back to article Holy litigation, Batman! Custom Batmobile cars nixed by copyright

Riddle me this: what has four wheels, a jet engine, and will get you an angry call from DC Comics' legal department if you try to rip it off? The Batmobile, of course. A US court has ruled [PDF] that Batman's iconic ride was covered by the publisher's copyright. The US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for Central California …

  1. Anonymous Blowhard

    OK, so they own the rights, but enforcing them in this case may reflect badly on the company; here's a better response to fans who "infringe rights to characters":

    http://www.cnet.com/uk/news/r2-d2-fan-builders-hired-for-new-star-wars-film/

    DC Comics should be happy that the car builders, and the fans who pay for the cars, are helping promote their product on the streets...

    1. MJI Silver badge

      What they should do is........

      Ask the builders to apply for a licence and sell them one on a per car basis, say 10% of the profits would be fair.

      The issue is NOT making a Batmobile, but making and SELLING a Batmobile.

      1. g e

        So to condense that

        The issue is money. Quel surprise.

        Mind you the chap is running a commercial venture so he did kinda make a rod for his own back. Licensing fee would be the way forwards, though, all the same, you'd think... that way both parties make luvverly mmmmmmoney.

        1. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

          Re: So to condense that

          ...The issue is money. Quel surprise....

          Copyright is ONLY about money. The OP got it wrong when it said that no one can make a Batmobile - anyone can. They just can't PROFIT from it by selling it commercially. Copyright is about protecting the original creator's right to make money from his creation.

          If you think about it, the original statement would suddenly make all model makers into criminals...

          1. Vic

            Re: So to condense that

            Copyright is ONLY about money. The OP got it wrong when it said that no one can make a Batmobile - anyone can. They just can't PROFIT from it by selling it commercially.

            No, that's completely wrong. If it were so, it would be legal to make copies of anything you like as long as you don't sell it. Try copying stuff and telling people about it and you'll find out just how wrong you are...

            Copyright is about protecting the original creator's right to make money from his creation.

            No, copyright is the right to copy. It's that simple.

            Vic.

      2. TitterYeNot
        Coat

        Re: What they should do is........

        "The issue is NOT making a Batmobile, but making and SELLING a Batmobile"

        Judge - So, I understand you represent DC Comics and allege that the defendent is selling Batmobiles in contravention of your client's ownership of the copyright.

        IP Lawyer - That's correct, your honour.

        Judge - Would you care to identify where in this picture of the alleged Batmobile the Bat-Ray is located?

        IP Lawyer - Erm, I don't think it's got one your honour...

        Judge - Oh, I see. Strange. Ok, can you then point out the Bat-Turn lever, the Batcomputer or the Bat-Photoscope?

        IP Lawyer - Erm, I'm afraid not, your honour.

        Judge - No? Well at the very least you can show me where the Batphone is!

        IP Lawyer - Er, it hasn't got one, your honour.

        Judge - <Splutters> What! No Batphone! Then how can it be a Batmobile you imbecile? Get out of my court! Case dismissed...

    2. Someone_Somewhere

      "DC Comics should be happy that the car builders, and the fans who pay for the cars, are helping promote their product on the streets..."

      And banks that get robbed should be happy that bank robbers are helping promote awareness of banks?

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      But the important difference is that you are an adult with more intelligence than something which lives under a rock - they are Hollywood IP lawyers.

      The same guys that thought it would be clever to rip off Stan Lee on the first Spiderman movie (by selling the DVD rights to themselves for $1) and then realised that they might like to make more Stan Lee character based movies.

    4. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. msknight

    One of my colleagues read this and said, "I despair of humanity ... again."

    1. g e

      Humanistic despair.

      my default setting.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Humanistic despair.

        Wait, there are people who don't despair of humanity?

        I despair of humanity.

        1. Bluto Nash

          Re: Humanistic despair.

          Yes, yes. I think we ALL despair of humanity. It goes with the line of work.

  3. graeme leggett

    Copyright holders tend to be less bothered by fans who make their own copies of things for personal use. Making a copy to sell to other people, or making one as a commission - and thus for profit - from someone else they seem to be less happy about. Witness the large number of homebuilt Daleks, or adding stripes and a racing number to your cream-coloured VW Beetles.

    Was the defendant arguing that there was no copyright in the Batmobile design, or that it was not held by DC. Thinking about the Stormtrooper helmet kerfuffle here.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Agree, the issue was not the fact he was copying it, the issue was he was copying it and selling it.

