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Sporting Club Square Archive Archived Q&As with Mike from 1998 to 2003 posted at Tanelorn, the original iteration of multiverse.org.

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Old 10-16-2007, 11:07 AM
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Question - This question was asked by Frank on 1999-10-22.
Dear Mr. Moorcock I was just wondering if you have read the work of Grant Morrison and, if so I would like to know what you thought of it. Also, I would like to know what you think of the film "The Final Programme" Best wishes to you and Linda Frank
Answer - Mr. Moorcock answered this question on 1999-10-22
I've read the work of Grant Morrison twice. Once when I wrote it. Once when he wrote it. As far as I'm concerned my image of Grant Morrison is of someone wearing a mask, a flat hat and a striped jersey and carrying a bag marked SWAG. As far as I'm concerned, by and large, The Final Programme was a catastrophe saved from an incompetent director by some intelligent actors. In both cases, you can allow for a certain amount of subjectivity in my response. Thanks. MM
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The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is The Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.
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Old 11-05-2007, 05:25 AM
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Question - This question was asked by Niclas on 2002-06-13.
I was wondering what you think of Grant Morrison's work, particularly THE INVISIBLES? Obviously, it was influenced by (among many other things) your Jerry Cornelius stories, and according to rumor you considered taking legal action. Is there any truth to that?
Answer - Mr. Moorcock answered this question on 2002-06-13
I never take legal action -- or almost never. It would be much cheaper to have GM duffed over. He's a sticky-fingered tea-leaf in my view. Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Bryan Talbot and other comic people all generously acknowledge my influence -- yet none of them have ripped me off the way Grant Morrison has in certain issues of The Invisibles, which are virtually word for word taken from work of mine such as The Great Rock and Roll Scandal (also known as Gold Diggers of 1977) and others. He has grudgingly admitted doing an 'homage' but as I said, when you catch someone on the fire escape with your television in their arms and they say 'great TV man -- you have wonderful taste' you still shout 'Stop Thief'.
All best,
MM
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The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is The Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.
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Old 11-14-2007, 01:53 PM
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Question - This question was asked by Lee on 2003-03-14.
Hi Mike,
Without wishing to rake up old animosities, I was curious to know (having read it about it - possibly here ? - somewhere previously) what it was about Grant Morrison's appropriation of Jerry that you hate so much ? I always got the distinct impression that he never even tried to ask permission for using a carbon copy character (and that you were ready to sue him over it ??), but did you also mean to imply that you actively disliked what he'd done with the character in the stories as well ?? I'm especially intrigued as it seems to have got you so riled, when very little else ever seems to put a serious dent in your day. (Of course, I support your right not to go into any of this if you prefer...:)).

Still, puts the Tolkien business into perspective (quite why so many people think you really disliked him when it's blatantly evident that you didn't is something I never quite manage to comprehend!).
Now...
Sing to me ,darling, in our castle of agony,
Thanks,
Lee.

Answer - Mr. Moorcock answered this question on 2003-03-14
I find a difference between an homage, an amplification and a straight lift. Lifting is usually done by artists in comics. Alan Moore, Bryan Talbot and others have done riffs on Cornelius which have added to the method -- extended what can be done with the character and technique, if you like. Morrison doesn't have the talent to do that, though he's probably seen the others doing it and thinks that he's doing the same thing. In my view he isn't. I wasn't ready to sue Morrison but I was extremely pissed off with DC for running it. Only after his most blatant rips had appeared did someone at DC read the originals and realise to what degree he had stolen the material.

I have criticised Tolkien quite strongly, but mostly in the context of the claims made for him. However, Tolkien the person was a very nice man, in my view, and I ran an interview with him, plus criticism highly favourable of him, in New Worlds (cf Fantastic Metropolis). I'm certainly not out to get him nor indeed to stop people enjoying him. But I will argue with his loonier fans who make exaggerated claims both for his literary abilities and for his virtues. I think LOTR is a very sentimental work of escapism. Tolkien's mind-set is typical of certain very pleasant old English conservatives. I don't like tha [remainder of answer lost]

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The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is The Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.

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Old 11-14-2007, 02:17 PM
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Question - This question was asked by Jules on 2003-03-16.
Never spotted any Jerry references in Alan Moore's stuff - although I can't claim 100% familiarity - any pointers? Promethea seems to hint at multi-versal concerns, although I know it's equally about Alan's interest in magic.

'Death Is No Obstacle' - seems to be ridiculously expensive through the web second hand booksellers, maybe I'll get lucky second hand. Any chance of a reprint?

