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.

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  • icon
    cypherspace (profile), 26 Jun 2015 @ 7:41pm

    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.
    With a title like that Bond is going meta on the IP debate.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Curtis Cook (profile), 12 Oct 2015 @ 7:15am

      Re: bond on the rocks

      I think the idea of exploring new uses of old cultural icons not only allows creativity to flourish, but requires a new perspective that has been missing in the cultural dialogue. The James Bond I used is a composite of the cultural perception of what James Bond symbolizes. It goes beyond just copying the character and trying to cash in on it. I hope you will be able to get a copy so you can see for yourself. This is really the heart of parody and the new perspective on an old concept is what keeps out culture alive and vibrant.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    So you're down to whatever turns up in the mail., 26 Jun 2015 @ 8:03pm

    NO part of creativity is imitating 60-year old books! Only done by hacks to leech off others!

    This really only needs to re-arrange Masnick a little: "All this creativity... may be absolutely terrible." -- I'd bet heavy on that. Try rummaging through http://www.fanfiction.net/ for the utter DRECK fans write. -- Well, wait a sec. I don't want to be responsible for the consequences. Many of those will warp weak minds, and the rest will make you despair for the whole human species.

    Since 99% of all writing is CRAP, it's mathematically certain that copyright spares us from FAR more dreck than good.

    Anyway. Where, oh, where will you get a next topic? Peeking in dumpsters? Brands of urinal cakes? -- Oh, look at this wet spot the dog made, it's Eric Schmidt in silhouette!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Jun 2015 @ 8:31pm

      Um, no

      Your made up statistic is subjective. One man's crap is another man's literature. You also don't know the quality of the writing if it's never seen, so you can't honestly make any determinations about its quality regardless of your expectations.

      By your own math, if you increased the amount of works being created, yes, you'd be increasing the amount of crap being written, but you'd also be increasing the amount of good writing being written.

      Since people are able to read reviews of written works or stop reading when they determine that they don't like the writing, there's nothing wrong with letting all those works get written.

      Why would you support copyright for the purpose of suppressing the creation of works when that's the exact opposite of its purpose? That right there just shows that you're not interested in art or knowledge.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Curtis Cook (profile), 12 Oct 2015 @ 7:18am

        Re: Um, no

        I actually don't think this is crap, although I'm sure (I hope) some people will. It is not fan fiction or genre fiction. It really is a new perspective on an old character that has not been done before. Thanks for your interest.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 26 Jun 2015 @ 8:31pm

      Basic math 101

      Got a simple math problem for you. Which of the following is bigger:

      1) 1% of 100

      2) 1% of 1,000

      Answer that one and you'll be able to see why your 'copyright is good because it massively decreases creativity and spares us from crap' argument is ridiculous.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Digitari, 26 Jun 2015 @ 8:32pm

      Re: NO part of creativity is imitating 60-year old books! Only done by hacks to leech off others!

      .."Since 99% of all writing is CRAP, it's mathematically certain that copyright spares us from FAR more dreck than good.".....

      it certainly didn't help in THIS case.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      DOlz (profile), 26 Jun 2015 @ 8:34pm

      Re: NO part of creativity is imitating 60-year old books! Only done by hacks to leech off others!

      Were still waiting for the 1% of your writing that isn’t crap.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        JT, 27 Jun 2015 @ 5:29am

        Re: Re: NO part of creativity is imitating 60-year old books! Only done by hacks to leech off others!

        It's 'rummaging'.
        Rummaging is a great word...

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Jun 2015 @ 8:49pm

      Re: NO part of creativity is imitating 60-year old books! Only done by hacks to leech off others!

      No part of creativity is music imitating 300-year old musicians.

      No part of creativity is movies imitating 400-year old stories

      No part of creativity is everything imitating 200-year old plays

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        David, 26 Jun 2015 @ 11:21pm

        Re: Re: NO part of creativity is imitating 60-year old books! Only done by hacks to leech off others!

        No part of creativity is imitating history.

        Strike all the historical dramas from Shakespeare's repertoire. And all historical play. And every play or show involving non-fictional people. Or any non-fictional animals. Which includes humans, by the way. Or anything ever seen before or referring to anything ever seen before.

        "Oh come on, not another movie about carbon-based life forms. Not light patterns on a screen again. How unimaginative. Somebody switch off the Internet. It's just ones and zeros all over again."

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 Jun 2015 @ 6:51am

        Re: Re: NO part of creativity is imitating 60-year old books! Only done by hacks to leech off others!

        T. S. Eliot once said that “good writers borrow, great writers steal.”

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 26 Jun 2015 @ 11:28pm

      Re: NO part of creativity is imitating 60-year old books! Only done by hacks to leech off others!

      "NO part of creativity is imitating 60-year old books"

      So, you're saying that none of the newer official Bond books have been creative? What about the Bond movies? What about things like Kingsman: The Secret Service, which owes a huge debt to those same books? At what point do they suddenly become "creative"? When an MGM executive tells you you should? What's your opinion on the Hollywood studios that adapt books that are even older?

