I think that making the text of a work of fiction open-content is wrong. People should not take your words, rearrange them, then claim the credit.
But another writer should have to come up with their own story to entertain the punters, at least.
I disagree. Ideas cannot and should not be "owned," whether the idea is a new mathematical algorithm, a new and better way to build a car, or a storyline (or individual character) for a novel. Ideas enrich humanity and fuel additional ideas in a synergistic relationship with notions of proprietary ownership (as expressed in things like copyright, patents, and even trademark law when it is abused) undermine and even destroy.
I am not writing Autonomy for personal aggrandizement, or to make money, or to cordon off a set of ideas to call exclusively "my own." I am writing it to express some concepts I find important (in the case of Autonomy the conflict between Intellectual Property and Freedom of Thought), to tell a good yarn, to entertain myself and others, but most importantly, to enrich all of humanity by contributing some IMHO good ideas to the public commons of art we call culture.
Can you imagine a world in which Disney-style copyrights applied to such public icons as Santa Clause? Think of how many childrens Christmas stories would simply not exist, were the idea, the icon, locked up the way Mickey Mouse is (and will be, in perpetuity, as congress whores itself out to the Media Cartels in general and Disney in particular every time that copyright grows close to expiry).
Luckilly, since it is my work, I can license it any way I choose to do so. I have chosen to use my own Free Media License, which incorporates aspects of the GNU GPL, the Open Content License, and others.
Why? Because the FML does exactly what I want it to, namely:
- Requires the original artist(s) be duly credited with creation of the original work
- Require that any artist making changes to the original work acknowledge that they have done so and take responsiblity for those changes
- Explicitly remind the casual observer that any changes were made quite probably without the original artist's knowledge or approval, and that this is allowed.
- Clearly identify any derived, changed work, as such such that it is not confused with the original work.
- Requires that any derived work be released under the same license, so that others are free to further modify, change, enhance, or otherwise incorporate the work into their projects (so long as they, too, are released under the same, free license).
For three million years stories and folklore were the common property of all mankind, told from elder to younger through the generations, added to, enhanced, and modified as others saw fit. The result was a rich diversity of culture and art and a level of artistic freedom which is being denied us today (if you read the aforementioned link you'll find your "fan fiction" isn't as safe from suppression as you might expect).
http://openflick.org - Fighting Copyright with Free Media
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