Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Disney Trades Person for Intellectual Property

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the i-know-some-people-i'd-like-to-trade dept.

Media 152

Dotnaught writes "Walt Disney Company's ABC has traded sportscaster Al Michaels to General Electric Co.'s NBC for cartoon character Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. NBC acquired the rights to the cartoon through its purchase of Universal Studios, which itself gained ownership of the animated rabbit through a contract that Walt Disney signed early in his career. Having to sign Oswald away supposedly prompted Disney to create Mickey Mouse, a character he'd own outright. The company that bears Disney's name fought tooth and nail to retain ownership of Mickey Mouse when the cartoon character's copyright was about to expire."

cancel ×

152 comments

That's a LUCKY rabbit (2, Interesting)

mfh (56) | more than 8 years ago | (#14693949)

That should read: Disney Trades Person for Lucky Rabbit

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit looks very similar to Mickey (I haven't seen any of the films with him yet), but this is certainly a win for the whole gang at Disney -- one for Walt. Something they can all be proud of.

Who stole who's IP? (5, Interesting)

EccentricAnomaly (451326) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694282)

Something they can all be proud of

I don't know about that... I was reading the site linked in the article and found this blurb... and other googling revealed many accounts that Ub Iwerks was the real creator of Oswald and Mickey... not Walt. (http://www.vitaphone.org/flip.html [vitaphone.org] )

MGM's first sound cartoon character was Flip The Frog. Flip The Frog was created by Ub Iwerks. Ub Iwerks was the CREATOR of Mickey Mouse and had drawned the early Mickey Mouse and Silly Symphony cartoons. (Walt Disney didn't know how to draw and never learned. Take a look at some of the Laugh O Grams that he drew and you'll see how poor his drawing skills were. You can look at the Mickey Mouse poster on the bottom of this page and see what it says: A Walt Disney Comic...Drawn by Ub Iwerks. ) Disney propaganda would have you believe otherwise but the case can be settled by looking at the newspapers, advertisements and magazines of the era. Below you can see a clipping from a 1930 German newspaper hailing the new creation of Ub Iwerks, the creator of Mickey Mouse. Ub Iwerks had actually drawn a frog and his girlfriend in the Silly Symphony cartoons. In one of the last SIlly Symphonies that Ub Iwerks drew the foucs of the film were these two frogs. This cartoon is called Summer. Ub Iwerks with the help of Pat Powers started this new cartoon series after leaving Disney. The first cartoon that Ub Iwerks made for the series was also the first COLOR sound cartoon that was ever made. (Even though Disney would have you believe other wise. Incidentally the first sound cartoon was not the Mickey Mouse cartoon called "Steamboat Willie" but an Aesop's Fable which Disney had seen and copied in 1928 called "DINNER TIME". The first Flip The Frog cartoon had a mouse playing a violin and you can see above. When reading books on so-called animation history some SOB Disney propagandists even refer to the mouse in FIDDLESTICKS as a copy of Walt's Disney Mickey Mouse! Will Disney ever stop taking credit from other people who deserve it?

Re:Who stole who's IP? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14694660)

Of course Ub Iwerks was the "creator" of Mickey. Walt came up with the ideas and rough sketches, and Iwerks did the animation.

In fact, Ub Iwerks did most of the animation for all the early Disney cartoons. The opening credits stated something along the lines of: "Walt Disney presents an Ub Iwerks animation..." with "Walt Disney" in small lettering and "Ub Iwerks" in large lettering. When Iwerks left, they hired several people to replace him, it was too much work for any other single person.

Re:Who stole who's IP? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14694778)

Exactly. Walt Disney came up with the idea of Mickey Mouse and Ub Iwerks did the animation. Disney can be credited for creating the concept of Mickey, and Iwerks for actually drawing him.

You can see here [wikipedia.org] that Iwerks got prominent billing on the cartoons he animated. Disney didn't take credit for Iwerk's work at all. Walt Disney created Mickey and the plots for the cartoons (hence they are called "Walt Disney comics"), and Iwerks animated them (so they are "by Ub Iwerks").

Anybody who says that Disney stole credit for Mickey from Iwerks is very confused.

Re:Who stole who's IP? (1)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 8 years ago | (#14695104)

Chester Lampwick invented Mickey in 1919. Beat them all by years.

No, wait... that was Itchy. Never mind.

holy shit! (2, Insightful)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694747)

Is there any person, event, or technology on this planet that doesn't have a conspiracy theory associated with him/her/it?

Re:holy shit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14694912)

uhh... Linus Torvalds and Linux? No conspiracy there.

(Linux IS a slashdot cliche, isn't it?)

Re:Who stole who's IP? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14695156)

Exec: Ok, all in favor of naming our newest character Bugs Bunny?
(all hands but one raise)
Exec: All in favor of Efrom the Retarded Rabbit?

