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Fan Productions Creating our own Trek canon!

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Old March 5 2008, 06:23 PM   #31
OmahaStar
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Re: Marc Zicree Talks About New Voyages

Sean_McCormick wrote: View Post
That such fan-produced films are technically illegal is IMHO not important to the discussion on the Nebula-awards.
How can it not be important?
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Old March 5 2008, 06:31 PM   #32
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Re: Marc Zicree Talks About New Voyages

I think if you do a quick search on this thread, you'll find that I have not used the A word. At all. I am talking about legal vs. illegal. Why can't you understand this? It's not like it's a difficult concept to grasp.
Precisely - you are applying a simplistic argument to an irreducibly complex set of variables - like someone trying to hammer in a screw. I'm quite sure that everyone reading this thread understands your argument - and your motives for robustly suggesting that they don't - quite well. They, however, choose to express a viewpoint that more effectively embraces the intricacies of the issue.

It appears that Star Trek NV/P2 has been tacitly endorsed by Paramount/CBS, placing it in a grey area your black and white model of legality/illegality is unable to account for. Furthermore, it's partially been made by professionals who were paid for their time, making it - by another different, yet equally valid definition - professionally produced. Finally, your argument fails to take into account the qualitative definition of professionalism - in that an artifact may be crafted by experienced practitioners in such a way that it has a professional quality; something ironically lacking in many fully licensed Star Trek tie-ins.
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Old March 5 2008, 07:55 PM   #33
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Re: Marc Zicree Talks About New Voyages

You still don't get it. You, and others in this thread, are trying to make it much more complicated than it really is. Either it's legal, or it's not. There is no grey area. There is no in-between. It's very simple. I believe it was Scotty who once said "The more they overthink the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain." ... In other words, you're overthinking it, or trying to overcomplicate it, and I'm rather curious as to why you would feel the need to do such a thing.
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Old March 5 2008, 09:13 PM   #34
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Re: Marc Zicree Talks About New Voyages

Because a decision has been made by the leading committee of a respected body that ST:NV can be considered professional for the purposes of its award. We're explaining to you why. So, it would seem that it is you who "does not get it".
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Old March 5 2008, 09:57 PM   #35
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Re: Marc Zicree Talks About New Voyages

Sorry for not rejoining the discussion sooner--computer probs--but it looks like my point was covered anyway.

I was not arguing copyrights or trademarks, I was arguing the definition of professional. Thanks to the discussion participants that keenly understood the distinction I was making and the point I was arguing.

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Old March 5 2008, 10:00 PM   #36
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Re: Marc Zicree Talks About New Voyages

Omaha. you argue, weither the film is legal or illegal. The controversy with the nomination is weither it is professional or not.

[edit, to add argument:] Things that are illegal can still be professional, well done conterfeit money for example .

Last edited by Sean_McCormick; March 5 2008 at 10:03 PM. Reason: added argument
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Old March 5 2008, 10:13 PM   #37
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Re: Marc Zicree Talks About New Voyages

Sean_McCormick wrote: View Post
Omaha. you argue, weither the film is legal or illegal. The controversy with the nomination is weither it is professional or not.

[edit, to add argument:] Things that are illegal can still be professional, well done conterfeit money for example .
This was my letter to SFWA, regarding Mr. Zicrees quest to get his Nebula.
Regretfully, SOME of his public statement, paints a wrong picture of My project and it's participants:
>
> To the Board of Directors of the Science Fiction Writers of America,
>
> I am the Executive Producer of Star Trek New Voyages. I apologize for
> any confusion created by Marc Scott Zicree's efforts on behalf of the
> "World Enough And Time" episode of Star Trek New Voyages. It does not
> come from my offices nor does it reflect my wishes.
>
> Here is what you need to know about our situation:
>
> Paramount Pictures owns the copyright to Star Trek. The relationship
> of Star Trek New Voyages with Paramount Pictures is very strictly
> defined.
>
> We are not allowed to sell tickets to screenings of our episodes. We
> are not allowed to sell advertising for our episodes. We are not allowed to sell DVD copies of our episodes. We
> are not allowed in any way to produce or distribute our episodes for
> profit. These are the rules by which Paramount allows us to continue.
> We will not allow anyone connected with STNV to violate those
> guidelines or misrepresent our efforts.
>
> Legally, we are a fan-based production. We exist solely because we
> maintain our amateur status, and good faith relationship with Paramount CBS.
>
> Contrary to anything stated anywhere else, we have not sold tickets
> for any public exhibition of any of our episodes nor have we
> authorized anyone else to do so.
>
> Yes, many of the people who have worked in our episodes are
> professionals in their respective fields. We have been privileged to
> have Walter Koenig, George Takei, Denise Crosby, Bill Blair, Bobby
> Quinn Rice, Kim Stinger, Ben Tolpin and other professionals
> play key roles in our episodes. We have been privileged to have
> produced scripts by DC Fontana, J. Michael Reaves, and David Gerrold.
> We have been privileged to have technical experts like Ron Moore, Doug
> Drexler, Ron Thornton, Brian Kelley, and others, working behind the
> scenes as well. Yes, we have paid some of our performers, those who
> are SAG members; but always with the understanding that we are a
> fan-based production.
>
> Speaking for myself, it has been enormously gratifying to tap into
> such a wellspring of enthusiasm for classic Star Trek. All of us on
> STNV aspire to produce episodes that meet or surpass the standards of
> excellence established by the original Star Trek series and I believe
> the Nebula consideration of "World Enough And Time" is an
> acknowledgment that we are starting to achieve that goal.
>
> But I must stress this as strongly as I can. We are committed to
> maintaining our relationship with Paramount Pictures. We are a
> fan-based production. Legally, our episodes are AMATEUR. Marc Scott
> Zicree's claims otherwise are notwithstanding.
>
> I certainly understand and respect Marc Scott Zicree's desire to have
> "World Enough And Time" on the Nebula ballot. The script that he and
> Michael Reaves wrote was one of the best we've ever seen and George
> Takei's performance was stunning. We are all very proud of the
> episode and we believe it does deserve consideration.
>
> As I understand the situation, as it was explained to me by Rules
> Committee Chair, Jeff Carver, the award requirements specify that only
> PROFESSIONAL productions are eligible for consideration. Therefore,
> by the rules of the SFWA, the episode is not eligible. I understand
> this and I respect and agree with that position. The SFWA is a highly
> regarded professional organization and your awards are intended to
> acknowledge professional excellence.
>
> But it is also my understanding that the Board of Directors of the
> Science Fiction Writers of America has the authority to waive the
> professional production requirement in this case or reinterpret it to
> include Internet productions. This is new territory for everyone and
> I hope we can find a solution that serves us all. Our next episode,
> David Gerrold's "Blood and Fire" is nearing completion and I expect it
> to be even better than "World Enough And Time."
>
> Speaking on behalf of everyone who worked on "World Enough And Time"
> we would be honored to see the episode on the Nebula awards ballot.
> We are all grateful that you are taking time to consider the
> eligibility of the episode. I look forward to your decision.
> Whatever you decide, I hope that the SFWA has a wonderful and exciting
> Awards Ceremony.
>
> Sincerely yours,
> James M. Cawley
> Senior Executive Producer/Creator New Voyages
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Old March 6 2008, 06:00 PM   #38
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Re: Marc Zicree Talks About New Voyages

