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Wall-E – Copyright Criminal?

There is some interesting discussion about whether or not the ‘loveable’ Wall-E robot is a copyright criminal over at SFFaudio [^].  The link does have mild spoilers, but probably nothing that you wouldn’t have guessed at from seeing the trailer. 

The case that Jesse Willis at SFFaudio make centres around the robot’s “jailbreaking” of a copy of the film “Hello Dolly”.  As they point out, in the year 2805 the film would be almost 800 years out of copyright protection and in the public domain.  But under the USA’s DMCA [^] and Canada’s about to be enacted copyright law circumventing copy protection is a crime.  So even though the 1969 film would be in the public domain, if the original media was protected by some form of Digital Rights Management [^], which video tapes and DVDs are, copying it onto another device would be a crime.  Another case of hypocrisy in this film?  Consumerism is bad, but buy our toys [BrizBunny Comments]; and don’t copy our robot, buy an original DVD of this movie. 

Despite this we here in the CannibalRabbit household are still looking forward to the movie.

Disney-Pixar’s Wall-E

Back in September I posted about the ominous sounding Buy n Large.  The Buy n Large website [^] is a promo site for the upcoming Disney-Pixar film “Wall-E”.  On engadget [^] there is a post about the sneak peak at the about to be launched merchandise to promote the film in the US.

This is the “Ultimate Wall-E” a ten motored radio controlled robot, loaded full of sensor, and capable of being programmed; all for an amazing $US 190. 

It seems as though the irony of releasing merchandise for a movie about the effects of mass consumerism has been lost on the entertainment giant.  To paraphrase: buying lots of “stuff”, just so that you can have “stuff” – bad; oh by the way come on buy the really expensive toy robot.  Enough said!

Pixar in Melbourne

Pixar Light Mrs CannibalRabbit and myself recently managed a trip into the city a few weeks ago.  It was a trip of contrasts; the purpose was a visit to the Human Body exhibition and to the Pixar exhibition.  The human body was aside from the few plastinated bodies poorly organised for the number of people, with really shonky labelling of the part – the sort of thing you would expect from a country museum displaying agricultural implements from the 1970’s.   There was a lot technical terminology with little or no allowance made for the lay-person – in other words the audience that they were charging $25 a go for!  Don’t get me wrong, the Gunther von Hagens part was fantastic, but the general displays looked as though they had been lifted out of a uni anatomy lab.

Pixar on the other hand was fantastic, more people were there but they were flowing.  There was no unexpected bunching-up, it was easy to keep moving and come back to the bits that you wanted to see more of or that people were grouped around.  There was plenty of displays from everyone’s favourite movies – The Incredibles, Cars, Finding Nemo, and the Toy Story movies.  There were various concept sketches though to final drafts, models, fur samples for the Monsters, and movies.

(Click on picture to see a larger version)


Buy n Large

A  frightening insight into the future of consumerism, globalisation and the Internet is here at Buy n Large.  This comes from the BnL website privacy policy:

All acquired customer information becomes the property of the Buy n Large corporation and can be used (but is not limited to) any venture the Buy n Large Corporation deems beneficial to it. By visiting Buy n Large (or a Buy n Large partner) the user agrees to relinquish (if requested) any personal assets that may be deemed “usable” by the Buy n Large Corporation; this includes (but is not limited to) real estate, stock holdings, user transportation, employment income and the users “soul” (either real or imagined, regardless of spiritual or religious affiliation).

You have got to give a website points when they are this open about their intentions.  It turns-out that this amazing site is all an elaborate hoax to promote the upcoming Pixar movie Wall*E.

This almost reads like a slightly tamed-down version of Jasper Fforde’s Goliath Corporation [^].  Goliath comes right out and doesn’t hide it’s intentions behind legalese:

The Corporation welcomes open and responsible corporate affairs but also upholds the right to defend itself against those wishing to harm the good work it does for the citizenry. If you know who these people are it is your moral responsibility to tell us. Call (in confidence) our Goliath ‘Helpful Citizen Hotline’ 700-STOOLY. There may be a cash reward.

No Orwellian Double-Speak here!  What a shame that they are both fictional – but real-life is much more insidious.