New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by neoworx, Jul 13, 2013.

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  1. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    This issue has the potential to become a long form birth certificate scandal in fandom. If the published images in question are individually credited as "Courtesy of startrekhistory.com", then that suggests the author or publisher has some type of document signed by Star Trek History allowing use for publication. Going to a website and downloading images which you then publish are not typically considered as "courtesy of".
     
  2. Green Shirt

    Green Shirt Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I wonder what the reaction would be if some "Enterprising" individual post the entire contents of the book on the internet for all to freely read. What a "courtesy" that would be. ;)


    Note: In no way am I advocating such a thing, just an interesting "what if" to debate.
     
  3. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    Well, some of my pictures of my "commercially available" TOS props were grabbed by the Collector for use on his blog four years ago without permission and without attribution--until such time as I brought it to his attention a couple of months ago. In fact, judging by the variable quality of all the images on his blog, my hunch is that any photo taken by anyone, anywhere, that can be found on the Internet is automatically fair game for the Collector to gather up and repost on his blog without any acknowledgement or attribution. The images as restored by startrekhistory are probably simply being handled with no more respect as anyone else's images.
     
  4. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    If the subject hadn't been brought up, the market would be speaking a greener language, at least with respect to this forum's members. Small potatoes, but so it goes.

    Plus 'the market' is a lousy criteria; 'the market' made a goddess of Jackie Collins, with Michael Bay its current prince.

    If the books are as useful in terms of print info as expected, they are probably going to inform and fuel a lot of threads here; that should prove to be a good thing. So the information (which I presume is not just good but unassailably good) value will be a benefit to us all, whether we read the volumes or not.

    Then again, if the creators ask me to not read posts about their creative output, I suppose I will have to respect that, since they should have some modest veto control over how the creations that came from their hours of hard work are used by others who might not have asked their approval. It just makes sense, right?
     
  5. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Since the images reprinted in this book are (reputedly) poorly reproduced and superior versions can be seen elsewhere online then that's rather disappointing in of itself. They could have saved themselves the trouble and simply left the pics out. I've bought lots of nonfiction books without pics and I still got a lot out of them.

    That said I find myself really wanting to read this tome particularly for the chance to learn things I never knew. And on the strength of the contents in the text I've gone ahead and ordered the book. I don't buy many books presently and collectible materiel even less lately unless it's something that really piques my interest. If this is indeed a small scale publishing run then who knows when I'll be able to get a second hand copy or an e-book version.

    At present I'm only committing to this first book and the strength of it will determine my interest in the followup volumes.
     
  6. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    Someone way upthread wondered if the publisher is a self-publishing platform. Judging by the reports of bad editing and imo the not-so-good cover, this is a good guess. (As a self-publisher, I freely admit these are well-warranted criticisms of many a self-published work.)

    But no, it seems to be just a small press, judging by their site, and how they stress marketing their books. Maybe they do little on the editing end, allowing the author to format/proof the book, but foot the bill for printing and marketing?

    From their site: "Recently, J/B has branched out into publishing, first in assisting in the marketing of books self-published by talented local authors in need of support, and now boldly going where no boutique publisher has before … launching the Jacobs Brown Press imprint with These are the Voyages – TOS: Season One. . . ."

    edit: Hey, speaking of the cover, notice there is no use of the words "Star Trek," nor any pictorial element from the show. I sense wariness there, though they are within their rights to refer to the name of the show if they are commenting on, or critiquing, it. Curiouser. Funny they didn't use one of the maybe-p.d. images, if they are not (or were never) copyrighted.

    edit 2: well, the back does have the title of the show. Funny they put only "TOS" on the front cover. Guess they knew their audience!
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2013
  7. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Considering they raised 10 grand via Kickstarter, and hired an artist to design the cover, I'm shocked by how fugly it is.

    I didn't consider the fact that the cover -- front and back -- is without the allegedly public domain images. It really is pretty telling.
     
