Sunday, February 19, 2006

Invisible Virtual Actors

I earlier blogged about Peter Calveley's one-man fight against's "one-click" patent. He is not a one-fight man, though. It turns out that he has also waded into another intellectual property struggle: What rights should virtual actors get?

You might have heard about this issue when Andy Serkis won an Oscar nomination for his virtually-enhanced performance as Golum, in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. As the ensuing discussion and the movie's credits indicate, Serkis got public recognition for his acting. Calveley complains, however, that he and other virtual actors have been cheated of like treatment. (If you follow the link, by the way, you can see what Calveley looks like sans clown makeup.)

Calveley has picked another interesting fight but, as he has had to admit, his contract with the movie's producers essentially leaves him out in the cold. The Screen Actors' Guild has only just begun considering the issue, so union rules did require different terms. Calveley and others have thereby found this answer to the question, "What rights should virtual actors get?": "Whatever rights they have bargained to get."

[NB: I posted this yesterday but, bizarrely, it disappeared; hence this re-post.]

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