      I once wrote of to a mega-corp to see if I could make a copy of something and take it to shows. They willingly gave me a "free" licence, with plenty of terms on it, including non-resale or not for profit clauses.

      1. JEDIDIAH
        Devil

        Another case of zero net effect.

        Sure. Because WB was just suffering terribly because nobody was buying THEIR replicas... [/sarc]

        This case had zero actual damages.

  4. skeptical i
    Meh

    Can we trade the "Happy Birthday" song for the Batmobile?

    Not sure I like the net result of today's and yesterday's in-or-out-of-copyright exchange.

  5. Known Hero

    It might because because its early so I apologise

    FUCKING ARSEWIPES.

    To see a custom car like that being built & driven would be fabulous.

    All it does is promote their brand the stupid money grabbing bastards.

    IM GOING TO GET TEA ......

    FFS

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Meh

      Re: It might because because its early so I apologise

      So if you designed something, you'd be happy for people to rip it off and make money for it?

      What happens if the jet ignites and give someone major burns, hows that for the publicity?

      What about if there a suddenly 20 million knock offs on the road and it becomes boring and no longer "special?"

      As I said it's one thing to make it for yourself, but another to sell it for profit.

      1. earl grey Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: It might because because its early so I apologise

        "What about if there a suddenly 20 million knock offs on the road and it becomes boring and no longer "special?"

        Then it's called a "VW".

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. JEDIDIAH
        Linux

        Re: It might because because its early so I apologise

        > So if you designed something, you'd be happy for people to rip it off and make money for it?

        When I was a contributor to such things, I would have been humiliated and mortified if no one wanted to pirate it. There's nothing more embarrassing than being associated with a dud that no one even wants to pirate.

        That said, WB is leaving money on the table. They simply can't be bothered. In that situation, I also would not get my panties in a bunch if some enterprising fan filled the gap.

    2. Known Hero

      Re: It might because because its early so I apologise

      Good morning my deepest apologies for my outburst.

      In regards to them "ripping them off" we are talking about the "1966 television series and the 1989 motion picture"

      We are not talking about a product they are making or even consider making. This is a design that is no longer in any format or any money made on from utilising it.

      This is not the newest batmobile in the latest film. This is a fan made car that is being sold on, this isn't a production line designed to sell off replica goods either.

      On top off all that, the car is not the major branding icon either !!! Don't see DC going after the guy who dressed up as batman visiting sick kids in hospital in a "BATMOBILE", Wonder where he got that from?

      The only reason they are shutting him down is because they want his money, not because they care about their product at all.

      In regards to somebody getting BBQ'ed by the exhaust, how on earth would that link back to DC ? especially if it is a fan made car !!!! God know ppl don't attribute thousands of car deaths with car makers, nobody blames them !!!

      Wow I am so Ranty today ... I apologise again especially considering I have had my cup of tea.....

      1. Turtle

        Re: It might because because its early so I apologise

        "The only reason they are shutting him down is because they want his money, not because they care about their product at all."

        You are almost certainly wrong about this, twice. Whatever money they would get from him would be minuscule compared to the value of their IP and would probably not cover their legal costs. The actual reason they are doing this is *because* they care about their product - which is worth millions if not billions of dollars. How you could think otherwise is baffling.

        I would expect that their actual motivation for the lawsuit is simple: they want to assert and re-affirm their rights. They do not want to be seen as having abandoned any part of the prerogatives which they have as owners of their IP - for much the same reason that Google does not want "google" to become a recognized, generic word, or they will find themselves in a situation similar to what happened to the owners of the trademark "escalator":because the trademark owners did not zealously defend their rights to it, they lost it.

        And DC is not going to jeopardize their right by appearing to countenance unauthorized use - which weakens their rights. The kernel of the matter is not really that the cars are being built, but that their copyright is being used without permission.

        I would expect that DC would be perfectly fine with them continuing to build expensive, eye-catching replicas, but not without their permission. Which is perfectly understandable.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. BoldMan

          Re: It might because because its early so I apologise

          > Not sure of the law in the US but I'm pretty sure that if you don't defend a copyright then you may lose that right.

          If you are not sure of the law don't try quoting it - you are confusing copyright and trademarks. If you don't defend your trademark you loose the rights to it. Copyright is NOT the same.

          1. Alien8n Silver badge

            Re: It might because because its early so I apologise

            "If you are not sure of the law don't try quoting it - you are confusing copyright and trademarks. If you don't defend your trademark you loose the rights to it. Copyright is NOT the same."

