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You may think it's a public domain story, but how do you know it wasn't an original copyrighted one?It only takes one person, perhaps not even a storyteller but just a friend chatting to friends, to tell an original tale from a book, and the story can quickly be passed around, from teller to teller.Original tales however are usually under copyright, unless the author died long ago - usually 70 years, but this can vary between countries.Note, this is the time after the author died, not after the story was written.He searched confusedly through the myriad threads of words, until he came upon the dark, shadowy cave of Mr. He knew this from the small plaque at the entrance to the cave that read, "Mr. " Stepping from the shadows, Mr Faq took a slow breath then began to speak in his deep, slow voice, "This is a place where those who spend their days and nights telling stories to others may gather. Faq took a long, deep puff from his pipe, and waited for the next inevitable question. The seeker scrunched up his face and asked, "Well... Faq replied, "It is entertainment, a way of passing on a culture's history, or a way of teaching to both the young and the old. We all are storytellers, whether we realize it or not." The seeker was silent for a moment. See Bob Shimer's page using a palmtop computer to take to gigs.

Many have existed for millenia, owned by nobody, and nobody can claim them now and restrict the rights of others, although some have tried.

A traditional tale cannot be copyrighted, but one exact form of words telling it can.

This means that you cannot republish those exact words, but a storyteller doesn't memorise verbatim, so there's no problem.

Copyright is designed to protect "intellectual property", whereas the oral tradition relies mainly on the concept of intellectual property not even existing.

Hence the clash of these two cultures in the modern world leaves a very unsatisfactory situation.

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