New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

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

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  1. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Maurice did more than peruse Google for a legal opinion; he spoke with an entertainment lawyer, who advised him that:

    1) That "basically CBS owns the images." In other words, they are not, as "the collector" has asserted (on Facebook and Amazon) "without question part of the public domain." Although Jacobs Brown Press has mantained that the images are public domain, they are suspiciously absent from the cover (front and back) of the book, as has been pointed out in this thread.

    2) That, although not a transformative work, the restorations of Star Trek History, BirdoftheGalaxy, and any others constitute "added work" and are not free for anyone to use without permission.

    --

    As for the "tell" about the photos, there's no need to speculate; it's not a secret. Several of the images posted on the These Are The Voyages Facebook page to promote the book (and subsequently used in it, albeit in black and white and at far less resolution) have the same "defects and JPEG compression artifacts" as the ones on Star Trek History.

    --

    None of this addresses the ethical dilemma, of course, which is that "the collector" (who's name is not hard to figure out -- it's plastered all over the book and the Jacobs Brown Press website -- but I'll play along in case there's some sort of legal concern by the TrekBBS) is credited as the source of numerous images in the book which "the collector" obtained from other parties without their permission (these are Star Trek History, Birdofthegalaxy, and perhaps others). Those other parties are not credited for any of the photos in the book (so far; I'm on page 350).

    --

    Speaking of the book, the author or his co-author seems to have lazily used IMDB as a source more than a few times. Discussing Grace Lee Whitney's departure from the show, for example, the book observes that she appeared "on the small screen" in Star Trek: New Voyages and in the "videogame" Star Trek: Of Gods and Men (which is credited as being "video" on IMDB, thus, I believe, the mistake). GSchnitzer should take this mistake in stride; his work has been elevated from being a fan film to television!
     
  2. stcanada29

    stcanada29 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Harvey:
    Feel free to persist in your lynch mob mentality; I feel sad for you. It's clear (to me) that a blanket statement from a lawyer assigning total ownership of all images to CBS is an ill-conceived, ill-informed remark. As I said, The Copyright Act of 1976 changed how the laws applied to shows like TNG and the others that came afterwards. As TOS was produced in the '60s, it technically fell under the Copyright Act of 1909. (Yes, we have to go back to 1909 since that was the last landmark statute passed prior to the mid-70s). Under that act, copyright protection attached to original works only when those works were 1) published and 2) had a notice of copyright affixed. Paramount did copyright the episodes themselves as broadcast but they did not do so for all the behind the scenes photos since they felt no one would care about an unimportant show called Star Trek - and it would vanish from the public consciousness after a few years of being off the air. By failing to register the individual images one by one; Paramount forfeited all intellectual property rights to those images and they became part of the "public domain". Don't trust me, get Maurice to ask his lawyer pal specifically about it. And mention the images were not part of the episode but behind the scenes photos. And remind the lawyer of the Copyright Act of 1909.

    As said before by many, restoration grants NO RIGHTS. Deal with it.

    As for images in the book, please scan a copy of one of those 2" x 2" photos and SHOW the same JPEG compression defects in the Book Photo and on the startrekhistory photo. Stuff on facebook pages is web based and free for all to view; that's not the same as the contents of the book. For your information, most photos uploaded to the web are small images (meant for easy upload) and simply do not have the high 600 dpi to 1200 dpi resolution that would make them acceptable for printed publishing. That throws a wrench into your theory of some pics just being plucked from startrekhistory's website and being directly dropped into a printed book. Anyway, start showing some side by side comparisons FROM the book versus from startrekhistory. And don't worry about scanning an image from the book. You see, even it was still owned by CBS, which it isn't, there is something called Fair Use which entitles brand new works of art that are copyright to be shown elsewhere for limited, reporting purposes - without asking permission, as long as it is not excessive.

    Stop trying to make grand, all encompassing statements about matters which it is very apparent that you know little about and have not researched even slightly. And regarding the use of behind the scenes imagery on the book covers, that speaks to a different issue of product packaging / marketing which would require permission from the person whose likeness is being used. That doesn't apply when the images are inside the covers of the book.

    Grow up and stop hating. And don't buy the book if you are turned off by tiny black and white images that could have come from any of a large number of sources, do not detract from the beauty of the freely available large color photos on the web, are absolutely not owned by startrekhistory.com. Don't buy the book; and don't accuse Marc Cushman of illegally reproducing those images. And prove your case about a BW book image irrefutably being sourced from startrekhistory - or stop asserting what you have not proved to be true.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2013
  3. 1001001

    1001001 I Like the Beats and the Shouting Moderator

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    Okay, that's about enough. I don't know what your stake is in this book, but knock it off. People are entitled to their opinions. You're making it personal.
     
