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. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    I understand how big a favor the star-trek-history guy did us by restoring so many slides. But I'm pretty sure he has no enforceable claim of ownership for those images. CBS/Paramount owns the images, regardless of their condition. If CBS okayed the book, then the book is okay.

    The thing is, Lincoln Enterprises in the 1970s sold all those transparencies illegally. Gene and Majel literally drove a truck onto the lot and stole the work prints from a studio vault. Then they cut them up in their kitchen and sold them by mail order.

    Ironically, this little crime ended up rescuing tons of outtakes and behind the scenes images from certain destruction. Clips once scattered across the country by Lincoln Enterprises are now preserved on the Internet, so we're thankful it happened, but it was still illegal.

    If someone stole the Mona Lisa, and I bought it and did some restoration work, I would not be the rightful owner of the Mona Lisa, my claims notwithstanding.
     
  2. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    As an unlicensed book -- the back of which claims it "is not endorsed, sponsored, or affiliated with CBS Studios, Inc." -- I don't think CBS "okayed" anything.

    As far as ownership of the images goes, Jacobs Brown Press has argued that they are in the public domain, not the property of CBS. Assuming this is true, I see no problem including the images themselves in the book. The problem is including the Star Trek History restorations.

    To draw an example which I hope is apt (admittedly, I am no expert on copyright), the movie Charade is in the public domain, and anyone can release their version of it on home video. You couldn't release Criterion's restoration of the movie on home video, however.
     
  3. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    From the excepts the writing is meh, although the information seems interesting.

    But, again, I will not monetarily support someone who behaves in this fashion. It's offensive behavior to scoop up the hard work of others and use it for monetary gain.
     
  4. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    I don't have the book, but the author obviously did a great deal of work and research to write it.

    From what I've gathered in this thread, the raved-about text content is what he's selling, while the photos are just minor window dressing and in no way the book's selling point.
     
  5. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    I suppose we shouldn't get into how much we support those who steal (in some form or other) every day all in the name of everyday business.
     
  6. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Honestly, I think this is a little worse.

    It's a fan or fans stealing from another fan or fans in order to peddle merchandise. Those photos were taken without giving credit or compensation to the people who worked to restore them.

    It's a nasty stain on what should be a "must-buy" definitive work and a really low-class move on the part of whoever was responsible for putting it out.
     
  7. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    There are a lot of errors that really should have been caught in the editing stage. Whoever copyedited this thing didn't do the best job. I did find an error regarding the music, where he states City on the Edge of Forever had no original music other than "Goodnight Sweetheart" but Operation--Annihilate! had a partial score written. Whoops. A few character names are misspelled and so on. And no, CBS did not approve this book. If they did, the words "Star Trek" would be prominently in the title.

    However, the stuff that's being uncovered is eye-opening and invaluable. The comments in the Amazon.com review address the photo issue and it boils down to one party's word against another. Also, at least one picture was credited to Startrekhistory.com (I haven't looked for more). It's a shame this issue exists, since those of you deciding to not get this book would otherwise really enjoy it, I think. Hopefully it'll get worked out and possibly credits will be added to the next printing or volume.
     
  8. Daddy Todd

    Daddy Todd Captain Premium Member

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    It seems very likely that the author had little or nothing to do with the pictures used to illustrate his text. Don't know for sure, but I'd wager money on it. Too bad there's no email link on his home page so I could ask him.

    I have to agree with other posters who are reading it. It's a pretty amazing book. It's NOT about the pictures; they could all be stripped out and it would still be an amazing book (if a little text-heavy). The amount of new information is startling.

    The publisher would be smart to figure out some way of dealing with the picture issues, because they've managed to alienate a big chunk of the natural audience for this book. And there can't be that many people willing to shell out $120 for a three-volume, 1500-page "biography" of Star Trek.
     
  9. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    That is their assertion. Just because someone says it is, doesn't mean a court would agree. There might be case law on restored discarded/stolen photographic images, but I'm unaware.


    What makes it seem very likely? Authors often have little control over covers (marketing) but since the authors know their text and where pictures could/should help, they usually have quite a bit of input as to illustrations. In a book proposal to publishers, that is one thing publishers want to know is how many pics will be needed, since licensing them is a cost. It seems unlikely that some publisher would have known more about these obscure Trek trims than the very-knowledgable authors in question.
     
  10. Daddy Todd

    Daddy Todd Captain Premium Member

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    Well, largely because there is no reference to individual illustrations in the text itself. They're not an intrinsic part of the book, just a way of breaking up the pages and adding some visual interest. Authors don't typically lay out pages, and the positioning of the pics is part of the process of designing the physical book.

    But I don't know for sure, of course. None of us posting here do. I just wouldn't want the writer blamed for something he had no hand in. Like I said, I wish I knew how to contact him and ask, but so far I haven't been able to track him down online. Maybe he's on Facebook...?

    ETA: I did find him on FB, and he has posted what look to me like a couple of the offending Restorations. That's not points in his favor.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2013
  11. Ktrek

    Ktrek Captain Captain

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    Marc Cushman spent many years on this book. Long before Startrekhistory.com even existed. StarTrekhistory.com has yet to even prove that they are the rightful owners of the pictures, which they are not, and restoring of a picture does not give you any legal rights to said picture. If anyone owns a picture it is the "photographer". I am in the photo business and am very aware of copyright and what can and cannot be done. Star Trekhistory.com has no legal claim to any of the pictures used in the book. Most of the pictures used come from the private collection of Gurian. Now the original source of those pictures happens to be the same source that StarTrekhistory.com aquired their pictures.

