Adam Ruins Everything – How Mickey Mouse Destroyed the Public Domain


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    Don’t fuck with the Mouse.


    so, the moral here kids is, “don’t waste your time creating anything new! just steal whatever you can, no matter how long it takes.”


    I guess it depends on your definition of “new”.
    All works of art, literature, and music are derivative in some respect.
    When you have to worry about the guys with the biggest lawyers going over everything you do with a fine toothed comb looking for something to go after (intentional or not)…then it kind of takes away the incentive to even try something new.

    At some point any successful intellectual property becomes culture.
    Does anyone really think that its a good idea to make culture privately owned….?


    POP culture is NOT the same thing as traditional culture. dont confuse them. an action figure is not the same thing as the Italian feast of the 5 fishes for Christmas. Mickey Mouse is not the same thing as the “father/daughter” dance at a wedding. That is REAL culture.

    Mark Antony

    You’re completely beside the point. How exactly is the difference between what you call “pop culture” and “REAL culture” (whatever the fuck you mean by that) relevant to this argument?

    He pointed out that all works of art, literature, and music are derivative in some respect. He is correct.

    He said that there is an incentive now to avoid creative endeavors because the system punishes aspiring creators through lawsuits, which is hypocritical since those who hire the lawyers often sit on fortunes that were built on the public domain. Again, he is correct.

    No one is saying that a creator should be cheated out of royalties, or that one’s work is free game for everyone to use the moment it comes out. But there should be a reasonable time limit that allows for works to slip into public domain.


    “Traditional culture” consists of the beliefs and practices held or observed by specific human groups that have been passed down from their ancestors through their grand-parents, parents and the society around them. “Pop culture is when someone says “that’s what she said” when referring to a statement someone made regarding the large size of something. What part do you not understand.


    I didn’t say “pop culture” or “traditional culture” or “REAL culture” Aquaman.
    You brought up those terms…

    I was talking about art and literature…
    You know….one of the common definitions of “culture”…and the one where discussions about intellectual property are the most relevant.

    But if we want to use your definition….then lets discuss my example of singing “Happy Birthday”
    An intellectual property….subject to copyright laws.
    And also a traditional, cultural practice passed down through 4 or 5 generations now.

    Doesn’t that fit into your definition…?
    I’m genuinely curious about your thoughts on how copyright law should balance against what we consider culture?


    “Happy Birthday to You.”
    Real culture or not…..?

    Sure, just a silly song.
    But one that is ritually sung every year to just about everyone in the Western world to mark the date of their birth.
    70…80..times in their life.
    And you likely sing it to someone else a dozen or so times a year.

    Until recently was copyrighted.
    Authors and film-makers don’t us it because they had to pay royalties.

    Happy Birthday…a ubiquitous part of everyday life.
    But illegal for you to sing in public.

    Funny how that works…huh….?

    Mark Antony

    Again, missing the point. Do you have any idea how much of our stories were ancient, even before the Greeks got a hold of them?

    Those that simply reproduce never really get far. But some of the most cherished works we have, while not original, were reshaped and reinterpreted for a new generation. This is the whole point of public domain: not a license to copy or rip shit off but an opportunity to take a new look or fresh approach on an existing idea or concept.

    This has been the way of things as long has there has been writing, until the late 20th century. Now have big corps and lawyers who want to put a stop to cultural and creative innovation in the name of maintaining profit margins.

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