But more likely that they use it for something someday, at least...
It wouldn't even have to be that far removed from the current characters. E.g. Spaceballs didn't need permission from Lucasarts, you're allowed to parody other works. He could make a game that would parody Monkey Island.
However, I wonder how much it would resonate with kids today who might not be nostalgic for this genre of gaming.
Now that you mention it, I think that would be even more awesome than a regular sequel. I cannot imagine what a parody of Monkey Island would look like, but I cannot wait to see it. ;-)
But since we're talking who inspired whom, both monkey island and the second third and forth potc movies drew heavily on Tim Powers novel On Stranger Tides, and by the time they got to the fourth movie they just flat out optioned the book, title and all.
There's no rubber chicken with a pulley in the middle, but basically all the parts are there.
The Monkey Island movie never got the green light and years later Ted Elliott wrote 'Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl', which took several ideas from Monkey Island. So basically the first two PotC movies are the Monkey Island movie.
The second and third movies also borrowed a lot from it, most memorably the scene where two characters get married during a swordfight is lifted straight from the book
Copyright is really an orthogonal concern here. Yes, it certainly endows Disney with some rents that they shouldn't have, but their dominance is based on a continuous supply of new content, not derivatives of Mickey Mouse.
Not surprisingly, non-character stuff tends to be way better quality.
We do have a few items from gifts over the years. Our 2 year old calls a gifted Minnie Mouse doll "Elmo". Makes me proud.
Monopolies work against a free market, as do barriers to entry. Businesses make more money if the market is not free, i.e. if others in the market are not free to choose competitors' products or to become a competitor themselves. The "invisible hand" is about reflecting pricing movement of free exchange, not enforcing the freedoms. If a society wants a free market, they need to set up rules that promote market freedom as a societal goal, which would (ideally) end up working against individual profit maximization (compared to a usurpable market) but for greater overall robustness and correction.
So economists have to weigh the disadvantages of oligopolies against the advantage of efficient production. For instance you wouldn't want several electric grids competing against each other. On the other hand oligopolies can have powerful lobbies distorting the political process.
It's a complex balancing act overall. If you're interested, this is a field of economics called "industrial organization".
1. Canada, for instance, has only 6 banks, none of which failed in 2008. The problem with banks is their being over-leveraged (that is taking excessive risks) and inter-connectedness, as well as human shortsightedness and managerial incentives encouraging excessive risk taking. The problem with large banks is generally their political power.
On the Disney topic their dominance doesn’t come from free-market but IP holding though. It’s a worse of both world situation where they fought hard to carve a protected niche for themselves.
This is one of the evils of Copyright as it actually exists. Companies own culture. They own every story and character you grew up until after the day you will be dead.
Add to that the lax anti-monopoly rules and you end with empires like Disney.
Facebook or Disney are cultural trends that are impossible to ignore for an individual that wants to be a normal part of society.
I am happy that Alice in Wonderland, Jack and the Beanstalk, Roman culture, Egyptian culture, ... are free to use.
What Disney wants is to grab everything it can. Not that surprising. What it needs is to be able to protect its reputation and for its name brand to mean something. That does not require multi-century copyright terms... it requires trademarks.
Making me less happy, I'd be comfortable with a regime where copyrights expire after 10/20 years or something, but companies can indefinitely renew them on an exponentially-growing basis every decade or something, making companies have to decide whether they are actively using a property or whether it's more economical to just let it go. The major problem with the copyright term being so long isn't that it covers Steamboat Willie... the major problem is that it covers everything. An absurd amount of culture is not just tied up in copyrights, but copyrights that literally nobody knows where they reside, because who wants to track the rights to some kids book from 80 years ago carefully or something?
And if they are... I really don't mind. I'm a bit less incensed at the fundamental idea of "culture being locked up"; if something is being maintained as Star Wars is, for instance, let Disney have it for as long as they can homestead it, basically. I'm personally far more aggrieved about the pile of stuff that nobody owns and nobody particularly wants, but is locked up because Disney wants to own Steamboat Willy. My pragmatic solution is to basically let them, but to do so with much, much less collateral damage.
Even when other people gain the right to make derivative works, the cultural concept of canon separates certain works as authoritative from the mass of non-canonical fanfiction.
If Disney did not own copyright over the existing Monkey Island games, and trademarks on the Monkey Island characters and settings, a new game by the original creators of the game would almost certainly be received as canonical.
It would be like Tim Cain making another Fallout game, even though Bethesda owns the rights to the franchise now. Indeed, with both him and Feargus Urquhart together at Obsidian, one might argue that they have at least as much canon right to the franchise as Bethesda, who owns the actual legal rights. Similar with Fargo, Stackpole, and Danforth at inXile making Wasteland sequels, except they actually had to buy the rights to the trademarks. Or it would be like Meretzky making another Planetfall sequel, yet Activision has just been sitting on the rights to do that for decades.
The original rights have long been transferred to different corporate owners, in some cases several times.
