Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Blanket licensing of derivative works

It's not just for Creative Commons any more.

Comic Book Creator featuring Marvel Heroes lets you create comic books starring yourself (or, I guess, Brad Pitt) opposite Wolverine, and even post the results. I'm encouraged by this glimmer of acknowledgement that copyright owners benefit from nonauthoritative reinterpretations. It's not surprising that comics are in the lead. After all, comics brought us Lex Luthor the hero/Superman the villain and Archie v. the Punisher -- and it's not like comic fans have difficulty dealing with contradictory canon. (I need to get my hands on the software, though, to see whether the license works like the music companies' deals with YouTube, allowing Marvel to pull any panels that are too offensive. Sadly, the license agreement doesn't appear to be on the site, though the support manual has a lovely screenshot of its opening lines.)

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