Disgusting (4, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 8 years ago | (#14693955)

(AP) At the NYSE, soul trading closed down five and a quarter points Friday afternoon. The worth of an average human soul has plummeted recently to a value not seen since the great depression. Disney has been pioneering the movement of trading souls regularly for concepts, legal action or maybe just a few dollars more.

Michael Eisner wasn't competent enough to comment.

Yep your right... (1)

technoextreme (885694) | more than 8 years ago | (#14693969)

For a second I was going to point you in Oracle's direction. Then I actually read the freaking article. Nothing like trading someone for four rounds of golf,olympic highlights, and a stupid bunny.

Re:Yep your right... (1)

RevMike (632002) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694221)

Except for the fact that it is a misleading headline....

How is this a "trade"? Al Michaels signed a contract. Disney adhered to their obligations under that contract. Al Michaels requested that he be released from his obligations. Disney requested compensation for that release and NBC paid compensation.

It would be a trade if Disney sold Al Michaels contract to NBC, and Al Michaels had no recourse except to refuse to work.

Disgusting? (2, Informative)

jcorno (889560) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694027)

He asked to be traded. They didn't walk into his office and say, "We traded you for a cartoon character, pack your shit and start walking." He wanted to work for NBC, NBC wanted him, and this was ABC's price for letting him go.

Re:Disgusting? (4, Insightful)

sdo1 (213835) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694067)

Exactly! He was under contract with ABC. NBC wanted him and he wanted to go to NBC (and I'm OK with that... I think he and Madden make a pretty decent football announcing team). ABC wanted compensation for releasing him from his contract. ABC (ESPN) asked for a few things and they got them.

I completely fail to see why this is in any way disgusting, morally corrupt, or out of the realm of normal and moral business dealings at all.

I agree that one might argue that the perpetual copyright extensions are a bad thing for the public at large, but that's really not part of this story at all.

-S

Rating Football Announcers (1)

lseltzer (311306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694134)

I think he and Madden make a pretty decent football announcing team

Ehh, they're OK, but Buck and Aikman are the best now. Everyone's trying to catch up to Fox these days on football. And the ESPN teams really are awful.

If Michaels is worth Oswald then I'd think that Buck is worth at least an Elmer Fudd, and Aikman is Daffy Duck-class, maybe even Roger Rabbit.

Re:Rating Football Announcers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14695074)

Are you sure you're not astroturfing? Fox's sports coverage is pathetic.

Re:Disgusting? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14694765)

perpetual copyright extensions are a bad thing for the public at large, but that's really not part of this story at all.

Yes, it is, as the part of the story that brought this to our attentions would not exist without perpetual copyright extensions. And they really are a bad thing as they violate the Constitutional requirement that copyright "promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries." Progress in arts and sciences is not promoted by extending the previously limited-time exclusive right to a writing that has already been written. It gets even worse when works that had already had their limited time government-granted monopoly expire then get it back by virtue of the unconstitutional law. In neither case is progress in arts or sciences made (the works were already made). In point of fact, regress is what is accomplished, as no one else is allowed to use the work in the way public domain works can be (*cough* cinderella *cough* snow white *cough* beauty and the beast*).

What was the ruling on the Mickey Mouse Scheme before the grand court btw? 5-4? 6-3? 7-2? 8-1? Who were the judges who voted to unphold the Constitution?

Re:Disgusting? (1)

Anti_zeitgeist (583666) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694467)

"We traded you for a cartoon character, pack your shit and start walking."

That line alone was enough for me to laugh.....its not everyday you hear that.

Re:Disgusting? (1)

Stephen Samuel (106962) | more than 8 years ago | (#14695121)

He asked to be traded.

Yeah, but you can imagine the ego deflation when he got the call into the office...

"We've come to an agreement with NBC. You're being traded for a rabbit."

Blowing this a little out of proportion? (3, Informative)

artemis67 (93453) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694155)

There's a dollar value on Al Michaels contract and there's a dollar value on the copyrights to the Oswald character. Instead of exchanging dollars, they exchanged items of equivalent value. It's called "bartering" and it predates any known currency system.

What's the big deal?

Besides, it's obvious why Disney did this... as a Walt Disney creation and a forerunner to Mickey Mouse, this is an important and historic part of the Disney legacy, and it's fitting that Disney should seek to acquire the copyright.

trade ya (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14693956)

I'll trade you my little brother for the rights to that piece of code you've got there.

What's the big deal? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14693965)

Sounds like a fair trade to me.

Oh man... (5, Funny)

qw0ntum (831414) | more than 8 years ago | (#14693967)

I wonder what it feels like to know that you are worth a cartoon character?

From the mysterious future: Al Michaels commits suicide; friends cite work-related depression.

