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Thursday, May 06, 2010

Two Gentlemen of Lebowski

Since Dave has seen fit to mention His Dudeness, allow me to post a link I've been meaning to share for some time: Two Gentlemen of Lebowski, the entire script of The Big Lebowski retooled in Shakespearean language.  Alas, the script has been taken down from the Internet, but you can read a snippet here, and TNR has run other excerpts over the last few months.   

Posted by Paul Horwitz on May 6, 2010 at 04:54 PM in Paul Horwitz | Permalink


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Great tip, Paul! I don't know the whole story, but from looking at the author's website, it seems like he took down the Shakespearean adaptation in response to copyright threats from the Coen brothers (and their lawyers, obv.). While this is a totally straightforward application of blackletter copyright law (the Shakespearean version of Lebowski would be an unlicensed adaptation of the screenwriters' work), it's a good example of how copyright law can be counterproductive. Although in theory the author of Two Men of Lebowski could get a license from the screenwriters, the chances of that happening are slim (the guy likely can't afford it), and we're all poorer as a result (having been deprived of something fun and entertaining). There are some cases where I think the adaptation right does good work (protecting the right to make sequels to major motion pictures, for example), but here it seems like a net social loss.

Posted by: Dave | May 7, 2010 2:02:50 PM

This alone is worth all the time I have wasted (er, spent) reading this blog. Thanks, Paul and Dave!

Posted by: Chris Lund | May 6, 2010 9:36:10 PM

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