25 Pages Posted: 15 Oct 2010
Date Written: October 5, 2010
Some bloodsuckers live off the life-sustaining fluids of involuntary hosts and leave behind diseases or venom. Fleas, ticks, bedbugs, and mosquitoes are all bloodsuckers that are best avoided. Others, like the leech, suck blood in ways that can be very helpful to a host, promoting blood flow and healing. Vampires are fictional, sentient bloodsuckers that have populated various entertainment genres for centuries. Copyrights, too, can suck blood metaphorically in productive and destructive ways, or simply suck, period, when they senselessly impede free-flowing veins of information. And though they are not (yet) immortal, copyrights last a very long time.
In Copyright’s Twilight Zone: Digital Copyright Lessons from the Vampire Blogosphere, Professor Jacqueline D. Lipton lays out the tensions between copyright law and the online diffusion of culture, compellingly illustrating these tensions with examples taken from the popular Twilight books and movies. To engage in rather extreme reductivism, Professor Lipton’s fine article chronicles the legal and ethical complications posed by the desire of copyright holders to cultivate a large, enthusiastic, and profitable fan base while simultaneously retaining artistic and distributive control over their creative works. This responsive essay hungrily extracts and feeds upon a nutritional portion of its vital life forces.
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