It's actually (1)

technoextreme (885694) | more than 8 years ago | (#14693973)

I wonder what it feels like to know that you are worth a cartoon character?
You actually mean: I wonder how it feels like to know that you are worth a cartoon character, four rounds of golf, and olympic highlights?

Re:It's actually (1)

TallMatthew (919136) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694002)

Almost makes you think they did it just to piss Michaels off, hmm? They could have just as easily asked them for nothing.

ESPN (parent company -- Disney, to the chagrin of all sports fan with a soul) paid $8.8 billion for the rights to broadcast football games on Monday night for the next eight years. Al Michaels, one of the preeminent broadcasters in sports, agreed to announce the games, then decided he didn't want to.

That devalued Disney's investment significantly. My guess is this is Eisner's way of telling Michaels what he really thinks of his talents.

Re:It's actually (4, Informative)

sdo1 (213835) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694110)

Does anyone even READ these stories? He and John Madden have been a broadcast team for a while. They apparently like working together and they like the product they bring to the table Madden's contract expired and he signed a new contract with a competing broadcaster (Sunday Night Football moves from ESPN to NBC next year and Monday Night Football goes from ABC to ESPN). Madden signed to do Sunday Night Football for NBC. Michels asked to be released from his ABC/ESPN contract to go to NBC to continue broadcasting with Madden. Michels is a good football announcer. A valuable property to ABC/ESPN (what's why they have him under contract... that's the whole POINT of signing contracts). Michels wanted out. ABC negotiates with NBC to have him released from his ABC contract. ABC gets stuff (including the rights to the cartoon), NBC gets Michels.

And? No pissing off. Nothing strange going on. Just a change in situation and a mis-alignment of contract dates between two people who apparently consider themselves a broadcast "team".

-S

Re:It's actually (1)

qw0ntum (831414) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694502)

Does anyone even APPRECIATE humor anymore?

Sheesh.

Re:It's actually (1)

TallMatthew (919136) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694583)

Does anyone even READ these stories?

Don't have to. Listen to WFAN four hours a day.

The difference between Al Michaels and Mike Tirico in terms of viewer recognition, which leads to ratings and advertiser confidence, which leads to money, is significant. Al Michaels is a fixture. Mike Tirico is a nobody. ESPN was banking on Michaels to give their broadcast national credibility as this is the first year MNF is being broadcasted on their network after 30+ years on ABC.

Al led ESPN to believe he would do the job, even after John Madden left. When people like Al Michaels change their mind, it's a big deal. This is big money. He can't just go work at NBC and have ESPN say "Ok, go ahead, have fun, we understand." Part of the reason they paid so much money for this contract was with the understanding that he'd stay. Believe me, they're pissed.

Re:It's actually (2, Informative)

CaymanIslandCarpedie (868408) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694125)

Well, first think is Eisner is out at Disney. Robert Iger is now the CEO (for about the last year I think).

I don't really understand the problem here. A bit strange thats for sure, but I'm not seeing anything to get worked up about. Michaels was under contract with ABC/ESPN/Disney but decided he wanted to go to work with his friends who moved to NBC. NBC wanted him. "They could have just as easily asked them for nothing". Sure I guess they could, but why would they? I guess if Kobe Bryant decided he wanted to play in New York, the Lakers COULD just let him go for nothing but why on Earth would they? You are giving up something of value, so you come to an aggrement on what you feel would be of equal value. Now they could have just been hard-asses and told Michaels to screw off he's staying put. However, I thought they were really cool about this and came to a very friendly settlement. Disney has been trying to get back the rights to Oswald for some time, its actually a pretty major piece fo the Disney lagecy which Iger has said he wants to bring back. So you can argue it has little monetary value, but it clearly does have value to Disney. Like Luke's light saber would have value to Lucus. One of the first things they created and started them on the road to thier empires. Olypmic highlights and rights to televise some golf must have some value (I have NO idea how much), but generally Disney (of whom I not normally a huge fan) gave Michaels and NBC what they wanted in what seems a very friendly exchange where both sides got what they wanted.

Why is that so bad?

Re:Oh man... (1)

Ragnarrokk (906696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694081)

I wonder what it feels like for most us, knowing we'd be valued far less than said cartoon character...

``Ragnarok

Re:Oh man... (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694093)

It could be worse. They could have Oswald doing the Monday Night Football play-by-play.

Re:Oh man... (1)

sdnoob (917382) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694144)

It could be worse. They could have Oswald doing the Monday Night Football play-by-play.

dennis miller?

Re:Oh man... (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694824)

Tell you what, since Oswald can't do Color (being kind of black and white), Dennis Miller could do that.

Re:Oh man... (1)

SierraPete (834755) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694452)

Reportedly he chuckled about it and said that someday he'd be the answer to a trivia question. Shows a degree of humility on his part--he's all ready the answer to a number of trivia questions to include who was calling the game when the mighty USSR Hockey team got beat by a bunch of amateur Americans.