PS - found a spare paperback of Moorcock's Book Of Martyr's when spring cleaning this weekend. If any of the regular readers on here would like it, I'll send it to the first one to send me their postal address.
Answer - Mr. Moorcock answered this question on 2003-03-16
Some years ago Alan said that the JC character in Watchmen is a riff on JC. I think that's what he was talking about. Nothing direct, in other words -- Alan was just inspired to do something original. My complaint about GM is that he simply lifted, the way some artists lift other artist's work.

What's interested me in recent years is how many writers have been influenced by Alan, Bryan Talbot and one or two others to produce prose works clearly derived from such things as Luther Arkwright and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and so on. I'm especially thinking of grim city-scapes, alternative Londons, alternative British empires and so on. Usually quite a lot darker than mine, say.

Has anyone else noticed how graphic novels have influenced text novels ?


Alan did a great introduction for Firing the Cathedral, by the way.
All best,
M

___________________________________________________________________________
The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is The Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.
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Old 11-14-2007, 03:16 PM
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Question - This question was asked by Jules on 2003-03-18.
Thanks for the Alan Moore pointer - seeing as I read Watchmen before any Cornelius, I wouldn't have spotted it, and I think having already been a big fan of his earlier stuff like 'V for Vendetta' and Halo Jones, I had an attitude problem towards Watchmen - all these people saying it was a great and radical approach to the form, etc, who'd ignored his - and other - good stuff in 2000AD for years - still don't think you can beat the third volume of Halo Jones - deals with a Vietnam like war, with the main character realising she's on the (morally) wrong side - and published in a 'kids' comic too.

Funnily enough, Alan also complained in an interview somewhere about the way people had taken what he'd done but always made it 'darker' - I think he was particularly having a go at Vertigo - that adult always had to equal dark and violent, rather than maybe just more complex - and that his ABC imprint was an attempt to counter that - hence doing a 'straight' superhero comic, a 'ripping yarn', etc. I did enjoy that introduction to Firing The Cathedral too. Although he is quite mad (by his own admission).

Cheers for the Mike Moore pointer - was easy enough to find - still, 'Gas costing nearly two dollars' made me smile. Only just read about that 'Guernica' cover up - who'd have thought art still had power.

I think what depresses me most about this thing is the contempt for the democratic process shown by our 'leaders' (sorry - representatives) when it doesn't deliver the outcome they want. I always wondered, when studying German history - how such a small group of people had been able to take over a country and enact their will.

What I'd do with Saddam - well, we'd have an effective International Criminal Court if it wasn't for opposition by certain quarters. And if he was found guilty and charged then there would be a 'moral case' for going to get him. No one's gone to the security council about freeing the Iraqi people (could Chirac have argued there was 'no evidence' there?) - even if that's the best 'moral' reason, it's not a legal one.

And how will Blair know that history has judged him? If he's right, there won't be any terrorist WMD attacks on the UK - and if he's wrong - there won't be any terrorist WMD attacks on the UK. And if the Iraqis do welcome us as liberators, will we still be going on about what they owe us 50 years later?

re. your PKD piece - why do the Guardian always say London Bone was your most recent book??
Answer - Mr. Moorcock answered this question on 2003-03-18
I think people have corrupted a lot of Alan's ideas, agreed. He's right to be pissed. Guardian say my latest book is London Bone because it actually is the one most readily available in the UK, though I suppose I should have asked them to say 'Firing the Cathedral' (Skrayling hasn't been officially published there). I'll try to remember next time they ask. It's my fault. I'd forgotten!
All very best,
M

___________________________________________________________________________
The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is The Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.
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Old 11-19-2007, 06:15 AM
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Question - This question was asked by Darko Maver on 2003-06-13.
Hmmm..I've read about your annoyance with Grant Morrison over Jerry Cornelius. Which I must admit I've found curious and strangely disappointing. I mean, surely, 'A Cure for Cancer' and a lot of the JC stories in New Worlds kind pioneered and indeed encouraged the idea of common ownership of container concepts.

I've only just discovered The Invisibles (Entropy in the UK annual) and can see bits of Orwell lifted directly and bits of other things and the effect upon me is the same as when I read 'A Cure for Cancer', with its news clippings. Surely the mechanics are the same or are you saying he lifted an idea and then disguised it. I mean, I'd say Gideon Stargrave looks a bit JC but when I saw Purple Rain, I thought that Prince had lifted his whole persona from the Cornelius novels.


And anyway...copyright is dead. Accept it. If you can't accept it, then think of how difficult it is to accept it when you're a NEW writer or a NEW musician who's even less likely to make a living from their efforts.
Should that stop us? Nah. If it's worth doing, it's still worth doing.

