News Bites: Holiday Hush

News Bites ChristmasThis week’s edition News Bites is a pretty small one; apparently even Hollywood’s hype machine has the decency to take time off for Christmas and New Year’s. There are few enough items that I’m not even going to bother with a jump cut; let’s just get right on into it.

It’s been pretty much certain for several weeks now, but it’s finally official that Vin Diesel will be providing the voice of Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy.

Also in Vin Diesel news, the actor has revealed the new release date for The Fast and the Furious 7. Due to retooling from the death of star Paul Walker, the film is now due for release on April 10, 2015.

Director Peter Segal (Grudge Match) confirms what comic book fans have long suspected: Billy Batson and the Legend of Shazam is officially defunct. While Segal denies that the film based on DC’s character Captain Marvel (called Shazam! in marketing for legal reasons and recently renamed to that in the comics) was kid-oriented, one can’t help but suspect that the even-more-optimistic-than-Superman nature of the character worked against the property in the wake of the darker tone of the current DC Comics movies.

And finally, the Doyle estate has lost their case that all of Sherlock Holmes was protected by copyright. The judge has ruled only those elements from 1923 or newer — such as Dr. Watson’s wife and Sherlock’s retirement from the detective agency — are protected by copyright. Everything prior — which consists of all but the last 10 of the 60 Doyle-written stories — is public domain and fair game for use.

That’s all for this week’s News Bites. Thanks for reading, and leave a comment below with your thoughts!

About Morgan R. Lewis

Fan of movies and other media
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4 Responses to News Bites: Holiday Hush

  1. Spikor says:

    I’m always torn whenever there’s any kind of copyright/patent ruling on anything. On the one hand, I’d like for creators of things (or their estates) to get money, and not be screwed out of a future windfall because the creator fell on hard times, or didn’t know the worth of something. Especially since Disney and other big companies seem to get to reset the due dates on whatever property whenever that property comes due.

    On the other hand, I’m not a big fan of copyright laws, because they never seem to protect the people who need protecting, and they certainly don’t seem to promote the hotbed of truly new art they were supposedly designed to inspire.

    It’s almost as if laws are black and white, and leave no real room for the gray area that is the real world. Huh.

    • Yeah, I’m not a big fan of the way Disney, et al, have pushed through so many extensions to copyright law. It should be static, and if anything, I’d say the current version of US copyright law is too lengthy; should someone’s grandchildren really have the right to block usage of it?

      In the Doyle case… I think even a generous view of things to his estate comes off as their case being rather thin. “The whole thing is protected because the very last bit is within the range!” Eh… no. The last bit is protected. The rest is public domain.

      • Spikor says:

        If it always worked the same way, I’d be right there with you on that. Oh well. I’ll never have the kind of money, or created property, where it actually affects me.

        • The whole thing’s definitely a tough area for a layperson to navigate. 50/60 Sherlock Holmes stories are public domain, therefore Sherlock Holmes as a character is mostly public domain. A few Mickey Mouse cartoons are public domain, but Mickey Mouse himself is not. I don’t claim to understand it. I suspect a lot of it also has to do with trademark law, though.

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