“The public domain is … a disgrace to the forces of evil”

A Fair(y) Use Tale (2007) is a short film by Eric Faden, Associate Professor of English at Bucknell University (Lewisburg, PA). Faden mashed-up clips from several Disney animated movies to create this transformative (and therefore, legal) work to inform about copyright and fair use. The irony that Faden used material from The Walt Disney Company—which vigorously (some would say notoriously) defends its copyright—is not lost on the viewer.

A couple of my favorite scenes:
Starting at 3:13: “No, no, no, no. Wait! Wait.” “Listen carefully. You-can’t-copy-right-an idea.” “Yes, I can.” “You can’t.” “Can.” “Can’t! Can’t! Ca-a-an’t!” “But why?” “Our culture-thought that it would be unwise-to-limit-the-power-of-a great idea.”

Starting at 4:48: “Hey, what the heck is-the-public-domain?” [silence] “Anyone?” [nervous cough] “The-public-domain-is-a disgrace to the forces of evil.” “What are you saying exactly?” “A-work-in-the-public-domain-is-free-for-anyone-to-use.” “Can you do that?” “Yes. It’s-essential-because-our culture-created-new-ideas-by building-on-earlier-works.” “Ah, so-the-public-domain-is-necessary-for-a living, thriving society.” “Duh.” “Unfortunately,-copy-right-keeps-getting-longer,-and there seems to be no-limitation-on-how long-copy-right-lasts.” “It’s called a cruel irony.”

Posted in "The Hat Tip", Commercial Publishing, Intellectual Property & Copyright
One comment on ““The public domain is … a disgrace to the forces of evil”
  1. Anne Osborne says:

    Love this! In the past I have recommended it to faculty as a segue into discussions about copyright and fair use.

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