Funny thing is they’re awful and toxic and bad for human creativity and yet I’m looking forward to taking the boys to Disneyland and every night they play with Hulk, Thor, Captain America and so on. Like most great drugs they’re hard to resist and you want to dabble with them every now and again even though you know it’s bad for you.
They have destroyed copyright licencing, probably forever.
Forever + how many years it takes to keep Mickey out of public domain.
In fairness public domain feels like it shouldn’t be a thing. Unless the property owner wishes his creation to become free for all they should get to choose if their family get to maintain the rights and further generations get to profit from their work. Just like any company.
Also, those new Mickey Mouse digital shorts are fantastic.
That’s a nice thought but I think these properties will almost invariably end up being owned by large conglomerates like Disney. So no family really sees generational wealth beyond investing well off an initial sale unless your name is Disney.
I dunno. I think the major guys like GRR Martin, Rowling, Tolkien, Stephen King and so on will have families managing their estates for generations to come. Mind you, the best move is to sell the rights and then invest wisely, which is easier if there’s no threat of public domain.
Essentially I think public domain is never coming back and that’s ok. Creation is property in a way that could never be imagined before. Every creative person still have the option to make their creation publicly owned any time they want.
I think all of these properties have a shelf life based in some nebulous way on when a film is made on the property and when the original author ceases creating new work. I think several of them are already starting to wane. Think about your feelings toward Conan that you expressed a while back.
I don’t think it is either thanks to Disney and their lobbying. But I don’t think the problem is the creator. I think the problem is the large corporation who now own catalogs of material that instead of incentivizing the creation of new material would rather someone just do a new spin on something from their catalog. Just think about The Ultimates and who benefited from that. What was the last wholly new concept created at Marvel or DC that really hit it big? Deadpool?
I think it’s been great for pushing creators towards creating their own material but that same material doesn’t seem to have longevity because it is missing the sustained push and renewed vision that it gets within a large company. For instance, I love Mark’s books but would be hard pressed to name some of his A list main characters when I can name C and D list supporting characters from DC and Marvel.
I’ll leave you with this gem to illustrate my point.
This becomes an interesting thought experiment.
In one hundred years will anyone give a shit about Middle Earth, Stephen King, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Star Trek, Game of Thrones, Marvel, DC, or any of the other stuff we’re currently saturated with?
I ask this because I notice that a lot of the stuff I grew up on like Asimov, Heinlein, Clarke, et al, are mostly ignored by the under-30 set.
We’re piling pop culture up like mad these days. There are already thousands of novels that could be considered modern classics, and more and more published each week. Or look at comic books, and consider how many titles are published each week, and project that back for decades and forward decades. It’s staggering.
And all of the movies and tv shows that are churned out on a weekly basis on both broadcast, cable, and streaming. Again, it’s staggering.
And the generation of kids now? They’re watching people play X-Box games on youtube. They seem more interested in novelty than what their parents grew up with.
By the time Harry Potter goes into the public domain, nobody will care about it.
We’d like to think that the stuff we love will survive the ages, but I don’t know if that is realistic.
I remember hearing a story about Harlan Ellison yelling at teenagers and young adults for not listening to the old radio programs that he grew up with. Never mind that, at the time, there wasn’t really any way to find those old programs, and they wouldn’t appeal to the then modern sensibilities anyway. I suspect that, in fifty years, we will be the cranky old Harlan Ellisons shouting at kids for not knowing or caring about Star Wars and Stephen King.
I think there’s stuff that endures. Lord of the Rings was originally published in 1954, and The Hobbit in 1937, so that stuff has already almost made it to a hundred years. And there are other exceptions, I think - I don’t know how many readers Dune still finds, but there will definitely be another movie version sooner or later and then that’ll bring in readers again, and so on.
But yes, those stories have their time, absolutely. I think Star Wars is different, because Disney will keep it going for a hundred years with new stories now. But other than that - there’s a lot of good stuff being published every day, and that has to have an impact on how much the older stuff gets read. There are also viewing habits to consider - I don’t think somebody who has grown up with all the current stuff can watch the original Twin Peaks like I did, with my mind firmly blown.
Speaking of all the Marvel show being cancelled, I really hope Steve Lightfood gets a new show to run quickly. That guy really knows what he’s doing.
I’m really looking forward to the backlash against the newest Star Wars in 20 years time, and everyone talking about how the Sequel Trilogy was great. I am going to laugh and laugh and laugh at everyone on that day.
Well, the generation that has grown up with the prequels and loved them as little kids has by now - at teenage age - been conditioned to understand that they are in fact very, very bad. At least, that worked with my son. I expect every other parent has put as much energy into deriding the prequels as I have.
Oh, I’ve seen a lot of nominal adults hold up the prequels as an example of Star War done right compared to the sequel trilogy.
Wow, people are pretty crazy these days.
Yeah, it’s almost as if the films aren’t that bad, but people are uncomfortable with elements of the story, or are confused as to why they don’t like the thing pop culture has told them they love, and they need to rationalise this somehow.
The fans kept Star Wars going, Disney are trying to expand the number of people who count themselves as fans, but Star Wars was out there for years between movies. It’ll last even if Disney stopped making content.
Those have recently been somewhat faithfully ported into film now. So by my theory, I think the clock is ticking now.
I think Conan is actually a good example. He was created around the same time as The Hobbit but got a film decades before. Since then his pop culture cache has diminished.
Dune would probably be another good example of this. The last outing for it was a SyFy channel thing, wasn’t it?