creative copyright

Well, since I keep misconveying my opinions on copyright, to the point where I keep coming off as sounding like I don’t want copyright at all (Which is not actually my opinion), I might as well make a post detailing my opinions on what changes I’d want to copyright in plain and simple form.

Namely:

  • Copyright duration in the US should go back to its pre-1976 duration of 56 years.
    • For clarification’s sake, that would mean that everything up to 1959 as of now would be Public Domain, which I think is pretty fair.
    • An exemption would be made for characters who are major “Mascots” and “Logos” of their companies, to throw a bone corporate entities to keep them from whining, but it would need to be super carefully designed without allowing for loopholes for corporate abuse to take huge swaths of characters out of the public domain because “They’re logos now!” with a key target of we-do-not-want-to-let this-happen being the hoarders of Conan’s trademark despite all the original Howard stories being Public Domain
  • Our orphan works laws should be changed, but mainly against large corporate entities who either hoard works without re-releasing them or cannot use them due to rights tanglery, not via forcing smaller creators to have to register everything like some bad proposals have said.
    • My idea for a nonprofit to buy up such works & cult classics would be a stopgap in the meantime, but I would stress that it would be from corporate rightsholders, not vulture-ing off smaller creators
    • Also, more protection for authors who archive and circulate works that are under copyright but would almost certainly disappear if not for that such archival, such as wildly out of print books or ROMs of games left to rot (Like, as Superbunnyhop mentioned as an example; old Pong roms), or even fan translations of works never brought over to a certain country, though there needs to be a “transition process” when that work gets re-distributed by their rightsholders, or (again) a way for it to go into the Public Domain if that redistribution will never come.
  • More protections for non-profit fanworks, or even money-making works like Let’s Plays that don’t do much in effect to harm the actual licensing of the original work, to avoid stuff like NIntendo’s persecution of all those fangames.
  • Less “law” and more ‘ideology,” but I do wish creators felt freer to release certain elements of their work into the Public Domain. and by elements I mean more akin to beasts or materials or artifacts or multiversal entities or versatile characters rather than works as a whole
    • Not under obligation to mind you, lord knows a lot of creators have very good reasons for the keeping of their stuff closed (The cases of Candle Cover, Slender Man, and Pepe the Frog being key examples), I just wish more would consider that as a viable way to let people play in their sandbox.
  • My examples for this going well would be the way nerd culture has inadvertently done this with Frank Herber’ts Sandworms and Spice or everything in the Cthulhu Mythos.

So yea, not so much “Down with copyright entirely” as “An expansion of the creative and archival commons, keeping copyright more to protect small creators rather than huge corporate behemoths”

Just clarifying, and god do I hope I didn’t say anything stupid…

On creative intent

Perhaps today is not the best day to raise this topic. Or who knows, perhaps it is the perfect day to do so. I don’t know. But hear me out if you have a sec.

To clarify, I’m not trying to deduce Mofftiss’ creative intent about Sherlock, or looking to excuse any of the stunts-or-whatever-you-want-to-call-it they’ve pulled. I simply realized there’s a fairly straightforward reason the public statements from anyone who ever associated with Sherlock—this includes all cast and crew, Heartwood and BBC—denies the existence of Sherlock/John romantic narrative in Sherlock while it clearly being the soul of the show since day one.

No, it’s not a game. Or a trick to mess with fans. Or a great rug-pull. Or the creators being total evil assholes and enjoy queerbaiting.

It could be as simple as that Sherlock/John romantic narrative cannot be explicitly stated as part of the creative intent of Sherlock, period. Unless everyone involved with the show wants to deal with the potential lawsuits up to their eyeballs from the Doyle Estate for as long as Sherlock exist. 

It’s not about the stories, which are mostly public domain at this point; it’s about Sherlock Holmes and John Watson the characters, of which the Doyle Estate still holds the trademark rights.

