|| This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Created by a green light. Please mention here why this explanation isn't complete. It's hard to enumerate why the moments that the copyright expires and flash is no longer officially supported, are not exactly the same, but randall seems to expect us to do this. Do NOT delete this tag too soon.|
If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.
This comic unfolds over the last few seconds of 2020 and the first few seconds of 2021. Cueball is attempting to do something requiring the overlap of two eras that only abut.
The Great Gatsby is a classic novel written by F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1925. Copyright law in the United States of America, where The Great Gatsby was first published, was retroactively extended several times in the 1990s and early 2000s, causing the copyright on The Great Gatsby to extend until the end of 2020. In 2021, it will finally enter the public domain so that it will become legal to make a copy without violating copyright law.
Adobe Flash, formerly known as Shockwave Flash, is a web plugin that was commonly used by many websites in the late 1990s and 2000s. However, it was repeatedly exploited by hackers, incurring heavy costs on Adobe as they tried to update Flash against these attacks after rushing features out before stabilising them. Newer technologies are now able to provide comparable features with more compatibility, more community involvement, and less risk, so support for Flash is being phased out by most web browsers. Adobe is officially discontinuing Flash at the end of 2020. Therefore, a Flash version of The Great Gatsby will become legal at the very moment that everyone should stop using it.
In line with Adobe's decision, Chrome is blocking Flash in January. This will make entire internet culture histories spanning many years of making and engaging Flash experiences unusable for most people.
In this comic, Cueball suggests that the withdrawal of Flash supports occurs a second or two after the copyright expiration rather than simultaneously with it, presumably implying that the withdrawal of Flash support takes human intervention rather than occuring automatically (e.g. via an at or cron job), whereas copyright expiration requires no action, it simply happens at a given point in time.
The title wording does multiple work with a number of possible meanings to it. It's the 'Gatsby' book via the medium of the electronic Flash format. Because of the briefest of availability (at best, a single moment), it appears and disappears again 'in a flash'. Being 'flash' is a very apt description of the millionaire Gatsby character himself (just as 'flash the cash' is being ostentatious). And, if the endeavour is not actually as legitimate as hoped, the word has also refered to felonious behaviours and forged copies.
|| This transcript is incomplete. Please help editing it! Thanks.
- Off panel voice: 3... 2... 1... Happy New Year!
- Cueball: Ok, It’s up!
- Cueball: Annnnnd... support was pulled, it’s down again.
- [Caption below the panel]
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I think this link should be referenced (and something added about how the copyright for this particular work is specifically extended), but not sure how to : https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/595567/why-the-great-gatsby-isnt-public-domain#:~:text=Copyright%20laws%20in%20America%20are,domain%20until%20January%201%2C%202021.&text=In%201976%2C%20Congress%20passed%20the,revised%20copyright%20laws%20from%201909. 220.127.116.11 02:30, 31 December 2020 (UTC)
I have one day to figure out how to do this in real life. Anybody have some tips?
HostnameNotCaroline (talk) 12:49, 31 December 2020 (UTC)
I do have tips for a plan, though I don't have a full-fledged plan. Presenting the book, sourcing the book, and fixing problems after publishing are all going to be separate steps. Keep in mind that it is only the text of the book that is copyright free, don't go taking something from the movie. I also don't know if later versions and revisions are covered or not- or if there were any. (What about forewords? They might be covered by copyright still.) I also recommend uploading it to a site that supports updating-in-place so that you can publish the new version without destroying all links to it.
Here's how I imagine it. You load the book and are faced with an introduction on what it is. Then the reader is either ploped into the start of the book with a table of contents accessible somewhere or into the table of contents directly. There needs to be some way of moving to a particular page or chapter without crowdsourced guesswork or a thousand clicks/page-swipes. You're going to want to format chapter starts (and titles if applicable). Give the chapters clear spacing and centered headers as a book would. Don't forget about how the text will be presented. It needs to be legible, people won't want to use it if it's not. If you can't vary the size, font, and color I recommend a 12pt-20pt serif font that's black on white. Honestly though, I think that the quality of the presentation itself will be what people judge your work by. That's kind of what separates publishers when multiple people publish the same work.
I hope at least some of that was applicable. 18.104.22.168 13:34, 31 December 2020 (UTC)
Won't it stay up for longer if you publish it in correct timezone, making it available for those still in 2020? How does copyright law interact with timezones? How does flash's killswitch? 22.214.171.124 14:16, 31 December 2020 (UTC)
- I'm still able to use Flash in Google Chrome, and it's after noon in my timezone (EST). Maybe it will actually stop with the next update? Barmar (talk) 17:43, 1 January 2021 (UTC)
The copyright law in question states that a work becomes public domain at the end of the year, a certain number of years after the author (or last author in the case of a collaboration) died. In Canada, that time frame is 50 years. In the U.S., I believe it is 75 years, but copyright renewals were a thing in the States for a time. Because F. Scott Fitzgerald died in 1940 (80 years ago), his work finally goes into public domain at the end of this year after the 75 year term and the renewal expire.
Nutster (talk) 15:53, 31 December 2020 (UTC)
- That is not true. Well, it's correct in general, but irrelevant in regards to The Great Gadsby. In the US, Life+70 applies to all worked first published after the US joined the Berne Convention on copyrights (1980, I believe). For works published before then, it gets complicated. Copyright was for 28 years but could be renewed for another 28 years, for a total of 56. After that, it became Public Domain (PD). When we join the Berne Conv, it was decided that everything already PD would remain so (those being works published before 1922, plus those published before 1950 where someone forgot to renew the copyright -- The movie It's a Wonderful Life actually fell into this category), and those works still under copyright would have it extended to 75 years. So, in 1998, everything published in 1922 became PD. But then people realized, soon it wouldn't just be old books becoming PD, but now silent films (including early Mickey Mouse shorts), and soon classic talkies would soon be PD, so something had to be done. Enter the Sonny Bono Copyright Extension Act, (Yes, he was a congressman for a while) which added another 20 years to copyright protection to those pre-Berne works. So then, works published in 1923 finally became PD 1-Jan-2019, with works from 1924 and 1925 following in 2020 & 2021. (And that's the simplified version; it's really even more complicated than that!) JamesCurran (talk) 20:53, 25 May 2021 (UTC)
Great Gatsby seems to be the work everyone is waiting to plagiarize legally. It's been mentioned in several reports on NPR today. Barmar (talk) 17:43, 1 January 2021 (UTC)
"It was obviously delayed one day to come out on new year." Or another comic will come out today (Friday), and this was an extra comic and not a delayed one. I'm removing this sentence until we know. Danish (talk) 17:58, 1 January 2021 (UTC)
- per https://xkcd.com/archive/, this is not true. The publish date is 2020-12-30.
I feel like the title is also an oblique reference to Flash Gordon, but aside from the phonetic similarity there's nothing in the comic to support that. Jkshapiro (talk) 02:34, 24 November 2021 (UTC)