Monday, May 28, 2007

George Lucas would like you to work for him... for free

Randy Barnett at the Volokh Conspiracy is not impressed at George Lucas' recent move to enable fans to make video mash ups of the Star Wars films.

"George Lucas, [ruthless] ardent defender of his intellectual so-called property rights, is about to launch a redesigned website providing hundreds of Star Wars™ video clips along with the software to create mashups...

...the fan-created videos will run along with commercials "with Lucasfilm and Eyespot splitting the proceeds." Asked about why Lucasfilm will allow this use of their images, a spokesman said, "If someone wants to commercialize it, that's where we've drawn the line." So it's OK for Lucasfilm to commercialize the creative efforts of Star Wars ™fans, but not the other way around.

But the laugh is really going to be on Lucasfilm because, as we all know, people won't invest scarce time producing creative works that others want to watch without the financial incentives provided by intellectual "property" rights granted for "limited times" (i.e. in perpetuity). So it is safe to predict that no one will contribute any mashups to the new website. Boy, will that be embarrassing for them!"

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