My whole mind is a plagiarist's collage. Should I pay you for being Jerry?

Darko
*CONDEMNED TO LIVE*
Answer - Mr. Moorcock answered this question on 2003-06-13
Strangely disappointed you may be, but I'm talking about lifting (not from, the Quartet but from some of the others). Lifting and changing the name of the character isn't the same thing. And if you think copyright is dead, pard, just try lifting something whole from me... Or from T.S.Eliot, come to think of it. You don't sound like a new writer. You talk like a compiler.
All best,
M
___________________________________________________________________________
The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is The Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.
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Old 11-19-2007, 06:34 AM
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Question - This question was asked by Darko Maver on 2003-06-15.
Hi agin, Mike.
Oh well..I appreciate and respect your forthright response to my provocation. Naturally, as a creator of copyright (here we go again), I'm an enforcer of copyright even while I do believe it has died and is currently being enjoying its last rights (I know this will make you grrr but I'm not saying it to threaten you!). The only reason writers have remained relatively unaffected as yet is that there are few who will sit typing up a book they just bought in order to release it onto the web. You can imagine, however, the difficulty there wold be in enforcing copyright of books should this kind of thing occur and be organised on the basis of music and video copying.


But, you know, the whole thing has been a little bit hypocritical in any case. I mean, as Bill Drummond once pointed out (in The Manual by The Timelords, 1988), the copyrighting of tunes remains as 50% to the lyrics and 50% to the top-line melody (vocals if you will) while the rhythm remains eminently uncopyrightable and entirely liftable. Now where would we be if THE BEATS and THE RIFFS couldn't have been lifted, swapped, warped and developed.


The copyright laws exist for one effective purpose only, to make lawyers rich.


On the matter of compiling (I won't take 'you sound like a compiler' as an insult), we get to the area of PLAGIARISM which is much more interesting and ambiguous than any lawyer or educational provider would have it. My mind is currently composed of the riffs and collages of yourself, various other authors, The writers of Elvis Presley's tunes and for some reason, the works of Milliken & Nesbitt among other flotsam and jetsam. Now, it seems to me that that's OK. If I were to produce a work concerned composed from the data loaded in my head at present, I should be culpable of nothing but 'creativity'. If I should, however, suffer one of my infrequent bouts of paramnesia, whereby the data is cleared from my head to a great extent, and should try to resume my 'creative compilation' by reloading from the copyrighted texts, then I am a cwiminal, pwactically a dethpewado. Which, of course, is where my forthright ambivalence comes from.

'The sky looked black. More death they thought'

Darko
*CONDEMNED TO LIVE*

Answer - Mr. Moorcock answered this question on 2003-06-16
Influences are one thing, intellectual property is another. Would you, for instance, come along and take away the chairs a furniture maker had just made and say they were yours ? Or let someone design you a website and then, when it was up and running, refuse to pay them ? Not only is plagiarism like stealing babies, it's also like stealing what someone produces as their living. I have put a lot of work up free on the net and have been happy to do so, but that's my choice. I'd be very unhappy if someone made the choice for me, however. I'm not sure I know what you're talking about and I'm not sure you know what you're talking about. Much of this sounds like the kind of relativism which is anathema to me. Copyright does not exist to make lawyers money. It exists to protect my living. Before there were copyright laws it was possible for the authors of very popular books to die in penury. Equally, most song writers make a small enough living as it is, especially since publishers take a huge percentage (60% is common) of their income. Certainly record companies suffer the worst from current practises, and they are exploitive enough, but ultimately the creative artist suffers and often can't afford to or doesn't want to employ lawyers. I employ them as a last resort. But if you pinch something of mine there are cheaper and more effective ways of showing you that I'm unhappy with what you're doing... Happily, however, there are lots of ways in which creative property is protected on the net, as well as an ethic developing which isolates anyone who pinches the results of someone else's labour.
Peace and love,
M
___________________________________________________________________________
The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is The Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.
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Old 11-19-2007, 06:36 AM
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Question - This question was asked by Raymond Baal on 2003-06-16.
MM
Dear oh dear, I think it's this weekend's full moon (it was here in London, anyway).

Well, for anyone to whom it wasn't immediately obvious, I think Darko Maver's style of frenetic near-sense (as opposed to nonsense which I don't think he deals in, to be fair) does rather encircle the present-day debates and trespasses.

Me, I'm for ethics, not politics and, generally, I think, most people on the web or who like to be in the digital domain are too. Politically, the only question with copyright, plagiarism, is always what you can get away with. Ethically, it's a different story.

