Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Figure 5.1: Warner Brothers == Lame

So what you are about to read is completely true I swear.

Somehow in writing my thesis I decided to insert a meme

At first it was just a placeholder for a real figure but then as time went on and I became less and less motivated to change it and I left it in. It's funny and it's Boromir. Why can't he be in my thesis? I sent off the thesis to my committee and I guess they didn't mind(or didn't read the last page) so it stayed in. Well when I was going to submit it to the school I had questions about image rights. Are the copyright to memes owned by the company that made the movie that the image came from? Mostly, from what I could find, No. The image because it is significantly changed becomes a new work of art. Anyways, I thought it would be a chance for Warner Brothers to be all cool and be like "Yeah, it would be sweet if you used Boromir in your thesis!" So I went and found that New Line Cinema/Warner Brothers is the company that made Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. The movie where the image came from. So I found out an email address that is used for licensing and sent them this email:

Hey Julie or Clip and Still Dept.,
     My name is Dr. Josiah Zayner. I just recently finished my work to graduate from the University of Chicago with a degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics. In my thesis I have created a Figure that contains the Bormir "One Does Not Simply" still (inserted in this email and attached) from the movie The Fellowship of the Ring by New Line Cinema. Also, attached is my Thesis, this is Figure 5.1.

I was wondering if it was possible for me to us this image in my thesis published online. Because I just graduated I am poor and have no money to offer but I promise I will let everyone know the kindness of Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema in return.

     Josiah Zayner Ph.D.


Well, yesterday they finally replied with the answer being NO. I laughed. It was kind of a joke to begin with but I never imagined how me using the image in my thesis could end up being bad? How would they lose anything by saying yes? It is strange that companies still exist in a world that using a still that I have every right to use, through original content and fair use laws, they still say I can't use it. Good thing The Hobbit was such a bad movie because now I am definitely not going to see the new one when it comes out.

The world is changing but so many companies and people don't want to change with it. Sure, you need to protect your ass but from who? A Ph.D. Scientist?