Almost a copy (5, Interesting)

broothal (186066) | more than 8 years ago | (#14693968)

Notice the striking resemblance between Early Mickey Mouse [google.dk] and Oswald the lucky Rabbit [google.dk]

Re:Almost a copy (5, Informative)

fufubag (935599) | more than 8 years ago | (#14693976)

That is because Walt lost the rights to Oswald and had to come up with a new character. So Mickey is kind of like Oswald 2.0

Re:Almost a copy (3, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 8 years ago | (#14693996)

Ironically, shouldn't that have been copyright infringement on Disney's part?

If somebody came up with something so similiar to Mickey Mouse for the same audience (not parody), I'm sure Disney would send out the big guns to deal with it.

Re:Almost a copy (2, Funny)

fufubag (935599) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694026)

There must have not been enough lawyers back then.

Re:Almost a copy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14694198)

Really? More likely they settled the issue back in the dark ages.

Re:Almost a copy (1)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694105)

You're starting to think like "them".

Disney's character was an improvement over Oswald's character. That is precisely the behaviour we'd like to encourage if we would want developments to happen. Mozart and Bach anyone?

The biggest problem with IP as of today is that it doesn't support group development. It was all fine and dandy to patent and copyright stuff in the 18th century where you could invent something just based on your own effort, but today it is very rarely possible any more. Humans need to work in groups (~scientific community) to be able to progress human knowledge and copyright and patents discourage that.

I agree with your second sentence though, but it is only the corporate greedy reaction to the current atmosphere IP laws create.

It's not plagarism, it's fair use (1)

NigelJohnstone (242811) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694119)

Totally different from

http://forums.wdwmagic.com/archive/index.php?t-101 52.html [wdwmagic.com]

Disney Sues Over Teddy Bears

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) -- The Walt Disney Co. has sued a Swedish importer for copyright infringement and requested the destruction of 25,000 teddy bears it says are illegal replicas of Winnie the Pooh. The stuffed bears, which were made in China, were intercepted by Swedish customs in April and wear the "hunny" loving bear's trademark red shirt, according to a lawsuit filed with the district court in Malmoe, 340 miles southwest of the Swedish capital, Stockholm. They also have the same eyes, ears and nose and project "the same attitude and facial expression as Winnie the Pooh," the lawsuit said. Disney sued the importer, Malmoe-based Harle-quin Trade, to prevent the bears from being sold in Sweden, but the issue could be solved outside of court if the importer agreed to destroy the bears, attorney Ann-Charlotte Soederlund said. "Destroying teddy bears might seem a bit silly. But what if it's a pirate copy and it's dangerous and some child dies? Then Disney will be blamed," she said. Harlequin Trade president Hans Brefelt declined to comment on the lawsuit, but said his company had a "mutual understanding" with Disney. According to the lawsuit, Harlequin Trade reached a set-tlement with Disney earlier this year after trying to import alleged replicas of two other characters in the be-loved children's' stories created by British author A. A. Milne in the 1920s -- Piglet and Eeyore.

Re:It's not plagarism, it's fair use (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694919)

No photo of the teddy bear in question though. :( Why do articles like this invariably omit photos?

Re:Almost a copy (1)

Deadstick (535032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694267)

Much like another celebrated cartoon pair. Milton Caniff was working for the NY Daily News when he created Terry and the Pirates. It was wildly successful in syndication; the paper netted millions and Caniff got a ten percent raise.

Caniff went to the editor and said he thought he was entitled to a piece of the action. The editor pointed out that he was only an employee, the paper owned the copyright, and he could have a nicer desk if he liked. Caniff said OK, best of luck with your comic strip, walked out and reincarnated Terry as Steve Canyon...Terry quickly went tits-up.

rj

Re:Almost a copy (1)

Richard W.M. Jones (591125) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694307)

Much like another celebrated cartoon pair. Milton Caniff was working for the NY Daily News when he created Terry and the Pirates. It was wildly successful in syndication; the paper netted millions and Caniff got a ten percent raise.

Caniff went to the editor and said he thought he was entitled to a piece of the action. The editor pointed out that he was only an employee,

I'm no fan of copyright, but the editor has a point here. As an employee, Caniff gets a steady salary and benefits, whether or not he comes up with the next million-selling cartoon. In fact, almost everyone over their whole lives won't come up with a great invention / work of art / whatever, so the employee trade-off works well for almost everyone in the world.

If Caniff had wanted to keep his creation, he should instead have started out for himself, and suffered years of uncertainty and poverty until he came up with his great character. Which he might never have done. But at least he could have kept the full rewards.

Rich.

Re:Almost a copy (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694489)

If Caniff had wanted to keep his creation, he should instead have started out for himself, and suffered years of uncertainty and poverty until he came up with his great character. Which he might never have done. But at least he could have kept the full rewards.

