Thursday, March 3, 2011

There is no copyright in titles and it would seem finding original titles is very much a lost cause. No one as yet, as far as I know, has thought of using ‘No Official Umbrella’ but there is no way to stop someone using it if they so wish. Many years ago the first stage play I had produced was called ‘Oh, Brother!’ Shortly afterwards the BBC came out with a comedy television series set in a monastery and starring Derek Nimmo, he of the prehensile toes, and naturally it was called ‘Oh Brother!’ Later I was asked to write a screenplay I titled ‘Speed.’ I originally wanted to call it ‘Torque’ but that was fine written down, not so good when spoken – was it ‘talk?’ I also liked the title ‘Images’ if pronounced the French way (so romantic) but who would know that? People would simply say images. Anyway the film never saw the light of day but shortly afterwards a film called ‘Speed came out of Hollywood.’
I can’t seem to come up with original titles for the Thornton King books, not for the first three anyway, apt though each one may be. ‘Dead On Time?’ there are at least half a dozen, ‘Just in Case?’ another with that title published shortly afterwards, ‘Dead On Target?’ Don’t know about this one but I’ll bet my bottom dollar if it isn’t already used it soon will be. I don’t think anyone will come up with another ‘The Cinelli Vases.’ Think I must be safe with that one, but I notice on Amazon my novel ‘Angel’ has a companion title. When I wrote it there were lots of titles with the word ‘Angel’ in them but not, as far as we could find, one using just that single word. Well there is one now. Hey-ho, think I’ll write a book called ‘Gone With The Wind.’ Oh yes, ‘Blood River’ was another title I wanted to use and that has also seen the light of day.
UK copyright laws to be reviewed says David Cameron, “to make them fit for the internet age.” He said the law could be relaxed to allow greater use of copyright material without the owner's permission!!!!!!!! Note that will you? Without the owner’s permission, the owner’s permission being exactly what the copyright law protects.
Speaking at an event in the East End of London, at which he announced a series of investments by IT giants including Facebook and Google, Mr Cameron said the founders of Google had told the government they could not have started their company in Britain. He said: "The service they provide depends on taking a snapshot of all the content on the internet at any one time and they feel our copyright system is not as friendly to this sort of innovation as it is in the United States. "Over there, they have what are called 'fair-use' provisions, which some people believe gives companies more breathing space to create new products and services. So I can announce today that we are reviewing our IP laws, to see if we can make them fit for the internet age. I want to encourage the sort of creative innovation that exists in America." The six month review will look at what the UK can learn from US rules on the use of copyright material without the rights holder's permission. It will also look at removing some of the potential barriers that stand in the way of new internet-based business models, such as the cost of obtaining permission from rights holders and the cost and complexity of enforcing intellectual property rights in the UK and internationally.
The announcement was welcomed by internet freedom campaigners, who said the government had to redress the balance after the controversial Digital Economy Bill, which strengthens the ability of copyright holders to block access to websites hosting illegal content. It is hoped the government would introduce "basic user rights" so that people could make personal copies of music and videos, or transfer them from one format to another, without fear of prosecution. Wrong.
But the Publishers Association, which represents some of the big names in book, audio and digital publishing in the UK, sounded a note of caution. "The immutable fact remains that the people who generate and invest in creativity deserve and need to be rewarded." Right.
For someone who is fighting a giant corporation, Twentieth Century Fox, for breach of his copyright and in consequence non-payment of royalties, I am not sure this is not good news at all.

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