Allyn Gibson wrote:
From a business standpoint, Arnold's story doesn't make any sense. Voiding all of their existing licensing contracts would cost Paramount a lot of money
My recollections are not just of Richard's angle, but also the angry campaign run by some of the Pocket authors at the time (on the GEnie and Compuserv news groups).
I think perhaps they were able to nullify/renegotiate because the original licensing contracts had been signed before TNG was conceived
, so special arrangements had to be made to enable Pocket to do those earliest TNG novels, DC to publish its six-part TNG Season One mini-series, and FASA to do two TNG products: an officers' manual and a Season One sourcebook. (Similarly, IDW got special permission to cameo Phlox in one of its comics, despite not having an ENT license.) If the licensees wanted to incorporate TNG after Season One, then they'd have to renegotiate their contract.
Maybe it was
coincidence that all the contracts were due for renewal? But Roddenberry certainly took the opportunity to have the rules tightened.
It's worth putting the question to Bob Greenberger
. He may recall that the all licenses were voided and everyone was sent back into negotiations. I heard Richard report this several times. DC's Series I comic was ended very abruptly; the lettercol had only just mentioned numerous upcoming storylines that never came to fruition as described. DC certainly didn't expect the hiatus to go on so long. There was also the "1989 memo" (published in full on the old news groups) that was sent to the re-signing licensees, explaining the tightening of the rules of what elements could no longer be used (ie. no TAS, no long-running original characters, no more cross pollination between licensees' products, etc).
Would Paramount have to pay out a contract if it was being renewed anyway? In that case, wouldn't it only be FASA in need of a payout (unless they were at the end of a contract) and FASA had supposedly broken its contract
by not submitting materials to be vetted by the Star Trek Office. I recall a few years ago, someone connected with FASA mentioned some of this on this board. There was a lot of anger about their license, from both sides.
I recall that Roddenberry and Paramount were particularly keen to be rid of FASA. The "Officers' Manual" was laden with errors (eg. Betazoids hailed from Haven) and they released it for publication without submitting it
to the Star Trek Office.
Ah, I see the conversation has continued.
Allyn Gibson wrote:
I always thought the second DC contract was ended prematurely (and Malibu's Deep Space Nine and Voyager contracts as well, the latter of which they never even published an issue) and rather abruptly because at the same time Marvel announced their partnership with Paramount.