            While correct, you can hold a trademark on a copyrighted item. The design of the bat mobile would be copyright, it's use it media would be trademarked. It was this that Games Workshop failed to prove when they sued a US author for the use of the words "Space Marine". They tried to claim trademark on a term that wasn't able to be copyrighted or trademarked due to it's generic history. Ironic really as they would have had no problems at all trademarking something like "Space Marine Battles" as a sub header, much in the way character names are trademarked by using a sub heading such as "A Stainless Steel Rat Novel".

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: It might because because its early so I apologise

            "If you are not sure of the law don't try quoting it - you are confusing copyright and trademarks. If you don't defend your trademark you loose the rights to it. Copyright is NOT the same."

            That isn't necessarily true. Sony lost the rights to 'walkman' because of the popularity of the term to describe a portable music device.

      3. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

        Re: It might because because its early so I apologise

        "We are not talking about a product they are making or even consider making. This is a design that is no longer in any format or any money made on from utilising it"

        You haven't the merest semblance of a clue, have you?

        The 1966 Batman movie is still sold (it's rather good too, with a cast commentary. It loads up with a cheery 'holy interactive Bat menus, Batman!' voiced by Burt Ward no doubt), so is the tv series. DC still sell graphic novels featuring the 1960s Batman character in it and they occasionally create *new* comics featuring the 1960s Batman portrayal, certainly as recent as a few years ago - I've not read many of them since.

        DC still make plenty of money from the 1960s Batman. The same goes for all the other 1960s characters - the original Flash is still around, as is the original Green Lantern (whatever he's called these days), and most of the others. About the only character which isn't alive - maybe - is the original Superman (Earth two), although a quick look at Wikipedia tells me his death has been retconned and he's probably alive again.

      4. Grikath

        Re: It might because because its early so I apologise @ known hero

        "We are not talking about a product they are making or even consider making. This is a design that is no longer in any format or any money made on from utilising it."

        Several lines of merchandise and a healthy collectors' market prove you wrong there...

        The biggest issue this guy ran into is that he's not building a one-off replica for himself or on commission, but that he's running a business selling "batmobiles" without proper licensing.

        A one-off, even built under commission, would fall under fan-art, and DC would have a really hard time proving a breach of copyright ( plus probably risk enraging the FanBoy community over it..). There's plenty of (semi)professionals catering to the cosplay community (including myself) that create plenty of the stuff without having to bother with licensing, because it's fan-art.

        Setting up a shop to build one specific (set of) item(s) in multiples, and not getting a licensing deal? You're asking for trouble.

      5. Vic

        Re: It might because because its early so I apologise

        This is a fan made car that is being sold on

        It isn't. This is a commercial garage[1] creating as many copies of various copyrighted car designs as it can sell.

        this isn't a production line designed to sell off replica goods either.

        Actually, it does rather resemble that...

        Vic.

        [1] I had a look for the website. It's very uninformative (except that the Batmobile seems not to be on its list of "car garages"), but I thought I'd save everyone else the search.

      6. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    What is it with the reg...

    ...one article is moaning how a photographer (and photography in general) is being bullied by the likes of Wikipedia and how they are eroding copyright, then another article appears to sympathise with a guy ripping of someone's design for profit?

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: What is it with the reg...

      Welcome to the Reg.

      If you want aligned talking points, go listen to neocons

      Meanwhile:

      "In our well-ordered society, protection of private property is essential"

      I'll pass on the "well-ordered", but I note that he didn't talk about "Intellectual Property", which, of course, is no property at all even though starving artists and supermoguls alike all pretend it to be so.

    2. Jim 48
      Mushroom

      Re: What is it with the reg...

      Hmmm, I don't know, may be it is because THEY ARE COMPLETELY DIFFERENT ISSUES!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What is it with the reg...

        Are they? They both involve copyright protection and enforcement.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What is it with the reg...

          It's because they are completely different journos.

          1. Little Mouse

            Re: What is it with the reg...

            "completely different issues..."

            Not really.

            Both articles are about legitimate IP holders defending their right to that IP.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              What is it with the commentards...

              At the time of wrtiting over 7 hours have passed and no-one has questioned the sub headline

              Nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana – LAWSUIT!

              Should LAW have more emphasis than suit, should there be a micro pause between the two

              And what's my gran done to deserve all those mentions.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Go

                Re: What is it with the commentards...

                I'm sorry but I have to say it; your Gran/nan is cool - why else?

