This article in the New York Times refers to an international law case against 20th Century Fox for the production of the movie Kingdom of Heaven. The article states that James Reston Jr accused the director, Ridley Scott, and the movie production studio of producing a work that uses ''events, characters, scenes, descriptions and character tensions'' that are supposedly extremely similar to portrayals in the movie. This case was not readily available and the outcome unknown, as it may have been handled privately outside of court.
Although James Reston, Jr. is an American, his research was performed in many European and Arab countries. He claims that his book Warriors of God: Richard the Lionheart and Saladin in the Third Crusade was extensively copied during the creation of Scott’s film, Kingdom of Heaven. Reston’s book is written in a unique narrative form for popular readings as opposed to straightforward academic writings. While historical facts cannot be copyrighted, Reston claims that his distinct expression was illegally used.
The interesting points brought up in this article are the arguments on behalf of both domestic and international copyright law. James Reston, Jr. understands that his case is intermittently weak because it deals with the historical past, however he claims the expression of his research is what Kingdom of Heaven infringes on. The use of international copyright law in this context claims infringement but this case does not seem like it was ever brought to court. International disputes such as these are usually settled out of court so as to avoid negative publicity but also to allow distribution of the film on the original timetable. While it is unclear whether Ridley Scott used the expression of Reston’s historical research is unclear, the lack of a case and the subsequent release of the film implies that this dispute was handled so that both parties were satisfied. Kingdom of Heaven used themes gained from an international source and through current American application of international copyright law, was able to release the movie without a legal case.
tagged Copyright International by mangano ...on 28-NOV-06
"The Trouble With Larry." Forbes (2004) Vol. 173 Issue 6, p84, 1p
The article is a response to Lessig and his beliefs than anything else. The technology section of Forbes Magazine is usually not a theater for copyright arguments and Manes goal is clear from the beginning of the article: to discredit Lessig and his extreme view of fair use. As such, Manes’ arguments are less academic and more of a subjective style. While this has limited value, Manes opinion serves as at least a dissenting view of the situation. It is these general disagreements in which Manes basis his article.
Manes believes that there is a strong need for a balanced definition of fair use for copyright law, but that Lessig’s opinion is far too liberal, allowing for illegal activities to occur at the expense of the creators. To finish his attack on Lessig, Manes points to a Supreme Court ruling that Lessig lost attempting to reform the current copyright law. Lessig believes in legal file sharing and is a proponent of technology, whereas Manes prefers current law is adequate.
A major point of disagreement comes from the fact that Manes believes a new copyright law similar in proposal to Lessig’s would be detrimental to our current international copyright law. If changed, Manes argues, it could effectively destroy treaties, agreements, and current practices of media culture, thus greatly affecting America’s cultural export.
The closing comment relates to my thesis in that Manes argues that current copyright law has established the United States as the major culture center in the world. He states that “our intellectual property provides America’s greatest worldwide successes,” and that current copyright law facilitates this flow. Manes credits current copyright law to the success and globalization of American movies and music and that Lessig’s attempt to change copyright laws would greatly detriment this.
tagged Copyright Intellecutal_Property International by mangano ...on 28-NOV-06
"Piracy battle a global one, Shiner tells AFM attendees." Hollywood Reporter -- Internaional (2005) Vol. 391 Issue 37, p96-96, 1/3p
This article from the Hollywood Reporter describes the message given y Josette Sheeran Shiner on behalf of the US Secretary of State at the American Federation of Musicians. Shiner states that international intellectual property protection is important for everyone, not just studios in Hollywood. Shiner states that the problem of intellectual piracy is rampant in the world in nearly all sectors, not just entertainment.
Shiner credits the MPA for its work protecting film products, but she states that the problem is much broader than the ‘audiovisual sector.’ The same problem that exists with intellectual piracy in film also exists with “manufactured good from baby foods to automobile parts,” Shiner states, highlighting the need for better protection. In attempts to strengthen protection of US goods, the United States has joined APAC and the G8 with hopes of timely positive results.
As countries develop protection against piracy, Shiner claims that they tend to strengthen their own investment and brand names as well. Shiner refers to China as a region in which positive progress has been made to protect intellectual property with encouraging results.
This article points to the fact that countries that better protect intellectual property, better protect their own property, and in turn help cultivate it. Intellectual property theft is extremely common in China and as steps are taken to protect rights, brands and exports are cultivated and delivered to the rest of the world. Piracy in China has greatly hurt the Chinese film industry however, as law enforcement of intellectual property improves, the cultivation of film improves.
American cinema benefits from this through distribution and potential value for American remakes of movies. Few mainland Chinese movies are released in America due to the lack of quality from extensive piracy. However, once practices change, both China and the United State can greatly benefit from better product production, distribution, and authorized adaptation.
"High potential seen for Ultraman films" Bangkok Post (Thailand), Jun 10, 2005This article from the Bamrung Amnatcharoenrit reports that the Japanese character “Ultraman” is showing expanded interest for product distribution around the world greater than earlier anticipated. Ultraman was originally a Japanese television show released in 1966 with exclusive distribution in Japan. Tsuburaya Chaiyo Co. of Thailand later purchased the Ultraman copyright in all regions except Japan and has noticed a greater than anticipated interest in the character.
The article marks the end of a ten year copyright dispute between Tsuburaya Productions Co in Japan and Tsuburaya Chaiyo Co in Thailand. The company’s president, Sompote Saengduenchai states that he is enthusiastic to bring the Japanese character into worldwide distribution. Both the Japanese and Thai government ruled in favor of Tsuburaya Chaiyo Co and ordered the Japanese company to pay millions of Baht in compensation. Tsuburaya Produciton Co was unable to because of financial difficulties and it seems as though this dispute is finally over.
Sompote Saengduenchai also claimed that was in talks with an American film production company to create an American movie based on the character of Ultraman, the details of which are not yet specific.
This article pertains to my thesis about international copyright law in that it is an example of a foreign idea being implemented by another country through the application of international copyright law. Because of Tsuburaya Chaiyo Co in Thailand, distribution of this unique and popular character is not merely limited to Japan. Even though negotiations with American companies, it is likely that the US will create its own rendition of this character in film. This originally Japanese character of Ultraman would most likely not have left Japan had it not been for international copyright companies and the law to safeguard distribution.
tagged Copyright Distribution International by mangano ...on 28-NOV-06