Political Theater Episode 7: Copyright and Cult Cinema (Live!)

10/23/2017  By  Martin R. Schneider     No comments

Who owns a work that no one wants to watch?

In this episode Marty and Marta explore the legal quirks and loopholes that have helped create some of the best “so bad it’s good” works of cult cinema in history. We’ll talk about how transformative fair use allowed the Mystery Science Theater franchise to survive, how The Asylum made a cottage industry out of ripping off blockbuster movies, how Italian copyright laws let one cowboy movie spawn dozens of “sequels”, and the bizarre IP battle over one of the worst films of all time – Manos, The Hands of Fate.

Joining us is Penn Law alum Frank Taney of Taney Legal to help clear up some of the fine print and answer some legal questions! Special thanks to Taney Legal, Penn IP GroupPenn Law, and the Penn Libraries.

This special episode was recorded LIVE at the University of Pennsylvania for Open Access Week 2017!

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About Martin R. Schneider


Martin Schneider has opinions about a lot of things, and sometimes he writes them down. But he tries not to be a douchebag about it, though.

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