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[Freeciv] Re: it's like a screenplay

[Freeciv] Re: it's like a screenplay

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To: "freeciv" <freeciv@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: [Freeciv] Re: it's like a screenplay
From: "Brandon Van Every" <vanevery@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 20 Jul 2000 01:45:51 -0700

> > Stop talking about houses, start talking about screenplays.  What
> > the rights of the author?  This is the realm of Intellectual
> If i understand you correctly, then if i with my friends make a
> screenplay based on Hamlet, just for fun, not for money, only for
> we are infringing copyrights? Iiick. Lawyers should be shot.

First off, your example is specious as Shakespeare died a long long time
ago, and Copyright only lasts 70 years after the author's death if I
recall correctly.

Second off, let's just say you were working with a modern play called
"Chinese Hamlet," a work fairly similar to Hamlet in some respects, but
nevertheless an original work with all sorts of Chinese cultural
references, using Chinese rulers instead of Denmark et al, and other
various myriad and sundry divergences even though most astute scholars
would recognize the fundamental similarities to Shakespeare's "Hamlet."
A work inspired by Hamlet, but wholly original, as original as any work
of authorship can be or has to be.

You decide you like this play very very much so you take all the acts
verbatim and do a production of "Chinese Hamlet" without securing any
rights of performance from the playright.  Guess what?  If the
playwright is on the ball, you get sued.  If you change a few lines of
the play, it doesn't matter, you still get sued.

If you do it "just for fun" for a few friends, odds are nobody notices
and nobody catches you.  If you Intercast the whole performance live on
your website over and over again, and make MPEGs of the performances and
distribute those on Free Software archive CDs, and it makes all the cool
magazines, your bigtime infringement is bigtime noticed.  Even if you
don't make a dime, you're cutting into the original playwright's ability
to make a dime, and that's why they sue you.

Cheers,             Infernal Troublemaker                    Troll
Mallor              "By simple mistake, mortals themselves amuse."

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