Spoilers New Picard TV Series and Litverse Continuity (may contain TV show spoilers)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by chrinFinity, Aug 6, 2018.

  1. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    "If you don't like it, you don't have to take the job" has always been the excuse the capitalist class uses to justify exploitation of the working class.

    They get compensated for their labor in producing the novel for one company -- but then they don't get compensated when that labor is used to produce an entirely new work by a different company, thereby allowing that company to profit off of their labor with no compensation. That's exploitation.

    Your concept of exploitation is too limited.

    Neither would I. But you seemed to be saying it's only exploitation if the employer does something not specified in the contract ("contract trickery"), and I'm asserting that everyone can know exactly how everything works out in a contract before they sign it yet it can still be exploitation.

    Because what makes it exploitative or not is power, not contract trickery. If the employed do not have sufficient bargaining power to obtain better terms and if the terms of the contract are unilaterally dictated by one party, then there's usually exploitation going on.

    I don't think any other word is appropriate for an author's labor being appropriated by a third company to financially benefit them without them compensating that author.

    To put it another way: If Company A contracts out the job of writing Software Program 1 to Company B, and Company B contracts that job out to Jim, and Jim writes that piece of software, and then Company A takes a feature from Program 1 and uses it in Program 2, and Program 2 brings in way more money than Program 1, then Jim has been exploited. Sure, Jim was compensated for creating software for Program 1. He was not compensated for his labor being used in Program 2.
     
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  2. Damian

    Damian Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    How did we get to an indictment of capitalism? You're really going off the deep end here. And I'm not getting into a capitalism vs. socialism debate.

    The writers have a clear cut choice...they know all the rules going in...they are free to opt in or opt out based on those choices...they are compensated for their work. If they don't like it they can write their own books, there's plenty of original fiction out there.

    If CBS had to do everything you suggest then they'd probably simply stop licensing tie in fiction all together. Wouldn't be worth the trouble. Not sure how that's a winning scenario but hey, no one's 'exploited' I guess.

    I mean, this is simply ridiculous.
     
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  3. Damian

    Damian Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I would also add that this is an argument over something that really hasn't happened yet.

    Even 'Control'--the events shown in Discovery are not exactly like those from the novel. They aren't exactly reconcilable. And I think David Mack has noted in the past that he was inspired at least somewhat by the show "Person of Interest"--which had an AI and a character named 'Control'.

    And I am not aware of any tie-in figures or stories from novels otherwise being used in any of the shows to the point that we could see them being a credit.

    I was more or less curious about what would happen if it did come up in some future show.
     
  4. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    We didn't. We got to an indictment of the traditional excuse the capitalist class uses to exploit the workers by you repeating it. At no point did we get into the question of whether or not capitalism is justified, merely into the issue of how the capitalist class rationalizes exploitation.

    Calling out CBS for not paying authors for the extra value their labor creates is not "going off the deep end."

    Neither am I. Paying tie-in authors royalties for use of characters they create, in the exact same way that they already pay royalties to television writers for characters they create, would in no way affect private ownership of the means of production.

    Yes yes yes, that's the traditional excuse people with more money and power use to rationalize the exploitation of people with far less money and power. Repetition does not endow it with legitimacy.

    They are compensated by S&S for the value their labor creates when they write a novel. If CBS uses one of their characters without paying them -- which CBS is forbidden to do to television writers, I might add -- then those authors are not being compensated for the additional value their labor has created outside of that novel.

    Seems improbable. The BBC doesn't even get to retain intellectual property ownership of their tie-in novelists' original characters if I understand it correctly, yet they haven't stopped commissioning Doctor Who tie-in novels. And I'm not even arguing authors should retain I.P. ownership of the characters they create -- just that they ought to get royalties if used in canonical productions.

    I am sorry to hear that you think advocating for a person whose labor creates additional value outside the task for which they were originally contracted to receive additional compensation commensurate with that additional value, is "ridiculous."