There is definitely room to change copyright and trademark such that some rights are permanently invested in the individual contributors to a work, that cannot be quashed or transferred, regardless of work-for-hire status or corporate transfers. When a studio goes under and fires everyone, yet retains all rights that get transferred to a successor company that just sits on them, that isn't encouraging the creation of new works. It's forcing the actual creators to go find new jobs, where they are legally forbidden from continuing their previous work. It might be appropriate to allow some rights to escheat back to the creators, with the successor corporation getting something more like an automatic license.
Imagine if someone like Disney lost the right to draw Oswald the Lucky Rabbit to Universal Studios, who poached all his animators out from beneath him except Iwerks. They'd have to start all over with a completely new character that no one knew about, and directly compete against their own previous work, that would then be out of their control. And then they'd have to see Oswald pulled away from even those poached animators, by corporate fiat and a poker bet by Lantz, only to be buried shortly thereafter by Woody Woodpecker.
Separating the rights from the creatives entirely seems to have been somewhat unwise, judging by the history. Some rights now are literally too complicated for anyone to unravel, thereby preventing not only derivative works, but even just new copies on the market. How bad would it be, really, to just go to the named author (or their estate) to grant new licenses, instead of trying to chase down a corporate paper trail of transfers and contracts?
"It would be like Tim Cain making another Fallout game, even though Bethesda owns the rights to the franchise now."
A very bizarre choice of example, since Fallout is precisely what got made because they couldn't get the rights to make Wasteland 2, so Fallout is already "another Wasteland game"! http://wasteland.rockdud.net/fallout.html
The example was intentional. It's why I also mentioned Wasteland. Obsidian and inXile are very close, and Obsidian did work under contract to inXile for Wasteland 2. Those studios are both filled with ex-Interplay/Black Isle people. They all got fired, and the rights went somewhere else.
Franchises aren't everything. Otherwise the highest grossing movies wouldn't be Avatar and Titanic :)
And the hacker scene is directly respondible for not developing darknet software with which one can circumvent these copyright restrictions.
Having a darknet software that circumvents copyright restrictions won't prevent a squad of guys with guns appearing at your doorstep and taking you to a place, where you will spend several years. To prevent that, you need another solution and the answer is not technology or software.
That is why I wrote "darknet software". If the software cannot ensure anonymity, you get this kind of problem.
> To prevent that, you need another solution and the answer is not technology or software.
Sure, but until a solution appears, better create technology and software that makes civil disobedience easy.
I already do, so to me this is nothing even worth talking about. :-)
The problem rather lies, for example, in the "cultural" references that people use all the time.
> than making them a victim and giving them a reason to push for much more draconian laws.
I tell you: You can do what you want - they will make you a victim in any case.
In this sense I do not just ignore their movies etc., but also ignore their rights to have a right to censor (copyright), too. I am against violence, so I am against copyright, too.
Aaron Swartz (1986-2013)
He was a kind, brilliant person, barely out of childhood, and his life has come to an end.
I admire what he did and I find the way he was treated criminal and deplorable. However, Its difficult to blame developers for not wanting to go to prison and/or be harassed to death.
Who says that I do not work on such things already? (just perhaps in a somehwat different way than you might spontanously have in the back of your mind).
Consolidation of super-conglomerate is a real issue and one that most government in the world fail to tackle.
Emphasis on "support_ed_". As soon as they are bought out, stop supporting them.
At this point we probably differ: As soon as such a buyout happens, I lose my love.
> plus a massive cultural push to consume more of it.
I have a tendency to be rather immune with respect to such cultural pushes. I often tell people to become and how to become resistant in this respect, too.
This might be true, but I see the much larger problem in the fact that many people, who do have such access, tend to ignore it and go with the mainstream.
> But, most everyone has access to advertising that actually promotes us making the wrong decision to make people money.
I have a strong tendency to ignore advertising that is not coherent with my values. In this sense, I believe/hope, that I am a tough nut for advertisers to crack. :-)
More seriously: I do not believe that one can manipulate people into doing/buying things that they are mentally opposed to. For example: If before a Youtube video some Netflix trailer is shown, I immediatelly think: "Not interested in the slightest as long as Netflix uses DRM" etc.
So having strong principles is a good vaccination against advertising - but most people actively do not want to become vaccinatinated against this kind of brainwashing.
If people are not influenced by advertising and marketing why then do governments put fourth propaganda, why is advertising a multi billion dollar industry, why is it an extremely sought after undergraduate degree, why are there advertisements literally everywhere you look? The answer is because it works, and it makes people a lot of money and gives them a lot of power.
We are highly influenced by the mainstream and by culture, I mean culture is what is allowing us to communicate with each other by providing us with a set of symbols (alphabet and English language). In fact we don’t know what we don’t know and therefore can never truly be objective in our view of the world, it’s always built and based off of cultural artifacts and norms.
So it’s not a problem per say that people do the wrong thing at large, it’s simply a fact of life, people tend go with the flow. That means people who don’t go with the flow need to make the flow flow better. Or else you are suggesting we leave normal people behind because they suck. Where I personally think we are as individuals defined by how we help people that are weaker than ourselves.
