Using the Mr. X metaphor, what if Mr. X is a gardener, and uses the mower to make a living?
Using the Mr. X metaphor, what if Mr. X is dead ?
As I said, the object analogy is flawed : you don't take an image "away". You can, of course, pirate whole albums (photocopy or download them), and laws against this can be morally justified. It theorically harms sales. From there, you can draw a line going to various degrees of "display an image", and go quite far from the harmful, and quite deep into the useful. Criminalizing the whole has little objective ground, and little to do with "stealing Mr X's lawnmower just when his garden's grass is counter-attacking". What I despise is this rare "treat all practices as a whole" approach.
Posting a Tintin cell to illustrate a point in a forum post (analysing a structure, or stressing a similarity with another, whatever) does not steal an album from Moulinsart, unless you imagine people hunt for all these images with the intention of printing them, cutting them and pasting them on a notebook. Threatening people for that, making people pay for it, is just an opportunity for them to milk some more money "because they can", treating tintin images as gold pieces. It is pettiness, whatever you want to call it (I prefer suspecting a language barrier issue aroud the word "evil" than assuming you don't judge such attitude "not gentle").
I do question the fact that "academia has this well covered" given the obstacles Rodwell has raised in front of third party studies (generating collective protests and press conferences at the time - even though the works discussed at this occasion have been finally published years later). There's also a legal "right of quotation" that supposedly allows journalists to quote bits of works, even though the application to audiovisual medias is probably unclear. But in-between, there are all the cases of "informal studies", that go from personal non-lucrative projects to punctual statements (especially on the web). Again, a blurry continuum that gets blackened as a whole - in fact, the more harmless and gratuitous an image is, the harder it gets.
Same thing in art : "Designing and writing your own text and images" concerns people who wish to make and probably publish Tintin episodes, something that Herge rightfully (and luckily) meant to prevent. But this is also just one pole of artistic usage, and not an argument about the spectrum of artistic Tintin references, from non-serious Tintin hommages and parodies (not trying at all to be a "continuation"), to Tintin drawings, to Tintin silhouettes on bookshop windows or expositions leaflets (once again, a usage that only Moulinsart SA complains about). Tintin is a cultural icon, a reference, a symbol, an archetype that occasionally has to be "used" the same way as a Sherlock Holmes or a King Kong one. Thankfully it is - there's websites dedicated to all the Tintin "references/winks" in graphic arts. The irony is, I can't link to them, because that's allegedly "immoral" to the eyes of Rodwell.
Although I do dangerously tend to judge people on little revealing things, all this is also to be put in the general context of Rodwell's centralization strategy, a businessman's plan that had been denounced for years by Herge's former co-workers and family members. His megalomaniac, inelegant and purely greedy agenda has been pointed at by numerous testimonies, and concern all aspects of the Tintin world (acquisition of originals, control of publications, artefact manufacture and pricing, etc). I'm not sure if we're having this discussion because those elements don't make waves beyond the francophone world (which I doubt), but once again, if that's the case, let it be known. The history of Tintin's control is a long, dirty, nasty one, not devoid of disturbing baddies. And the anecdotic right to display a tintin avatar on some forum or not is merely an ugly iceberg tip.
Probably nothing to get aggrieved by. I never had to face these issues personally. But I don't think you can check the background stories and the history of tintin-related grievances without being indignant at Moulinsart's attitude to some extend. And more importantly : You mathematically can't declare this attitude as "normal" in a universe where the "norm" is to consider it "abnormal". What I don't understand is this might-is-right banalization. It reminds me of Alkazar assuring Haddock that his wife "seems a little brisk on first acquaintance but has a heart of gold" and expecting a polite "of course general, one sees it immediately". People should know all brides aren't Peggy. You can do with it - you have to, we have to, and Tintin has to. But rolleyes are NOT undeserved, and it is worth mentionning that the majority of informed eyes are rolling whenever Rodwell waves his copyright-hammer again.
Anyway, wrote the above yesterday night (after having read one more moving testimony on the Tintin story - that time by Herge's nephew), and was too tired to re-read and post. I leave you at the righteous protection of Rodwell's "sweat" and "needs", and won't threaten to heartlessly steal the bread from his hungry deserving mouth by posting a circle with a tuft on it. You should just complete the quote you put in my mouth : "But we've got a picture of Lucky Luke and Gaston too, Francophone message boards say it is okay, so stop complaining when people call Rodwell [Profanity removed
]." Even though I was merely mentionning that comic book professionals call him [Profanity removed
], it can't be stressed enough that no matter the personal opinion of the reader here (or no matter if the reader feels he'd make the same choices as Rodwell and feel no shame about it), the Rodwell copyright policy IS generally harshly critizised in the world of comics.Moderator Warning
: The use of personal abuse and profanity will not be tolerated on these forums, against anybody. Please respect the posting guidelines and your fellow members.The Tintinologist Team