Imagine for a moment that you are the proud owner of a large house which you have spent years of your life painting and decorating and filling with everything you love. It's your home. It's something you've made your own, something for you to be remembered by, something that, perhaps years later, your children and grandchildren can visit and get a view of your life in. It's part of your creativity, your hard work... it's your property.Now suppose you decide to go camping for a couple of weeks. You lock your door and assume that nobody is going to break in... but they do, and when you return home, to your horror you find that not only do these trespassers break in, but they also have quite uniquely imaginative ways of disrespecting, vandalizing and corrupting everything within your property. They light fires on your lawn, your topiary hedges are in heaps of black ashes. There's some blatantly obscene graffiti splattered across your front door, offensive images and rude words splashed on the walls and windows. Your television has been tipped over. Your photographs of family and friends have had the heads cut out of them. There's mold growing in the refrigerator, bottles of booze tipped over on the table, and cigarette smoke embedded into the carpeting. Your beloved houseplants are dead, your furniture has been stripped down and ruined. Basically, the thing you've spent years working for and creating within your lifetime has been tampered with to the point where it is just a grim joke.So, I feel terrible for poor Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Jane Austen and Lewis Carroll, who must be spinning in their graves since they have no rights to their own works of fiction anymore. I'm all for readers being able to read books for free once and only when the deceased author's copyright eventually ends. Still though, did Doyle ever think in a million years that his wonderful characters would be dragged through the mud of every pervy fanfiction that the sick internet geek can think of to create? Did Carroll ever suspect that Alice and the Hatter would become freakish clown-like goth caricatures in Tim Burton's CGI-infested films? Would Austen really want her writing to be sold as badly-formatted ebooks?The sharing of this Public Domain content isn't really an issue. Stories are meant to be told, meant to echo onward forever. That's what makes them magical. That being said, in the Information Age, there's a real lack of respect towards the creators of this original content. If, when I've been dead for 70 years and I then no longer have the rights to my novels, somebody gets the bright idea of doing anything funny with any of those novels, my ghost is going to rise from the grave and do some serious ass-kicking.
What are you doing?” Alecto asked in surprise, stepping back. Laughing brightly, she dragged him towards the greenhouse, the shattered glass reflecting rainbows as brilliant as a million Kodak flashcubes, glittering as they were cascaded through the breeze. “See, don’t be afraid of the glass, it can’t hurt us,” Mandy laughed, spectacularly eccentric, her eyes reflecting the fallen glass.“I wasn’t afraid of the glass, but this isn’t a very secluded place that you just decided to vandalize,” Alecto cautioned, smiling despite his words. Before Mandy could reply, she heard loud whispering in the air, behind the trees… it sounded like a group of people, all whispering in unison… “Somebody’s out there,” she exclaimed nervously.“Yeah, you’re right,” Alecto replied. Suddenly a sharp new vibrancy seemed to fill his eyes and he smiled coldly, taking the tree branch from Mandy and rapidly smashing in all of Mrs. Matthias’ stained glass house windows with it. Blue, green, yellow, red, turquoise, purple and an array of other colors showered through the sky noisily, sounding like wind chimes and crashing waves. “They’ll go away,” he told her, glancing up at the sky.“…Alecto, do you like me?” Mandy questioned, holding out her arms like a lopsided scarecrow as the glass fell through her dark red hair.“Yeah, sure,” he answered.“Will you be my friend, then? A real friend, not just another person who feels sorry for me?” Mandy asked.“…Alright, Mandy Valems,” Alecto agreed.