ViacomCBS Selling Simon & Schuster

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by CaptainXaviOfEarth, Mar 4, 2020.

  1. GaryH

    GaryH Commander Red Shirt

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    Aren’t there already multiple publishers with licenses for Star Trek fiction, given the fictional Autobiography series being published? Janeway’s one is due in July.
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    It's a different format of fiction, presented in the form of in-universe nonfiction rather than narrative prose. So it's under a different license. Titan can publish books purporting to be history books or biographies or atlases or whatever within the Trek universe, but they can't do a conventional novel.
     
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  3. GaryH

    GaryH Commander Red Shirt

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    ah. Dancing on the head of a pin so. Lol.
    Thanks for the clarification.
     
  4. JoeZhang

    JoeZhang Vice Admiral Admiral

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    There was a really interesting chapter in a collected edition of essays about Blade Runner that covered Boom's "Do Android's Dream of Electric Sheep" which noted that it could not be an adaptation because the rights are with the Blade Runner company - it had to be a literal *graphic* version of the novel and the only elements they were allow to drop where "he said", "she said" - all other prose had to appear as written...
     
  5. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That was an interesting, if strange, project. It was a little bit of a chore to read; they didn't eliminate all of the dialogue tags, which gave the thing a weird flavor.

    They did a prequel mini-series as a follow-up by Chris Roberson, who wrote the Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes crossover, which was supposed to run 12 issues, and then got truncated when BOOM! reduced it to eight.
     
  6. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Just last week, somebody other than Marvel published a comic-book adaptation of "Queen of the Black Coast," a classic Conan story by Robert E. Howard. Rather than using the CONAN trademark and logo, the main character is billed as "THE CIMMERIAN" on the cover instead. I'm curious at to the legalities there. Is "Queen of the Black Coast" in public domain now, but the name CONAN is still trademarked?

    Don't know the answer. Just speculating.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2020
  7. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yes. The comic was originally published in France -- there are several adaptations of public domain Conan stories -- and this publisher (Ablaze, I think) is reprinting it in English, but due to trademarks can't publish it under the name "Conan."
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Oh. I thought that was an interesting concept, and I thought they'd done it because they wanted to, not because they were forced to by vagaries of licensing.
     
  9. XCV330

    XCV330 Premium Member

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    I can't speak for that, but I know in the case of anything involving, by example, Frank Baum's stuff, it can be tricky. Some books are out of copyright, some aren't. And the stuff that is specific to the movies, is certainly under copyright. And of course logos, etc.

    When Disney did Oz The Great and Powerful, they had to be very careful not to use anything that would have been MGM specific.(edit, and their earlier, somewhat forgotten, Return to Oz, for that matter)

    as i understand it, some of Robert Howard's novels ARE in public domain now, but the short stories may not be. All if it will be by 2028, but there will still be legal wranglings over movie specific copyrights, trademarks to logos, etc. And of course,

    In the meantime in comics, the franchise is kind of fractured, since Red Sonja is being handled, very well, by Dynamite, while Marvel still has Conan.
     
  10. mb22

    mb22 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Pretty much all of Baum's stuff is now public domain. So are some of the other writers' Oz books.
     
  11. RuthlessNate

    RuthlessNate Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Yeah, that's a good question. With trademarks and copyrights being two different things with different rules, it is pretty wonky and beyond my low level of knowledge. I did have to study copyright law some years back in a journalism law class.

    From what I can see, the copyrights are kinda wild regarding Conan. In the EU, stuff goes public domain 70 years after the artist's death. Robert E. Howard died in 1936, so in Europe it's all been public domain since 2006. In the US, it's basically 95 years after publication or 70 years after the author's death, whichever is longer, and starting on Jan 1 of the next calendar year after the mark. With Conan being published between 1932 and 1936, we're looking at the first Conan stories going public domain in the US as early as Jan 1, 2028. The last published content written by Howard posthumously that I can see came out in 1969, which would mean you'd have to wait until Jan 1, 2065.

    Plus there's the corporate entity that manages Conan properties and owns the trademark, and there have been stories by other authors. It would probably be that only stuff specifically from the Robert E. Howard-written stories and elements from them that could be adapted, re-published, etc., under public domain. Anyone using Conan would have to be very careful not to infringe on elements of the universe that were introduced later in other media under the trademark.

    Edit: I may be incorrect on how Howard's works full under US law. They may still be at the 70 year mark, due to their age. I can see some of them are on Project Gutenberg, though I'm not sure if that's due to their European status or US status.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2020
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Unfortunately forgotten, since it's pretty good. The problem is that the masses expected a sequel to the Judy Garland movie and got something far more faithful to the books, so they didn't know what to make of it.
     
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  13. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Just to clarify, REH only wrote one CONAN novel, The Hour of the Dragon (aka Conan the Conqueror). The rest of his Conan output is all short stories.

    All the subsequent novels were written by others, decades after Howard's death.
     
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  14. TheUsualSuspect

    TheUsualSuspect Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Now there's a neat trick!

    I usually don't quote unintentional mistakes, but this was too amusing to pass up. No offense intended, Ruthless Nate!
     
  15. RuthlessNate

    RuthlessNate Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    It seems I could have changed my word order!

    But hey, my sentences make sense to me when I write them (insert Seymour Skinner/out of touch meme).

    FTFY:
     
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  16. iarann

    iarann Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Some of Howard's stories are in the public domain because copyright rules were different when they were written. If they were not renewed (something no longer necessary), they might have fallen into the public domain back in the 1940s or 1950s. This is what happened to HP Lovecraft's work.
     
  17. XCV330

    XCV330 Premium Member

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    they don't have to be renewed but they do eventually run out.
     
  18. iarann

    iarann Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    From 1909 to 1976, in the United States, copyright was 28 years and you could renew it for a further 28 years. For Lovecraft, whose works were in a complex legal situation after his death, none of them were renewed. For Howard, at least some of them were not renewed.

    For stuff that was properly renewed or published after that point, it's 95 years after publication, or 70 years after the authors death, depending on the work and situation. So yes, it will eventually run out, but quite a wait.
     
  19. JoeZhang

    JoeZhang Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The essay is by one of the Editors and it's really interesting about the process - it could also not look similar in any way to blade runner or they would be in legal difficulty - I remember the collection now - The Cyberpunk Nexus: Exploring the Blade Runner Universe.
     
  20. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Commodore Commodore

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    https://www.google.ca/amp/s/amp.the...herlock-holmes-copyright-ruling-public-domain

    https://www.google.ca/amp/s/io9.giz...t-james-bonds-in-canadas-publi-1678191830/amp


    Here in Canada, we’ll see the James Blish Star Trek novels entering the Public Domain on January 1, 2026. (2025 will be 50 years after Blish’s death in 1975.)
     
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