Van Helsing and the Public Domain

Sigmascape1 at Sigmascape1 at
Mon May 10 12:48:43 EDT 2004

>Subject: Re: Van Helsing and the Public Domain
>To: "Discussion on the Creative Commons license drafts"
>    <cc-licenses at>
>    <2671. at>
>Content-Type: text/plain;charset=iso-8859-1
>The problems are:
>1) The DMCA subverts all Fair Use by simple application
>         of the most rudimentary encryption algorithm
>2) Copyright Duration is absurdly long
>3) software can be patented
>4) Except for a few (and irrelvent to today's technology)
>         cases enumerated in the 1976 Copyright Act,
>         "Fair Use" is left to the decision of a Judge,
>         which therefore requires a truckload of money
>         to see a court case to its conclusion.
>The fact that Disney fought to have copyright term
>EXTENDED just before Micky Mouse and Steamboat Willie
>were about to enter the Public Domain, now THAT is a
>more interesting fight.

I hope I made sense with my original post. My thought process was simple... the movie Van Helsing is a great example of how important the Public Domain is to the U.S. and the world. The idea that this movie studio changed the first name of a classic character and made it a new, and original product (I.P.) is exactly what the world needs. Building on the PD is critical. That's the beauty of the PD... I can create "Mitch Van Helsing," write an original story, and market it to whomever.

Just wanted to point out the importance of the Public Domain.

Also, one final point... Greg, you are 100% correct. The copyright length is unbelievablely long. Disney, Apple and other companies that pushed for the most recent extension should understand that what they did is helping to fuel a very interesting movement today. I like to think that we are just beginning to see the growth of open content in general. Thanks to the Creative Commons, the open source software community and others, we are starting to see a true revolution (possibly evolution) of intellectual property, and how IP is dealt with.


Mitch Featherston

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