In his book, Knowledge and Decisions, one of my favorite books he has written, Thomas Sowell, in a section on "The Physical Fallacy," writes:A revealing episode in the early career of Walt Disney may illustrate the physical fallacy on a smaller and more human scale. Back in the 1920s, when Disney first emerged as a cartoonist, his early successes led him to found a studio and to employ other artists to draw the thousands of pictures required for animated cartoon movies. Disney Studios was particularly successful with an early cartoon character called Oswald Rabbit, whose copyright was held by a movie distributor rather than by Disney. This distributor decided to eliminate the need to pay Disney by hiring away his cartoonists and both producing and marketing the product. From the standpoint of the physical fallacy, Disney was superfluous. He neither drew the cartoons nor transported the films to theaters nor showed them to the public. The distributor, with the Disney staff and the copyright on Disney's character, expected to profit from his coup--but without Disney's ideas the previously valuable character suddenly became worthless as a money-maker at the box office. What had really been sold all along were Disney's ideas and fantasies. The physical things--the drawings, the film, and the theaters--were merely vehicles. It. was only a matter of time before another set of vehicles could be arranged and the ideas incorporated in a new character--Mickey Mouse--which Disney copyrighted in his own name.
Thursday, March 8, 2012
Quote of the day: Mickey Mouse