Saturday, June 18, 2005

Doctor Who

The Scotsman and I watched Doctor Who tonight. We have been very impressed by the new series. When I was 16 my first serious boyfriend was completely into Doctor Who, but it was never a passion I could share. It was a very good early evening television serial, but then so was Crossroads, for a certain audience, and I never got the urge to go to conventions or build an excessive collection of memorabilia. For Doctor who, I mean, not Crossroads. Although I never got the urge for Crossroads events and memorabilia either; all rumours that I have Benny's original hat are evil and false!

I mean, I think Frasier is great, but I would never actually go to an event built around the series, with a cardboard mock up of Cafe Nervosa, and the chance to buy an autograph from somebody who was in a couple of episodes.

What struck me tonight was that the leader of the Daleks was a clear reference to H P Lovecraft's Cthulhu monster, a many tentacled being with a single eye who regarded himself as God. There is a site here giving details of the author, but I can't find the actual story "Call of Cthulhu" on the web. On this site it says that the story, published in 1926, is still under copyright; I didn't realise that something created in 1926 would still be under copyright, but apparently this is so. All power to you if you can find somewhere on the net to get this for free, which the rather draconian warnings on the site would suggest is the case. Actually he died in 1937, which, under British law, which I have just checked, means his stuff will be able to be published on the net for free from 2007, 70 years after his death.

I think this is a rather unfair version of copyright. Surely it should be from the date of publication only? If you write a novel at the age of 20 in 2006, for example, and die in the same year after a freak accident involving an electric toothbrush, a camel, and some prescription drugs, then copyright ends in 2076. If you write a novel in 2006 at the age of 20, and die at 90 in 2076, then copyright ends in 2146.

Anyway, have drunk lots of wine, so I'm possibly not very logical.


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