How do people feel about copyright of characters/plots?


This can be true, but money being above the law is a separate issue in my view. I just think we should do our best to help make the system what it should be, not settle for what it is. Especially when it’s as simple as copying a piece of text. But I’m known to be a naive idealist, so :slight_smile:

EDIT: Also, the FSF offers help with legal cases. I know the maintainer of ScummVM said in some podcast their SW had the GPL violated (some cheap gaming gadget somewhere from the east) – they were given free lawyers and won the case.


But you can’t rightfully say “I wasn’t expecting it to be used like this” or “I don’t want it to be used like this”, because in donating to the public domain you are implicitly agreeing to such uses -
you give your implicit permission for it to be used in ways you might not be happy about.

It’s not about IP or law or money, it’s something more fundamental.
It’s about the human factor, the sense of creatorship and/or ownership, a primordial emotion.

Some people (perhaps even most people), feel an emotional attachment to the characters and worlds they create.
Some feel a sense of achievement, some have a somewhat paternal/maternal feeling, either way people get protective (and I would say ‘understandably so’).

To have that ridiculed or abused can feel like a personal insult, because in many senses people’s creations are like an extension of themselves.

Emotions are something people can choose to try to overcome,
but it’s easier for some people than for others,
and to be honest, in this case I don’t think it is something that necessarily should be overcome.

Also, I don’t think overcoming it necessarily is the more ‘peaceful’ option.
I think people can assert ownership over characters/worlds etc and still remain perfectly civil,
providing any discussions about such matters are had upfront.

Originally I just wanted to gauge people’s opinions, I didn’t want to try to persuade people either way, but I’ve inadvertently ended up defending what I think.
(In fact I think my own opinion is now stronger than before.)

Now I think about it, can creative commons licences apply to characters?

Individual art pieces are easy enough to consider for licensing, but characters are more complex and abstract, and a sum of many different parts (name, appearance, personality), so that seems like a bit of a minefield and I’m not sure the CC licences would be capable of covering that.

(Best leave that question to another day, lest we head down another rabbit hole.)


I do not remember if I have ever seen this many answers to a poll in this forum. At least not for a while. Looks like a great majority of the people do not require plot and characters to be free as code.