            2. JEDIDIAH
              Linux

              Re: What is it with the reg...

              Actually, I would not call WB a "legitimate IP holder" here. Certainly not for the 1966 series. That should be all in the public domain by now. The only reason it isn't is because of corporate corruption of the law and changing the rules after something's already been published.

              Current work, being produced by a working professional, is a much more compelling case for the use (or abuse) of copyright.

  7. r_c_a_d

    Owning characters forever is wrong

    Since Batman and the Batmobile were created in 1939, I think it is wrong that they are still considered to be owned 76 years later.

    I can see the point of copyright for protecting entire works, or substantial extracts, but not for characters. If someone can make a better Batman story than the people who "own" him, then they should be allowed to sell it.

    If someone can make a real Batmobile for sale, then good for them. The original creators didn't make a real car that actually worked... they drew a picture of one. That's not an invention IMO.

    1. BoldMan

      Re: Owning characters forever is wrong

      But new version of the comics are being published every month, and every few years the characters get a revamp in their looks, thus the copyright is constantly renewed.

      Drawing a picture is an act of creativity in just the same way that building one is. You still need permission to turn a picture into an object if you don't own the copyright of the design.

      1. MacGyver

        Re: Owning characters forever is wrong

        "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries." -Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution

        'limited Times to Authors and Inventors', funny, how is forever "limited", Mickey Mouse is almost 100 years old, when does "limited" kick in?

        I'm sure the shareholders would love to make money off of every little thing they collectively own forever, however, there are signed documents that seem to think that would not be in the best interest of "we the people" collectively. So I ask again, when did limited become forever?

        1. Vic

          Re: Owning characters forever is wrong

          'limited Times to Authors and Inventors', funny, how is forever "limited", Mickey Mouse is almost 100 years old, when does "limited" kick in?

          This, IMO, is the big problem with copyright - it simply lasts too long.

          ISTR reading somewhere that copyright terms were originally <20 years; I see that as an ideal duration. Lengthening the term simply removes the public-domain benefit from the original bargain.

          But the laws are what they are, and the only way we're going to get them changed is for people to take a stand; tell your elected officials what you think, and tell them that your vote is contingent on their support for that change. If enough people do the same[1], we might see copyright periods reduced.

          Vic.

          [1] Yeah, yeah, I know...

      2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

        Re: Owning characters forever is wrong

        Publishing new comics or reprinting the old ones doesn't extend copyright, as legally defined, on the earlier material. 1939 comics may be out of copyright in the U.S. (I doo't know) although probably still copyrighted in the E.U., where the creators' lifespan plus a term is what counts.

        However, this case is about the television Batmobile - did someone say from 1966? - which is a specific different design.

        According to Wikipedia, in 1939 Batman owned a car. It only gradually acquired special accessories (which might have been there all along) and bat-motif designs (which weren't).

        A story character may also be a trademark, and that can be protected as long as you are using it. This means that there are obstacles, although not insuperable, to publishing your own copy of some Mickey Mouse products that did fall out of U.S. copyright. For instance, the title probably can't be "Mickey Mouse".

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Coat

          Re: Owning characters forever is wrong

          So its a Mickey Mouse Product?

      3. Francis Boyle Silver badge

        Re: Owning characters forever is wrong

        "Since Batman and the Batmobile were created in 1939, I think it is wrong that they are still considered to be owned 76 years later."

        Then complain about Disney not DC. US copyright are largely created to the end that the sacred Mouse must forever remain under Disney control.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    THE LEAGUE OF SHADOWS 1

    Unlucky Bastards 0

  9. Winkypop Silver badge
    Gimp

    There was only ONE batmobile

    The 1955 Lincoln Futura driven by Adam West.

    --> sort of batman-esque

  10. zaax

    How it that anywhere near a bat mobile? For a start it does not have a jet engine which would be 90% of the car or any of the other things the bat mobile has.

    1. DavCrav Silver badge

      "How it that anywhere near a bat mobile? For a start it does not have a jet engine which would be 90% of the car or any of the other things the bat mobile has."

      Would a model of the Starship Enterprise not be anywhere near a copy because it didn't have warp drive and transporters?