Now before it becomes all entrenched there y'all, let me just point out that no-one is innocent. Anyone who says they've never taped somebody else's LP or done a cassette compilation or pinched a paragraph or two for their homework has really got to be joking.

Darko has a point about the lawyers which you actually reinforce, Mike. The publishers were and/are the ones with the lawyers, not the authors and creatives getting ripped off.In the music industry, the very last thing an artist should worry about is the general public ripping em off. There are a million institutional rackets before you get near the domestic tape decks or CD-burners.

You authors have it relatively easy, I think, ever since the Irish promised to stop pirating everything that came into the country (Come in Jonathan Swift) because they had no copyright laws.

There does come a point where the ethics flip over. And that point is Africa and Asia, even India, where I've seen the pirate books. Copyright liberation at that point becomes ethical, a means of helping those who cannot afford to educate themselves.

I've seen books selling for pennies that would cost maybe ten pounds in the UK and I was glad that someone was doing it (god knows what their profit was in doing it) because the Indians I saw really would have no access to the world beyond their miserable realities otherwise.

As Jack Parsons put it, 'Freedom is a Two-Edged Sword'.

'Everywhere is War'

Ray

Cheers..
Ray

Answer - Mr. Moorcock answered this question on 2003-06-16
I must say I'd rather volunteer. I've let more than one publisher in a poor
country have work free and I've worked free on projects. There again, I'm not going to pursue a poor African country which happens to WANT to reprint me (usually they don't -- or can already get the books in English or French or whatever).

And, of course, the second hand book trade as well as the tendency for people to lend books and pass them on is pretty much the same as doing a private recording to pass on to anyone. I certainly don't mind that -- and I do still earn a certain percentage of my income from songs! You can't charge for every transaction and it would be unrealistic, let alone plain greedy, to try.

The piety expressed by record companies is ridiculous. They have already carved up the creative person's share so small that you're getting a tiny fraction of any royalty, so they're scarcely ones to get on their moral high horses.

It was the Russians who finally signed up to international copyright. That made a big difference to me. But when my books were just starting there I did all I could to plough my share back into the country. Only problem is, as with 3rd World Aid, it's frequently the thieves who get it and not the people who deserve it...
All best,
M
___________________________________________________________________________
The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is The Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.

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Old 11-19-2007, 06:53 AM
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Question - This question was asked by sandy on 2003-06-16.
Hi Mike

Interesting the subject of copyright is affected by notions that are created by the internet that everything can be got for free, it's the old "Free Lunch" notion, there's no such thing , but people will always think there is no matter how much you tell them , I've had recent experience of this in a way. One of the reasons I gave up on my business idea, of doing a geneaology website , I didn't put up my own but had the a company do it for me , well I did it for as long as the free trial lasted ( see I was doing too well I was skint.) is that , when I got some interested parties they led me along the garden path, and were generally time wasters looking for free info. one woman wanted the death certificate for her husbands father, I felt a bit a strange about because it was so recent , but I got the info for her few days later I think she was shocked how quickly should have guessed that when she said the mother in-law never spoke about him that it was a bit iffy , turns out she was doing without husbands knowledge as a present , well she changed her mind anyway funnily enough though only when money was mentioned . and the rest of the enquires were basically the same

If you've spent a long time thinking creating a world, researching all sorts of details and trying breath life into something just for someone to come along and pinch it ,must be one of the most annoying things possible like someone trying to steal your soul, some times it might be unintentional but even then it can still grate with people , I was talking to the singer Fish from Marrilion on the set of the film "Chasing the Deer" (low budget british ,straight video) and we were discussing our mutual appreciation of Peter Hammill from VDG well his biggest influence, he was all set start a collabation with him in the studio when Pete pulled the plug on the whole thing , because on certain parts he thought fishhes voice sounde too similar.

If for instance I was writing something and I find even unintentionally its running pretty close to storyline or characterisation of an author , and I become aware of it I would hope that I would acknoweledge it change or adapt it because one thing to be influenced , but its better if possible to be Original but that's always more difficult. And its appaling to steal ( Energy Vampires PH)

