Content owners have been getting it wrong for a long time. Plus why 1995-2025 is the dark ages of the Internet.
A common theme in this, the dark ages of the Internet (see concluding paragraph for definition), is that content owners overreach with their associated IP rights. For example, copyright owners conveniently forget about fair use except when it helps them. I recently found an older example.
I was watching an old SpongeBob DVD with my girlfriend’s kids. I love SpongeBob. In the “Night Shift” episode, Mr. Krab decides to keep the Krusy Krab open 24 hours. SpongeBob is happy because he gets to work more, Squidward is disgusted because he has to work more. So Squidward makes up a horror story to scare SpongeBob. The story involves lights mysteriously flickering on and off. At one point, the fake horror story seems to be coming true. Eventually, everything is explained away by various coincidences – except for the flickering lights. Then the “camera” pans to a “backstage” view to review what looks like Dracula mischievously turning the lights on and off. Mystery solved! But instead of saying “Oh Dracula!” SpongeBob says, “Oh Nosferatu!” instead.
Nosferatu? Who the heck is that?
Well, it turns out that Nosferatu was a 1922 unauthorized adaptation of Dracula (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nosferatu), and the studio had to change the name of all of the main characters because they could not obtain the rights to the novel!
I wonder if it was easier for SpongeBob’s creator to also use Nosferatu rather than Dracula!
Newsweek magazine (remember magazines?) declared 1995 to be the year of the Internet. I predict that it will take a generation – 30 years – for old media ideas to be replaced with new media idea. It will take until 2025 for us to emerge from the dark ages of the Internet. Let the old bad ideas die, let the new good idea grow.
- Illegal Feeds And Betting Against The Internet
The clue train has left the station, and most publishers aren’t on board.
- Drawing That Explains Copyright Law
Copyright rights, unregulated uses, and fair use.
- Steal This Article: It May Be My Last
Organizations large and small – including the ABA – need to evolve on the ever-changing Internet.
- It’s The Metadata, Stupid
For the music that I have purchased, I want all of the metadata: the MP3s, the album art, the BPM data, the liner notes, the lyrics, the tablatures, the recording dates, the release dates, the artist’s history, etc. Today, I can’t get all of the metadata from a single source.
- The Dark (Gray) Age Of Music On The Internet
While there are a lot of choices for consumers, the current state of music on the Internet leaves a lot to be desired.
- Musician Loses Job Due To File Sharing
- IAAC – I Am A Copyfighter
- Am I A Copyfighter?
One practitioner’s struggles with practicing — while fighting to change — the law in the dark ages of the Internet.
- The ‘Duh’ Of Shrinkwrap Licenses
Kids have figured out the problem with shrinkwrap licenses. So why can’t judges?
- An IP Audit Of Spongebob Squarepants
Let’s pretend for a moment that it is early 1999, and Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of Spongebob Squarepants, has contacted me for advice about protecting his intellectual property.
- Are You Eating Your Coffee Beans?
Smart companies are ‘giving away’ portions of their content online without hurting sales of their other products.
- Ease-of-Copying In The Digital Age – Turning A Negative Into A Positive
Rather than worrying about ease-of-copying, owners of copyrighted works should use it to their advantage.