Happy New Years to everyone! I haven’t posted much lately due to the Holidays, but I wanted to take a quick moment to share some copyright issues that have been in the news lately that we’ll explore further in 2016. Have a safe and Happy New Year to everyone, and please remember not to drink and drive!
-Quentin Tarantino is being sued for copyright infringement, and Plaintiffs Oscar Colvin Jr. and Torrrance J. Colvin allege that Tarantino stole the idea for Django Unchained from their screenplay Freedom.
Rumor has it that Tarantino stumbled upon the screenplay for Freedom when he accidentally opened a briefcase belonging to Marsellus Wallace. The case is Case No. 1:2015cv02250 filed in District Of Columbia District Court, and the Defendants include Tarantino, The Weinstein Company, and Columbia Pictures, Inc.
-The makers of a crowdfunded Star Trek prequel, tentatively titled Axanar, are being sued by Paramount and CBS. Because the only thing that sounds worse than a Star Wars prequel is a crowdfunded Star Trek prequel.
-Adolf Hitler’s book Mein Kampf enters the public domain after the copyright, which has been held for 70 years by the government of the German state of Bavaria, expires at midnight on December 31, 2015. While the book has been available at most libraries and schools (as well as Amazon) for quite some time, the fear is that hate groups will now have the ability to easily publish and promulgate the work in order to spread their ideologies. I’ll try to follow this story as it progresses, bearing in mind the sensitive nature of the story and the history behind it. The Atlantic article I’ve linked to is an excellent and thoughtful piece on the subject, and one quote in particular I wanted to highlight was that “The death and destruction caused by the Nazi regime did more to discredit Mein Kampf than any ban.” For those of you in the Las Vegas area who are so inclined, I would recommend a visit to the Sperling Kronberg Mack Holocaust Resource Center, it is an excellent source of information and resources on the subject. We must never forget.
-And finally, for everyone who has seen the new Star Wars movie and felt that something was missing, here is the 20th Century Fox Fanfare that played at the beginning of Episodes I-VI. I really wished that Disney and Lucasfilm could have worked out some deal to get the fanfare in the new Star Wars movies (I’ll help you negotiate!) because it just doesn’t feel like a Star Wars movie without it.
Happy News Years!