Creative intent or author’s intended meaning of a work is not reviewable under at least the U.S. copyright law – because it is impossible to verify the existence of an idea. Instead, the copyright law focuses solely on the appearance or sound of the work itself. Which means no matter how Mofftiss decided to adapt Sherlock Holmes stories, their creative intent is irrelevant and cannot be considered if the Doyle Estate ever have a problem with any of the Sherlock episodes. In other words; if the Doyle Estate ever object to the gay, they have to prove Sherlock the work itself is undeniably gay first.

But the addition of verifiable and documented actions as proof of intent to create a “falsehood” concerning trademarked characters in derivative work may be an entirely different story.

I’m not a lawyer so I’ve no idea how much power the Doyle Estate might hold over the character depiction of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. Do you think they’d pull out all the stops to prevent the creation of the first queer Sherlock and John if they get wind of it? I don’t know. But their track records have not been very generous.

Is this what’s happening? Seven years (imagine Culverton Smith saying it here) of denying Johnlock – you can’t kill an idea, but the actions that trying to carry out that idea can be stopped. Has TPTB been working on a way to do this without getting themselves into legal trouble for four years, and series 4 plus a lost special that no one can talk about is the best they can do? TFP as the series “true finale”, an heteronormative version filled with subtextual political and social commentary, as a shield (or safeguard from cease-and-desist), so that a Johnlock special can make it onto our screens?

Of course, this is all speculation, and I’ve no idea why the gap of 2 months. It’s certainly possible and in my mind more plausible than the idea that all the people involved in making Sherlock are evil queerbaiting assholes harboring ill intentions towards us for the last seven years.

Anyway, make of this what you will; it’s something I’ve been thinking about the last couple of days… just thought I’d share.

Why Are You Crying

They sat in the car, the engine softly murmuring behind the radio, encouraging it to push through the static and make the happy song clear. It’s what they needed.
He had parked the car between two street lamps. The orange light poured in through the windshield and rested on their skin, competing against the reflection of the rain. It was a picture of romance if you didn’t look at their faces, and one could mistake the tears rolling silently down his face for the shadow of the raindrops.
“You don’t love me,” she said, staring straight ahead, hoping this would allow the force of his answer to hit her shoulder rather than her heart.
“No.”
She had hoped for nothing.
She turned her face to look at him, but he refused to return her gaze, fixing his eyes upon the steering wheel. They were playing cat and mouse with looks, glances, and stares. The game persisted, because neither one could catch the other.
“Then why are you crying,” she forced out, the words racing one after the other. It was said so fast, and through so much pain, she wondered if he would even hear her.
“Because you love me,” he said, finally letting the chase end and looking right into her blue eyes. He had told her they reminded him of the ocean he used to visit when he was younger once. He forgot to mention he much preferred the lake, and the sky, and the flowers his grandmother grew. A sort of soft baby blue, opposed to the intense, dark, stormy blue she possessed.
“Yes,” she responded, “And I hate myself for it.”

Creative artists … are mankind’s wakeners to recollection: summoners of our outward mind to conscious contact with ourselves, not as participants in this or that morsel of history, but as spirit, in the consciousness of being. Their task, therefore, is to communicate directly from one inward world to another, in such a way that an actual shock of experience will have been rendered: not a mere statement for the information or persuasion of a brain, but an effective communication across the void of space and time from one center of consciousness to another
—  Joseph Campbell, “The Masks of God, Volume IV: Creative Mythology” (Copyright © 1968 Joseph Campbell Foundation)
Open letter to Taylor Swift

Dear @taylorswift,

I’m writing you this open letter to talk to you about how fan made videos and fan vlogs are continuously being taken down on YouTube for containing copyrighted content from your music videos, as well as live footage from your tours.

Now, I know that it’s your legal team handling everything and not you personally. And that is exactly why I wanted to reach out to you about this subject matter in the first place, because I strongly believe you’re not even aware it’s happening to this extent. Don’t get me wrong, I understand certain content needs to be protected because it’s trademarked and there are rude people in the world who make profit off of content that you have legal ownership of.

