Sunday, November 18, 2012

Muppet Pi

10:27, Restate my assumptions; 1) Muppets are the language of human nature.
2) Everything around us can be represented and understood through muppets.

3) If you graph muppets of any system, patterns emerge.

Therefore, there are muppets everywhere in human nature.

If so, muppets cannot be the exclusive preserve of Disney. Nor, for that matter, can the 19th Century works of Lewis Carroll or AA Milne. There's a piece of Pooh in everyone, and it doesn't belong to Disney.

Both authors would be spinning in their graves at the hollow extortion that their characters have become. Exhibit A: Johnny Depp's Alice in Wonderland. Exhibit B: the trite crap Pooh and Friends spew on the Murdoch/Disney Channel. Milne was a painstaking wordsmith, editing each sentence many times to distil clarity and lyricism. Now it's all cross-promo po-mo platitudes and homogenised homilies.

The US Republicans are coming around to this Muppet Pi logic on copyright, dialling down their branch of mad hatters and presenting a respectable copyright reform paper. Cory Doctorow sez:

Three Myths about Copyright Law and Where to Start to Fix it (PDF) is a position paper just released by House Republicans, advocating for a raft of eminently sensible reforms to copyright law, including expanding and clarifying fair use; reaffirming that copyright's purpose is to serve the public interest (not to enrich investors); to limit statutory damages for copyright infringement; to punish false copyright claims; and to limit copyright terms.

This is pretty close to the full raft of reforms that progressive types on both sides of the US political spectrum have been pushing for. It'll be interesting to see whether the Dems (who have a much closer relationship to Hollywood and rely on it for funding) are able to muster any support for this.

10:36, Press Return.

UPDATE: Full retraction in less than 24 hours. Fucking Teabaggers.