All best
sandy

Answer - Mr. Moorcock answered this question on 2003-06-17
Yeah, much of that genaology stuff is a racket. My first wife did some of that for me as a present some years ago and it costs a fortune. All they do is look through Somerset House records, which we could all do if we had time. Some of my ancestors, however were called Parrott (okay, okay) as mentioned in Gloriana, in fact. They worked as servants at Hever Castle. When I went to Hever I checked out the graveyard. Snotty woman asked me what I was after. I asked her if there were any Parrott's buried in the churchyard. You should have seen her face. If she'd had a sense of humour she'd have said 'No, and no bloody budgies, either.' I think of myself, as far as earning a living goes, as a craftsman who makes something and then sells it. It's not a perfect analogy, but it goes to the crux of it. Someone comes along and pinches the object I've just made then sells it to someone else (and let's not forget the likes of Morrison write for handsome profits) seems like simple theft to me. Coincidence is fine. Influence is fine. But straight pinching should still be dealt with, in my simple book, by the breaking of kneecaps or some other simple reaction.
All best,
M
___________________________________________________________________________
The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is The Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.
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Old 11-19-2007, 11:03 AM
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Question - This question was asked by lorinc on 2003-06-17.
Hi Mike,

I was reading the latest posts about copyrights and I thought I got a word or two about it.

To dig a little more what Chris and Darko said, I don't think illegal copies and copyright laws are the same things, even if they're close. Illegal copies are due to technological improvements, and we cannot fight against them. there was the same situation with the tape recorder, after that the video recorder and now the mp3, and soon, the books (for now it's not easy to read on the monitor, but with the tablet-PC/pocket-PC and other things like that...). I think it is an evolution of the world we're living in, and it would be a terrible illusion to believe it can be stopped. (even Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, said that if a computer can read it, it can copy it).

I would like to take an example. Think to the artists that are earning money from TV : the first time they present their work everybody is recording it (does anyone think it's illegal?), that's why most of the documentaries/series/TV-films are shown just one time ( and an other time 20 years after...). You would say, they don't care, they earn money from the advertising. But in France, there are public channels with very few advertising. The main way they get money is a special tax (welcome to Taxland!), which is called 'redevance-audiovisuelle', made to involve artists to do something new. It is very impopular, but I think it does help some people writing interesting stories, doing interesting documentaries. I am not proposing something, I'm just trying to say there's always a way to live from art (Andy Warhol made paintings from advertising, and some novelists are writing from video games).

Are there writers that earn money for saying ten time in their books that the main characters always drink Coca-Cola?( I've never seen that, but it may exist...) Anyway, I don't think illegal copies are the important in art, let's forget about it.

Copyrights are, to my mind, much more precious, since they protect one's ideas/creations. It is against people who wants to make big money with others' ideas. It was the case for many french (again!!) old films that were redone in the US (and also for writers which books were adapted as movies, and composers with advertising). Copyrights are just made to know who made what, because this is where the injustice lies. I think, when you create something, you only want people to love it, and it would be a poor reward if people praise someone for something you did. People who don't think (write/paint/sing...) to make something true from themselves are not artists, in my sense...

Anyway, I wrote this to know if people continue to think that art and money made with it are two different things so far...

Again, thanks for all

Amicalement,
Lorinc


Answer - Mr. Moorcock answered this question on 2003-06-17
I'm not sure illegal copies are a problem at the moment, anyway. Frequently if something's available in one form (say radio, movie or TV) it stimulates interest. There will be, for quite a while, people who prefer to browse and buy in bookstores. I am still a last resort Amazon user, using their data base more than the store itself. I've already made my point about people who take your work and resell it, which is also a very different thing to it appearing in some sort of samizdhat form, as it were, elsewhere. My argument isn't with amateur enthusiasts but with professional thieves... As a kid I typed out stories which were not generally available and passed those typed copies on to others. I see nothing wrong with that. In fact it tends to stimulate publication, which eventually makes money for the author. All best,
M



___________________________________________________________________________
The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is The Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.

Last edited by The Cosmic Balance; 11-19-2007 at 11:15 AM.
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Old 11-19-2007, 11:15 AM
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Question - This question was asked by Roger Neville-Neil on 2003-06-17.
Copyright problems, I just let my boys handle that, gumshoe.
A dark alley, and a set of knuckles works wonders.
Odd, i got asked to supply lyrics to an upcoming album after
I managed to provide details concerning unpaid royalties.
The band realized maybe they wanted me on the next album
to keep the honest people honest.
but when it comes down to it... Pinching is theft
and I am more then willing to hunt the bastards down.
I better go terrorize a few more folks.
here's lookin' at yeah, kid.
--Action Man
Answer - Mr. Moorcock answered this question on 2003-06-17
Rock and roll homicide.
I might have to turn up at your office soon, gumshoe.
Remember how we settled the Case of the Faked Malteser.
Messy, but effective.
Best,
M
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The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is The Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.
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Old 11-19-2007, 11:47 AM
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Question - This question was asked by Bill on 2003-06-18.
I'd like to add my two cents on the copyright issue.