  4. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    I'm going to have to side with Maurice on this one, since he consulted an actual entertainment lawyer, rather than use Google and proceed to berate others for not doing any research.

    Things like my alleged "lynch mob mentality" and your cry that I should "grow up and stop hating" don't exactly make your case, either.
     
  5. stcanada29

    stcanada29 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    People are certainly entitled to their own opinions. But does that include spreading misinformation without dutiful research, or attempting to tarnish reputations by implying unlawful behavior? Do you not take exception to that type of mentality?
     
  6. 1001001

    1001001 I Like the Beats and the Shouting Moderator

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    I'm not going to be drawn into that debate.

    People are expressing their opinions about the practice involved. You're making it personal by insulting posters. Just stop, and it will all be good.
     
  7. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    So, you are suggesting Jacobs Brown Press used the images taken from Star Trek History on their Facebook page, but when publishing them in the book, had an alternate, higher resolution source? I'll avoid spending my time making scans of the book, because this makes no sense.
     
  8. stcanada29

    stcanada29 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    My apologies to Harvey, then. It just seemed to me that he is putting a lot of faith in one lawyer's remarks which to me appeared very broad and all encompassing ... and in direct contrast to my research. I wonder if Maurice would elaborate on how the info was presented to the lawyer - if there was a discussion of out take images versus episodic content, etc.

    So if, as Harvey suggests, CBS owns the rights to all of these images, wouldn't the book publisher have consulted lawyers of their own to determine if the images could be printed? And since the publisher acknowledges that the book is not approved or endorsed by CBS; wouldn't they be acting very foolishly and totally opening themselves up to a lawsuit by including all of those pics inside their books?
     
  9. stcanada29

    stcanada29 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Regarding the facebook page images; they are clearly not the same ones in the book. They are color, for one thing. And it doesn't seem strange to me to post a 100KB photo on the web for easy upload purposes and fast webpage refresh purposes; and use a different image in a book. Books really require much higher resolution source files - I am told. How about just scanning a single photo from the book to irrefutably prove your claim of jpeg artifacts identical to those at startrekhistory?
     
  10. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    There's something very strange about a user who joins the board 4 days ago, comes into this thread, and defends the publication vigorously with each post. In less than 4 days, that defense has grown increasingly hostile to commenters.

    And really, I don't understand how a few hours of research on Google by any Joe Blow is somehow more authoritative than the legal opinion drawn by an entertainment lawyer who is trained in these kinds of matters, and knows copyright and free use laws by profession.

    And judging from some of the posts by this individual, a few of them read as if they're not even written by the same person.

    That's just my opinion of course. Though I'm sure I'm going to get a personal insult due to it.
     
  11. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    To answer a previous question way upthread, yes, photos do become public domain. Things used to be 28 plus another 28 if you renewed. Now old photos are 95 years after the first publication. I almost took a chance on using some from early in Louis' life, in my book, since they were taken before 1917. But I couldn't ascertain when they were first made available to the public.

    I would recomend us all agreeing we do not have the expertise on the copyright pertaining to the restoration of allegedly pilfered trims. I find it fascinating; but what seems to bug people is that the use of the photos comes off as just a crummy move, even if legal.
     
  12. CrazyMatt

    CrazyMatt Captain Captain

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    Of course, the irony here is that the book describes, in exquisite detail, the conflicts that took place on almost every episode produced for Season One between writers over (1) who got credit for what or (2) who messed things up by changing (re-writing, actually) someone else's work.

    Karma, I guess!
     
  13. bbailey861

    bbailey861 Admiral Premium Member

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    I thought the same thing, too, and will leave it at that.

    I finally made a trip across the line, got hold of my copy (I have a U.S. mailbox near Watertown, N.Y. that I use to avoid ridiculous postage charges to Canada), and did a quick flip through. I have to admit I am very pleased with the snippets that I've read so far and look forward to getting into it in detail.

    I did manage to start with the forward, acknowledgements, etc. and with the very extensive list of names mentioned, I have to ask myself why the inclusion of one more could not have been considered. While it appears that it needn't be necessary, legally, it seems such a simple thing to do, morally.
     
  14. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I said out, dammit!
    You guys still fighting over this? Jeez! Meanwhile, I've almost finished reading the book.
     
  15. HaplessCrewman

    HaplessCrewman Commander Red Shirt

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    Can we get to some discussion of the content of the book itself?

