[cc-community] Free Mickey Mouse - The Disney Way

Shlomi Fish shlomif at shlomifish.org
Tue Mar 5 02:09:08 EST 2013


Hi all,

Now that we have been infatuated enough with
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jennifer_Lawrence winning the Academy Awards for
Best Actress for her performance in
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silver_Linings_Playbook (while being just 22 years
old), we can move on to something else: how to Free Mickey Mouse - The Disney
Way.

As you know, big corporations such as Walt Disney Corp., Microsoft, or General
Motors primarily care about one thing - being as profitable as possible.
However, they usually won't restort to violating objective ethics (such as
killing, stealing, etc.) to do that (despite many Hollywood exaggerations), in
part because doing something like that will get them in trouble, and in part
because a moral and benevolent person has enough self-control to avoid doing
silly things like that (e.g:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arnold_Schwarzenegger can easily kill many people
he sees on the street, but as far as I know, he has never done that,
outside his films' make-believe). Anyway, if doing something that a company
once thought was unthinkable makes business sense, then it will do it.

Let's take a look at the music scene on YouTube. Recently, the companies behind
the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recording_Industry_Association_of_America
started publishing close to their entire arsenal on YouTube under
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vevo and other stuff. Many of these songs have
received millions of views, if not hundreds of millions, of views and have
earned some money from YouTube commercials, but probably not profitable.
Furthermore, many of these songs have many covers on YouTube by independent
artists, which many people (including me) feel that they are often better than
the original (while usually receiving much fewer views).

The RIAA’s response? Not only do they not hunt down the artists performing the
covers, but they seek the talented ones, and sign them.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justin_Bieber was signed after publishing a single
cover and is now a teen sensation (whether his music is any good is
questionable, but is beside the point). Other artists like
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christina_Grimmie ,
http://tiffanyalvord.wikia.com/ , and http://www.jakecocomusic.com/ have
received contracts or become self-sustaining as well.

The RIAA that sued and closed Napster now seems far away, and it seems the
the music companies are much more benevolent now, simply because the rules have
changed. 

And here's something surprising: the motion pictures comapnies are headed the
same way. There's a reason why the
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Muppets_%28film%29 was so self-depracting and
criticised each and every bad aspect of contemporary American culture and that
the film Silver Linings Playbook was irresponsible, and very imperfect, and
that Ms. Lawrence took the Academy Awards for it, despite her youth and
inexperience as an actress: all these decisions made business sense.

So what I propose for Mickey Mouse? Instead of waiting for the copyright to
expire, let's take a certain day in the spring, say the second Tuesday of April
this year (Tuesdays are considered lucky in Judaism), and encourage Walt Disney
Corporation to make it the "Free Mickey Mouse Day" when the character of Mickey
Mouse will be released under the CC-by licence (= Creative Commons
Attribution License) and permanently. And it won't be a simple passing - oh no
- it will be a big Disney festival, with fireworks of Mickey Mouse and the
“(CC)” (= Creative Commons) logo, and
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_Lessig invited to give a keynote, and
tons of day of preparing in advance, and lots of highlights on Walt Disney
World and Disneyland, and all that and more. Active, alive, wonderful - like
only Walt Disney Corp. can do.

It may seem ironic but the whole well-covered fiasco regarding the .us Copyright
extension act has made Mickey Mouse less and less irrelevant. I'm not
interested in the very old Mickey Mouse movies, but the character is important,
and the only way to make him alive and vibrant again is to release it, and set
it free. After that, not only will Walt Disney still be able to make more movies
featuring Mickey Mouse, but everyone else will also be able to, making the
whole ecosystem around Mickey Mouse much more vibrant.

So - what do you think?

Regards,

	Shlomi Fish

COPYRIGHT: as far as I'm concerned this message is CC-by, but I have made use
of several names and/or trademarks here, so you have been warned.

-- 
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Shlomi Fish       http://www.shlomifish.org/
http://www.shlomifish.org/humour/ways_to_do_it.html

Judaism: God knows you will do shit, does nothing to prevent it, but makes you
take the blame for it anyways.

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