Hello everyone. Before I post on the most recent episode, let me speak on something that actually brings my love of Lost and my training as an intellectual property lawyer together. As you have seen from my Lost posts and the blog roll on the right, I always refer you to Erika Olson's fantastic recaps over at Long Live Locke. Well, a guy by the name of Seanie B has been offering video recaps on You Tube of this season's episodes, apparently for TV Guide (I'm not going to link directly to his You Tube account because I don't want this guy getting any more popular). Seanie B has been blatantly plagiarizing Erika's recaps, as well as other Lost recappers. You can see the clear copyright violation in this side-by-side comparison provided by Doc Arzt.
Essentially, Erika's recaps are fixed (on the website) expressions (written communications) that have a modicum of creativity (the words she chooses are sufficient creativity, but I would venture to say her wit and humor is the true creativity). Those are the elements of a work that is protected under copyright. A coyright holder has the right to control other uses of her work, including, specifically, the right to a public performance of her work. In other words, she can control any oral recitations of her writings on a You Tube post.
Now, the facts of the show can be freely discussed by all. If Erika writes, "Ben allowed Alex to be killed by Keamy," I can also write, "Ben allowed Alex to be killed by Keamy." Facts are not protected by copyright. As well, anyone who talks about Lost and dares to write about it (your humble blogger included) can speak about the ideas behind the show. Ideas are not protected by copyright; it is the expression of those ideas that is protected. Any kind of flourish Erika uses to express her thought about the ideas behind the show, where she thinks the show is headed, and even the layout/order she talks about the show is all protected. That is what Seanie B has stolen from her. Fortunately, Erika has said she has been receiving some great advice from some intellectual property lawyers and is working hard to have the matter resolved.
Folks, if you love the show, you should absolutely talk about it, but do so in your own words. There is so much within the show to talk about that we don't need to steal other people's work. And read Erika's posts to show your support! Recap coming soon.