YotG with spoilers

Philip.Belben at powertech.co.uk Philip.Belben at powertech.co.uk
Wed Dec 20 13:25:09 EST 2000








Lizzie, quoting me:

> Philip on the Grinch:
> (Sorry, this is my rant.  And I haven't even seen the latest film.  It's
> just that the original film of TSG's book, which animated his wonderful
> drawings so wonderfully, was perfect in every respect apart from the
> Christmas carols sung by the villagers.  The new film goes OTT on
> special effects to achieve something that I don't believe can possibly
> match up to the previous one in humanity, charm, or sensitivity to TSG's
> original
> Me:
> I agree with you on a lot of that.  Not the use of the word.  It's a great
> word, and I like using it.  But the new film. . . yick.  I saw the

My comment on whether to use the word was purely over-reaction to the
merchandising.  Having endured it in the US, to come back here and find Hallie,
of all people, using it was just too much!  Actually, I don't much like it as a
word, but that's neither here nor there.

> Inside the front cover, on the page with copyrights and library of
> congress listings (US edition) there's a note that says "the right of DWJ
> to be identified as author of this work has been asserted by her."  I
> checked in several other books, by her and otherwise, and none of them say
> the same thing.  What does this mean?  It almost sounds to me like she
> didn't necessarily write it all. . . .

Oh no, it doesn't mean that.  Part of the (still incompletely) harmonised
European copyright law is the "moral right" - which covers things like, even if
a puplisher owns copyright on a work, the author has a "moral right" to his or
her name being attached to it, rather than someone else's.

The legal formula under the 1988 act "The moral right of XXX has been asserted"
is the prescribed way of saying "no matter who may at some time own the
copyright on this, XXX was the person who really wrote it".  I think you may
have to be the first person to assert the moral rights over a work to be able to
claim you're the author, or something.

On the other hand, an official enquiry, the opinion of my publisher, the opinion
of a friend who is in publishing in Germany, and the opinion of my eccentric
maiden aunt who writes novels, invariably give four different answers on any
copyright question...  (The above was my own attempt to correlate the four)


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