    It already happened in Star Trek: Discovery season 2.

    A malevolent A.I. named "Control" in charge of Section 31. It's the same character. Staffers even acknowledge such to the author himself, as he noted in a podcast interview.

    Creative influences are not applicable to this issue. Neither the A.I. characters called the Machine and Samaritan, nor the human character who headed a U.S. special ops agency, all from Person of Interest, have the same personality as Control/Urei from Section 31: Control. The fact that a character has creative influences does not mean it is not an original character, and does not mean that the author did not engage in differentiated labor in creating that character, and does not mean that that author should not receive royalties for the use of that character in a canonical production.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2020
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  5. Damian

    Damian Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Maybe I'd feel differently if authors were complaining about this. If they were saying they felt they were being unfairly treated.

    The authors all know the rules going in, they choose to write tie in fiction knowing the rules, and I haven't seen any of them grouse about it.

    You are making up a victim where I don't see one. And I think our authors are smart enough to know if they were being used. I don't think they are unwitting tools. They're pretty smart people.
     
  6. Jinn

    Jinn Mistress of the Chaotic Energies Rear Admiral

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    I mean, if I felt I was being exploited by an employer who can drop me without any consequences, I probably wouldn't complain about them publicly, on the internet. Not saying that means Trek tie-in authors feel exploited, just that it's entirely possible they may feel that way and not say so, considering circumstances.
     
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  7. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    No one said they were. But you don't have to be an unwitting tool to make the determination that you don't have sufficient bargaining power to demand better terms and that making a public fuss about it could lead to you not getting book contracts in the future.

    Right now, we have one example of this particular form of exploitation. As synergy between big media and tie-ins become more common, I suspect we may see this happen more and more often. If it does, I strongly suspect there will be more pushback.
     
  8. Damian

    Damian Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Sorry, I'm just not buying that our authors are victims. Most of our authors here are pretty forthcoming about the whole tie in aspect and never once did I get the sense they felt they were being treated unfairly. They seem pretty open about it and ok with the arrangement.

    One of them, I forget who, said they are basically playing in someone else's toy box. CBS owns the franchise lock, stock and barrel and they can do what they want with it. That's how it works. You play in their toy box and you have to follow their rules. The rules say if you bring a new toy to the toy box, that toy stays in the toy box. If you decide you want to keep that toy for yourself, don't bring it in the toy box. You don't have to bring your new toy to the toy box. You can keep it for your own toy box if you want. If you decide you don't like those rules then you don't get to play in their toy box. Simple as that.

    Maybe they wouldn't say they were being unfairly treated. But I can't imagine authors would come on here and say they're fine with it. At most they wouldn't comment at all about the subject. It's not like authors are required to come on TrekBBS to begin with, and they're not required to say anything if they are on TrekBBS. They simply could say nothing at all.

    But if you want to believe our authors are being exploited by CBS and are required to say they're ok with the arrangement then be my guest.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2020
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  9. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    When Paul Levitz was publisher at DC Comics, he would pay creators money when their characters were used in a film-- but this was something he did because he wanted to, not because he had to, and the practice ended when his tenure at DC is.
     
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  10. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    And indeed, failure to pay royalties to something that made millions more in adaptation than it ever could have in its original for-hire medium is the entire basis of the Siegel and Shuster claim against DC Comics/Warner Bros. for not giving them a fair share of decades of Superman revenue. Poor Jerry Siegel was living in abject poverty at the same time his creation was racking in millions for Warner Bros., all because of the contract he signed in the 30s for something like $200.00.

    I challenge you, @Damian , to ask yourself why you care more about the financial interests of the wealthy and powerful CBS Corporation than the best interests of the authors who actually write the stories you enjoy.
     
  11. Stephen!

    Stephen! Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Which interview is this?
     
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  12. Damian

    Damian Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Sorry, not taking the bait. You are inferring something I never said or even inferred.

