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In my opinion that's an oversimplification which ignores why copyright laws exist.

 

Again, I know why they exist: to prevent author from selling a piece of art to several producers at a time, to lessen the competition and to preserve some kind of monopoly for the period of exclusive rights expired.

Everything else is just a rhetoric. One may say they defend the author from piracy. Yes, as long as it helps publishers to keep the monopoly – they do.

It is easy to prove my point: look at the books that are in public domain already. Who cares a moment for which author borrowed what from it, who films what on it, etc? All the ethical moments you refer to suddenly vanish, along with monopoly. Alas.

 

And as the sons of Feanor did not dare to demand the Silmaril at this point, thus Tolkien 'finds a way' to remove Beren from needing to answer them; or at least he does not set up a scenario in which Beren must decide to withhold the jewel when confronted by any Feanoreans, if JRRT wasn't actively trying to avoid such a scene. You brought up Beren and Bilbo here specifically. Why?

 

Because they were accused in thieving, don’t you remember?

And the fact that Feanoreans never claimed the Silmaril from Beren, doesn’t mean that they accepted him as rightful owner. They may have been ashamed or afraid of him, but as soon as he died they claimed the Silmaril from his heirs and resorted to arms to restore it. No way they gave up their right on the Jewel for a moment, they just waited for Beren’s death.

 

The fact that Tolkien 'finds a way' to remove Beren from needing to answer themis obvious. And I understand him perfectly, because Beren’s behavior after Thingol’s death is at least questionable, no wonder Professor avoided this questions: why hadn’t Beren returned the Silmaril, at least for the sake of his children and grandchildren’s safety, for the sake of elven unity before the inevitable Morgoth’s invasion? Bril’ova had to invent the prophetic skill given to Beren to explain his behavior, otherwise it lacked any logic or common sense. Don’t know how it is in English fandom, but in ex-USSR there is plenty of Feanoreans’ admirers who believe Beren to be a bad guy and a thief. And they sound just like you: “So you think that if he worked hard and risked to take the Jewel from Morgoth, it’s OK to keep it from lawful owners?”

Pathetic.

 

In order to somehow show that Tolkien is on your side with respect to copyright issues?

 

You see, in his books someone who desires to keep something in his exclusive property forever is either a bad guy or a good guy committing terrible fallacy. Morgoth loved the creation he took part in and tried to own it – thus, he became a common enemy N1, Feanor loved his creation more than his soul and gone mad, his boys gave oath to return the Jewels by all means and committed three kinslayings, Thingol was enchanted by Silmaril and Nauglamir and you know what happened, and what happened to the Dwarven king you know too. Celebrimbor wanted to preserve beauty and splendour of Valinor in mortal lands – for the elves only – and was betrayed and killed by Sauron, Sauron himself – everyone knows who he was and how he finished, Thorin stirred a war, which could end in complete disaster unless Bilbo intervened. Be Feanor not so jealous, keep he the Silmarils in Tirion – there would be no chance for Morgoth to steal it. As for me, epimyth is clear. There would be simply no space for such a discussion, if CT just said that he considers the option of selling rights to company A or company B. If author‘s heir wants his fee – it’s understandable, it’s lawful, it’s human whatever high his price may be. We have film, he has money, everyone’s happy. But if he just wants to keep saying ‘no, nay, never…’ This I cannot stand.

Again, I know why they exist: to prevent author from selling a piece of art to several producers at a time, to lessen the competition and to preserve some kind of monopoly for the period of exclusive rights expired. Everything else is just a rhetoric. One may say they defend the author from piracy. Yes, as long as it helps publishers to keep the monopoly – they do.

Well that's your opinion of why they exist.

And the fact that Feanoreans never claimed the Silmaril from Beren, doesn’t mean that they accepted him as rightful owner. They may have been ashamed or afraid of him, but as soon as he died they claimed the Silmaril from his heirs and resorted to arms to restore it. No way they gave up their right on the Jewel for a moment, they just waited for Beren’s death.

And I didn't say otherwise, as far as this much goes.

The fact that Tolkien 'finds a way' to remove Beren from needing to answer themis obvious. And I understand him perfectly, because Beren’s behavior after Thingol’s death is at least questionable, no wonder Professor avoided this questions: why hadn’t Beren returned the Silmaril, at least for the sake of his children and grandchildren’s safety, for the sake of elven unity before the inevitable Morgoth’s invasion? Bril’ova had to invent the prophetic skill given to Beren to explain his behavior, otherwise it lacked any logic or common sense. Don’t know how it is in English fandom, but in ex-USSR there is plenty of Feanoreans’ admirers who believe Beren to be a bad guy and a thief. And they sound just like you: “So you think that if he worked hard and risked to take the Jewel from Morgoth, it’s OK to keep it from lawful owners?”

Pathetic.

All I noted was that Tolkien does not set up a scenario in which Beren is confronted by the Feanoreans about the Silmaril. What others want to make of this is up to them, but I haven't really commented on it in any case.

