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Better Copyright Through Fair Use and Ponies 169

Posted by samzenpus
from the omg-fair-use dept.
Balinares writes "With even harmless parody sites like Peanutweeter now getting shut down by twitchy lawyers in the name of brand dilution concerns, the situation with fair use has become bleak. Yet some companies are learning at last. Variery reports that when parodies of their latest production started popping up online, Hasbro not only allowed it to happen, but started contributing some of their own. Now their My Little Pony reboot has gained a huge following and reached cult status. Fair use does make everything better. That, or it's the ponies."
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Better Copyright Through Fair Use and Ponies

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 28, 2011 @12:42AM (#36904466)

    Ponies make everything better!

    (Seriously though, make-show-to-sell-toys is a good analogue for make-mp3s-to-sell-merch-and-concert-tickets for musicians, so it works out).

  • Brony here (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ChromeAeonium (1026952) on Thursday July 28, 2011 @12:47AM (#36904498)

    Just before everyone starts hating, it isn't all that bad. I'm normally more a fan of a bit more violent programming, but it is a unique change of pace (and does have the occasional joke that would go over it's target audience's head...good night folks!), and MLP kinda grows on you. Yeah, go figure. I'm not saying it's for everyone, nor am I saying it would be my absolute first choice of cartoon, but don't knock if you haven't tried it.

  • OMG (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 28, 2011 @12:53AM (#36904534)


    antilamness filter text goes here

  • nt (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shentino (1139071) on Thursday July 28, 2011 @01:01AM (#36904566)

    Fair use as a defense has absolutely NOTHING to do with why our rights in the digital world are going away.

    The fact is even if you are on rock solid legal ground, you are first of all hamstrung by a severe cost advantage corporations possess by virtue of their large legal budgets and chances are you'll get drilled into the ground and bankrupted before you survive a trial, and second of all your fate is in the hands of twelve people that are probably going to be complete morons about copyright law, thanks to the plaintiff's attorney's striking anyone with even a clue of how things work.

    Consequently, anyone who would in theory be entitled to make a parody, satire, or other such fair use of a copyrighted work will, if facing the wrath of a corporation that wishes to censor them, find themselves fighting a huge battle even if the law is on their side, and will more often than not either settle and cough up protection money rather than get bruised in court, or simply not take the risk in the first place.

    Big media, knowing this, sees no downside to suing the crap out of anyone and everyone that even remotely looks like they are infringing, and they have no incentive to be reasonable or even negotiate with the smallest semblance of good faith. Compared to an indigent defendant they have nothing to lose from being wrong, whereas the defendant has plenty to lose even if they are completely right.

    Bleem is a prime example. They paid for their victory with their lives, as the cost of being sued by Sony wound up bankrupting them, and they never had the opportunity to enjoy the fruits of their battle, and they serve as a stern warning to any who would dare defy Sony in the future.

  • Re:Euphemisms (Score:2, Insightful)

    by artor3 (1344997) on Thursday July 28, 2011 @02:21AM (#36904836)

    Typical anarchist bullshit. Yes, eventually, society does need to use force to enforce its laws. It's a last resort, but it must exist otherwise no laws would have any weight. That's the drawback of being physical creatures. But the only alternative is to have absolutely no laws at all. Only a crazy person would want that.

    The problem isn't that government exists. The problem is that wealthy people are able to twist the government to their liking.

  • Re:Brony here (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SharpFang (651121) on Thursday July 28, 2011 @03:14AM (#36905112) Homepage Journal

    You got the old preconception of "hidden concept aimed at adults". While MLP has some cultural references, it remains quite tame both on the obvious and non-obvious layer. The hidden part is in "inconsistencies". There are some not-quite-obvious plot holes. Parts, where a character could act, according to the archetype they represent, and prevent all the trouble, yet they didn't and hilarity occurs. And later in the show, similarly inconsistent behavior on the part of the character is displayed with a little more visibility. And near the end, in all obviousness. And as you begin to notice the archetype is a facade for a completely different archetype, suddenly the old events click into place, and the behavior becomes not an awkward omission, but very a intentional act, that adds a whole new layer on the old episode, the story completely retold with a twist.

    Just to say the gentle and wise Princess Celestia fully deserved the brony nickname "Trollestia".

All this wheeling and dealing around, why, it isn't for money, it's for fun. Money's just the way we keep score. -- Henry Tyroon