Thursday News: Three’s Company parody prevails, authorial agency and commercialism, Fresh Romance Kickstarter, and Nature’s April Fool’s joke
In a statement released on Wednesday, Donald Taffner Jr., the president of DLT Entertainment, said the company was “surprised and disappointed by the ruling” and would be “reviewing our options.”
“The decision was made without discovery and without the benefit of the court seeing the production of the play, either live or on tape,” he added.
Robert A. Jacobs, a partner at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, said that this ruling “shows a continuing evolution of courts being comfortable with fair use and recognizing it.” Still, he added, “It won’t resonate as a groundbreaking seismic shift with these issues.” –New York Times
Before we lay all the blame at the door of publishers and retailers, consider that some genres of writing, like Regency Romance or Post-Apocalyptic Zombie novels abound with such precise conventions and tropes that, for many writers, they are essentially a formulaic recipe that can be repeated over and over again, with minor changes. Readers of this sort of work not only like this, they expect it, they demand it. They are the customer and have been taught to believe the customer is always right. More recently, with the massive popularity of the Fifty Shades of Grey series, sold as erotica, readers consistently punish erotica writers with scathing comments and one star reviews when they do not provide a central romantic plot and a happy ending, because those readers believe they are buying a manufactured product that will offer them the predictable experience they might assume from a Big Mac or a Skinny, Venti, Caramel Latte from Starbucks.
We have all participated and enjoyed the choice afforded to us by this consumer culture. The exchange of anything for money now comes with the implicit understanding that no one should ever have to pay for a single moment of unpleasantness or discomfort ever again. Indeed we are constantly exhorted to adjust things to our liking. –Remittance Girl
The first issue features sundry stories ranging from a clandestine, queer high school love affair to an impeccably researched and illustrated Regency-era romance. In addition to three forward-looking romances, each issue of FRESH ROMANCE delivers a relationship advice column by a quartet of divorced writers, behind-the-scenes art coverage, and a fashion report. Thanks to our ongoing anthology format, the kinds of stories we feature will be constantly evolving. The magazine will be R-rated, so while not all of the individual chapters or stories will be racy, there will be some adult content. Our goal is to bring avid comics readers and those new to comics together to enjoy the romance genre. –Kickstarter
The 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta in 1215 has sparked an unprecedented investigation of literary resources from the early medieval period. One such document, uncovered by chance under a pile of rusty candlesticks in a locked cupboard marked “loste propertie” in the depths of the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, provides strong evidence that the field of fantastical beasts requires urgent re-evaluation. Attributed to the monk Godfrey of Exmouth, the treatise discusses many verified aspects of English history but, crucially, proffers evidence that for millennia dragons have periodically been a scourge to civilizations (Fig. 1). –Nature