Group 4 Created with Sketch.
Your changes have been saved

We Buy A Superhero: Loophole

Share
station description The economy explained. Imagine you could call up a friend and say, "Meet me at the ... read more
Planet Money
Duration: 23:27
Marvel was not interested in selling us Doorman. But there is another way to jumpstart our superhero empire.| Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.
Snippets are a new way to share audio!
You can clip a small part of any file to share, add to playlist, and transcribe automatically. Just click the to create your snippet!
Snippets: Clips of We Buy A Superhero: Loophole that people like
Playlists that We Buy A Superhero: Loophole appears on.
There are currently no playlists containing this audio.
Add this audio track to one of your playlists
Add to Playlist
Up Next
Full Description
Back to Top
Marvel was not interested in selling us Doorman. But there is another way to jumpstart our superhero empire.| Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.
Snippet Transcripts
books can fall into the public domain or songs. Hey, E. I guess we're allowed to play that song now. This'll is where creative works go when their copyright expires. And just like books and songs, it can happen to characters to look. Robert, It's Jay Gatsby talking Toe Lady Macbeth Damn spot. And there there's Who Gene was looking for the Green Turtle. What's up? Jean says Hi. Once he's in a comic nice Thio pluck an old vintage character like the green turtle from the public domain solves quite a few problems for a superhero quest. Despite all of you, our listeners tweeting all week at Marvel to hashtag open the door, man, we have not heard back from Marvel, and we never will. We have to move on, Kenny, we gotta move on. Many of you suggested that that we could move on by maybe drawing our own. How should we say homage to the doorman? Uh, sliding door man, pet doorman, perhaps, or the very well dressed Christian Dior man. But it's just it's just not the same toe make up a new superhero. Superheroes are our modern Greek or Roman gods, like featured in these stories about right and wrong. They get passed down to us from before we were born. It's the patina and the providence of a superhero that make it feel really so we're not just gonna draw one. Make one up. Okay, But if old vintage superheroes air like gold, how many green turtles could really be out there? Superheroes that fell into the public domain. We reckon on Lee. One person has the answer. My name is Jennifer Jenkins, and I am a clinical professor of law at Duke Law School. And I am also the director of the Center for the Study of the Public Domain, which just rolls off the tongue. It doesn't, but I'm sure you own the trademark to it, which is great. You know Who else would want? You know what? We didn't We thought that might be a little bit of strange Were the Public domain center. We're gonna claim rights to the trademark. Jennifer Jenkins practices what she preaches, and she is preaching how our superhero quest is exactly why our country has the public domain. Every great work of art will eventually end up in the public domain. And although we called the show loophole, and we've talked about a loophole. It's not really a loophole. This is not an accident. The copyright system was designed this way to stimulate creativity. How does it do that? Well, during the copyright term, it gives you exclusive rights. It gives you control that incentivize you to create things and put them out there. But after the term ends, it ensures that all that creative raw material is available for future creators, and that stimulates creativity as well. And hopefully it will be stimulating your creativity. Jennifer says that with this superhero project, we kind of lucked out because of this magical moment in superhero history. The 19 forties in the 19 forties, there were two critical things happening in the world of comic books. Number one. There was a superhero explosion known as the Golden Age of Comics. We talked about this in Episode one hundreds. Thousands of superheroes were being created, and most of them did not take off like Superman or Batman, which helps us because of Reason Number two. The forties was part of this special era and copyright history. The lifespan of a normal copyright at that time was relatively short, at least compared to today. It was just 28 years. And then whoever owned the copyright that they took out the 19 forties had actively file the paperwork to renew it in the 19 seventies. And, you know, with all the disco and the hot tubs and the cocaine, some small companies understandably spaced out on the need to renew their superheroes or, more likely, in the 19 seventies, like these weird old golden age superheroes were not exactly doing gangbusters. So unless you had seen success like Marvel or DC, there may not have been a great business reason to spend money renewing some failed character from your olden days. Guess what? The commercial lifespan of most creative works sadly, is not that long. So you know the brilliant song that you've been working on. The great thing that I've been writing. Um, it's never going to sell anyway. But even if it does, it might not be selling After 28 years. After 28 years, 85% of works were not renewed, suggesting that the copyright owners did not find it worthwhile. What this means is that the green turtle isn't that rare after all, there are plenty of golden age superheroes whose copyrights weren't renewed after 28 years and are now in the public domain. Thes superheroes are fair game, ready for anyone to pull them out of obscurity. And this is exactly what we need to do to get a really authentic vintage planet money superhero. We need to go dumpster diving through the annals of comic book history, and Jennifer says, we don't even have to look that hard. All of these fans of these old comic books and these old superheroes have actually done the legwork of exhuming, finding, ticking up characters and saying, Here's our favorite list of public domain comic book characters. I would probably start there and to help us. Jennifer sent us some of the list these fans had pulled together. So this is one of the websites you sent me, Jennifer. I just want to say there are 3368 characters collected on this website. The Jennifer sent I'm not vouching for this is just the first thing that came up on Google. Fair enough. Now all we have to do is narrow it down just a bit from 3368 choices. Its's a lot, but look, Gene Luen Yang was able to do this. I remember going to sleep thinking about the green turtle wanting toe, fill out his origin story and succeed like he wrote The Green Turtle, a brand new origin story. And in this new version, there was no question this was a Chinese American superhero. Also, no question, the green turtle is still shirtless. Very hunky muscles. That's right. Uh, and in 2000 and 14, he was able to legally publish this new story in a graphic novel called The Shadow Hero, drawn by Sonny Liew. I did the writing and Sunny, an amazing artist, did all of the illustrations very good. The illustrations are very good. He's so good, right? It gives me hope, Robert, that the planet money superhero is out there somewhere just waiting to be discovered like the green turtle and Jean. He gave us some advice on finding the perfect superhero for us in a list of thousands. I think it's kind of like falling in love, right? Like, how do you know when you fall in love? I do think you don't go for the cool. I really do think that cool gets in the way of that heart connection that you might have with one of these characters. I really think it's that that combination of goofiness and idealism, you want a goofy expression of an ideal. That's good. I mean, that's that is the sink and boiled that I mean, like that. That's great. That's the thing we could go hunting for right now or go hunting for after the break. This message comes from NPR sponsor TD Ameritrade. Everything's customizable these days. Your trading platform can be, too. With think or swim, you can customize screeners charting and stock.
Up Next
Add to playlist
New playlist

Embed

COPY
Embed Options
Create Playlist
Select the Station you want to upload this audio to
Station
0 / 140
0 / 2000
Playlist Icon Image:
(.jpg, .png, min size 500x500px)
Privacy
Subscribers
Your
voice
matters.
Discover & Listen to the world’s largest free collection of audio
Password reset

Enter your email address that you used to register. We'll send you an email with your username and a link to reset your password.



If you still need help, contact Vurbl Support
Password reset sent

You have been sent instructions on resetting you password to the email associated with your account. Please check your email and signing in again.


Back to Sign In
If you still need help, contact Vurbl Support
Your
voice
matters.
Discover & Listen to the world’s largest free collection of audio
Reset password

Please enter your new password below.



If you still need help, contact Vurbl Support
Your voice matters.
Discover & Listen to the world’s largest free collection of audio
Verify Email

Enter your email address that you used to register. We'll send you an email with a link to verify your email.



Cancel
Delete Profile
Are you sure? We will miss you :'(
Delete
Delete Audio
Are you sure?
Delete
Delete Playlist
Are you sure you want to delete this playlist?
Delete
Notifications Mark all as read
    You currently have no notifications
    Edit Snippet
    0 / 140
    0 / 140