But I just want you and your legal team to understand that’s not our aim with uploading these videos we make. We make these videos for fun to share with other fans and friends who will get excited over them with us, as well as in the hopes you may see them one day. We don’t make them for profit. You have stated yourself that the thing you love the most about your fans is that we’re original and imaginative; you’ve said you love seeing everything we get up to with our lives and seeing all of our creativity…

But our creativity is being limited and constricted; the documentation of our lives is being concealed from you, as we’re unable to upload it and share it with you because of it being removed by your legal team. We always make sure to include disclaimers stating that it is just a fan video, we own nothing, and no copyright infringement is intended. We put in bold that all content belongs to its original owners and all rights are reserved to the respectful parties such as yourself, the record label, the director, the producers, the editors etc. But they still get taken down and it feels extremely unfair. Especially because there are a multitude of other fandoms in which this doesn’t seem to happen to.

Take the Supernatural fandom, for example. All the cast and crew enjoy seeing what their fans create so much, they actually hold ‘fan-made video competitions’ at almost all of their conventions. They share the YouTube links to said fan-made videos, supporting them and praising them - I am in no way saying you don’t support your fans or anything of the sort; you have given to us graciously and done so, so much for all of us. I am also aware that in the past you have also shared videos your fans have created, and still continue to do so - but my whole aim of this open letter, is to bring to your attention that at the rate your legal team are going, you’re not going to have anything original, creative, or imaginative by your fans to view and enjoy.

There will be no more vlogs of your fans attending your tours, showing you the behind the scenes footage of the experience they had that you loved so much when Karlie showed you hers. There will be no more fan-made music videos or parody videos that are well thought out with strong attention to detail for you to share with your friends and family. There will be no more of your fans digital creativity for you to share with the rest of the world.

I know you can’t control every aspect of your business, and as I stated above, I understand why there are copyright infringement laws put in place. All I ask is that us fans are given a little leeway when it comes to uploading fan-made music/parody videos and vlogs with footage from your music videos and live shows in them.

Making fan videos can take a lot of work; the time and effort put into editing takes a lot of dedication and so much thought and detail goes into them. I’ve seen so many amazing fan videos - not to mention been extremely proud of some of my own - that don’t deserve to be taken down and slapped with a copyright infringement notice threatening to remove our YouTube accounts, when we have done the right thing and put in writing that the videos aren’t made for profit, we own none of the content and all footage belongs to it’s original owners.

In conclusion, I appreciate all the hard work that goes into making your music videos - from the producer hiring key personnel and arranging distributors, the director scouting locations and controlling the artistic and dramatic aspects, you filming your scenes, the costume department and the team in post production (who don’t get enough recognition because editing is fricken hard) - and I’m not trying to take away from all of that time, effort, dedication and hard work of those people. I just want us fans to be able to create something we’re proud of - that we think you’ll be proud of - and be able to share it with yourself and other fans.

I love you so much, Taylor. Everything you’ve ever done for not only us fans, but for musicians and artists of every form everywhere, is amazing and has always come from a place in your heart. I’m not 100% certain you’re even able to do anything to make it so we’re able to upload fan-made music videos/parodies etc but if it is possible at all, it would honestly not just mean the world to me… But to all of us who get inspired by you and your music to create something beautiful to share with you.

Thank you for reading this. I love you.
Love, Natalee

Last night it was brought to my attention that a seller on Etsy was using one of my Day of the Dead girls for a domino pendant that they were selling.  There was no mention of where the illustration came from and they certainly didn’t consult me before using it.  This is not a witch hunt and although I have placed a screenshot of the Etsy listing on this post, I have taken the shop name off it.  It’s difficult not to think that the seller would be selling my illustrations elsewhere and simply not putting them for sale on their Etsy store.  

Unfortunately this isn’t the first time that something like this has happened to me and my designs.  There is the minority that would choose to cheat and steal, taking my designs and using them to make a profit.  This will not be tolerated.  Which now begs the question, should I watermark my images?

