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Trek Literature "...Good words. That's where ideas begin."

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Old February 8 2014, 04:57 PM   #1
DS9forever
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If Pocket Books published "Our Man Bashir" related prose...

... would they get sued by MGM/Danjaq? I really enjoyed "Our Man Bashir" but I can only remember Hollow Men using the holosuite program.
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Old February 8 2014, 05:22 PM   #2
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Re: If Pocket Books published "Our Man Bashir" related prose...

Well, the show didn't get sued. I think the "Secret Agent Bashir" program was clearly a pastiche or homage rather than an infringement. And it's very, very, very far from being the first James Bond spoof in history.

As long as the holosuite program doesn't actually use any of the specific character names or plots from any Bond film or novel, as long as it's just a pastiche of the general tropes and formula, there's no problem.
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Old February 9 2014, 04:32 AM   #3
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Re: If Pocket Books published "Our Man Bashir" related prose...

It is said Paramount received an "angry letter" from MGM over the episode. Still, were a novel done about Dr. Bashir's secret agent program, would MGM have any say in the matter or would that be the arena for Fleming's estate or whoever owns the rights to Bond novels?
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Old February 9 2014, 04:45 AM   #4
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Re: If Pocket Books published "Our Man Bashir" related prose...

There's a difference between what can provoke an angry letter and what's actually legally actionable. Intellectual property owners are motivated to be hypervigilant about protecting their characters and concepts, and sometimes try to intimidate others out of using similar concepts even when they don't have a case that would stand up in court -- for example. Although, granted, often just the threat of having a powerful corporation's gaggle of lawyers descend on you is enough to make you back down to avoid the expense of a court case.

I suppose calling the villain "Doctor Noah" was pushing it a bit, but otherwise I don't think anything in the Bashir holoprogram was close enough to Bond characters or storylines to be actionable. Which makes me wonder if the Bond franchise is still under copyright in the 24th century, forcing the holoprogram designers to do a knockoff -- and if so, how would copyright even work in a moneyless society?
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Old February 9 2014, 11:44 AM   #5
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Re: If Pocket Books published "Our Man Bashir" related prose...

Thing is, that episode was so much a spoof of The Man From UNCLE rather than Bond...

Dr Noah was already done in the 1967 version of Casino Royale, which wasn't EON, but the rights were held by MGM, so it might relate to that...
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Old February 9 2014, 03:50 PM   #6
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Re: If Pocket Books published "Our Man Bashir" related prose...

Lonemagpie wrote: View Post
Thing is, that episode was so much a spoof of The Man From UNCLE rather than Bond...
I have the strong impression that Garak's voice and manner -- not just here, but series-wide -- were pretty much Andrew Robinson's impression of Napoleon Solo. Peter Allan Fields was a writing staff member on both TMFU and DS9, for what it's worth.

Still, aside from that, I don't see what's particularly TMFU-ish about "Our Man Bashir." TMFU and Bond (at least the lighter Bond films) were in pretty similar styles, budget aside. Although it's fun to envision the episode as sort of a Bond/Solo crossover fanfic.

Heck, the very title evokes Our Man Flint, the James Coburn Bond-parody film.
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Old February 9 2014, 08:53 PM   #7
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Re: If Pocket Books published "Our Man Bashir" related prose...

Did Voyager ever run into any problems over Captain Proton? Or was that one generic enough that it wasn't an issue?
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Old February 10 2014, 04:10 AM   #8
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Re: If Pocket Books published "Our Man Bashir" related prose...

JD wrote: View Post
Did Voyager ever run into any problems over Captain Proton? Or was that one generic enough that it wasn't an issue?
Captain Proton was featured in something like four of five episodes and even had a novel written about it, so there likely weren't any legal issues or angry letters. With Captain Proton, it wasn't really parodying anything in particular, just old school sci-fi in general.
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