First, books, music, movies, etc. all should be treated individually. Sure, technology will be an equalizer to an extent; once bandwidth increases enough and compression technologies improve, movies will likely be downloaded like mp3 files. But ebooks failed for the very reason Mike stated: you can't recreate the feel and smell of a book on a computer. And I think the odds of bringing a tablet/laptop to the beach are very low. Even with "home theater" systems movie sales are doing well, and concert tours are also setting records. There is an aesthetic that I think the industries in question are unwilling or at least reluctant to factor in.

Second, I think the music industry in particular was in need of a wake-up call that it is still not getting. Several popular, well-respected surveys have indicated that people are not against paying for music, even on-line (Apple has shown this) but are tired of paying $17.99 for 35 minutes of music (the recent Linkin Park album). It isn't the same as buying Pepsi instead of Coke if the terms aren't right; music is in everything but legal definition a monopoly. For me, I would never download the new release from a band like, say, Genesis. But since I collect "rare" music (b-sides and whatnot) I would download unavailable B-sides or limited release EPs IF the record companies won't make them widely available. I did that with Genesis, and once the band released those in a box set, I deleted the files and bought the box set. Legitimately. It is like anything else; if the present alternative is not the best option for the marketplace, another alternative will be foind. And the music industry needs to accept that. These alternatives exist with boooks; if you don't want to buy a hardcover, you can buy a paperback for almost nothing. No such alternative existed for music until the recent "revolution". But even with that revolution, certain sectors are doing well. Why would Metallica sell almost 500,000 copies of their newest recird in a shortened sale week if pirating was such a problem? Becuase the album was widely available for $9.99, with a bonus DVD, and people saw that as value for money GREATER than just the music, no artwork, no quality, and for free.

Third, the "illegal" copies are, in most of the examples put forth here, in fact legal. It is legal to tape an episode of your favorite show, or make a cassette copy of your favorite album. You just can't sell them or broadcast them. Arguably (although I wouldn't like to argue this) you could even make the copy and give to your friends as long as theyu don't pay you for them. (which is, essentially, what Napster did).

Fourth, copyright law is a integral part of any capitalist society; the laws don't have to be foolproof, but they do have to afford some protection to potential sellers that the money and effort to market in a given area will ellicit some legitimate return. China and Russia are good examples of this. I think the uproar is actually captialism at work. Nothing is "free"; most people are clueless of this. But they still persist. It is called the "tragedy of the commons"; basically this means that if people can't readily identify the costs, people will take actions that help themselves even to the detriment of the society as a whole. This is where the legal structure of a society brings its greatest value; it establishes a cost at a personal level where there was none (or none that was readily identified). The music industry should have a cost established via the marketplace. Somewhere, the line was blurred to the point where the consumer looked for an alternative. $17.99 plus tax for 35 (or even 75) minutes of music and a booklet is being rejected in favor of free for unlimited minutes and no booklet, reduced quality and a lot of hassle. I think if the music industry rethought their economic model, they could come up with a number greater than "free" for the music, artwork, quality and ease that would work.

Fifth, of course, none of this has anything to do with plagiarism (also protected by copyright) which is, I think, a more heinous crime. Maybe becuase I have put so much faith in my ideas to make my life (and the lives of my family) comfortable, I cherish ideas more than product, even if the product is derived from ideas.

For what it is worth, Mike, and from what I have read here, I agree with your views on this issue and where you seem to be drawing the lines of distinction.


Answer - Mr. Moorcock answered this question on 2003-06-18
Absolutely agree on every point and can't in fact add much to that except to repeat that the exposure of a creative work to the greatest number of people, whether it comes free (as on radio or TV -- the example of books and stories read on radio is surely a good example) or not tends to stimulate interest in what you might call the source product -- i.e. the book, the recorde, the movie. And it's a one-off sale. I can't (and wouldn't) stop people borrowing my books from the library (though I appreciate the British and German systems where authors get paid per loan from public library borrowings) or passing them on to friends, selling them to second hand dealers or second hand dealers selling them to new customers. Once the original book has been sold, as with paintings, for instance, you can't keep charging people over and over again for it. We all know that newspapers count their circulations not in terms of copies sold but in terms of copies read. I can't see why the NY Times or The Guardian (two instances of many) put their issues on the net when newspaper sales are said to be in decline if that seriously affected the sale of something you can rustle on the train and use to put under the kitty litter box or, in the UK, wrap your fish and chips in. Some people insist that the faint flavour of newsprint is what distinguishes 'real' fish and chips from the inauthentic variety... We are all learning at the moment.