You see, in his books someone who desires to keep something in his exclusive property _forever_ is either a bad guy or a good guy committing terrible fallacy. Morgoth loved the creation he took part in and tried to own it – thus, he became a common enemy N1, Feanor loved his creation more than his soul and gone mad, his boys gave oath to return the Jewels by all means and committed three kinslayings, Thingol was enchanted by Silmaril and Nauglamir and you know what happened, and what happened to the Dwarven king you know too. Celebrimbor wanted to preserve beauty and splendour of Valinor in mortal lands – for the elves only – and was betrayed and killed by Sauron, Sauron himself – everyone knows who he was and how he finished, Thorin stirred a war, which could end in complete disaster unless Bilbo intervened. Be Feanor not so jealous, keep he the Silmarils in Tirion – there would be no chance for Morgoth to steal it. As for me, epimyth is clear. There would be simply no space for such a discussion, if CT just said that he considers the option of selling rights to company A or company B. If author‘s heir wants his fee – it’s understandable, it’s lawful, it’s human whatever high his price may be. We have film, he has money, everyone’s happy. But if he just wants to keep saying ‘no, nay, never…’ This I cannot stand.

Rather than go through all this -- noting briefly that you say 'forever' at the outset too, which I emphasized in my quote of your post -- I'll just note that you again ignore Tolkien's own words concerning copyright.

Words that Christopher Tolkien does not ignore, I'll bet.

 

So according to you it's ok to steal copyrighted creative property as long as you acknowledge you're stealing?

Holy cow, it took you so long to understand that my answer is ‘Yes’?

This example has nothing to do with copyright law obviously.

Yes, it is addressed against your rhetoric about ‘create something on their own’. Bad shot, accuse one in creative impotency while defending the famous myth-and-legends-plots-user. Try something else.

As for any films of The Lord of the Ringsbeing made, yes I think CJRT would not have sold the rights given his public statement about this -- and he is entitled to his opinion as to why he would not have done so.

So you propose me to watch his opinion in multiplex or on TV?

As I said: no one here has argued that the legality of a film makes it better or worse.

Alas, audience doesn’t want legality, it wants show. Yeah, a real bitch it is.

This reminds me of one of my favorite responses here at Planet Tolkien, by 'Lord of All'

And you remind me one Russian critic Svetlana Likhachova, so what?

Really, I think that author speaks really truly in his works, not in correspondence or interviews. In letters and interviews heshe is too much of a ‘social person’. Law-obedient Oxford Professor couldn’t say in public or write or even think anything against the sacrosanctity of law, but in his book a self-respecting citizen turns out to be a "burglar".

The work in question came up when Tolkien was alive, and you have no way of knowing how complete it was, or what happened to it well before 10 years ago. 

I know than no one was interested in it enough to distribute it by underground methods, even the author himself. Which means, it was poor.

The real work cannot be forgotten so easily. He was young there, he still lives today. Remember, I am the author. I know that burning itch to open your creation to the world, to see it embodied. If he created something real, he couldn’t bear the temptation of publishing it via Internet. If he could, of he ‘overgrew’ that itch – that means he never had taken it deep in the heart. Thus, book was not worth publishing.

Again, to me this is overly simplistic rationalization. The fact that Christopher Tolkien has not lost his right to publish his father's work doesn't give everyone and anyone the right to steal his father's protected property and do what they want with it.And plenty of countries uphold copyright law to stop that very thing.

Plenty of countries upheld slavery, religious persecution and no-votes-for-women not so long ago. Argumentum ad populumis well-known logical fallacy, do you seriously expect me to fall for it? All I want is to see a good old logical chain between “CT lost no rights” and “rights were stolen from CT”.

Of course my full sentence was: 'Instead of creating something of their own which could give joy to people as well, they stole ideas and creative property.'And the obvious context was: they stole ideas and creative property still protected under copyright law.

For which law you cannot give any logical explanation or foundation. Pathetic again.

A) you can't possibly know if I am an artist or not.

If something doesn’t swim like a duck, doesn’t fly like a duck, doesn’t quack like a duck and doesn’

B) claiming you are an artist doesn't mean that you know the 'real' purpose of copyright law, no matter how large you write it.

It does, for I see how it works. I see, how it ‘protects’ me and my fellows. When you are paid six hundred bucks for 200 pages volume, the option “no one can publish your work now unless he pays you” looks not so attractive. TV-screenwriting is paid way better, but in exchange you have

Copyright law originated in the United Kingdom from a concept of common law; the Statute of Anne 1709. It became statutory with the passing of the Copyright Act 1911.

Should I remind you that literature is, like, WAY older?

I wonder how Eschiles, Mallory or Sei Shonagon could find their butts without Copyright Act?

Words that Christopher Tolkien does not ignore, I'll bet.

Somehow you managed to change my attitude towards CT from respect to wild hatred.

Good job, advocate!

