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Slate to George Lucas: slap a Creative Commons license on Star Wars

Matt Haughey, April 29th, 2005

The online magazine Slate has a great review article on the Star Wars fan-created movie Revelations. Slate’s Clive Thompson gives the film high marks saying the story and special effects are better than the recent Star Wars prequels and even goes so far as to say:

George Lucas has always encouraged Star Wars­-inspired fan movies, so long as the wannabe auteurs didn’t try to make a profit. (That’s the case with Felux—he isn’t selling his movie or any associated merchandise.) Lucas should do more, though. Once he stops polluting the world with prequels, he should slap a liberal “Creative Commons” copyright license on the Star Wars franchise. That would explicitly allow any fan to remix an existing movie, or create a new one in homage, so long as there’s no profit involved. Everyone wins: Movies like Revelations keep the fan base alive, and Lucas can continue selling figurines until the sun explodes.

Sounds like an idea we at Creative Commons could get behind. An attribution-noncommercial-sharealike license would allow fan created side stories, prequels, or follow-ups, and they’d never be sold or charged for and a credit would always be given to Lucas. It’ll be interesting to see if any aging properties with a large cult-like fan following adopt something like this. One could speculate that fan art would drive sales of the original, when outsiders take a liking to these offshoots, and in the end mean more sales of DVDs and toys for creators like Lucas.

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