An atheist would argue: If god does not exist, why is religion a multi billion dollar industry? The answer is: because there are people who believe in its effectiveness and put their money where their mouth is.
The people need to be presented something to believe in before they can pay money for it or else they wouldn’t know it existed and therefore wouldn’t be able to put their money where their mouth is. Getting the word out is the most important thing. missionary work and preaching the gospel is a main tenant of Christian theology for example... because they understand advertising and marketing is important. This is why the Catholic Church covered up the molestations of children, because they understood bad PR would hurt their bottom line.
As far as I know, the last major time ethical consumerism made a difference was against South African apartheid. Which is a cause 10,000x more important than the hegemony of Disney. Smaller issues just don't get the traction.
On the other hand, I trust them to make better Star Wars content than Lucas, and I enjoy the Marvel movies.
They may be evil incarnate but they do know how to tell (and sell) a good story.
There’s a good guy, there’s a bad guy, there’s the struggle and sacrifice of the good guy, which eventually trumps the bad guy leading to a rich life.
They are selling you American mythology 101.
The fact that you enjoy these myths isn’t a problem, they are literally manufactured to have as broad an appeal as possible.
What is a problem is you excusing the dilution of nuance in our culture that is used to perpetuate western hegemony which directly leads to our politicians doing literally whatever they want for themselves.
These are tropes and elements common to almost all storytelling, and certainly to fairy tales and myths. Americans didn't invent any of that, and neither did Disney.
And as far as Star Wars goes, the Empire are the Bad Guys, basically Space Nazis who dress in black and white and hang around starkly brutalist technology which doesn't even have basic OSHA compliance because they're just that evil.
The Jedi are the Good Guys. They dress in earth tones. Or, at least, the two we meet in the OT do. But they must be the Good Guys because they're fighting the Bad Guys.
And the Rebel Alliance are also the Good Guys. No one thinks twice about the morality of blowing up the Death Star and all of the hundreds of thousands or maybe millions of people on board, because those are Bad Guys. Luke Skywalker force chokes two Gammorean guards in Jabba's palace, but that's fine, because just look at how ugly they are. They're basically orcs, obviously Bad Guys.
Luke Skywalker and the entire Skywalker clan are an elite bloodline more or less chosen by "God" (The Force) and morality in their universe is based on divine law and destiny. That only changes and really begins to be examined and deconstructed after the franchise leaves Lucas' hands. The whole story is a pastiche of the Hero's Journey.
Does Disney assimilate, homogenize, ruthlessly brand and churn out artifacts of myth and storytelling? Yes.
Are they also capable of telling a good story? Also yes.
Perhaps you need to find a bit more nuance.
Really? I mean, have you seen the last one? I wish I didn't...
Reasonable people can disagree, but I'll take subjectively bad over objectively bad any day. And I happen to be a bit of a fan of deconstructionist narratives, anyway.
Good and bad are inherently subjective. There are objective features of things, but ascribing good or bad to them is a subjective association.
My opinion is the prequels are bad for technical reasons. I think they're just badly written and acted, the plot is incoherent and contrived, the dialogue is terrible, Anakin and Padme's romance is awkward and his fall to the dark side is unconvincing.
And as far as the new movies go, I think they (and The Force Awakens definitely) suffer (as did the prequels) from the need to shoehorn in references to OT characters just for the sake of pandering to fan nostalgia, but they still seem like competently structured movies.
Between the two, I think the post Disney movies are better because they better tell the stories they intend to.
And this is what is happening right now in almost every sector. You can take any industry and you will find that there are more and more consolidations happening right now.
It would be low risk for Disney to do this, as they could basically get a Monkey Island reboot, for free.
It's not a case of handing or selling back rights, as I understand it. The games were developed as works-for-hire under contract to LucasArts. Therefore Ron Gilbert didn't own the rights once completed.
.... And here I thought software and content piracy was unethical.
Yes, that idea was made by Disney and similar orgs. And then the USA exported those laws to other nations.
> How else could it possibly work?
The ideas are innately in a person's head. Simply put, the licensure of a creation could travel around with whomever hires the person.
But in reality, I'm allowed to criticize a broken system without having to come up with a "better" system. Just an FYI.
None of the IP of commercial software I've written resides with me. I don't feel deprived of it though.
Maybe a better course of action would be to convince Disney to allow a sequel owned by the original author, while retaining future rights.
(He has also said this in podcasts).
(IIRC, Tim Schafer has even mentioned they have the option to create sequels in some of the licenses, but they don't have strong ideas for them at the moment.)
Marvel has tried to constantly "fix" Iron Man because they really didn't know what to do with him. Before Extremis, they tried to put a reset button on him and make him a teenager (that didn't stick); later they made him a secretary of defense (that didn't stick); then they made Extremis, which basically completely ignored all previous continuity, because Warren Ellis thought it sucked; and then they made him a villain in Civil War.
He was kinda important in Avengers I guess, but even there he was always "just a bodyguard"
Can anyone point me to a change.org petition that made any difference whatsoever?