Which “blockhead” will produce this game once copyright disappears?

by on February 26, 2008 · 16 comments

Tom Bell–who I regarded as the the equivalent of my Jedi master in the mid-90s–suggested in a post earlier today that:

“Copyright holders thus understandably fear that their customers have begun to treat expressive works like common property, free for all to use. That, the specter of copyism, does risk upsetting copyright policy, leading to a market failure in the production of expressive works. Even as we recognize that threat, however, we should also appreciate that technological advances have greatly reduced the costs of creating and distributing new works of authorship. Thanks to that deflation, we can increasingly count on authors who care little about the lucre of copyright — blockheads, as Samuel Johnson called them — to supply us with original expressive works.”

As his once lowly Padawan learner, I know to be cautious when questioning my old master’s wisdom. But I must humbly ask: How, dear master, does a video game this frickin cool and complex get created in a world devoid of serious copyright protections? It’s a question I have asked before here and I have never received an answer that satisfied my fear of losing some of the truly great content that gets created only because of the protections afforded by existing copyright standards.

I await your enlightenment, my master. Because I can’t imagine many “blockheads” providing us with expressive works like this without some sort of guarantee that their creative efforts will not be completely expropriated.

[More videos of “Star Wars: The Force Unleashed” can be found here.]

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