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#457186 - 12/26/00 12:23 PM SPLASH question
The OC Offline
Member

Registered: 03/27/02
Posts: 1985
I ask it here, because (a) it pertains to something posted in the news section and because (b) this board doesn't have a general "Q&A" section. Also, I'm not trying to stir up trouble; I'm honestly curious.

Wouldn't it have been appropriate to include a copyright notice with the "Boston Charlie" lyrics? I find the absence of such a bit confounding, given Comicon's strong pro-creators'-rights stance.



[This message has been edited by Otto Chelman (edited 12-26-2000).]
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#457187 - 12/26/00 01:39 PM Re: SPLASH question
Rick Veitch Administrator Offline
Member

Registered: 11/23/98
Posts: 3531
Loc: Vermont, USA
Otto,
Yes, it would be appropriate, but when I checked the various POGO websites to find the complete lyrics, none of them had a copyright notice I could use. Since Walt is dead, I have no idea who owns the copyright to this (or any other POGO) material. One of the sites I found had a list of various record albums of Xmas music that have been offered for sale over the decades that included "Boston Charlie" and made notice of the fact that the musicians had listed the song as copyrighted to themselves or their music publishers. So my impression was that this classic has sort of moved into public domain.

Next year, unless I find out different, I'll just copyright it Walt Kelly.

------------------
Rick Veitch
Invites You To Read THE DAILY RARE BIT FIENDS
updated every day along with news of the world's most popular artform!
THE COMICON.COM DAILY SPLASHis always refreshing!
www.comicon.com/splash
_________________________
More signal. Less noise

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#457188 - 12/26/00 02:08 PM Re: SPLASH question
The OC Offline
Member

Registered: 03/27/02
Posts: 1985
I'm reasonably sure that the Walt Kelly estate maintains copyright on Pogo, even if some individual strips may have moved into public domain due to non-renewal or other such circumstances. Certainly, Selby Kelly used to come after people who put out unauthorized greeting cards and such. I'd be very surprised if she (or successors) let the lyrics lapse, whether or not she (or successors) have been very aggressive about enforcing said rights. (Trademarks lapse if you don't police 'em; copyrights lapse if you don't renew 'em, or after a set period.)

I also believe that the copyright and permissions requirements for song lyrics are far stricter than for most materials and offer little leeway for "fair use."

[This message has been edited by Otto Chelman (edited 12-26-2000).]
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Posted by Otto Chelman

"You have [my] contempt." -- Alan Light to disappointed TBG subscriber.

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#457189 - 12/26/00 02:10 PM Re: SPLASH question
Mark Evanier Offline
Member

Registered: 04/06/99
Posts: 382
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
"Deck Us All With Boston Charlie" is copyrighted by O.G.P.I., which is a corporation owned by the Estate of Walt Kelly. I am posting this message in my capacity as Consultant to said company.
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Mark Evanier's daily weblog is at http://www.newsfromme.com and his not-daily weblog is at http://www.POVonline.com.

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#457190 - 12/26/00 02:15 PM Re: SPLASH question
The OC Offline
Member

Registered: 03/27/02
Posts: 1985
Quote:
Originally posted by Mark Evanier:
"Deck Us All With Boston Charlie" is copyrighted by O.G.P.I., which is a corporation owned by the Estate of Walt Kelly. I am posting this message in my capacity as Consultant to said company.


It's funny -- I was just thinking, "Now, here's a question for Mark Evanier...."

Details will follow as to where Rick V. can report for punishment and execution.



[This message has been edited by Otto Chelman (edited 12-26-2000).]
_________________________
Posted by Otto Chelman

"You have [my] contempt." -- Alan Light to disappointed TBG subscriber.

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#457191 - 12/26/00 02:48 PM Re: SPLASH question
Rick Veitch Administrator Offline
Member

Registered: 11/23/98
Posts: 3531
Loc: Vermont, USA
"We have seen the enemy and he is us!"

Thanks, Mark! I'll contact you about getting permission if I decide to use it next year.



------------------
Rick Veitch
Invites You To Read THE DAILY RARE BIT FIENDS
updated every day along with news of the world's most popular artform!
THE COMICON.COM DAILY SPLASHis always refreshing!
www.comicon.com/splash
_________________________
More signal. Less noise

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#457192 - 12/26/00 06:33 PM Re: SPLASH question
The OC Offline
Member

Registered: 03/27/02
Posts: 1985
Rick -- I can e-mail you about that "punishment and execution" business if you want to keep the time and place private.

