Friday, February 5, 2010

Creativity, RIP

What exactly is modern copyright law trying to encourage?
To: CBS Productions, NBC, CNN, Fox Broadcasting, Comedy Central, et alia

From: Sue, Grabbit & Runn, Solicitors at Law

It has come to our attention that a significant number of your productions are located on or near Manhattan, New York, USA. During the course of a number of these productions (listed in Appendix A), the distinctive skyline of Lower Manhattan is used as a background, to identify the location, to establish key plot-relevant context, and to brand and publicize the product.

This skyline is the creative work of a number of architects, but it is generally acknowledged (including by your own networks: see Appendix B for references) that one of the most prominent contributions of recent times was the work of our client O. bin Laden.

Our client assures us that he has never granted permission for images of his work to be used in your productions, nor can we find any record that such permission has ever been sought. We are seeking damages for this infringement in the amount of 60% of your gross earnings from these productions filmed since September 2001.

Moreover, we have strong evidence that the great majority of your producers, writers, directors and camera crews are fully aware of our client's contribution. Therefore the failure to seek permission can only be attributable to a wilful and deliberate policy on the parts of their employers, i.e. you. Accordingly, we will be asking the court to assess maximum statutory damages of US$150,000 per infringement. We will be seeking full disclosure of the number of times each of the infringing works has been distributed to the public, and to how many people, but preliminary research suggests that final damages will be in the region of US$14 trillion.

The infringing use of our client's trademark 'Al-Qaeda' to refer to incidents not authentically created by that organization or any of its licensees or affiliates is currently the subject of a separate action.

We look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.

H. Grabbit

Now to see if this blog gets deleted for praising or glorifying terrorism.


Cian said...

My word, it says the following:

The Terrorism Acts 2000 and 2006 made it illegal to:

- have or to share information that could be useful to terrorists

We all have information that would be useful to terrorists as banal as that information may be.

What happens if somebody tells you relevant information that you have no intention of using/divulging. It is actually illegal! How do you make yourself legal again? Some of your memories will need to be wiped. Does the British Government know the difference between reality and science fiction?

But since this post is rather useful to terrorists as they may use this information to gain a financial advantage, I have decided to report your post using the link you provided (Very generous of you).

I am expecting that the next time you fly back to the UK, you will be met by police or other agencies. Either that or they will provide additional screening for Veterinary Surgeons entering the country in which case you will be safe.

vet said...

Thank you, Cian. Ver' kind of you.

Maybe I should put this piece in some context, for the benefit of my newer fans...

A couple of years ago, I wrote a prolonged, thoroughly researched and cross-referenced rant about trends in copyright law. (Unfortunately the site that hosted it has now gone the way of practically everything on the 'net.) But the thesis, in a nutshell, was:
(a) Right now, it suits the Powers That Be to do everything possible to maintain the illusion that "intellectual property" is something real and tangible. This allows them to reward the hungry new generation of young, go-getting kids, without actually giving up anything tangible of their own.
(b) In the medium term this strategy is doomed, because although theoretically the space in which "intellectual property" can exist is infinite, in practice the more it gets staked out and defended, the less useful it becomes. The net effect is a tremendous stifling of creativity.

Ever since, I've tried to highlight news that I think supports my thesis.