Mars or Bust!
Chapter 5: Linc Shot the Moon

Copyright© 2021 by GT Dodge

Johnny took all the credit for Olgu’s success. Like, since he’d named her, it was just like he was up there telling her what to do. Instead of watching the replay alone in his wrecked apartment next morning.

Just listen to him, “The Cossacke Cosmonaut! I made that up. No way to enforce the trademark! No money in it anyways. Her bumper stickers didn’t sell. But she made money for Linc!

“That puff of dust and smoke at the end! She truly was a camera artiste even then.” She surely is the darling of the Pulitzer set these days.

“Her on-board on-the-spot mixing of shots and commentary.” In deliciously accented English, what a touch!

Now he’s complaining, “Her copyrights all went directly to TAS. No way they were gonna let a private entrepreneur, a biznitzman, sell prints. I know. I asked. So venal, those communists.

“TAS leased that footage to network TV: six hours with everyone on this planet glued to the TV, Fox network cutting away from the slowly tumbling Bug to Linc and back to the Bug and back to Linc. Back to Linc and his wild grin-” Not noticeably loony, except to me. And Johnny. “-describing the future of private space exploration with that huge MARS OR BUST! bumper sticker as his backdrop.”

Oh, Johnny can boast! “That was my bumper sticker blown up to wall-size and I never got a dime even though it was my artwork. No copyright, go figure!

“Copyright, now that’s the way to go. You get royalties on every sale. Like the one of Sharmaine.

“Sharmaine: her face crying proud tears on the poster, one hand cradling the other. The four-color lithograph poster that I mass-mailed yesterday. Gratis, one to every public school in New York City and one to each member of the United Nations. The poster I sell over the internet. The poster every school in the entire world needs ... Framed costs extra, I figure to ship a ton or two framed every week!

“Not me! I don’t get the money.

“Sharmaine gets her cut, direct from le Foundation.

“The artiste that painted it, she gets her royalties.

“Maybe I get a small administrative fee. Enough to cover expenses. Maybe a modest profit on frames.

“But le Foundation (it’s all their fault) they make a mint. They own the copyright.

“I thought I had that copyright locked up, and I did in the U.S.A. But not in Belize. Money talks. So venal, these artistes. I barely break even until next year.

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