I was pasing my eyes over an article at Slashdot about Exploding Rabbit‘s ’80s video game mashup Super Mario Crossover. I haven’t played yet, but it appears to be some kind of maniacal version of Super Mario Brothers where you can play as the characters from Castlevania or Metroid instead of an Italian plumber.
What really piqued my interest was a reader comment from ‘EdIII‘ that was eloquent, thoughtful, summed up the situation nicely and in general echoes my current feelings on what passes for intellectual property laws in the western world.
Nothing else from me here, I’m just going to repost what the man had to say:
I am not asking for perfect. Just reasonable copyright laws that are beneficial to society and allow the copyright holders to make a reasonable living providing us with art to enjoy, which includes video games Mr. Ebert.
Super Mario Brothers is easily 20 years old. What this gentlemen did is pretty damn fantastic in my book and a wonderful example of what a creative person can do availing himself of preexisting content and combining them in interesting ways.
To say it is in society’s best interest to provide Nintendo and Sega the legal entitlements to prevent the creation of such art after two decades of profit earning opportunities is simply crazy.
It simply cannot be in society’s best interest, EVER, to lock up all the art, technology, content, etc. for decades, and centuries, and possibly forever. A civilization based upon that would crumble into a worthless pathetic division of the people who control the IP and the slaves who work for them.
My suggestion of a maximum of 10 years for any copyright, and maintaining the current 20 years for patents (getting rid of software/business method patents) might be a bit too much for some, but for fuck’s sake… do those cocksuckers over at Disney really need to keep their legal entitlements 70 years afterwards? 200 years afterwards?
The fact you say, “in a perfect world” as if it is some unattainable dream like riding a purple Unicorn is saddening. No, it should be a dream, or a wish upon a star, but just a reasonable legal foundation for a society that this kind of art be allowed to flourish.