January 2023 Archives

(I posted this to the DnD subreddit also: link.)

The Open Gaming License fiasco with Dungeons & Dragons producer Wizards of the Coast is a symptom of a larger problem: our insane Intellectual Property system that currently protects material for the life of the author plus 70 years. As a comparison, patents generally only protect inventions for 20 years.

The purpose of intellectual property laws is to balance public and private interests. IP law is an agreement between society and creators: the creator is guaranteed an exclusive right to their creation for a period of time, and in exchange the public gets rights to the creation afterwards. It's intended to be a balance of interests, but the balance has gotten completely out of whack thanks to (obviously) lobbying throughout the 20th century by major copyright holders like Disney.

In my opinion, the current copyright term, life of the author plus 70 years, is grossly unfair to the public. I believe that the internet era has demonstrated that creators would be incentivized to create even without such a long period of exclusivity. Think about it: would you create less stuff if your great-grandkids didn't get exclusive rights? I doubt it.

Listen: creators should be able to make money from their work. I don't think copyright should go to zero, but why not bring it in line with patent protection with a 20-year term?

Disney, DnD, and many other creations are part of our generation's cultural legacy, part of a 10,000+ year inheritance that has been handed down through time to our grandparents, our parents, and now us. It's morally wrong for our ancestors and corporations to lock our inheritance away from us.

Copyright protections must be re-balanced to protect both creators and the public. This problem with WotC shouldn't be just about a license, it should be about the IP laws that grant them exclusive rights to creations that are over 50 years old. Our generation should re-open these negotiations and come up with a fair copyright term.

Many people say that the Republican infighting over Kevin McCarthy's election as Speaker of the House is embarrassing and demonstrates a lack of governing ability. I say: more squabbling please!

The House should be raucous. Why should everything be politely settled behind closed doors? No! We need more public fighting among our elected officials, not less. Americans have major disagreements with each other, and the best way to sort them out is through politics. Let's have them yell and scream and argue with each other in public until someone wins.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from January 2023 listed from newest to oldest.

December 2022 is the previous archive.

February 2023 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.


Email blogmasterofnoneATgmailDOTcom for text link and key word rates.

Site Info