show where we naughtily spoofed "A Whole New World" under constant fear that the Men In Black Mouse Ears would show up to shut us down.)
The Random House thing disturbs me more. Is this for real? I don't doubt that this policy will turn ugly and quick. Anyone with a grudge could find something untoward to report about any author... I can hear it now: He's gay, She did drugs, He's fat and overeats, She is an atheist, He had sex before marriage....
This doesn't so much smack of paranoia to me as it does of greed. Ee gad. Sounds like the sort of policy that belongs in a totalitarian regime!