Let me know.
_________________________
Posted by Otto Chelman

"You have [my] contempt." -- Alan Light to disappointed TBG subscriber.

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#457193 - 12/26/00 07:03 PM Re: SPLASH question
Rick Bradford Offline
Member

Registered: 01/14/99
Posts: 982
Loc: Texas, USA
In all fairness, is it really common practice to run copyright information when lyrics are quoted in news?

I mean, I see and appreciate Otto's point, but really, what's all the hubbub, bub?

However, it's possible I don't have all the facts since I can't seem to figure out what story this relates to on SPLASH.

--Ricko
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#457194 - 12/26/00 07:37 PM Re: SPLASH question
The OC Offline
Member

Registered: 03/27/02
Posts: 1985
Quote:
Originally posted by Rick Bradford:
In all fairness, is it really common practice to run copyright information when lyrics are quoted in news?


I apologize in advance for the generally pissy tone of this response, but, in the interests of overkill --

Yes, it is pretty common practice to provide a copyright notice with song lyrics, even in a news item. It's even more common to secure permission for using lyrics, for that matter, especially when quoting their complete text.

Secondly, that particular SPLASH entry wasn't news in any realistic definition of the term -- it was just a brief, "Walt Kelly said it best" preface, followed by the complete texts of the song lyrics. It was not a news item about (for example) a kill-crazy lunatic who chanted the lyrics as he decapitated department store Santas. Had you seen the item, you would have known this and probably not made your above post.

(This is the pissy part.) Third, my original question was, wouldn't such a notice have been appropriate -- i.e., wouldn't it be nice if one of the co-signers of the Creators' Bill of Rights had respected and recognized the rights of the creator whose work he was presenting in toto to a large audience, on-line and in easily copied format, without paying a fee? (The irony becomes greater when you consider how much digital ink SPLASH has given in recent months to stories about Web sites being taken down for posting copyrighted material, and related issues.)

Like I said before, I wasn't trying to cause trouble, I was honestly curious.

(The later "punishment and execution" cracks were meant lightly and were probably inappropriate; I apologize for them. Heck, everone hereabouts knows that I worship Rick like a god!)

I know it was an honest mistake, and I know that no real harm was done -- but I'm always amazed at how casual people are about things like this, and how often those casual people turn out to be folks with vested interests in the integrity of the copyright system.

Merry Christmas, everyone! Sorry to harsh your mellow!


------------------
Let's make 2001 Rick Veitch's year -- drop by the Gutters
and post some kind words about the greatest man who ever lived!

[This message has been edited by Otto Chelman (edited 12-26-2000).]
_________________________
Posted by Otto Chelman

"You have [my] contempt." -- Alan Light to disappointed TBG subscriber.

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#457195 - 12/26/00 09:00 PM Re: SPLASH question
Rick Veitch Administrator Offline
Member

Registered: 11/23/98
Posts: 3531
Loc: Vermont, USA
Gee, Otto,
Between here and the GUTTERS I'm beginning to feel like ol' SOUPY SAILS when he got between WHITE FANG and BLACK FOOT!

------------------
Rick Veitch
Invites You To Read THE DAILY RARE BIT FIENDS
updated every day along with news of the world's most popular artform!
THE COMICON.COM DAILY SPLASHis always refreshing!
www.comicon.com/splash
_________________________
More signal. Less noise

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#457196 - 12/26/00 09:26 PM Re: SPLASH question
Ken Rothstein Offline
Member

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 519
Loc: NY, NY USA
My question is pretty simple...

Who turned this site on to the world's greatest newspaper, The NY Post?

The Post is said the be the paper that prompted Johnny Carson to retire, and the paper with a classic headline about the decapitation of a stripper: "Headless Body In Topless Bar", and I read it religiously. It isn't as funny as it was in the 80s, but it still gets the news the NY Times just isn't interested in. Their headline about cheating on a statewide math exam ("Easy As Pi") is just another example of their brilliance.

My compliments to this site for its continued good taste. Long Live Rupert Murdoch!

I wonder if anyone other than me recalls the mock Post that was released about a fictitious WW III. The headline, typical of the Post of the 80s was "Michael Jackson, 30 Million Others Dead"

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#457197 - 12/27/00 08:44 AM Re: SPLASH question
Jason Arnett Offline
Member

Registered: 02/01/00
Posts: 476
Loc: Lawrence, KS USA
Regardless of the omission of copyright, reading the lyrics on Monday morning caused me to pull down my copy of Songs of the Pogo. I ended up getting several good laughs at many of the lyrics contained therein.

Thanks, Rick, for making my day that much merrier and brighter.

------------------
Jason Arnett
Jackleg Writer
jack_leg@hotmail.com
Website coming soon...
_________________________
Breaking & Entering
What it takes to make comix
The Ajasont Journal

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#457198 - 12/27/00 10:16 AM Re: SPLASH question
The OC Offline
Member

Registered: 03/27/02
Posts: 1985
Quote:
Originally posted by Rick Veitch:
Gee, Otto,
Between here and the GUTTERS I'm beginning to feel like ol' SOUPY SAILS when he got between WHITE FANG and BLACK FOOT!



I'm sorry you feel that way, Rick. I hadn't realized that having and expressing high esteem for you precluded my having quibbles with specific actions on your part. "All or nothing," huh?

For what it's worth, I'll note that I thought the matter was done after Evanier's post and my (admittedly) wise-ass follow-up. I felt the need to respond to Rick B., but I guess that was a mistake -- no matter how politely phrased, disagreement apparently constitutes "fightin' words" around here.

I'll refrain from responding to future SPLASH entries, or posting in threads based on them, okay?

Merry Christmas!
------------------
Let's make 2001 Rick Veitch's year -- drop by the Gutters and post some kind words about the greatest man who ever lived!

[This message has been edited by Otto Chelman (edited 12-27-2000).]
_________________________
Posted by Otto Chelman

"You have [my] contempt." -- Alan Light to disappointed TBG subscriber.

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#457199 - 12/27/00 11:05 AM Re: SPLASH question
Rick Veitch Administrator Offline
Member

Registered: 11/23/98
Posts: 3531
Loc: Vermont, USA
I've just sent Otto an e-mail letting him know I was only kidding about the SOUPY SALES thing (and it's BLACK TOOTH, not BLACK FOOT). I always loved that bit when SOUPY's two pups, one with the white loving arm and sound effects and the other with the black slapping growls, came in from each side of the camera. This whole message board is a lot like WHITE FANG and BLACK TOOTH to my SOUPY, sometimes!

And Ken, I'm the POST fan who writes the SPLASH stories. Doing the headlines is the best part (my personal favorite: MAD PULPER STRIKES AGAIN!).

------------------
Rick Veitch
Invites You To Read THE DAILY RARE BIT FIENDS
updated every day along with news of the world's most popular artform!
THE COMICON.COM DAILY SPLASHis always refreshing!
www.comicon.com/splash
_________________________
More signal. Less noise

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#457200 - 12/27/00 03:09 PM Re: SPLASH question
Rick Bradford Offline
Member

Registered: 01/14/99
Posts: 982
Loc: Texas, USA
Otto --
Hey, no harm, no foul. Like I said, I didn't see the original entry and I'm still confused because I can't find it on the SPLASH page.

--Ricko
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#457201 - 12/27/00 04:12 PM Re: SPLASH question
The OC Offline
Member

Registered: 03/27/02
Posts: 1985
[This message has been edited by Otto Chelman (edited 12-28-2000).]
_________________________
Posted by Otto Chelman

"You have [my] contempt." -- Alan Light to disappointed TBG subscriber.

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#457202 - 12/28/00 02:59 PM Re: SPLASH question
Rick Bradford Offline
Member

Registered: 01/14/99
Posts: 982
Loc: Texas, USA
Isn't the above a response?

Now my world's gone all topsy-turvy...
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Mini-Comics Watering Hole

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#457203 - 12/28/00 03:40 PM Re: SPLASH question
NatGertler Offline
Member

Registered: 07/10/99
Posts: 4618
I find it interesting that the question that's arising is "should there have been a copyright notice", rather than "should it have been posted at all". This was a reasonably sizable chunk of Walt's work, and it was not done in a journalistic context of commenting on the work itself in any significant way. I certainly have a soft spot for Boston Charlie (and Pogo as a whole), and can't say I was saddened to see those words and show them to my new wife without having to yank the book out of somewhere. But if we're going to talk about creator's rights, I'd say that the reuse of a creator's material on a commercially-funded site without any visible sign of granted permission should raise a red flag right there.

