Dr. Strange, copyright and other writing issues (#SFWApro)

So a while back I ripped into a description of Dr. Strange as phony mysticism. I didn’t do more than touch upon the Asian stereotyping (white guy learns mystic arts by apprenticing under Asian guy in Tibet). Mighty God King takes a look at the stereotypes, the problems and how Marvel failed to avoid them (it’s still learning mysticism in the East, but under a white person).

I’ll add I’m not happy that the trailer refers to pre-initiation Strange as “a man who saves lives” rather than an arrogant jerk who saves lives if he’s paid lots of money. Because for me the redemption aspect is a huge part of what makes the stories compelling.

Now, copyright:

•Can conlangs (artificial languages like Klingon or Esperanto) be coyprighted? Paramount is currently fighting to assert a copyright to Klingon in response to a proposed indie Star Trek flick.

•A digital comic book explaning copyright.

•The Recording Industry Association of Industry says it can’t get a fair price for music played on YouTube because copyright law makes it too hard to take down infringing videos (so why bother to pay the fee if it’ll go up anyway?). Of course RIAA has a different idea of fair prices (in this case relating to bootleg recordings) than most people. And no, the money doesn’t flow to the musicians.

•Using geolocation isn’t a legal method for finding Internet pirate downloaders. Here are some horrible examples of how current mapping systems can make innocent people look like pirates or child-porn fans.

•Spotify has put up a pool of $21 million to settle suits over unpaid royalties.

•Consumerist argues that if schools teach kids about the dangers of violating copyright, they should teach fair use as well.

•Speaking of fair use, the Supreme Court has rejected an appeal in the Google Books scanning case. So the lower court ruling that scanning is fair use stands.

•Led Zeppelin has been sued for plagiarizing another songwriter. Paul Campos looks at the case and the legal rules.

Now, other things:

•If the red herring in your mystery is more interesting than the real explanation, you did it wrong.

•Jim Hines discusses trigger warnings and the idea they’re only for wimps.

•I bet you’ve been wondering about the legal requirements for importing kryptonite, haven’t you?

•Glenn Greenwald discusses the future of investigative journalism in the freelance Internet age.

•Sources for period-appropriate names for historical fiction.

•I’m not sure I entirely agree with this Chekhov’s gun-type argument that you should only include characters and scenes in your first act that pay off later. Sometimes I think there’s an advantage just to showing the normal life your protagonist starts with to dramatize the total change when she’s yanked into 1776 or Valhalla or wherever.

•If you’re doing a nonfiction piece and the client asks for more than you agreed to, what next? Some suggestions. Scope creep is definitely something to be wary of. I did a ghost-writing gig some years back for a very low rate and ran into this problem; eventually I just had to say no to added work.

•Alison McKenzie suggests how to revise mid-draft without doing it over and over and over.

•Advice on a good Goodreads author profile.

•Clean Reads defines its line of “wholesome reading” — as no erotica, no BDSM, no homosexual characters. (hat/tip Shannon A. Thompson)

•Scammers have found a way to make money of Kindle Unlimited by deliberately writing drivel.

Now an illustration, Powers again (all rights to current holder):

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1 Comment

Filed under copyright, Nonfiction, Writing

One response to “Dr. Strange, copyright and other writing issues (#SFWApro)

  1. Pingback: Copyright and privacy: assorted links (#SFWApro) | Fraser Sherman's Blog

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