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copyright

Vital Information for Your Everyday Life

Animator Aims Lawsuit Against Frozen

You’ve undoubtedly noticed our new furry focus on the site today, but we understand that the transition may be a rough one, and are committed to easing it by continuing to bring you non-Maru-related news… for now.

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Great Scott!

Ready Your Fanfic, ‘Cause Sherlock Holmes Is Now In the Public Domain

A judge has ruled that the vast majority of Arthur Conan Doyle‘s Sherlock Holmes stories are now in the public domain in the US, which means (among other things) that you can make money off your Johnlock fic without Conan Doyle’s heirs swooping down on you with blazing swords, ready to exact financial vengeance. It’s go time.

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We Can't Have Nice Things

Cosplayers Dress Up As Carpet, Carpet Designers Are Not Pleased

At DragonCon last month, a couple of cosplayers decided to sidestep the usual fare of superheroes and cartoon characters in favor of dressing up as the carpet at the Marriott hotel where the con takes place. Yup, there was carpet-colored camo. That is a real thing that now exists. Naturally, other people wanted to emulate the design, but, alas, this psychedelic carpet army was not to be – because Courtisan Inc., the company that designed the original rug, issued a Cease and Desist soon after the design went up.

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the internet is serious business

Photographer Claims Heroes of Cosplay Used Photos Without Permission, Blamed Cosplayers

Syfy’s Heroes of Cosplay hasn’t been winning over many hearts and minds, so far as I can tell, having never watched the show and having a limited window into the cosplay community itself. But now one photographer is trying to get the company to admit that they used his photos without permission and against copyright law.

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it's time to play the music

It Looks Like Glee Did A Jonathan Coulton Song Without Request or Credit

Though the story is still developing, there isn’t really another way to put this: it looks an awful lot like one of the songs Glee is planning to include in its soon-to-be-returning fourth season is a soft-rock cover of Sir Mix-a-Lot’s “Baby Got Back.” In fact, it’s a very specific soft rock cover of “Baby Got Back.” Nerd singer-songwriter Jonathan Coulton‘s cover. Which wouldn’t otherwise be a problem, except that Coulton himself was never actually contacted or asked about whether it could be used.

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We Have Done the Impossible and That Makes Us Mighty

Buffy vs. Edward Fan Mashup Wins Copyright Struggle With Lionsgate, Gets Back Online

In 2009 Jonathan McIntosh made a six minute long video by splicing together clips from Twilight and Buffy the Vampire Slayer (and just a tiny, tiny bit of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), where Edward Cullen finds his vampire instincts turning his affections towards Buffy Summers, and he bites off quite a bit more than his fangs can properly chew. At the time, Summit Entertainment had better things to do than shut down cleverly made internet videos with millions of views and a Webby nomination, but everything changed when the Fire Nation -

No, I mean. Everything changed when Summit Entertainment, and therefore The Twilight Saga was acquired by Lionsgate a year ago.

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There And Back Again

Stephen Fry and Ian McKellan Will Save the Hobbit Pub by Covering License Fees

Good news for frequent guests — and the owners — of the Hobbit pub in Southampton, England: two allies with a pretty decent amount of clout are stepping forward to pay the licensing fees required to let the pub retain its J.R.R. Tolkien-inspired name. Ian McKellan and Stephen Fry, both of whom are appearing in Peter Jackson‘s The Hobbit, will buy the rights themselves, which will allow the Hobbit to remain the Hobbit. While this looks like a cut-and-dry case of an overzealous big corporation going after a small business, however, was the Hobbit actually unfairly ripping off Jackson’s movie? Meaning that the company with the rights to Tolkien’s work was in the right here?

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May the Odds Be Ever in Your Favor

Hunger Games Box Office Already Setting Records Abroad; Lionsgate Dabbling in Copyright Trolling

The Hunger Games is already Lionsgate’s largest initial theater release in history. In the U.S. and Canada alone, more than four thousand theaters will have 10,000 copies of the movie in rotation, putting the movie at the twelfth widest box office opening in history.

Not bad for an action movie with a female lead. Reports from the rest of the world, hours ahead of us, are already breaking the records set by other blockbusters.

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May the Odds Be Ever in Your Favor

Warner Bros. Trying to Trademark Everything About The Wizard of Oz — But the Original Work Is Public Domain

So, back in 1939, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer made a little movie called The Wizard of Oz, based on an 1899 novel by L. Frank Baum called The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Fast forward to 2012, when the story has been retold and adapted in a variety of ways, usually referring back to the novel. Why? Because it’s in the public domain, meaning, there is no issue of copyright or trademark. However, now that Disney has filed to trademark Oz, the Great and Powerful ahead of the 2013 release of its movie of the same name, Warner Bros. is clearing its throat, trying to remind everyone (as if we’d forget) that it owns the rights to The Wizard of Oz, and it filed for its own trademark of “The Great and Powerful Oz.” And now, they’re going after everything Oz-related, claiming that no one could have gotten their Oz-related ideas from anything but the movie — not even the novel that Warner Bros. based its own movie on.

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Essay

The Watchmen Prequels: Allow Us To Explain

DC Comics, safe to say my biggest love-hate media relationship, announced this morning in an veritable online media blitz that they are working on seven new miniseries, each based on a different major character from Alan Moore‘s Watchmen, expanding and adding to the “Watchmen universe.” Naturally, the comics world has kind of exploded.

This post is going to serves two functions. First, I’m willing to guess that, fractured as the geek community is, there are a lot of you out there that don’t understand why this move would be controversial, or why it touches on the subjects of creators rights, creative innovation, and the future of the mainstream comic industry in America. DC owns Watchmen, right? It’s just like making more Superman, right? Is this just a bunch of nerds complaining about adaptations of ’80s nostalgia and endless sequels, again? Second, I’m going to share some personal opinion.

So lets start. Allow Us To Explain: Before Watchmen:

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