jrl on October 03, 2007, 06:54:15 pm
Am I imagining things, or is that a clank (steampunk robot) tucked away under the stairs?

Seems like some folks would argue some of the Wild, Wild West's villains (and Mr. Gordon, of course ) were the original steampunks.

I usually describe the world of _Girl Genius_ as the Wild, Wild, West meets Frankenstein and Captain Nemo (in Europe). . .
« Last Edit: October 04, 2007, 02:24:21 pm by Scott »

jrl on October 03, 2007, 06:55:27 pm
I say that 'cause there are some odd things about the chest that makes it not look quite like a suit of armor.

Rocketman on October 04, 2007, 03:41:13 am
Those of you who have been around as long as I have would have another explaination.  It's the original (Marvel Comics) Iron Man suit of armor!!  ;D

Scott on October 04, 2007, 02:22:26 pm
From the script:
Quote
Leaning inert in one corner is one of the robots from Gene
Autrey's _The Phantom Empire_. We will leave it to the reader to
decide whether it's a prop from the 1935 movie, or perhaps James West
had a hand in foiling Muvian schemes of world domination.


Rocketman on October 04, 2007, 09:16:54 pm
Scott:
     Your post brings to mind an interesting question that I'm sure some of our readers would like to know.  If the copyright for the characters James West and Arty Gordon expire, does that mean that anyone can write a story about them and not have to worry about being sued by the original creators?  It might be interesting to have a story sometime in the future published by big head press involving these characters.  I've got the makings of one in my head right now concerning how West might meet his future wife, the mother of Artie West.

enemyofthestate on October 04, 2007, 10:55:11 pm
Scott:
     Your post brings to mind an interesting question that I'm sure some of our readers would like to know.  If the copyright for the characters James West and Arty Gordon expire, does that mean that anyone can write a story about them and not have to worry about being sued by the original creators?  It might be interesting to have a story sometime in the future published by big head press involving these characters.  I've got the makings of one in my head right now concerning how West might meet his future wife, the mother of Artie West.
Good luck.  The first WWW episode was aired in 1965 so the characters won't enter the public domain anytime before 2060.  The movie made in 1999 could extend that to 2085.

Zen Redneck on October 04, 2007, 11:10:58 pm
You'll have to go to Japan and do it as a manga.

Scott on October 05, 2007, 03:24:06 pm
So far as I know those characters are not public domain. We can't actually publish stories involving James West or Artemis Gordon. Our limited references to those characters in Roswell, Texas, however, fall within the "fair use" provisions of copyright law.


Rocketman on October 06, 2007, 09:02:21 am
Well I guess I can scratch that idea then.  I wasn't aware that the copyright laws extended that far into the future.  I guess that I was assumeing that they were similar to patent laws which the last time I checked were around 17 years.   :(

wdg3rd on October 08, 2007, 07:38:29 pm
Well I guess I can scratch that idea then.  I wasn't aware that the copyright laws extended that far into the future.  I guess that I was assumeing that they were similar to patent laws which the last time I checked were around 17 years.   :(

It used to be pretty much that way.  For the changes during the last couple of decades you may thank the corporate heirs of this universe's Walter Elias Disney.

People do get away with writing about copyrighted and trademarked characters.  Lots of fan fiction floating around.  Mi Esposa has a huge collection.  Much of it is slash fanzines.  I'm pretty sure there's some Wild Wild West stuff in those piles of sleaze.  (If you don't know what slash fanzines are, consider yourself lucky).
Ward Griffiths        wdg3rd@aol.com

Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.  --  Denis Diderot

enemyofthestate on October 08, 2007, 10:18:11 pm
It used to be pretty much that way.  For the changes during the last couple of decades you may thank the corporate heirs of this universe's Walter Elias Disney.
Depends on how you look at it I guess.  The first real copyright law that was more than just an attempt to control publishing was the Statute of Anne in 1710.  However as those protections began to expire, a debate arose in the English courts as to whether copyright was a "natural" right granting a perpetual common law right or if it was what amounts to a state grant of privilege.  Eventually the natural rights arguments lost and copyrights became a defacto privilege.

For the first two hundred years in the United States this privilege lasted 14 years with an option to extend it for another 14 on request.  In 1998 Sonny Bono -- who believed that copyright should last forever -- shepherded thru a new copyright law cynically called the Micky Mouse Protection Act because of the support from Disney Corp.  His wife Mary is sometime quoted as saying if the Constitution doesn't allow a copyright to last forever then she would settle for "forever minus a day."

In a world where "Intellectual Property" can be as as much a 80% of a corporation's net worth I suspect the term will be extended even longer.  Maybe even to forever where the 18th Century natural right arguments claims it should have been in the first place.

Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose.

Rocketman on October 18, 2007, 01:37:38 pm
"The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" I assumed used characters that the copyright had already expired on in that movie.  ;D

enemyofthestate on October 19, 2007, 12:55:49 am
"The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" I assumed used characters that the copyright had already expired on in that movie.  ;D
That movie was (badly) made from a graphic novel of the same name and, AFAIK all those characters are in the public domain.  IANAL but as I understand it, anything published before 1937 in the US in in the public domain.  Anything published from 1923 through 1977 without a copyright notice is also in the public domain.  Pretty much everything else is copyrighted unless is was not eligible for copyright in the first place.

Rocketman on October 19, 2007, 01:25:17 pm
I'm going to have to disagree with you on the badly made part.  I didn't read the graphic novel but I thought that the movie was exceptional well done.  Lots of action, good story line and lots of twists.  My opinion anyway.   ;D