      1. Aqua Marina

        There was a case near to me, where a local ironmonger was making iron gates, that had star trek imagery in the design. The shape of the Enterprise, a caricature of the captain and the Star Fleet symbol. They were hit with a cease and desist from Paramount initially, which they ignored, and then they heard nothing more. The reason being, because under UK law, they were making a likeness, and likenesses don't fall under copyright laws in the same way. The company was and continues to be free to make gates with iconic imagery in the designs, but because they don't explicitly say "Star Trek" or "Star Wars" or any of the other brands they build their gates around, there's nothing the owners of the brand can do.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Umm ... I for one am not buying that there's nothing the owners can legally do in that situation

          1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

            Not buying it either. All the major Star trek elements were trademarked. If that's not still the case someone deserves to have lost their job.

  11. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Meh

    DC Comics needs all the help it can get

    I'm so looking forward to missing Batman vs. Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Green Lantern, and whatever else they've got lining the cat litter tray.

  12. Your alien overlord - fear me

    If Dinky (or whoever) started making little BatMobiles today, they would pay royalties. No one would argue that.

    If I made a full size BatMobile for my own personal use, most people would agree that that's fine since I'm not making money from it.

    If I started making full size BatMobiles and selling them, making money from someone else's design and work, most people would expect me to pay something to DC Comics (such as a license fee).

    It's the same as if I started making replica Spitfires with the Merlin engine. Whoever holds the Supermarine patents and Messers Rolls and Royce would be knocking on my door. That's even older, more iconic and more distinctive but it is not exempt just because people don't build warplanes using wood and propellors nowadays.

    1. graeme leggett

      If you look at an Airfix kit for the North American Mustang, you will see a little (c) Boeing on the instructions as they are the inheritors of North American Aviation (via Rockwell).

      1. Vinyl-Junkie
        Facepalm

        The flight sim community went through this a few years ago. A certain aircraft manufacurer started asking for royalties on commercial use of their airframe designs. Not only the ones they had built but also the ones by every manufacturer they had ever acquired (even if it was A was bought by B who was bought by C who was bought by.... without end).

        Ubisoft were particularly badly hit as the then publisher of the IL-2 series, which (among other things) led to their Pacific subsim having US marked Lancasters in the anti-submarine role.... (which of course was quickly altered back to the real aircraft in an unofficial mod!).

        Ironically said manufacturer now publishes a certain FSX-derived sim...

        1. graeme leggett

          Which explains why an app my son uses has aircraft called "Arbus 333" "Bong 797", "Splitfire" etc

    2. Dave Evans 1

      Not quite true

      The patents for any WWII era inventions are long expired (20 years from filing). You are perfectly free to make replica Spitfires, and several companies do. The issue may be using the name Spitfire or Supermarine (the IPO trademark search service isn't working at the minute so I can't check), as I imagine that it is still current with BAe Systems.

      1. Preston Munchensonton
        Facepalm

        Re: Not quite true

        Please, do keep up, and note that the discussion centers on copyrights and not patents.

        FFS

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pah, copyright. A lazy corporate spongers charter.

    Great bit in The Guardian written a while back that sums up why copyright term should be reduced, I say 50 years is fair.

    http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2009/oct/07/shorter-copyright-term

  14. Quortney Fortensplibe
    Trollface

    Hopefully...

    Bacardi will now sue DC Comics for using the Bacardi logo on Batman's chest.

  15. David Kelly 2

    The End of Cosplay

    What holds for the Batmobile, holds for cosplay. End of Comic-Con.

    1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

      Re: The End of Cosplay

      You buy your costume from an outfit licenced to produce it commercially or you do it properly and make it yourself. Either way you're safe from the lawyers.

  16. splodge

    Maybe the article should be changed to call the perps "jokers". Just to be on the safe side, like

  17. Robert E A Harvey

    DC have licenced at least one replica

    These folks have a licence:

    https://buybatparts.com/cms/

  18. ganymede io device

    Cars of the people

    James May was seen driving a Batmobile in Hemel Hempstead yesterday

    http://www.tringtoday.co.uk/news/james-may-spotted-in-hemel-town-centre-in-the-batmobile-1-6971458

  19. chivo243 Silver badge
    Coat

    Wanna piss'em off royally?

    Paint the damn things grey, paint a pink nose on them and market them as the Ratmobile... Then as Lionel Hutz would say... Case Closed!

    Not really a coat, more of a cape!

    POW!

  20. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    "The ruling means that Towle and other Jokers who wish to build replicas or merchandise portraying the Batmobile will have to obtain permission from DC Comics."

    I *think* it means that anyone who wants to sell such a vehicle will have to get permission. Anyone can build their own for their own use in the land of the free, land of the Superhero, under fair use, can't they? As long as they don't go calling themselves Batman or hiring out the vehicle for cashmoney or otherwise attempting to profit from DC intellectual material?

