Author Topic: Do Dead Authors Have Rights?  (Read 2292 times)

Sigyn

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Do Dead Authors Have Rights?
« on: January 18, 2008, 05:56:46 PM »
I thought this was an interesting question:

http://www.slate.com/id/2181859/pagenum/all/

Do you think an author should have control of what happens to his works after he dies?  And on a side note, should his children be able to write sequels and prequels even if they're terrible?

http://www.slate.com/id/2078980/

Are terrible sequels better than none at all?
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skibocastle

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Re: Do Dead Authors Have Rights?
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2008, 06:43:32 PM »
This is interesting, especially in regard to Lord of the Rings.  Tolkien vehemently resisted making feature films of his work.  He feared that that depth would be lost.  But after his death, his children agreed to the movie deal.  Should they have respected his wishes?  I enjoyed the films, but was it right to make them?

Sigyn

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Re: Do Dead Authors Have Rights?
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2008, 05:28:24 PM »
So . . .  I guess no one really cares.

Oh, and I think Tolkein was the one to sell the movie rights.  Isn't that how we got that incredibly disturbing animated Hobbit movie?
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Loud_G

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Re: Do Dead Authors Have Rights?
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2008, 03:05:00 PM »
I believe that Tolkien said that no one could possibly stuff his story into movie format, so he sold the movie rights for a dollar. Or at least that is what I heard....


If the author specifies in his/her will that they want their story to treated a certain way, then yes, we should  follow that. If not, I think it is fair game. :)
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White

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Re: Do Dead Authors Have Rights?
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2008, 06:04:25 PM »
I don't know, I sort of subscribe to the far off ideal that hoping that authors and whoever try and write stories, that even if they don't drag on forever, still satisfy a readers needs for a nice complete story.

When it comes to adaptations I think - --- well new developments can happen after the death of the creator, I would like to hope that people always try to keep a certain degree of respect for the authors work though if they are going to adapt it after the author's demise.


This actually made me think of a bit of an off-shoot discussion. If J.K. Rowling died, and her daughter (who apparently wanted to see more books in the seires) survived her, what would be all of your thoughts on the entriely theoretical possibility of her continuing the series?

Personally, I generally think that I'd want any unfinished works completed by my friends in the case of my death. However, the idea of a survivor creating entirely new works seems rather shadily greyed to me.

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Bryant

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Re: Do Dead Authors Have Rights?
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2008, 03:23:07 AM »
I dunno. Brian Herbert (In my opinion) was able to quite easily turn Dune from an amazing series into one tainted by a slew of novels that were....  Not exactly exceptional, and he even had one of my favorite authors helping him. Christopher Tolkien seems to have fared better, but I wouldn't say the two exactly cancel each other out.

I've seen a lot of harm done to good stories where someone else has had to finish writing them.

I think that that the author should either leave their work to another author that they know, so that they have some idea of the quality that would be produced. Or even leaving someone they trust in charge of the decision making process once they're gone, such as Jordan did. I guess I'm making a bit of an assumption in believing that EUOL will write the final WOT book well, but based on everything else he's done, I expect it will likely be better than Jordan could have done himself.

While I'm hesitant to try and give rights to dead people who in all likelihood could care less what happens to their work, now that they're enjoying themselves in heaven (Or being worm food, depending on your belief system), but it also seems to me to be a matter of respect. If the original creator wants his work to die with him, than I think it's only right that his children respect his wishes.

More specific to the article on Slate, the question does become a bit tougher when you're dealing with literary genius. As one of the great writers, isn't it to the benefit of literature lovers everywhere that it be released? Does that desire outweigh a dying man's wishes that he passed on to his son?

Largely, I would say that we should respect the wishes of the dead, but that they should try to find some way for their work to be completed before it reaches that point. But there are some situations, such as with Laura, that I can't say I really have an answer that I can stand by.

Sigyn

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Re: Do Dead Authors Have Rights?
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2008, 09:05:50 PM »
I don't know.  The more I think about it, the less I think an author should have a say on what happens to his work after he's dead.  If he didn't get the chance to take care of the mess while he was alive, then it's too bad.  But I might change my mind tomorrow.
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White

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Re: Do Dead Authors Have Rights?
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2008, 06:49:01 PM »
I agree too, I don't know if all of peoples wishes in life should be honoured after their death because honestly, after a person dies I usuaslly believe that it's more important that the other people who were in their life are happy just as a general rule. And people seem to not take into account the profoundness of what they ask people to do after their death.

I have a nan who wants her ashes scattered over the sea - don't know that I wouldn't personally feel better if she was up on the mantlepiece with Tessa, our old dog (but Tessa on a higher terrace of course as she's nicer and always easy to get along with- Golden Retievers are *Jesus Dogs*).

So yeah, basically what I'm trying to say is I don't think it matters *that* much as long as people know it's a different author continuing the series. I've developed the skill of ignoring extra seasons/new books/whatever, where series go bad or past their end by dates  so if I can do that it's not like everyone would be in a zombie thrall against their will to read any continuation works. So at best I'd say it would just be a minor annoyance to some people.
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