    I think it's funny how this whole argument has developed over pictures that are readily available anywhere on the net many time over and not the text of the book. The published text is what is important in this book and Cushman provides a bibliography of his sources at the back.

    And to those of you throwing your accusatory stones out there have you ever downloaded anything off the web? Do you have downloaded copies of Star Trek episodes on your computer? or pictures? sound bytes? or anything Star Trek that you have not paid for? If so then quit your hypocrisy and clean up your own act before you go around making such damning claims. I bet everyone of you have illegal content in your possession! Probably did not think a thing about half the Trek stuff you bought at conventions that was "technically" illegal and yet you balk at a few measly, poorly reproduced, pictures in a book you have not ever seen or read. So in my humble opinion you have no opinion worth the effort it took for us to read it.

    Kevin
     
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  12. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    For what it's worth, the StarTrekHistory.com domain is listed on whois.net as having existed since 12 August 2003--so that's over a decade.

    I think the concern is that those who have collected these film clips for years (sometimes at great costs to these collectors in the case of rare clips) and then spend time and trouble and resources to have old scratched and faded clips restored have spent considerable amounts of money on their projects. These collectors probably don't complain about the costs; any hobby can become really, really expensive. But one thing these collectors have done over the years is they have made these expensive-to-obtain-and-restore clips available over the Internet--at no costs. The collectors are careful to not recoup any of their costs. The clips are made available to everyone for free.

    If it's true that the pictures were simply harvested by an individual by trawling over the Internet, and then provided to the author and publisher of this book, and then money is being earned to some extent because of these pictures, I can understand the original collectors' frustrations at having been careful to bring in absolutely no money for so long, only to have someone come along and start monetizing those pictures.

    Also, I think it's easy for the original collectors to have injected certain "tells" into their restorations. For example, they can simply crop each picture a tiny bit before they put them out on the Internet. "Look! The pictures from a completely 'independent' source has also cropped their images to the exact same degree and in the exact same way! How odd!"

     
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  13. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    As I said upthread I brought up this issue to a career entertainment lawyer who does who works to clear I.P. for movies and videogames: likenesses and images and characters, the works.

    He explained the difference between using images that are clearly in the public domain and those which are considered transformative work or work added, and based on my brief explanation said that it sounded like the latter. He also was pretty clear that absent other evidence these images would not be public domain (unless the Copyright owner expressly released them) in the first place. He obviously would not offer an actual legal opinion or advice without knowing all the facts, but he was pretty clear about how the law generally treats such items.

    So, respectfully, I've consulted an expert on this, whereas lay opinions given here are just that.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2013
  14. Ktrek

    Ktrek Captain Captain

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    And as I so clearly stated the only Copyright owner is the "photographer". Altering a picture gives you NO rights whatsoever. In fact without a release from the photographer it is plain and simply illegal. So StarTrekhistory is just as liable to a suit if they were to pursue such a course and they would lose.

    Kevin
     
  15. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    Well, I think the difference is that StarTrekHistory graciously has made no effort to realize any revenue from these pictures--whether it was properly theirs to realize or not.

    And then along comes a project with the very same pictures who seems to be realizing some revenue.

    If indeed StarTrekHistory and birdofthegalaxy actually could have monetized these pictures all along in the first place, I can understand their frustration with this project.

     
  16. Ktrek

    Ktrek Captain Captain

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    Except that Cushman is not publishing the book or promoting it for it's subpar picture content but on the years he spent writing the text and gathering the information to write such a book. No matter what you think Cushman dis a great job in documenting the show and it is, in my opinion, the best book written on the subject. And it's not likely that he or the publishers will make much if anything off the set. There is a very small and limited market this kind of book would even appeal to. If they are able to sell 10,000 copies it will be a miracle.

    Kevin
     
  17. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    Well I'm confused as to why they did include the subpar picture content then. It seems to be more of a distraction than actual value added. Didn't they think it would be a value added to the product? Didn't they push the inclusion of these pictures in their marketing? And is that really the defense--that they won't make all that much money?

     
  18. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    The back cover copy does indicate "behind the scenes images" as one of the book's selling points.

    As an aside, the back cover copy also claims that the episode "Sarek" (for which Cushman received co-story credit) was "the first episode of [TNG] to include a character from TOS and thereby link the two series together." This is a bizarre claim to make considering that DeForest Kelley appears in "Encounter at Farpoint" and Kirk's Enterprise (and the plot of "The Naked Time") are referenced in "The Naked Now," the following episode.
     
  19. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's very interesting to see how much writing Gene Roddenberry did on the series, conforming the scripts from others to his vision of the series. While plenty of others contributed much, Roddenberry was far from the "do nothing credit hog" people have been making him out to be. Also, at the time, Shatner was considered an amazing catch, a major talent on the rise who just needed the right series to propel him to stardom. The respect he commanded was considerable.

    Man... Star Trek a ratings winner? Roddenberry busting his back on the series? Shatner a great actor? This book has made it opposite day!

    Well, to stretch it a little, McCoy was not named in the episode as anything but "The Admiral." And none of the original series character actually appeared in The Naked Now, but I agree, these links were there. However, "Sarek" was considered the first episode to truly acknowledge the original series by the Piller and Berman and the folks in charge going forward. But that sounds less impressive in a book
    blurb.
     
  20. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    Having read the memos in TMOST and having read here - and perceived in the dialog - that GR rewrote almost everything S1, I never had the dude pegged as do-nothing.
     
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