The Null Device
No new genres
AOL Time Warner's legal rottweilers are aggressively prosecuting Harry Potter-inspired books
, from unauthorised fiction using the characters to thematically similar work like Tanya Grotter and the Magic Double-Bass
. They have been allowed to do this by recent expansions of intellectual property treaties, which crack down on derived works.
Or, another way to think about it: had the treaties been in place decades ago, J.R.R. Tolkien (or his publishers) would have been able to sue the entire fantasy fiction genre out of existence. A side-effect of the neo-Galambosian
intellectual-property power-grab by the copyright industry could well be the end of new genres as such, and their replacement by licensed franchises (like the various Matrix tie-ins).
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