  8. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    I didn't know about 10 grand on KS. For WHAT? To support yourself while doing the research? It sounds self-formatted, which is free other than time. Also the book's length people allude to might have stood some content editing.

    Wish they'd weigh in here.
     
  9. stcanada29

    stcanada29 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I believe the publisher mentioned on KS that the author has been diagnosed with advanced, stage-three cancer and that the funds would help expedite the publishing of all three books on a compressed timeframe - or a significantly shorter timeframe than would be possible without the funding. That was the suggestion, along with it has been a life long dream of the author to create these volumes.
     
  10. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    Plynch, thank you for your analysis, it was my question about the boutique house. I never published anything, but I'd bought all sorts of Writers Digest hardbacks back in the 80s, thinking I was going to do something, but I never wrote anything good. ;)
     
  11. SpHeRe31459

    SpHeRe31459 Captain Captain

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    For those interested here's the Kickstarter page for the project:
    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/791163687/these-are-the-voyages
     
  12. CrazyMatt

    CrazyMatt Captain Captain

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    OK, I'm trying to catch up here after being gone a few days... before I speak out of turn, someone please tell me: has anyone presented irrefutable evidence here or elsewhere that the images in dispute were taken from startrekhistory.com and/or birdofthegalaxy's flickr page--both of which I frequent often--and not from the source(s) listed in the book?
     
  13. 1001001

    1001001 I Like the Beats and the Shouting Moderator

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    That's what I was trying to say. Now that this information is out there, people here will make an informed decision on whether or not they want to support the project, given what they know.

    Again, I meant that only in the sense that people here will take this information and decide whether or not to buy it. That's the free market at work.
     
  14. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    If I understand correctly (and startrekhistory can weigh in for themselves if they wish), startrekhistory, as part of their restoration process not only placed watermarks on the images, but was able to insert certain "tells" into the image. Their confidence is high that the genealogy of the Collector's images can be traced back through their restorations, and not through someone else's parallel restorations. I think if they reveal what those tells are, then the Collector will be able to figure out what to do in order to circumvent them in the future.

    I think the Collector's blog site is replete with images gathered from all over the Internet. Any images on the Internet are fair game for him to do with whatever he wants. (I don't think he studiously avoids grabbing any images from startrekhisotry and birdofthegalaxy for some reason.)
     
  15. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    Sorry, I totally misunderstood. Yeah, making a more informed decision is really all that the discussion should foster, you're absolutely right.
     
  16. Ktrek

    Ktrek Captain Captain

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    I'm sorry but I don't believe Startrekhistory about this supposed "tell" in the photos. I don't believe it's possible to say with any amount of certainty that the pictures in the book have been geleaned from their website. I think they have intentionally stirred up the pot out of jealousy, animosity or some other motive against Marc Cushman. I can't understand all that's behind them trying to take credit for what doesn't legally belong to them either. I have looked through many of the photos on their site and the restoration work is nothing more than poor Photoshop color correcting, which anyone, myself included, could do with the same images they own. I commend their desire to take photos that have long been available and make them more presentable on the web but that gives them no specific rights whatsoever. In fact what they have done is technically illegal because they do not own the pictures. As I have emphatically stated before, and will once again, the only owner of copyright on those photos are the "photographers" themselves. You may buy and purchase copies of photos but doing so gives you absolutely no right to reproduce, change, or modify those photos without the photographer's permission. It's obvious that many people here feel that Startrekhistory has some kind of rights when in fact they have none and in fact have violated the rights of the photographers. This copyright law about the ownership of photos has been around for many many years and is the reason why photo copy centers must have photographer copyright release forms. Especially if the photo appears to have been done by a professional or contains content that would infringe on the rights of persons within the photos. I dare say Startrekhistoy has probably never sought out any permissions whatsoever from the photographers, actors, or others displayed in the content of the photos.

    So, perhaps Cushman was wrong in gleaning these photos, which has as yet NOT been proven, from Startrekhistory, but Startrekhistory is just as guilty of copyright infringement and their site should be removed immediately until they acquire the necessary documentation from the photographers and actors whose images they are illegally hosting.

