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Copyright humour?

By Christopher Moore | February 22, 2008

Copyright humour is where you can find it, but look at John Degen’s post on the copyright on Kate Winslet’s nipples here for February 15.

There’s actually a serious point behind John’s takedown of Darryl’s notion that buying a work makes you its co-author. In the ancient Greek world of Sophocles and Euripides, there were theatre organizations called choregoi, who put on plays as a civic duty, and had authority to prevent unauthorized productions and corruptions of the text. In T’ang dynasty China, there were plagiarism decrees against messing with the texts of literature.

These resemble moral rights protection more than the economic side of copyright. But it’s because of them that reasonably intact texts of Sophocles and Confucius have come down to us.

Forget what they tell you about copyright being invented by the Statute of Anne. Protection for the integrity of works is as old as creativity itself. Even Titanic deserves it.

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