Milton Caniff was born in 1907. Terry and the Pirates first appeared in 1934, after a four year "apprenticeship" in the profession. Caniff brought cinematic story-telling and sophisticated artistic technique to the comic strip, his most famous creation, the enigmatic asian adventuress, the Dragon Lady.

Re:Almost a copy (1)

Deadstick (535032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694886)

Point is, he did keep the full rewards, by starting over for himself. The newspaper assigned another employee to draw Terry and the Pirates, and quickly found out that it was Caniff's own creativity, and not just one static piece of IP, that powered the strip. Steve Canyon was Terry in everything but name (even the Dragon Lady was reincarnated as Copper Calhoon), and Caniff drew it for over forty years after Terry fizzled out.

Caniff loved to make fun of liberals, and that knocked Steve Canyon out of quite a few newspapers in the Vietnam years, but he died a wealthy man. As I said, very much a mirror of the Mickey/Oswald story.

rj

Re:Almost a copy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14695013)

well, you're not right either. Caniff had been getting a steady salary (and were there "benefits" back then?) but he had no guarantee of future employment, nor could they hold him in the future. So, it worked out just the way it should have.

Steve Jobs needs a rabbit for his Apple (4, Funny)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 8 years ago | (#14693977)

The rabbit will live in the iPod. Oswald will read his Powerbook, to gain Intel. His ferocity will grow into a dual core personality. Although we're not sure what comes NeXT, we're sure that there's no need for pesky sports announcers, after all. They just bitch and complain.

New Meaning to Corporate Slavery (-1, Troll)

db32 (862117) | more than 8 years ago | (#14693980)

Kinda reminds you of slavery doesn't it? People being trade for arbitrary ammounts of money or things of value? Said people going to work. Now I'm sure mr man here won't be allowed to quit anytime in the near future since there must be a 'contract' in place to keep him from leaving and them losing their 'money' in the trade.

Re:New Meaning to Corporate Slavery (0)

maximthemagnificent (847709) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694000)

I'm sure he's kept chained with golden handcuffs. I wouldn't mind such a deal.

Re:New Meaning to Corporate Slavery (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694034)

Um, we are talking about a SPORTS announcer here. Baseball teams trade players for cash all the time, and yet I fail to see how baseball players are "enslaved" by any means of the word...
And if that is what slavery is paying nowadays, sign me up!

Re:New Meaning to Corporate Slavery (1)

db32 (862117) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694059)

So? There were black entertainers kept and traded the same way, not just field labor. I have never been terribly fond of the way professional sports operate either. Look at all of the performance drug scandals, the money deals, the disgusting ammount of money that is made, the relatively small ammount that makes it down to the players, the trading of bodies. Physical labor, performance enhancing drugs, big profit, trading 'players' for bigger profit, nope nothin absolutely sheisty goin on there. :( I am far more interested in college sports since the money generated there actually goes back into the college, and there just seems to be a whole lot fewer problems in that whole system too.

Re:New Meaning to Corporate Slavery (2, Interesting)

damsa (840364) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694626)

I am far more interested in college sports since the money generated there actually goes back into the college, and there just seems to be a whole lot fewer problems in that whole system too.

Ironic stance considering college football players don't get paid and can be cut from the team for any reason at all.

Re:New Meaning to Corporate Slavery (4, Insightful)

sdo1 (213835) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694088)

He was UNDER CONTRACT. That's not slavery. He signed a contract that said in essence "I agree to work for ABC/ESPN for some number of years." He wanted to be released from said contract and ABC sought compensation for this. The parties came to a mutual agreement and everyone is seemingly satisfied. I just don't understand why anyone is upset about what happened.

Sorry, but that's NOT slavery. No one put a gun to his head and said "sign this contract or we shoot!"

Nothing to see here. Move along.

-S

Re:New Meaning to Corporate Slavery (1)

db32 (862117) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694095)

It is the increasing tendancy across the board to treat people as little more than a commodity.

Re:New Meaning to Corporate Slavery (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694512)

He was UNDER CONTRACT. That's not slavery.

Under what definition of "slavery"?

Re:New Meaning to Corporate Slavery (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14695136)

It's almost like an indentured servant [wikipedia.org] .

Re:New Meaning to Corporate Slavery (1)

sielwolf (246764) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694124)

This happens all the time. In professional sports coaches and personnel not bound by the collective bargaining agreement are "traded" between teams with compensation of draft picks. Just this year Herman Edwards went from the coach of the Jets to the Cheifs, who then gave the Jets a 4th round draft pick. But even in the business world, employees have a certain dollar value associated with them. All of us do. It's fantasy to assume we are unique special snowflakes and our companies cherish that. The only difference is that there is only one Al Michaels and most of us come from a pool of interchangeable workers. The market for marquee sports announcers is not liquid so instead of just letting him go, they'll arbitrate the contract they own.

