Monday, September 7, 2009

Okay, So I'm Not Crazy

This writer for Xark is contemplating opening up the setting of his unpublished novel. (thanks to @profpope for the link)

He's largely talking about doing what I'm planning with DINO-PIRATES OF NINJA ISLAND, only around a novel rather than a game. The idea of setting up a foundation to support the open setting is interesting, though, along with the proposed requirement that folks who make money off the setting be required to contribute some portion of that money to support it.

It's an idea.

Copyright is getting munged in all sorts of ways. As maybe some of you know, I'm in favour of lighter, leaner definitions of copyright and what it protects or doesn't protect. I got into a discussion with Ed the Sock a couple of months back about use of one's intellectual property. Ed's point was that if folks get to re-use your work, they can make it look like you said something you didn't. I argued that this isn't a copyright issue, it's a slander/libel issue. I remember when Raincoast Press used copyright to silence people who had received the new Harry Potter book early (because of Raincoast's error) -- as though the right to control the copying and distribution of a work granted the right to muzzle people who have received it legally!

Of course, I've probably mis-represented Ed's views here and will get a copyright lawsuit slapped on me. Great.

Anyway, my point with Ed (and I failed to convince him, and he's pretty smart, so keep that in mind) was that copyright is best handled as a purely economic law -- controlling the right to profit from distribution of an artistic work. Not a generalized control over the work and its presentation.

Well, so anyway, the idea with DINO-PIRATES is that the creation of the setting is open to all, and anyone who cares to can profit from the setting if they can come up with a marketable product based on it. It would please me immensely if somebody got rich off this. I ain't greedy that way.

In other news, some really dedicated fellow (Christopher was his name) sent me a whole list of dead links on the DINO-PIRATES OF NINJA ISLAND site but email server hijinks deleted his emails. Christopher, if you're reading this, can you send those again? Or at least know I really appreciated your efforts...