    Kevin
     
  17. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Has anyone here called for the book to be pulled from the market? I think a couple people here are protesting the innocence of the publisher a bit too loudly and I think it has kept the "controversy" going on longer than it otherwise would have. The only action I see folks here wanting to happen is for the photos to be attributed to the correct sources.

    I won't buy it first-hand. Beyond that and discussing it here, I have no further interest in the issue.
     
  18. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    So then you agree with stcanda29 that these images are not, in fact, in the public domain, and so can’t legally be published in this book without the “photographer’s” permission? You might well be correct.

    But I think that if indeed the copyrights to these images are still held by the “photographer” and simple restoration of them does not, in fact, constitute some kind of “fair use,” then I think providing these modified images for free rather than in a commercial venture actually automatically provides a “safe harbor.” I think that making no money whatsoever from the images inoculates the restorers and conveys immunity from any possible infringements. Giving away the images? No harm, no foul. But selling the images in a book? I can see your point.

    But you do raise an interesting question: do images remain the copyright of the photographer in perpetuity? Can images ever fall into the public domain? Can I take an old Mathew Brady photograph of Abraham Lincoln, Photoshop some pointed ears and slanty eyebrows on Abe, and sell copies of it? Or do I need to get Mathew Brady’s and Abe Lincoln's permission still?

     
  19. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    Since Paramount & now CBS have reversed themselves from the sue-anybody-or-cease&desist-them-to-death 'tude of the 90s, they seem fine with non-profit use of TREK characters. That means it is okay on a legal (if not ethical) level to use characters created by other writers in these non-profits w/o compensation.

    So at what point does a trek image stop being the studio's concern and revert to the photographer's? Is this like the case Ellison argued for CITY, that there is a separation of script and aired program?

    If a photog took the picture for TV GUIDE, presumably it would be TV GUIDE's copyright, since the image rights would be assigned at time of payment?

    I'm just bringing all this up because this one guy seems to think that a non-profit use of and alteration/restoration of Trek related imagery like history has done is both illegal and unethical, and I'd like to figure out if there is ANY validity to that. It sure doesn't sound right to me, more like a shifting of blame to the presumably wronged party to distract away from the party using the images as part of a for-profit book project.
     
  20. stcanada29

    stcanada29 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I did Google and research info on the Copyright laws and I think others should do so also before speaking out of turn. All of these out take photos, behind the scenes pics, clapperboard pics, etc. -- anything not contained in the original '60s episode that was broadcast on television -- would have had to be individually copyrighted to prevent to rights to those pics from falling into the public domain. The studio never copyrighted those rare images because they never thought Star Trek would be so popular 20 or 30 or 40 years later. Only the footage inside the episodes is owned / copyrighted by CBS/Paramount. Unless they specifically registered some individual images after the fact.

    The copyright laws changed in the mid-70's for works created after the mid-70's (approx. 1976-77). So the later Star Trek series like TNG would have different rules that apply to them.

    As for these rare behind-the-scenes pics from TOS; startrekhistory.com is free to publish whatever they wish without anyone's permission, trekcore.com is free to publish whatever they wish without anyone's permission, startrekpropauthority.com is free to publish whatever they wish without anyone's permission, .... and even Kentucky Fried Chicken can publish these images as they wish if they were so inclined.
    That's the definition of something which has fallen into the "public domain".

    Restoring a photo to its original condition gives absolutely NO RIGHTS of ownership to that image. There is something known as a transformative work; but that goes way beyond just fixing blemishes or restoration ... it means greatly changing the appearance of the image so it can be considered a brand new work of art ... like Andy Warhol transformed a photo of Marilyn Monroe into a bright multicolored painting.

    I am not trying to mislead anyone in asserting that these TOS images are public domain and may be freely published even in commercial projects by anyone. Just do some web research versus pontificating the wrong opinion and slandering the good names of those involved with the book.
     
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