And not being able to leave is simple: Al only has to yell "Fuck the fucking fuckers" on live TV, force the FCC to hit NBC with a giant fine and then threaten to continue doing so until they let him go.

Re:New Meaning to Corporate Slavery (1)

db32 (862117) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694177)

That is sort of the inequity in it. They can force you to sign a contract (if you want the job, you gotta sign), that says you can't leave, you can't work for the competition, etc etc. But you can't tell them you are quitting, because you signed the contract, but they sure as hell can fire your ass. The non compete ones are the worst ones, not only do they own you while you are there, it prevents you from doing your job for anyone else after you leave.

Re:New Meaning to Corporate Slavery (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14694997)

Just this year Herman Edwards went from the coach of the Jets to the Cheifs, who then gave the Jets a 4th round draft pick.

That was the worst trade I've seen, though Herman Edwards isn't that great of a coach at all. I'm also glad Terry Bradway isn't the GM anymore.

Re:New Meaning to Corporate Slavery (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14694222)

No, it hardly reminds me of slavery. Why not? Because the fundamental prerequsite of slavery -- coercion -- is nowhere to be found.

Show me an example of force or fraud, and then I'll listen to you compare it to slavery.

Um, OoohRAHH!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14694571)

Gee, how is this much different from the USMC owning my ass for the period of the contract I signed with them? Hell, they even were able to take legal action against people who got severly sunburned over a weekend for "damaging government property".

hello i am a potato (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14693993)

hello i am a potato

Re:hello i am a potato (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14694667)

prepare to be mashed

greed/fear/ego based corepirate nazi stock markup, (1)

already_gone (848753) | more than 8 years ago | (#14693995)

felonious FraUD hypenosys execrable trades yOUR/planet's future for just a little more monIE?

what a surprise?

how is it allowed? just like corn passing through a bird's butt eye gas.

all they want is... everything. at what cost to US? not a pretty picture at all. quite infactdead from our viewpoint.

for many of US, the only way out is up.

don't forget, for each of the creators' innocents harmed (in any way) there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/US as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile will not be available after the big flash occurs.

'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi life0cidal glowbull warmongering execrable.

some of US should consider ourselves very fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate.

it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc....

as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis.

concern about the course of events that will occur should the corepirate nazi life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order.

'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

Relax, it's just sports (3, Funny)

Jarlsberg (643324) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694023)

It's sports - they don't need a live human being to ask inane questions such as: "How many medals do you think we'll win the olympics", or "You just scored the winning goal, how did that feel?".

Now, I'll sit up and take notice if they'll replace a news anchor with Morbo, but I don't think that'll happen any time soon. (If you don't know Morbo, you're not with the in crowd on Slashdot.)

Dumbed down summary and YRO? (4, Informative)

sdo1 (213835) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694035)

First off, what on earth does this have to do with "Your Rights Online"?

Second of all, there was a lot more in the trade than just the cartoon. According to Media Week [mediaweek.com] ESPN wanted:

(1) The cable telecast rights NBC owns to air Ryder Cup golf matches on Fridays in 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014; (2) The rights to air expanded Olympics highlights on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNEWS through the 2012 Games; and (3) The rights to the animated cartoons, Oswald The Lucky Rabbit, which were created by Disney animators in the 1920s, but distributed by Universal Studio, which got the rights to the cartoons.

and...

NBC will run an on-air promotion through 2011 for ESPN's Monday Night Football telecasts each week during its SNF telecasts... Also through 2011, ESPN obtained expanded-highlights rights for NBC Sports telecasts of Notre Dame football, the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness.

So, I fail to see what's news here. In the entertainment business, this sort of IP and rights trading/selling happens all of the time. Saying "trading a person for a cartoon" is an incredible dumbing-down of what happened.

So tell me again what this has to do with my rights online?

-S

mod parent up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14694170)

If anyone actually bothered to read the article, Al Michaels said he was going to miss being with the same people who were moving to NBC. He was staying with ABC, but changed his mind later and initiated talks about getting out of his contract for ABC and signing with his friends at NBC. Slashdotters probably don't know this, but Al Michaels is a fairly popular sports announcer and ABC wasn't going to give him up for nothing. So ABC makes a list of things it wants, which happens to include the rights to Oswald. I think that is probably more of a symbolic move than anything else, though I wouldn't put it past Disney to try to milk a few movies out of it. What's old is new again. I guess the article title is accurate. Al Michaels moves to NBC, and in exchange ABC will get the rights to air certain content, so I guess Al Michaels was traded for intellectual property. I don't see the big deal, though; both networks got something of value out of the deal.

Re:Dumbed down summary and YRO? (2, Informative)

RevMike (632002) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694173)

Second of all, there was a lot more in the trade than just the cartoon.