  21. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Copyright infringement

    This is a PITA for everyone.. The laws change depending on the mood and possibility of profit. Anyone remember Clayton Moore? He wore the "distinctive" Lone Ranger mask for years at appearances without a hassle. Suddenly, a new Lone Ranger film was being made and the film company sued the hell out of him for wearing the mask. Basically, the court told him to change the mask...

    That lawsuit did a lot to damage the credibility of copyright holders since Moore was the "Lone Ranger" in many people's eyes. The fact he wore the mask for years without interference until someone decided profit came first changed things. And not for the better, IMO.

  22. raving angry loony

    Permission?

    I assume that by "ask permission" they really mean "pay us 110% of profits and be glad for it"? Still, I guess if you need permission (read: pay enough dosh) for scale models, it stands to reason that you need permission for life-size versions.

    I guess he'll just need to change the design "enough" and say that they're "inspired" by the series. Unless copyright law has changed so much that even that type of thing is forbidden now?

    London Company of Stationers (and their modern minions) might have taken 300 years to do it, but it looks to me like they've managed to mostly reverse any benefits of the 1710 Statute of Anne. We're back to perpetual ownership of works (please, 100+ years with almost automatic increases every decade is pretty much equivalent to "perpetual"), authors own less and less thanks to "works for hire" legislation, and the public domain is pretty much moribund unless people voluntarily add to it. RIP copyRIGHT.

  23. hi_robb

    DC Comics

    Robin bastards...

  24. OldDude

    They got what they deserved

    I expect that I'll get down-voted for that statement....

    but these guys weren't the only replica Batmobile manufacturers out there.

    Fiberglass Freaks have been making replica Batmobiles (1966 version) for a number of years.

    The difference is that they paid for the license to be able to do so.

    https://buybatparts.com/cms/

  25. Someone_Somewhere

    I wonder how many of those so opposed to copyright law have

    a) ever tried to make a living from their own work, rather than working for someone else

    b) children whose futures they would like to see secured after their own demise

    1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Many people have "children whose futures they would like to see secured after their own demise". They don't get paid for seventy years after their death for work they did when alive, though. Why should "artists" be any different?

      1. Someone_Somewhere

        Re: Why should "artists" be any different?

        Because 'artists' create something that no-one else does and that takes time.

        That's time during which they aren't earning anything for it.

        Whenever I tell people how much I get paid for my creative performances, they're astounded.

        Then I tell them about all the unpaid time during which I prepare for that performance and about the cost of materials.

        Then we calculate the actual rate I'm getting and that I'm still getting less than the minimum wage for my time and effort and they're no longer so outraged at how much I charge for my hour-or-three of performance time.

    2. Steven Roper

      @Someone_Somewhere

      If your mentality prevailed in the general economy you would be paying royalty fees:

      - to your mechanic every time you start your car;

      - to the architect and builder of your house every time you unlatch your front door;

      - to the plumber who fitted your toilet every time you flush;

      - to the electrician who wired your house every time you turn on a light or an appliance;

      - to the textile manufacturer who wove your carpet every time you walk on it;

      - to the vendor of your computer every time you use it. Oh, wait, Microsoft have now seen to that.

      Look, I'd be overjoyed if I thought that work I did for companies back when I left school meant they had to keep on paying me for the rest of my life and my heirs and assigns for 70 years thereafter, but unfortunately I don't get that privilege. I could have retired at 22 and lived off the royalties for all those car dashboard facias I once die-cut in the factory I worked in. But I work once and get paid once, which has been the basis of trade since the Stone Age, until people figured out this neat trick of Work Once Reap Many called "copyright."

      Yes, artists should be paid for their work. Once, at a fair salary, for the hours they put into making it, just like the rest of us.

      1. Someone_Somewhere

        Re: @Someone_Somewhere

        You don't understand what copyright is about then.

        Or royalties.

        If you haven't created anything, no copyright exists - mechanics don't design the vehicles they work on; plumbers don't design the toilets they fix; electricians don't design the wiring they fit.

        You don't get paid for copyright, you get to assert it and then you get royalties every time someone /else/ makes use of what you have independently created, if and when when you licence them to do so.

        Not one of the examples you have cited involves the /creation/ of anything new except (possibly) in the case of the architect - and even then they will only have a copyright on anything they design themself, not for checking the structural soundness of the blueprints for someone /else's/ designs.

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