Well aware of the underlying ideas there, this isn’t my first rodeo. Yes all man made works are essentially derivative, we’ve heard that song/story or seen that picture before, etc. Nonetheless stating this doesn’t actually counter or invalidate my point. Sure the first Star Wars movie can be reduced to one of the basic hero/journey archetypes but in fact we don’t value the tale as much as the telling of the tale.
Each unique rendition of a existing idea becomes a creation in its own right which we attribute to a specific “creator”. Lucas await the first to tell the story of a farm boy who goes off and has an adventure and Muddy Waters wasn’t the first to sing about how his woman done wronged him (etc) but these two are creators of their versions of existing stories. The point stands that the audience does not own the versions, we are merely responding to them. We really have no say regarding if a creator burns the manuscript/negatives/recordings/etc. The tale wasn’t destroyed after all.
I didn’t want to get into this aspect of the discussion as I think it is sideline to the aspect I pointed out regarding something akin to “moral right of an author”.
Maybe some kids are davy enough to care if Han or Greedo shot first but either way its still a fun movie.
Well you can’t really say if its making money or not since it is not a uniquely available product to make a comparison against other versions. As for releasing it into PD, IANAL but I suspect that might create some complications for branding and trademark aspects which are the real money makers after all.