You may have heard of Beaumarchais. He was a watchmaker, publisher of Voltaire’s works, gun runner for the rebels in the American Revolution, but most notably a playwright of works such as The Barber of Seville (which Mozart adapted into an opera.)
In Beaumarchais’s time, writers were not well paid. The theatres of Paris held a kind of monopoly, or cartel. They colluded together to keep writers fees down.
The Barber of Seville was one of the hits of 1775, and continued bringing in audiences after that. But, despite the money that the theatres got from Beaumarchais’s popular play, his remuneration wasn’t very high.
So, in 1777, Beaumarchais led the other French writers in a strike. If they didn’t get paid more for their successful plays, they wouldn’t write at all.
This led to a scarcity of plays, and forced theatre owners into negotiations.
Theatre owners now paid royalties, instead of just a flat fee for plays.
You may have heard by now that the Happy Birthday song is in copyright. Or is it?
One of the longest copyright disputes revolves around “Happy Birthday” and whether you can use that song in your films and videos, or in live concerts and plays. “Happy Birthday to you” has been around so long that almost no one knows who composed it.
It started as a story on the Hokusai Manga, for the 1812 timeline, and it turned to the study of an inconvenient truth.
Okay, some writers are billionaires. I’m ready for your list of best selling authors and other freaks. A lot of Hollywood’s top producers started as writers, or at least a few of the top CEOs have degrees in subjects like literature and English.
But history tells us that these successes are freak. And that’s where 1812 comes into all this.
You know Manga? No, not the fruit from India, the art from Japan. Yeah, out East somewhere. Well, apparently the “Mangas”, or Hokusai Manga, a series of historic cartoons, were started in 1812. They weren’t published until two years later, but hey.
Baltimore: July 27 1812. The war of 1812 is a done deal. Most of the surrounding “Democrats” support war with Britain, over stained honor from an attack of the USS Chesapeake. They want to fight because Britain is supporting guerrilla warfare. But, one old Revolutionary war veteran, doesn’t agree with the mob. General James MacCubban Lingan wishes for peace. And he defends the home of the publisher of a pro-peace newspaper, the home of the editor of the Federalist Republican.
To the Federalist Republican, war with Britain is merely helping Napoleon. The United States has nothing to gain and everything to lose.
Daniel Isaac Eaton waited in Newgate prison to find out what his fate would be.
Before Eaton could be convicted, a Mr. Prince Smith filed an affidavit in Eaton’s defense.
In addition to other words of common sense, Mr. Prince Smith told the court that “It was quite impossible to maintain the fear of God by force; and religion ceased to be the fear of God when it became the fear of man.” Continue reading The sentence for the pamphlet
Daniel Isaac Eaton had been in trouble with the law before. (That is, before the blasphemy case.)
Once upon a time, in a little kingdom in far away Europe, there lived a cockerel by the name of Chanticleer, King Chanticleer. This rooster was a descendent of the Chanticleer in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Nun’s Priest’s Tale, and a distant uncle of the King Chanticleer which featured in 1911 song by Nat D. Ayer.