- John Tolkien started to write the Silmarillion one hundred (one HUNDRED!) years ago and continued to work on it until he died, 41 years ago. Forty years later, an Illustration and Graphic Design student worked all by himself, for about one year, to produce a wonderful deluxe, hand-illuminated edition of the Silmarillion. But he can’t publish it. Because other people, who are NOT those who wrote those texts, haven’t given permission (synthesis from the interview):
The first entry for 2012 of my copyright madness gallery may be just behind (or below…) you in this very moment, in your own living room.
- Since this hasn’t probably got outside of Italy all the attention it deserves, here’s the story: ten days ago Unione Nazionale Consumatori (UNC) that is one of the biggest consumers associations of Italy, announced that YouTube has shutdown their official channel on YouTube.com (unioneconsumatori) for copyright violation. As you can see from the snapshot here, as of July 2, 2011, 1520 GMT, that account is still blocked. From what UNC says, the only “violation” is that they had put on YouTube (among many completely original videos) short excerpts of… interviews to UNC representatives aired from the Mediaset and R.
- According to the Madisonian, astronaut Buzz Aldrin has sued a trading cards manufacturer that used his image and likeness without his permission. The problem is that, apparently, the fight is over photographs that are a) taken more than 40 years ago and b) have probably been in the public domain anyway since the day they were shot, being “a work of the US Government”. Copyright madness doesn’t live just in comics, it also travels in space now.
Albert Uderzo, the artist that together with Renè Goscinny created Asterix in 1959, is an 84 year old gentleman who (so the story goes) recently bought a real military fighter plane and a Pharaoh-like mansion, following the advice from his “plumber” (heck, who’s this guy, SuperMario?). Due to these and similar facts, Asterix’s sister, that is Uderzo’s daughter Sylvie, went to court to have her father declared mentally incompetent and to accuse the plumber to abuse of his influence on Uderzo. That’s what I read on Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera. If this were all the story, it would be a tragic or comic family fight, of little actual interest for everybody else.
Today we have technology to make potentially every existing book accessible to vision-impaired people thanks to e-book readers (even if that technology is still badly (un) unsed very often, see these real world examples). There is, however, a refusal to use it in this way: