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So as many of you know I do some voice acting in my spare time. I have done it for a few folks. The most prominent amoung them is Pendant Audio Where I am list cast member on a few shows. However today I have news from another group I work with from time to time. Broken Sea audio is a similar sort of operation run by among others some folks in New Zealand. One thing to remember about the audio drama community is that we are an incestuous lot. Actors flow pretty freely between the various companies.

Anyways Broken sea got a bit of press today. They produce a Conan audio drama based on the Robert E Howard books. These books are in the public domain in New Zealland and here in the states. A company contacted them recently with a cease and desist. Conan Properties International LLC (aka Paradox Entertainment)Claims to own the world wide rights to the Conan stories and all related Intellectual Property.




In short they claim that if it is not public domain anywhere in the world then Broken Sea can't use it online.

I think my opinion on this can be summed up by a comment posted on boing boing about this.

"Conan Properties International LLC, what is best in life?"

"To crush your fans, see them driven before you, and hear the litigations of the lawyers."

Anyway the story got picked up by a few sources.

Go take a look.

http://www.boingboing.net/2009/02/25/conan-copyright-trol.html
http://www.sffaudio.com/?p=4128
http://www.cnet.com/8301-11455_1-10172086-10.html
http://www.agidoo.com/entertainment-2/conan-and-new-zealand%E2%80%99s-new-copyright-law-vs-broken-sea.html


Okay I have a reputation for being some who as Kristyn once put it "Could argue with a chair." I also can get into arguments with folks on stuff I don't believe just to see where the argument goes. Some people have asked me in the past if there was anything I truly believed in anything. You want to hear me go off on someone for something and here my real thoughts. Then it is the abuse of copyright law. I hate it. Pretty much with my whole body. The guy is dead for over 70 years now. How the frak can these twits claim ownership. Is it even owned by his family or something? He did not have kids or a wife. It is not like there is a widow depending on this for income.

This is just some company in Sweden who decided they make a butt load of money on the name and works of someone they had no involvement in at all. The other properties these guys claim to own are Other properties include Bran Mak Morn, Kull, Solomon Kane, Mutant, Mutant Chronicles, Warzone, Kult, Heavy Gear, and Chronopia.

It is nice to see some folks I deal with get some press, but this is not the preferred method. My only enjoyment in this is maybe it will bring enough attention to the fact these guys are doing this kind of crap that someone stands up tells them to bugger off.

Comments

technoir
Feb. 27th, 2009 12:19 am (UTC)
Re: If I may continue?
Now that i am not at work allow me to retort. You have successfully actually ignored almost all of my points. That takes work.

The pron example is actually does apply. The providers do not have to have to stop providing their websites based on the legal restrictions in individual countries. The only time they are worried about jurisdiction is if the laws in the country they are producing or hosting the content takes issue with them. This is how is with copyright. The law that applies is in the countries which the shows are produced. I used New Zealand, UK, Canada, and the US for examples because those are the countries which people working on these shows are from. They are actually involved in the production of the content.

Therefor those are the countries the copyright law actually applies in. In those countries, broken sea is within their rights. Conan Properties International is using litigation extortion to get their way. They have no legal standing. But they can afford the lawyers and the small fan operation can't.

The media they produce is containing the proper copyright info. They say who wrote it. They say who produced the audio. That's all that is required with public domain works which the Conan stories are.

If I wanted to publish the stories I could. There is no law saying I can't. These guys could threaten to sue me but in the end they have no legal grounds. I may do that. I may go to the EFF and ask them if they want a test case to produce a legal challenge to bloody the nose of these bullies.

If CPI is concidered the holder in say Iceland and I am publishing in the us, then they have no grounds. In the US it is public Domain. Am i to be held responsible for someone who takes my free content and takes it to a country that finds it illegal? No of course not.

Morally and legally these guys just fail. They are completely lacking an grounds in either category.

Now they could have maintained their illusion of actual authority buy ignoring this fan group as most fan groups are ignored. No one is making money on it after all. CPI was loosing no money. They could have let it go and let it foster new love in a classic. Who knows they could have supported it and used it as a chance to sell some product they are involved in like Age of Conan.

Instead they chose to do the stupid and honestly they deserve to be called on the carpet for it. I will rail at and when I can, fight stupid crap like this. The abuse of copyright hurts our individual rights. It hurts our access to classic works. It stifles artistic endeavors. It taints the creative process. It has loss it's focus. The purpose was supposed to protect content creators. When ever it is being used for other purposes we should fight and change it.

I guess you can tell, but i feel pretty passionate about this. The general lack of understanding and outright wrong thinking on it make me angry. Abusers of it make me livid.
the_magician
Feb. 27th, 2009 12:39 am (UTC)
Re: If I may continue?
I think you missed the bit where I agreed with you at the end of my last posting?

I'm too tired and depressed at the moment to read the rest of your new reply above, so I'll stick with
"if it is public domain where they made the recording, then if someone else downloads it in a place where it is still in copyright, then it's not your/my/the recording company's problem."

bored now, sleep well!

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technoir
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