This example has nothing to do with copyright law obviously. Crazy Cossack wrote  Yes, it is addressed against your rhetoric about ‘create something on their own’. Bad shot, accuse one in creative impotency while defending the famous myth-and-legends-plots-user. Try something else.

The example you raised (Volsung saga) is not protected by copyright, and as I said, has nothing to do with copyright law. And I accused no one of 'creative impotency' in the first place, but noted that the writers chose to use copyrighted material while they have plenty of other legal avenues in which to create.

As for any films of The Lord of the Rings being made, yes I think CJRT would not have sold the rights given his public statement about this -- and he is entitled to his opinion as to why he would not have done so. Crazy cossack responded: So you propose me to watch his opinion in multiplex or on TV?

I don't propose this of course Smile Smilie

Really, I think that author speaks really truly in his works, not in correspondence or interviews. In letters and interviews heshe is too much of a ‘social person’. Law-obedient Oxford Professor couldn’t say in public or write or even think anything against the sacrosanctity of law, but in his book a self-respecting citizen turns out to be a "burglar".

In my opinion claiming Tolkien isn't being truthful in his letters when he reacts specifically to the matter under discussion here (in letters he never knew would be published), isn't very compelling.

The work in question came up when Tolkien was alive, and you have no way of knowing how complete it was, or what happened to it well before 10 years ago.

Crazy cossack responded: I know than no one was interested in it enough to distribute it by underground methods, even the author himself. Which means, it was poor. The real work cannot be forgotten so easily. He was young there, he still lives today. Remember, I am the author. I know that burning itch to open your creation to the world, to see it embodied. If he created something real, he couldn’t bear the temptation of publishing it via Internet. If he could, of he ‘overgrew’ that itch – that means he never had taken it deep in the heart. Thus, book was not worth publishing.

I'm sorry but you can't possibly know these things. You can give the opinion that you think they are true, but there are other possibilities here of course.

Plenty of countries upheld slavery, religious persecution and no-votes-for-women not so long ago. Argumentum ad populumis well-known logical fallacy, do you seriously expect me to fall for it?

Hmm, but my comment that plenty of countries uphold copyright law was in response to your implication that _everyone_ knows what you claim they know -- your 'But everyone knows that this is b******t' line, which seemingly attempted to suggest your view was popular.

So not everyone agrees with you of course.

Galin wrote: A) you can't possibly know if I am an artist or not. Crazy cossack responded: If something doesn’t swim like a duck, doesn’t fly like a duck, doesn’t quack like a duck and doesn’

Well that's assumption... based on what?

Somehow you managed to change my attitude towards CT from respect to wild hatred.

Please don't try to blame me for your attitude towards CJRT. 

Let's begin from the end. And finish with it.

Well that's assumption... based on what?

Listen, were you an artist, you would know that it's real torment - to have something to tell or to show for the people, and to be constricted with censure, or producers' will, or 'copywright' stuff. You would know what it is to be determined. That's what divides an artist from craftsman. When you are a craftsman, all you care about is money. When I work as a craftsman, I feel only indebtness to do my work properly and be well-paid, that's it.

But when I work as an artist, I feel a burning need to see my work completed and released, no matter what. Since you do not understand such a need (and obviously you don't, you showed it through all the conversation), you are a craftsman at best. No offense meant.

There is one think I should thank you for: you've finally persuaded me that it is I who should stop talking and start acting. As our revolutionary ancestors sang in 1917,

There are no supreme saviours
Neither God, nor Caesar, nor tribune.
Producers, let us save ourselves,
Decree the common salvation.

Thank you again and goodbye!

Crazy cossack wrote: But when I work as an artist, I feel a burning need to see _my work_ completed and released, no matter what. Since you do not understand such a need (and obviously you don't, you showed it through all the conversation), you are a craftsman at best. No offense meant.

I understand the desire to see _one's own work_ completed and released, and my part in this conversation does not show otherwise. There are other considerations being mixed in here, but in any case I don't agree with your characterizations about me or about this conversation. 

And there's obviously nothing wrong with being passionate about art. I am. Tolkien was too. And that said, here's the letter I only referred to earlier.

'I wish that 'Copyright' could protect names, as well as extracts. It is a form of invention I take a great deal of trouble over, and pleasure in; and really it is quite as difficult (often more so) as, say, lines of verse.'

JRR Tolkien, 1964, letter 258, to Rayner Unwin

This is a great debate guys, however - "It is liked by Dawkins-admirers, rationalists, relativists and cynics – for short, by the people hostile to the very spirit of Tolkien’s work." (crazy cossack) - please try to keep such statements to yourself. I am an atheist, and that does not mean I am hostile to anything - let alone Tolkien's work, which has helped define who I am and has given me so much, and continues to mean so much to me. I won't say any more as our little Planet is not the place to discuss such matters, but please be aware that our members vary in every way you can think of - gender, ethnicity, beliefs, sexuality etc so we don't make broad generalisations about any group. Please, carry on! I'm enjoying reading both sides.
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