How Moulinsart lost Tintin in the Netherlands

The Moulinsart foundation, which manages (or, as you will see in the following, claims to manage) the rights to HergĂ©’s estate – in other words to Tintin – has lost an important law suit earlier this week against the Dutch association of tintinophiles, HergĂ© Genootschap. Foreign press have reported superficially on this case, perhaps because … Read More

Definition: copygreed

Tonight the stores close at 2200 hrs, it is now 2112 hrs, I am working through a stack of old books to determine their copyright status, and I still have a dozen or so to go. Suddenly, I am stopped. Quick, I need a word to describe the phenomenon that certain parties want ever longer … Read More

Who owns this photo?

Every time Englishman David Slater threatens to sue people over this photo, the press jump on it like rats on a granary. I will tell the story therefore in just a few words, because you’ve probably already heard it. Slater goes on a photography trip to Indonesia, a macaque starts to play with one of … Read More

Patents held back the Wright brothers

A while back the threat of software patents hovered over Europe. Patents are a legal instrument tied to inventions that let others stop you from using those inventions. Software patents let you do the same with bits of computer programs, which a lot of people disagreed with, since there are often just a few very … Read More

Saw a real live tip jar the other day

Well, not alive live… Across from the place on the Ferdinand Bolstraat where they sell belts there is a place where they will punch holes in belts, and I am guessing they are sort of ashamed of charging money for such a simple activity, so they don’t. Recently they put a tip jar on the … Read More

Little Fuzzy to get ‘reboot’

H. Piper Beam’s science fiction novel Little Fuzzy has been ‘rebooted’ by John Scalzi (see here and here). Scalzi is still shopping for a publisher for Fuzzy Nation, as his novel is called. It is not entirely clear what the difference is between a reboot and a re-imagination. I read Little Fuzzy a couple of … Read More

The Super User Problem

In offices you have this thankless job called super user—not to be confused with the UNIX role of the same name. A super user, sometimes called ‘power user,’ is a person who is not part of the IT department but who does menial IT-related tasks such as fixing broken printers, explaining colleagues how to bold … Read More

Exploitation obligation for authors

Just me brainstorming. Authors should be obliged to exploit their works. When they don’t do that for a set period of time—ten years tops sounds reasonable—their copyrights should be transferred to an entity that will exploit it for them. Authors of works that are only fixed in rapidly decaying media, such as anything digital (where … Read More

Copyright notes

I have no del.icio.us account, so I am dumping this stuff here. Nothing to see, move along. NVJ trying to stretch the contours of traditional copyright in the consumer sphere: here and here. The only earlier case I know of where consumers got prosecuted or sued over copyright infringement was in the case of a … Read More

Also blogging elsewhere

Although my posting frequency here never has been a thing to brag about much, lately it has dropped below the “once a week” that I unconsciously saw as a minimum. This is not because of the dreaded blogging fatigue, but because I’ve joined a couple of other blogs—which I must have written about once or … Read More