More importantly, it was not even a trade!

Disney did not go to Al Michaels and say "Pack your bags and report to NBC." Al Michaels requested that he be released from his contract with Disney in order to make a new contract with NBC. Disney and NBC worked out a compensation agreement to compensate Disney for the loss of Al Michaels' services.

When we talk about "trading" people, it generally means they have little or no choice. This was a case of past and future employers working to honor the request made by the person.

Re:Dumbed down summary and YRO? (1)

rhizome (115711) | more than 8 years ago | (#14695108)

I'm on a mailing list where this was discussed by people who work in the business side of the entertainment industry. Plagiarized to preserve anonymity, this explains things better than I ever could and puts the story in terms that non-lawyers can understand.

People are not "assets" and employment contracts are not property. Employment contracts are agreements about work and not documents of indenture which give the "owner" the right to release or not release a worker on the basis of extrinsic value acquired for a trade of "rights" and "property." Executives and artists are often left unprotected by basic rules of common decency because the compensation packages are so huge or the work seems not to be "real" in the classic sense of a blue collar worker. But executives and artists are no different than other people who are protected under laws governing employment and the reasonable protections we all need for those relationships. An employment contract at its most severe implication provides that the worker will not work elsewhere. (You can no longer get a court anywhere in the United States to enforce an employment contract by requiring the worker or artist to actually work for the party holding the contract.) But what Disney said here is: "No, we will let you work elsewhere, we don't need you to work here, BUT we won't let you go unless Disney gets concessions in the form of "things" completely out of the employee's control to provide. In that moment, the person became a property. As a moral and social matter, that's disgusting and a behavior that should no longer be tolerated. Sure, lots of people are treated like property all over the world. That doesn't make it just or even appropriate.


So, you are partially right in that there isn't a whole lot of "online" in this story about "your rights," but it does speak to a host of issues (temp-to-perm anyone?) that people here can relate to. But I'm not trying to argue for the appropriateness of this story, just to illustrate that in fact there is some funky business going on here.

So an IP contract led to Mickey (2, Interesting)

bobalu (1921) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694038)


Interesting, seems the need to re-create a character due to legal IP restrictions led to a huge entertainnment empire.

Re:So an IP contract led to Mickey (1)

eclectro (227083) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694686)


It makes you wonder if copyrights were ever allowed to expire again, what other new and wonderful creations might be created, doesn't it??

Wikipedia Link (1)

nuintari (47926) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694049)

Uhhh, why is there a picture of a vag on the wikipedia page about copyright extensions?

Re:Wikipedia Link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14694084)

Because some /. troll thinks it's funny. Sad really. Just removed it, but I note from the edits I'm not the first.

Re:Wikipedia Link (1)

trparky (846769) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694128)

You know, the person who posted that image is the kind of immature idiot that needs to be taken out back and castrated, we don't need more idiots like that.

Re:Wikipedia Link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14694216)

You know, the kind of person who posted it is probably of several orders magnitide smarter than you and knew there would be exactly the kind of reply you just made. Seems like you took the bait and showed your lack of maturity by taking it so damned seriously.

Its just a fucking internet encyclopedia that anyone can edit. It can be reversed. If you don't like it, then maybe you should re-think the merits of having an encyclopedia that can be edited in situations like this.

huh? (3, Insightful)

spiritraveller (641174) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694069)

what does this have to do with online?

what does this have to do with rights?

nothing?

ok... just checking.

Re:huh? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694526)

what does this have to do with rights?

Copyrights. Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. Mickey Mouse. Sonny Bono. Orphan works.

It profits a man nothing ... (2, Interesting)

expro (597113) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694073)

"It profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world ...But for Oswald?" (Thomas Moore, sort of)

Apologies in advance for the attempt at humor, but it was what popped in to my head.

Will this change the Mickey Mouse Rule? (1)

246o1 (914193) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694074)

The current rule in US copyrights is that anything copyrighted after Mickey Mouse will always be copyrighted, as Disney manages to rent Congress whenever the latest extension is about to expire. Will this have to be changed to the Oswald the Lucky Bunny Rule, once they start marketing this motherfucker like he's new?

Why does Mickey Mouse need a copyright? (1)

SuperAlgae (953330) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694163)

For a distinct character/symbol like Mickey Mouse, isn't a trademark enough? Trademarks can be renewed indefinitely. Did Disney push for copyright extension primarily to protect their other IP?

Re:Why does Mickey Mouse need a copyright? (1)

246o1 (914193) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694254)

The copyrights protect Mickey Mouse films, not Mickey himself (so it seems), who is actually fine just under trademark. Here's an interesting FindLaw article on the issue: http://writ.news.findlaw.com/commentary/20020305_s prigman.html [findlaw.com]

Anyone else watch Cheap Seats? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14694086)

Dear ABC. Stop.
My name is Al Michales. Stop.
Your trading me for an ancient cartoon character. Stop.
Stop. Stop.
My resume is being worked up now. Stop.

