Monday, August 20, 2012

The issue with Mononoke and Snow white *spoiler*

I wrote in my review the other day that Snow white and the Huntsman (2012) directly takes a scene from Princess Mononoke (1997) and that it bothered me. I've pondered a bit about this and I'm wondering: is it ok for a big movie production company or a famous artists of either art or music to take from someone less known?

Now, Princess Mononoke and Studio Ghibli which the movie comes from aren't unknown (I'd say it's a classic) but not all have seen it or know about it, quite a lot haven't actually. I assumed therefore that the scene will go unnoticed by the great masses and that a few would notice, and they did.

*SPOILER*
In Mononoke there is a white stagger with many horns that is the forest god among forest gods and he's seen on an island under a huge tree - he is also there killed by the bad guys later on. Noteworthy is that he walks on water.

In Snow white there is a white stagger with many horns that is the forest god among forest gods ans he's seen on an island under a huge tree - he is also not long after killed by the bad guys. He stands on flat rocks on the water so it seems like he walks on water.

An image compilation says more than words: see here.
*END SPOILER*

How far can you go before it's a rip off? Since I'm a volunteer at an art site and a dedicated member on another I've seen my share of complaints from other members who believe others are a bit too inspired by them. The most common issue is when photographs or photo manipulations are the same in composition and subject. It's a big world and coincidences can happen, of course, but in this case with Mononoke and Snow white I dare to say it wasn't just something that happened, I think someone became a bit too inspired. I also think that the movie could have done perfectly fine without this interlude.

If Hollywood doesn't want us to the rip them off by downloading their work then they shouldn't rip off others by using their work. Simple as that. If above mentioned Mononoke scene was instead a part of a song and someone sampled that part then the original artist should get credit and royalties. That's how it should work under ruling copyright law.

I guess copyright doesn't swing both ways in Hollywood, it only works when they want money not when they have to hand it over. The movie industry says people are pirates but so are they.

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