Guy Writes New James Bond Book… Only Available Where Bond Is In The Public Domain
from the get-it-now dept
Since I run Techdirt, book publishers frequently push random books on me. Sometimes they just send the books. More frequently they send me announcements about books to see if I might be interested. Most go directly in the recycle bin. But one that came in just recently caught my eye — and not because of the subject matter. Usually the books are about the tech industry or politics or something. But this was a James Bond story. I almost tossed it out immediately, assuming someone mail merged the wrong press list — but then I realized why we were on the list. James Bond recently went into the public domain in Canada, raising some interesting questions over what that meant — since 007 is still protected by copyright in the US and some other countries. So, now it appears that some guy named Curtis Cook has decided to write himself his own Bond book, and the press release touts the fact that it’s because Bond is in the public domain in Canada.
At the end of the letter, it notes that review copies are available worldwide, but that “commercial sales [will be] limited to Canada and other countries that are “life plus 50″ Berne rule signatories.” In other words, don’t expect to see the book in the US, unless you snag a review copy.
Of course, the book may be absolutely terrible. But it does seem interesting that this book can only be sold in certain countries — and not in the US — thanks to copyright law. Something seems fundamentally wrong about that — but I guess that people who live in countries outside the US who frequently experience ridiculous geoblocks will note that this is just a physical form of the same thing, but in reverse.
In the meantime, with Bond in the public domain in Canada, it’s not just new Bond books we’re seeing, but other interesting projects as well — such as a new unauthorized anthology of Bond stories called License Expired. I imagine plenty more is on the way as well. All this creativity… and none of it can touch the United States. Because of our broken copyright system.