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#457204 - 12/28/00 06:58 PM Re: SPLASH question
Jason Arnett Offline
Member

Registered: 02/01/00
Posts: 476
Loc: Lawrence, KS USA
All right...

Nat said:
But if we're going to talk about creator's rights, I'd say that the reuse of a creator's material on a commercially-funded site without any visible sign of granted permission should raise a red flag right there

And I've gotta agree. There should have been a copyright notice accompanying the lyrics.

(As an aside, Kelly notes in Songs of the Pogo that the melody of the song is not original, though the piano arrangement is. And even in that book, the complete lyrics are not included.)

However,

I took that post on the Splash to be nothing more than Rick trying to wish everybody a happy holiday. Would this have come up if he'd posted it as a message here in the News, Announcements and Gossip forum? Is the dustup simply because he owns the site, makes some little bit of money off of it and forgot to give proper credit? Rick, did you get extra hits on the site Monday (and make more money) because of the posted lyrics? [I'm not asking for dollar figures...]

I admit that I don't know how money is made off websites other than by selling things (product, ad space...). The SPLASH doesn't sell anything, but Rick does, as do many others who have booths here.

I understand that there are links for the booths that run right next to the SPLASH, but I view them independently. Commercials are something that we have to put up with in every facet of our lives, now.

Maybe I'm naive (and I'm certain there are those of you who will nod their heads sagely at that). But I took the SPLASH post as an enthusiastic Pogo fan wanting to share some fun.

In that, I see little harm done. Maybe someone who saw it would have visited a Pogo website and bought something, or gone to a store of some sort to hunt down a Pogo book if there'd been a notice of copyright. If Rick charged us money to visit the SPLASH every day, that'd be different. As it is, the article functioned as an ad for Pogo. It sparked my funnybone enough to pull down one of the many Pogo books I own. And I'm always on the lookout for more when I can find them.

Isn't it a good thing to keep your product in the minds of the public?

------------------
Jason Arnett
Jackleg Writer
jack_leg@hotmail.com
Website coming soon...
_________________________
Breaking & Entering
What it takes to make comix
The Ajasont Journal

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#457205 - 12/28/00 08:05 PM Re: SPLASH question
Eric Reynolds Offline
Member

Registered: 03/25/99
Posts: 266
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
While we're on the subject, I have a SPLASH question:

Does every headline really need to end in an exclamation point? It's often especially tacky on the obits.
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Eric Reynolds
Fantagraphics Books

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#457206 - 12/28/00 08:38 PM Re: SPLASH question
Rick Veitch Administrator Offline
Member

Registered: 11/23/98
Posts: 3531
Loc: Vermont, USA
Thanks Jason and all. If I crossed over a line for some people by not running the copyright notice, I apologize (and as I mentioned above to Mark evanier, I will ask before running Boston Charlie next year). I used the piece because I love it.

Eric, I use exclamation points on the headlines because the SPLASH is a tabloid kind of news/opinion page.

------------------
Rick Veitch
Invites You To Read THE DAILY RARE BIT FIENDS
updated every day along with news of the world's most popular artform!
THE COMICON.COM DAILY SPLASHis always refreshing!
www.comicon.com/splash
_________________________
More signal. Less noise

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#457207 - 12/28/00 08:49 PM Re: SPLASH question
NatGertler Offline
Member

Registered: 07/10/99
Posts: 4618
Quote:
But I took the SPLASH post as an enthusiastic Pogo fan wanting to share some fun.
I suspect that was Rick's intention. That doesn't make it appropriate.
Copyright is supposed to stand for something. If it's okay to use copyrighted material without permission in a commercial context (and Splash certainly is a commercial -- as in "doing business" -- context, since it is ad-supported and is used as an attraction to draw people to Comicon.com, with its various commercial aspects) apparently outside reasonable fair use guidelines, then I have trouble seeing what wouldn't be a violation of copyright.

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