2024年2月29日 星期四

Free at Last For Mickey And Friends 米奇和朋友們終獲自由 二創蓄勢待發

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2024/03/01 第474期 訂閱/退訂看歷史報份
紐時周報精選 Free at Last For Mickey And Friends 米奇和朋友們終獲自由 二創蓄勢待發
New York City Aims to Build Low-Rent Units In Rich Areas 應對住房危機 紐約市計畫在富人區建合宜住宅
Free at Last For Mickey And Friends 米奇和朋友們終獲自由 二創蓄勢待發
文/Sopan Deb

Free at Last For Mickey And Friends

米奇和朋友們終獲自由 二創蓄勢待發

If you're the creative type and you're struggling to come up with your next idea, do not fear: some big works, including the original version of Mickey Mouse, entered the public domain Monday in the United States.


And if, on the other hand, you prefer your Disney characters to be cute, cuddly and never-changing, well, ... you might want to stop reading.


In 2024, thousands of copyrighted works published in 1928 entered the public domain, after their 95-year term expired.


This means that those characters and stories can be remade — on the page, stage or screen — without permission. (Finally, I can make that Peter Pan musical in which a middle-aged Peter laments unexplained back pains at the end of Act I.)


"It's important for the preservation of our cultural record, for meaningful access to older works for inspiring future creativity," said Jennifer Jenkins, director for the Center for the Study of the Public Domain at Duke Law School.


The creme de la creme of this year's public domain class are Mickey Mouse and, of course, Minnie, or at least black-and-white versions of our favorite squeaky rodents that appeared in "Steamboat Willie." The Walt Disney Co. is famously litigious, and this copyright only covers the original versions of the character.


Tigger was also liberated Monday and could soon be reunited with Winnie-the-Pooh in the reborn character's next slasher film. Yes, you read that right. In a preview of what could be awaiting other 95-year-old icons, the silly old bear became a sledgehammer-wielding monster in "Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey." The sequel is slated for February.


And if that still isn't enough to get you started, just wait. Over the next decade, freedom awaits all of these characters: Popeye; Pluto; Donald Duck; King Kong (the original film version); Superman; Daffy Duck; Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf and others from the Hobbit; James Bond; Batman; and Captain Marvel.


Get to work, people. And remember, "Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose."*


*This song lyric is still under copyright until 2064.


New York City Aims to Build Low-Rent Units In Rich Areas 應對住房危機 紐約市計畫在富人區建合宜住宅
文/Mihir Zaveri

New York City Aims to Build Low-Rent Units In Rich Areas

應對住房危機 紐約市計畫在富人區建合宜住宅

New York City officials put forward a plan to direct public money toward mixed-income housing projects in wealthier neighborhoods — a proposal aimed at addressing the affordable housing shortage and spurring development after a lucrative property tax exemption lapsed last year.


Currently, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development uses city money to subsidize developments containing only affordable homes. But under the new plan, officials would make money available to projects that have a combination of affordable and market-rate homes.


The hope is that developers, who can no longer benefit from the property tax break, will produce more affordable units using the income from high-rent, market-rate apartments to supplement the city financing. Those units would also be in neighborhoods where affordable homes have traditionally not been built.


The proposal is an acknowledgment from the city that its traditional affordable housing tools have hit a wall.


A contentious New York state tax exemption known as 421a, introduced in 1971 but relied on by developers in nearly every big residential project in recent decades, expired last spring amid pushback from progressive lawmakers, who criticized it as a giveaway to the real estate industry. Even the industry's lobbying group, the Real Estate Board of New York, conceded that the program no longer matched the city's housing needs, but it is uncertain if or when a replacement program will be passed. And a separate federal program driven by tax-exempt bonds has been stretched to its limit, city officials said.


The agency, which could implement the proposal without additional legislation, will first seek input from developers through February to see where and how it might be deployed.


Brad Lander, the New York City comptroller, said he supported the goals of the scheme , and he believed the Housing Department had a "long history" of calculating the level of subsidies needed to get the right mix of affordability in individual developments.


"We need more housing at all income levels with a focus on affordability and with a focus on generating affordable units in high-opportunity neighborhoods," he said. "This sounds like a potentially useful new tool to help make that happen."


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