It’s a tough call whether I should start to watermark my illustrations before putting them on the internet.  I was (and still kind of am) against the watermarking of my images - I think that it ruins the overall look and feel of the image.  Besides, I think if someone really did want to use one of my images there would be nothing to stop them from using Photoshop or creatively cropping the image.  

The seller in question has since removed the item from their store but they have not replied to my emails.  On a much more positive note, I am pleased that my illustrations are easily recognised and I have such loyal followers that don’t hesitate to get in touch with me when they smell something a little fishy!  It really does warm my heart!  

<3 Amanda 

I’ve never been asked that before...

I just got a Message on Reddit from someone actually doing due diligence and tracking down a funny image from the internet to see who originally made it and ask for permission to use it. I didn’t think anyone ever actually did that.

So on the off chance this ever happens again, I guess I should make one of these.

Just shoot a link to me if for some reason you wanna use my stuff (although that map is Paizo’s in the first place, so aaaaaaaa I don’t actually know how copyright works and I’m writing a blog post at 4am.)

If for some reason anyone wants to make Murder Hobo tee shirts or something, though, get in touch with me.
(Just kidding, I don’t want to get sued by Paizo, don’t make Murder Hobo teeshirts)

Fair use is a legal doctrine that promotes freedom of expression by permitting the unlicensed use of copyright-protected works in certain circumstances. Traditionally, courts adjudicated fair use by considering four factors:


1. Whether the accused work is “transformative” of the original.


2. The nature of the original copyrighted work. Creative works – such as music – are deserving of enhanced protection.


3. The amount and substantiality of the use of the original copyrighted work


4. The effect on the use of the market for or value of the original work.


Over time, the courts (particularly in the Second Circuit, which ultimately would decide copyright disputes concerning Broadway shows) have focused on the first factor — whether or not the accused work is “transformative” of the original — as the defining issue in the fair use analysis, to the point where it now overshadows the other factors.


[…]


I received a call from Deborah Mannis-Gardner, the music clearance guru who was responsible for clearing all of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s references to musical theatre and popular music.


Mannis-Gardner agreed with my assertion that “Hamilton” was protected by fair use. It was Mannis-Gardner’s understanding, however, that Miranda specifically wanted to license all of his references to prior music out of respect: “By clearing the songs, Lin was tipping his hat to the hip-hop community,” Mannis-Gardner told me. “When he wrote [Hamilton] he was listening to Notorious B.I.G. and Eminem.” Mannis-Gardner reflected: “It was as if Lin wanted to take that community of hip hop and rap and make the rest of the world recognize that music.”


By taking a form of entertainment (hip-hop) not typically associated with musical theater, and by combining the genres of pop, R&B, hip-hop and musical theater into a historically-pretty-accurate show about one of our country’s lesser-known founding fathers, all of whom are portrayed by persons of color, Miranda created the poster child for “transformative” works.

So LGBTQ Peeps in DMV (DC/MD/V)/Delaware Valley (NJ/PA/NY) I need your help (model call)

This is more so for the DMV right now I’ll be moving back over to the Delaware Valley in a couple months 

But I need people to photograph for a drawing series I am doing… as I am a poor ass artist I cannot give any kind of compensation upfront other then keeping your info for if the piece sells… (I’ll write up a contract and everything I’ll guarantee you 10% (6% if sold in a gallery that takes percentage) 

you get to keep all photos taken once you don’t publish them commercially [basically use them for facebook/instagram/tumblr, your own art work {photos will be copyrighted through creative commons (non-commercial)}, or for headshots])

you can fill out this form if your interested (if you are under 18 I need your parents consent so they have to come with you for the shoot [they don’t have to stay they just have to sign the parental forms] and also have to sign the model release contract with you)

PLEASE IF YOU CAN SIGNAL BOOST THE SHIT OUT OF THIS

ESPECIALLY BOOST FOR MY QPOC PEOPLE

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