    I've gotten through the creation of the series and up to The Corbomite Maneuver. The look at the production is incredibly detailed with call sheets and schedules, etc. I find that less interesting than looking at the series as a whole. I have skipped to the end of the production of the first 16 episodes and Grace Lee Whitney's exit. (BTW, what is the consensus over her departure from the series? The book cites some pretty ugly circumstances from her autobiography.)

    Anyway, the episode info is just too detailed to be read straight through. Maybe I will read them as I re-watch the individual shows.

    I love how he calls Star Trek II "The Wrath of Kahn". We're sci-fi buffs - not proofreaders! lol I swear, this will never go away. I say we start calling Trek III "The Search for Dr. Spock". But I digress...

    Re: the photo copyright issue. I'd just assume everything Trek-related is copyright CBS (BTS stuff included). I don't lose any sleep over this book's use of the material.

    I'm much more upset over Warner Bros' treatment of Siegel and Shuster vis-à-vis Man of Steel, etc. Not to mention Marvel's treatment of Jack Kirby and I still go see those Marvel movies...
     
  16. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    I'd be interested in knowing more about the thinking and development that went into the stories. Why did they make certain creative decisions and where did certain ideas come from and perhaps how they were reasoned out.
     
  17. HaplessCrewman

    HaplessCrewman Commander Red Shirt

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    From the bits I've read, the book is less an analysis/critique of the series than a document of the day to day running of the show.

    Of course, you can read between the lines and come to your own conclusions on why they did what they did, the choices they made, etc. The impression I get from this (and the Solow/Justman book) is that they were always behind the eightball and did things by the seat of their pants and at the last minute. It sounds like a hellish work environment.
     
  18. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    HAPLESS,

    I've been upset that John Landis avoided a felony conviction
    on the TWILIGHT ZONE case. As a result, I have never paid to see anything he did since. As much as I enjoyed ANIMAL HOUSE, I'd only ever pick it up 2nd hand at all.

    If you don't vote your conscience with your pocketbook, you're not really sending any message of dissent. Warner has always treated the SUPERMAN originators badly, if there hadn't been a public outcry in the 70s they wouldn't have made the offering they did.

    On a lighter note, I think that TSFS misreference should read:
    In Search of Dr. Spock.
     
  19. Capt.Mac

    Capt.Mac Commander Red Shirt

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    First we’d like to again thank the TrekBBS community for supporting us – we really appreciate it. Secondly, we’d like to address some of the comments since our last post in this thread.

    • With regards to the “tells” in the pictures on our site, both GSchnitzer and Harvey are correct. Some information about this is available on the TATV Facebook page in their picture comments sections. We have, however, performed more detailed comparisons, but we’re reluctant to release the results publically because of individuals who would be interested in harvesting our pictures.

    • We want to point out that we were not the only site that had its pictures collected and mis-credited. For example, those from birdofthegalaxy were also posted on their Facebook page.

    • When startrekhistory.com went live in 2003, we employed “hard” watermarking on each of the pictures to show their web origin. Many fans wrote to us and complained that the watermarks interfered with their enjoyment of the pictures. Thus, we switched to a floating watermark system that would allow the pictures to be seen un-obscured while still indicating their web origin. This floating mark was time-consuming to code, but we thought it would allow better viewing of the pictures. Now, as a result of this apparent situation, any further pictures which we may post on our website will be hard watermarked.

    • With respect to the photos on our site, it was said that they are “…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…”

    With regards to Ktrek’s comment that the photos on our site are “poorly” color corrected, perhaps he could show us examples what he feels is adequate or superior color correcting of original series film clips that he has done?
    The second part of this assertion, that the photos have long been available and we make them available on the web, is a broad statement. To our knowledge, the majority of the images from film trims on our site have never been in print. What specific photos on our site have been “long available?” Please elaborate and provide web addresses, or books in which you’ve seen them in.

    Franky, what bothers us the most about what has happened is the lack of common courtesy and professionalism from those who took our pictures. All of this may have been avoided if we had been asked by the publisher and/or author, at the very beginning, if we were interested in providing pictures of the appropriate quality. But, rather then being professional and polite, we were left dealing with an underhanded, opportunistic and unprofessional scenario.

    Finally, as one of the moderators said, “We’re just going in circles here.” We at startrekhistory.com need to move forward.
     
  20. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    This.

    But it's really up to each individual purchaser whether the publisher acted inappropriately in acquiring the photos.

    A shame. But you have to do what you have to do to protect your work.
     
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