As with modern politics, it is pointless to try to apply old criteria. We have a lot of fast (but relatively easy) learning to do.
Thanks for your thoughts, Bill. Very welcome.
All best,
Mike

___________________________________________________________________________
The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is The Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.

Last edited by The Cosmic Balance; 11-19-2007 at 11:54 AM.
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  #13  
Old 11-19-2007, 11:51 AM
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Question - This question was asked by Bill on 2003-06-18.
Mike, thanks for the kind words. So I don't seem like TOO much of a know-it-all, the one thing I can't answer is why the music industry is reacting like it is? Greed? Desperation? With a couple exceptions (Metallica, Gene Simmons of Kiss) musicians are oddly silent on this issue. With your contacts in the industry, do you have any insight?

P.S. I am going to see a concert in CT for which Motorhead is the opening act. Any thoughts on how a 36 year-old not-that-attractive-compared-to-your-average-female-groupie straight male would get backstage to meet the legend, Lemmy? Would I want to? Haha.
Answer - Mr. Moorcock answered this question on 2003-06-18
You could try telling him you're a friend of mine. He's a friendly cove as a rule. We can all have our off nights, of course, but by and large he's one of the nicest people I know in rock and roll. Very funny, too. And smart.
I think a lot of people aren't sure where they stand on this. Musicians vaguely think they're losing out but the ones I know are pretty clear who is mostly ripping them off and that's the music industry. I think the music industry is blaming its own failings on the new phenomenon. That is, they can't sell enough records because they're not putting enough good records out there and are too cautious to back the interesting bands and performers. Just a guess!
All best,
M


___________________________________________________________________________
The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is The Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.

Last edited by The Cosmic Balance; 11-19-2007 at 12:16 PM.
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Old 11-19-2007, 12:16 PM
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Question - This question was asked by Chris on 2003-06-18.
Yep I agree - Lemmy is a great guy... Be careful though, he once tried to strangle me with my Hawkwind scarf for a photo pose backstage at the Bristol Hippodrome on the Overkill tour - nearly was overkill for me! I think I might still have the photo somewhere back home. I also took another pic a few minutes later when he pounced on top and between the legs of Phil Taylor who was lying on the settee - but I didnt want to raise the subject of pornography again at this juncture!

Re: Copyright infringment... apparently some fellow Welshmen have been known to eat the offenders liver with fava beans and a fine Chianti... of course Stormbringer can take his fill first though.

All best
Chris
Answer - Mr. Moorcock answered this question on 2003-06-18
I thought there were some decent Welsh wines now which went well with human liver ?
As ever,
M
___________________________________________________________________________
The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is The Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.
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Old 11-19-2007, 12:30 PM
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Question - This question was asked by Richard Eldritch on 2003-06-19.
Hi Michael
After reading the debate on copyright issues I found this posted on the bbc site http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertain...ic/2999780.stm
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Senator Hatch said destroyed computers would show the government was serious

A US senator wants to develop new technology which would remotely destroy the computers of people who illegally download music tracks.

Senator Orrin Hatch, a Republican representing Utah, asked technology chiefs at a hearing in Washington about whether they could develop ways to damage or destroy the computers.

Legal experts have said any attack on people's computers would contravene the US's anti-hacking laws.

Mr Hatch said damaging computers "may be the only way you can teach someone about copyright".

"No-one is interested in destroying anyone's computer," said Randy Saaf from MediaDefender, a company which develops ways to disrupt illegal music downloads.

Serious clampdown

"If we can find some way to do this without destroying their machines, we'd be interested in hearing about that," Mr Hatch said.

"If that's the only way, then I'm all for destroying their machines."

He said if a few hundred thousand people suffered damage to their computers, the online community would realise the clampdown was serious.

He advocated sending two warnings to computer users about illegal downloads. On the third transgression, their computer would be destroyed or damaged.

"There's no excuse for anyone violating copyright laws," Mr Hatch added.

Mr Hatch is a composer himself, having earned some $18,000 (£11,125) from his music in the last year.

'Draconian measures'

Senator Patrick Leahy, the committee's senior Democrat member, later said he thought Mr Hatch's plan was too drastic.

"The rights of copyright holders need to be protected, but some draconian remedies that have been suggested would create more problems than they would solve," Mr Leahy said.

"We need to work together to find the right answers, and this is not one of them."

A spokesman for the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) said Mr Hatch was making a point that if networks did not clamp down on copyright infringement "Congress may be forced to consider stronger measures".