    In fact, I said the reverse, that it would be nice if the authors did in fact get recognized if something they created for a novel showed up in a show. AND, this is something that almost never happens in the Star Trek franchise anyway. It's extremely rare that CBS (and Paramount before) lifts something from one of the novels. So you're making an issue of something doesn't even really exist to begin with.

    Finally, my original question only pertained to Star Trek---not other franchises. Not every franchise is the same. Star Trek is not remotely the same as one based on a comic book or novel. Gene Roddenberry created Star Trek as a TV show and as far as I know he did quite well with his creation.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2020
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  13. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Prioritizing the interests of a large corporation over the welfare of media tie-in novelists is what you have done this entire conversation by claiming that a practice that denies those authors compensation for additional value created by their labor outside of the novel for which they were commissioned is somehow not exploitative.

    There is no meaningful difference between Author 1 being denied royalties for the use of his character from a Star Trek novel in a Star Trek episode, and Jerry Siegel being denied royalties for the use of his character from a comic book in a feature film. A writer has created a character to which he relinquishes ownership to a corporation, that corporation uses that character in another medium, that character thereby generates revenue far in excess of what could have been generated in that medium without that character, and that writer is denied royalties for the use of that character.

    And one of the reasons he did well was that he was paid royalties when the characters he created were used in other productions. Just like the authors of Star Trek media tie-in novels ought to be.
     
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  14. Damian

    Damian Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm sorry I don't feel this is some crusade against the evil CBS Corporation like you do I guess. In my list of priorities this is not exactly high on my list---for the simple reason that I don't see this happening in the world of Star Trek a whole lot, almost never in fact.

    And yet again you are making an issue where none exists. Other than maybe Control it's extremely rare that something from the tie ins show up in a show to the extent that this would even be an issue.

    I'm sorry I don't feel like going on some crusade against something that ISN'T EVEN AN ISSUE. :rolleyes:

    Again, rarely happens in Star Trek.

    In fact, I'd say the reverse is true. Often the shows not only ignore tie in fiction---many times they outright contradict the tie ins. I mean "Picard" pretty much nullified the entire litverse from Destiny on.

    I'm done here. I'm starting to repeat myself and that's when it's time for me to check out. Have fun with your crusade.

    I mean, my God, I'm sorry I even asked the question to begin with. :sigh:
     
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  15. thribs

    thribs Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Slightly off topic but if they make a Lower Decks novel, They should get Peter David to write it. Considering the setting is at the same time as when New Frontier Series ended, he could do crossovers.
     
  16. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    If a Lower Decks novel were written, it would be aimed towards more casual fans who are familiar particularly with Lower Decks, and presumably not the Litverse or any other Trek novels. Therefore, there would likely be no crossovers with New Frontier.
     
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  17. Markonian

    Markonian Fleet Admiral Moderator

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    There could always be an extended appearance of Captain Shelby. The suits may not nix it, because she appeared in an LD episode.
     
  18. Leto_II

    Leto_II Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    So...just caught this week's episode of The Ready Room on Paramount+, and Wil Wheaton introduced a preview-clip from the upcoming episode of Star Trek: Prodigy, and...this was the onscreen depiction shown of the
    Kobayashi Maru-ship from the simulation:

    [​IMG]

    Trying to remember the physical description of the S.S. Kobayashi Maru from Andy Mangels' and Michael Martin's novel, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't described as being an ex-Starfleet vessel with the configuration seen in the 2009 film, unless maybe this version of the simulation is a 24th Century variant produced after the one seen in The Wrath of Khan?
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2022
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  19. ryan123450

    ryan123450 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Seems like something which would be constantly updated as the decades passed.
     
  20. Leto_II

    Leto_II Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    ^ Agreed. Maybe Starfleet Academy rotates different versions or something to keep the cadets on their toes, as surely word would eventually leak out about the specific characteristics of a given iteration (despite all of them being "no-win").
     
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