Poker Game (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14694111)

Well, at least he wasn't lost in a poker game for a DBX Console.

\Read your act of God clause.

You're all forgetting one thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14694136)

Al Williams, being a mere mortal, only has a limited time on this world. Oswald, being a copyrighted creation, can potentially live "forever," as Disney will continually lobby the government to keep extending the lifetime of copyrights.

Re:You're all forgetting one thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14694347)

Al Williams, being a mere mortal, only has a limited time on this world.

You're forgetting something too.

The man's name!

RTFA, Please, Now! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14694150)

(Blowing an opportunity to moderate here to say) If you take time to read the article, you will find that Michael wants to go to NBC because the people he has worked with for the last 20 years will be there:
A four-time Emmy Award winner, Michaels agreed last July to stay with ABC/ESPN as the Monday game switched to the cable network next fall. But he asked to back out and instead will broadcast Sunday night NFL games on NBC with John Madden, his partner on ABC during the past four seasons....

...Michaels, 61, began to think about hopping networks during the past season, realizing he wanted to work with Madden, producer Fred Gaudelli and director Drew Esocoff, who also are moving from ABC to NBC.

"As the weeks went on, I began to realize more and more how much I was going to miss being with those people," he said. "That's my family, that's my broadcasting family, and they're moving out of the house, and I wanted to move back in with them."

Jeesh. All these comments about feeling bad about being traded for a rabbit are spurious.

Join me, when I say... (1)

rathehun (818491) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694210)

WHAT??

Do consider us poor readers on RSS, when writing your titles out.

Thanks,
R.

MFN leaving ABC (1)

kevin.fowler (915964) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694224)

With the crappy job Al Michaels did covering the superbowl... they could have traded him for a bag of Doritos. I think collecting a bit of Disney history is a good deal. ESPN can actually show detailed Olympics hilights. And now that Monday Night Football is leaving ABC, this is not surprising.

Michaels to Madden: (3, Funny)

ThatsNotFunny (775189) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694234)

"I wish I could quit you..."

As Roger Rabbit would say... (1)

Alpha_Traveller (685367) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694273)

Roger: PPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPhhhhppPPppLLLEEASE EDDIE!?! Can I get Oswald? Please?
Iger: Only if you bring me the head of Al Michaels.
Roger: Okay! Can I bring a few rounds of golf too?
Iger: Sure, but only if they complain that Al's not enough.
Roger: Great! I'll also ask for some Olympic Highlights, and see what I can do about getting the Toon rights to Star Trek back!
Igre: You go right ahead Roger.
Roger: Thanks! I'll be Riiiiiighhhhhttttt Back!

IP trades hope (1)

eyepeepackets (33477) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694404)

Does this mean that some day in the near future I have a chance to trade some (IP) for Veronica Zemanova? That's considerable motivation: Just thinking about it makes my initiative stat hover some where near the astroid belt.

What to code, what to code! *groan*

Cherrios.

According to an NBC spokesman... (3, Funny)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694460)

...the trade does leave NBC without a first-string cartoon character, but he went on to state, "We're hopeful we can pick one up in next year's draft."

Chris Mattern

NBC Universal animation (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694538)

the trade does leave NBC without a first-string cartoon character

Bull. NBC Universal still has plenty of cartoon characters [bcdb.com] .

Re:NBC Universal animation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14694602)

Bull.
That was a joke son, a joke I say.

That was a THEFT son (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694639)

That was a joke son, a joke I say.

So you're a Foghorn Leghorn (WB character) fan? In that case, look at what Disney "appropriated" from WB [blogspot.com] .

Trade value (1)

Arwing (951573) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694676)

I think this can be a very interesting development in tech industry.
Remember the MS guy who jumped ship to google? And they had a huge court fight? How much trade value would he have fatched?
And can you imagine? the next block buster trade between rival companies, Steve Ballmer for ipod/itune? or steve job for office suite?
The possibility is simply endless, and at last, there is something in tech to compete with sports!

Anim'ls (2, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694767)

That's the inevitable path of American culture: human rights replaced by corporate rights, and humans ourselves replaced by cartoons. We've already filled the Washington DC offices and the media stages, which institutionalize our culture, with two dimensional fictional characters. Tamagochi, though not as popular as in Japan, will surely bloom in online gaming. Eventually you'll get your Disney/Homeland Security mandatory offer to download your replacement.

Public domain??? (1)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694904)

surely the early cartoons are now in the public domain... or can we expect yet another Disney sponsored copyright term extension.

Disney to trade Jobs for Shrek (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694931)

In other news, Disney announced the trade of Steve Jobs to Dreamworks SKG in exchange for Shrek and two minor characters to be named later.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...