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Comments on Dan H's The Lexicon Issue: A Retrospective
One of the strangest aspects of US copyright law I dug up in my recent trawling through the intarwebs was the notion of “fictional facts” - this was a key element in the Castle Rock case, in which it was ruled that authors (or in this case entertainment companies) do retain copyright over matters of fact in their fictional worlds.
the constitution trumps copyright last time I checked
Copyright is one of those areas of law that everybody thinks they understand but in fact nobody does.
Actually, it doesn't.
*Speaking of the limited times bit "getting increasingly laughable..." Disney really, really doesn't want any of their copyrights to expire.
And the ironic thing is, I'm pretty sure I actually knew that. I think it's just that "the constitution trumps copyright" sounded punchier than "the American judicial system is generally pretty strongly invested in the idea of free speech, such that it seems unlikely that they would uphold the precedent that spoilering constitutes a breach of copyright, even though it might be argued to under current legal precedents."
Speaking personally, though, I actually have a lot of faith in the conventional models of publishing, at least for the mass market.
Anecdotal evidence here at Ferretbrain supports the observation that self-published books really are less good than those that are published conventionally.
On the other hand, we've had plenty of evidence here at Ferretbrain that professional publishing also tends to foster terrible writing (check the first theme handle on this article). Professional publishing is less prone to it, but surely we can do better than this.
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