Last year, Democratic senator Howard Berman drew up a bill that would allow artists to carry out "hack-attacks" on the computers of people who had downloaded tracks illegitimately.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

What is it with the Americans govenment? Their solution to all their problems seem to be destruction. Copyright Laws Infringed ? lets frag their computers!

Do you remember The Hammersmith Road Rats?They where a bike gang from my manor in the 70's 80's Its just that I went to one of their weddings the other year. Just wondered.
All the best mate
Hussar!
Richard Eldritch
Ps John Goodger are you still out there mate? Hows the bus driver training going?

Answer - Mr. Moorcock answered this question on 2003-06-19
I think he's the one who looks a bit like Himmler, isn't he. America never really did get over her love affair with fascism. Makes you wonder what would have happened if the French hadn't saved them in 1781 or Hitler hadn't declared war in 1941. Otherwise, as I've said before, their chief solution to spilled oil, for instance, is to hit the patch with a hammer to stop it spreading...

Hatch is, to be fair, a notorious crypto-fascist of long standing. His ideas aren't likely to find much favour with the majority. Only the minority at the White HOuse, maybe...


I was wondering about John and his bus-driving, too. You don't think he crashed a big one, do you ? Or took a bus-load of passengers on the Diversions of Purley ?


Knew some local angels casually (Goat, for instance) and they used to come to our gigs a lot. Bit boring conversation, mostly about bikes and road routes.
Best,
M

___________________________________________________________________________
The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is The Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.
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Old 11-19-2007, 12:38 PM
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Question - This question was asked by Jules on 2003-06-19.
The people I know in the music industry - and I know at least one who is high in the management of one of the big Four - seem to all use the free download services and be critical of their own companies offerings, but these are the proverbial supertankers - they take 5 years to turn around.
The thing that's always really annoyed me is that retailers charge the same price regardless of wholesale price, so that friends who ran an independent selling albums at 30% of price of majors, would find their records charged at same price in the stores. EMI choose to concentrate on a smaller roster of big name acts, no wonder their sales are in decline - seem convinced at some point I will buy Robbie Williams if denied any other choice. I've always admired the Japanese approach - if it sells 2000 copies and makes a profit, it's money so stick it out - had quite a lot of friends with deals with majors in Japan on indies in the UK.
Is that a question? No. Blame the Black Sheep - Masham's best export . .
Answer - Mr. Moorcock answered this question on 2003-06-19
I'll drink to that. But Sony's a Japanese company, isn't it ?
M
___________________________________________________________________________
The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is The Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.
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Old 11-20-2007, 08:31 AM
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Question - This question was asked by greg on 10/1/2003.
hullo mike, been a while.

anyway, just wanted to add that I wrote a letter quite a while ago to grant morrison's website making mention that I wanted to get a response from him about his character's ripoff of Jerry Cornelius. Needless to say he hasn't answered yet. limp dick.

In other news, currently re-reading the first Elric book. It's quite a whopper of a tale, and well told to boot! Funny that White Wolf seems to want to sue the makers of the movie Underground, but don't seem to want to pay their royalties to you. Ironies abound.

All the best to you my friend, wherever ye may be at this moment. I've relocated to South Jersey. What a welcome break from the economic meltdown of NYC. And I get to see rabbits running across the yard in the morning, something you don't see every day in Brooklyn. Well, ya do, but the rabbits are wearing motorcycles and driving Harley Davidsons. Different breed.

:)
Answer - Mr. Moorcock answered this question on 10/13/2003
The thief Morrison is generally a little circumspect in recognising those he rips off, but I guess that's the way you get a cheap and easy reputation, relying on the fact that your readers haven't read your originals.

But don't be too hard on White Wolf. They have had their financial difficulties in the past, including publishing a raft of books which didn't do very well, including those on whose behalf they are now sueing Underground. My own thoughts echo those of Terry Pratchett who argues that fiction, like other arts, is a huge pot from which you take a little and add a little. It's those who don't add a little to whom I object.
So that's where all the rabbits have gone. No wonder the foxes have to hang out around five star restaurants, these days.
All best, pard,
M

___________________________________________________________________________
The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is The Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.
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Old 12-18-2007, 11:22 AM
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Without wishing to re-stir up a hornet's nest that has been allowed to lie dormant for some time, I just wanted to mention that I've added scans of a few pages from The Invisibles comic to the Image Hive album on Grant Morrison so that readers who don't own the relevant comics can see the subject of Mike's ire for themselves. I've also included an editorial from Morrison where he explains the origins of the Gideon Stargrave character.
___________________________________________________________________________
_"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
_For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
_And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
_He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."
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