jamesmc wrote: View Post
> But it is also my understanding that the Board of Directors of the
> Science Fiction Writers of America has the authority to waive the
> professional production requirement in this case or reinterpret it to
> include Internet productions. This is new territory for everyone and
> I hope we can find a solution that serves us all. Our next episode,
> David Gerrold's "Blood and Fire" is nearing completion and I expect it
> to be even better than "World Enough And Time."
There be the gray area, but would that mean only professional Internet productions?

Oh well, at least you got the TV Guide award. Congrats on that.
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Old March 8 2008, 07:49 AM   #39
Samuel T. Cogley
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Re: Marc Zicree Talks About New Voyages

OmahaStar wrote: View Post
You still don't get it. You, and others in this thread, are trying to make it much more complicated than it really is. Either it's legal, or it's not. There is no grey area.
There is always a grey area.

The grey area is the main reason that I, and many others like me, get paid.
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Old March 8 2008, 09:58 AM   #40
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Re: Marc Zicree Talks About New Voyages

OmahaStar wrote: View Post
You still don't get it. You, and others in this thread, are trying to make it much more complicated than it really is. Either it's legal, or it's not. There is no grey area. There is no in-between. It's very simple. I believe it was Scotty who once said "The more they overthink the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain." ...

This explains so much about you. Thank you. I understand. Finally, I UNDERSTAND!!!


In other words, you're overthinking it, or trying to overcomplicate it, and I'm rather curious as to why you would feel the need to do such a thing.
Or perhaps you're just simplifying the matter to fit in to your narrow two-valued view of everything under the sun?
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Old March 10 2008, 01:15 AM   #41
Thalek
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Re: Marc Zicree Talks About New Voyages

One of the problems is that I don't know that SFWA has defined what a professional production IS.

Is it a production that earns money? Then Wizard of Oz was not a professional film for many years.

Is it a production that was intended to earn money, regardless of how successful it was? Well, then Plan Nine from Outer Space qualifies, but I don't think it's going to make the ballot.

Is it a production that was exclusively made by people with previous paid experience? That lets out the writer/director/creator of Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. It also lets out any other production where it's someone's first paid experience, doesn't it?

Is it a production that meets a certain standard of quality? Well then, it has to actually go through a panel of judges to see if it meets that standard. Which is what the Nebulae are all about: a panel of judges deciding on the merits of several submissions.

Is it a production made in which professionals (not necessarily PAID professionals) have made significant and substantial contributions to? Phase II qualifies on two points, because they use many professionals, and many of them are actually paid for their participation.

Just what IS a "professional production"? Has anyone, including SFWA, actually come up with a formal definition, or do they simply rely on an informal definition that "everyone knows"?

OmahaStar is right that legal and illegal are pretty much binary values: something may fall into an area where no interpretation has been made, giving the illusion of a third "grey" value. However, eventually, a ruling will be made and it will then fall into either legal or illegal.

However, they have missed the point that SFWA is NOT discussing whether World Enough and Time is legal or not. SFWA is discussing whether it is "professional" or not. It is debatable as to whether they SHOULD be addressing that issue or not, but until they do, it is utterly irrelevant to bring it up. Doing so is somewhat akin to deciding whether Mike Tyson won a fight or not by bringing up the fact that he is a convicted felon and thus perhaps should not have been allowed to compete in the first place.

Thus, the sole issue remains at this time, is it a "professional production" or not. If they choose to disqualify it because it is not an authorized derivative work, it still won't settle the issue of whether it is a professional production. And what they decide on THAT issue is going to set important precedents for the future.
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Old March 10 2008, 08:05 AM   #42
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Re: Marc Zicree Talks About New Voyages

^
Well said, John.
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