Big Media time travel

I just ran across this comment-reply by Nina Paley on her post Your Children Are Not Your Children.

I suppose if the Star Trek replicator ever comes into being, the Faberges will try to litigate it out of existence, to preserve their old business model. The Faberges will have to time-travel to the Future to sue the Star Trek people, but hey, it’s Science Fiction. Just like how Big Media time-travels back to the 1920’s, to give the composers of that era a greater incentive to create works based on copyright extensions of today. Which is why we have so many more 1920’s-era creative works since the Sonny Bono Act was passed. [ed: emphasis mine]


A rumored theory of why copyrights and patents initially had limited time spans was that it created a buffer zone for inventors and artists to reap some benefit from their effort and thus encourage creativity in general, yet eventually allowing society / civilization full and free use of their works for the benefit and inspiration of the public.

They’ve mutated into chains that keep what should be our cultural heritage locked in walled gardens, forever hidden from the public. Greedy, vampiric gatekeepers suck the last drops of blood from their prisoners’ worth — limited viewing, if you can afford the price of admission; sign the NDA, leave your phones and cameras at the door, don’t forget the memory erasure pill as you leave (god forbid you carry around non-DRM‘d copies in your brain) — leaving only sere, withered husks, falling into dust scattered by the winds, useful to no one.

Urm, well, let’s not get melodramatic. Sorry about that.

Hat tip to Lucy Molinaro for her FB note about Paley’s hassles with getting rights to music for Sita Sings the Blues.

About hornlo

Geek. Curmudgeon
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