      "Try rummaging through http://www.fanfiction.net/ for the utter DRECK fans write. "

      What about the fan fiction that's been officially published, that's been picked up by a publisher and professionally edited? There's still some bad stuff out there, but at least you'd be comparing things on a level playing field. Let me guess - even you know that your ideas fall apart when you compare apples to apples?

      "Since 99% of all writing is CRAP, it's mathematically certain that copyright spares us from FAR more dreck than good."

      Including the crap pumped out by the corporations you tirelessly defend - more so, in fact since they're driven by marketing rather than artistic merit. Yet, you'll happily defend them while attacking independent authors.

      I admire your dedication to writing absolute crap every time you come here, so that your statistic remains true, however..

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Just Another Anonymous Troll, 27 Jun 2015 @ 7:04am

      Re: NO part of creativity is imitating 60-year old books! Only done by hacks to leech off others!

      NO part of creativity is imitating 60-year old books! Only done by hacks to leech off others!
      From what I saw a good portion of the book is taking Bond out of his classic superspy environment and putting him into everyday life. That seems pretty creative to me.
      Try rummaging through http://www.fanfiction.net/ for the utter DRECK fans write.
      You mean like 50 Shades of Grey, now a major motion picture? Yes, I imagine there's stuff that sucks there, but there's also really good stuff.
      Since 99% of all writing is CRAP, it's mathematically certain that copyright spares us from FAR more dreck than good.
      I'd rather have a much larger 1% available to me and just ignore the 99% dreck.
      Anyway. Where, oh, where will you get a next topic? Peeking in dumpsters? Brands of urinal cakes? -- Oh, look at this wet spot the dog made, it's Eric Schmidt in silhouette!
      Mike frequently writes about copyright and its effects. This piece is definitely more on-base than some other ones. Complaining about how he got the topic for his article in the mail is a textbook example of a genetic fallacy.
      Also, as explained many times to you, this is Mike's goddamn blog and he can write about whatever the hell he wants. If you don't like it, there's the little red X in the top right corner of your screen. (Unless you're on a Mac, then it's the little red circle in the upper left.
      Please contribute to the 99% of dreck elsewhere, perhaps on the dreaded fanfiction.net.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Jun 2015 @ 8:42am

      Re: NO part of creativity is imitating 60-year old books! Only done by hacks to leech off others!

      Funny you mention fanficton.net as it's played host to some fantastic works that only exist because the fix writer ignored the copyright on the parent work

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 Jun 2015 @ 8:47am

        Re: Re: NO part of creativity is imitating 60-year old books! Only done by hacks to leech off others!

        Fic, not fix! Ducking autocorrect

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Jun 2015 @ 7:34pm

      Re: NO part of creativity is imitating 60-year old books! Only done by hacks to leech off others!

      If 99% of all writings is junk and your comment is a 'writing' does that mean your comment is 99% likely to be junk too?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Jun 2015 @ 9:13pm

      Re: NO part of creativity is imitating 60-year old books! Only done by hacks to leech off others!

      So... you're saying that Disney's "Snow White", based upon old story-books in the public domain, was not creative? Are you saying that Disney was a hack who leeched off others?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Jun 2015 @ 11:06pm

      Re: NO part of creativity is imitating 60-year old books! Only done by hacks to leech off others!

      NO part of creativity is imitating 60-year old books! Only done by hacks to leech off others!

      A quick question for you:
      Why is an author building of of their work creative, but somebody else doing exactly the same not creative?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Jun 2015 @ 11:19am

      Re: NO part of creativity is imitating 60-year old books! Only done by hacks to leech off others!

      Ooh look, verbal diarrhea.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Ninja (profile), 29 Jun 2015 @ 4:19am

      Re: NO part of creativity is imitating 60-year old books! Only done by hacks to leech off others!

      First of all, it is not imitation it's a new story. This by itself makes your arguments invalid.

      Second, yes, 99% may be crap but I'd rather follow the simple math rules mentioned on another reply to your idiocy and have 1% of a lot than 1% of a little.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 29 Jun 2015 @ 7:39am

      Re: NO part of creativity is imitating 60-year old books! Only done by hacks to leech off others!

      I wish copyright could somehow spare me from the horse shit you've been writing lately.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    AC (profile), 26 Jun 2015 @ 9:58pm

    What better way to promote the arts than to make it illegal? /copyrightist

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    PaulT (profile), 26 Jun 2015 @ 11:19pm

    " 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. "

    Incorrect, Mike. Geoblocks apply everywhere, it's just that the ones most commonly noted are the ones preventing people from outside the US from accessing Hollywood content. You are prevented from accessing a great amount of content from the US as well, it's just that most Americans don't try because you get a better default service for the most part.

    It's also worth noting that this is simply how things used to be, and the business model that's outdated. At least here, there's a reasonable justification from the publisher (you may not like their reaction, but you can understand why they don't wish to open themselves to legal action). That's much better than "the business model we built decades ago demands we ignore modern distribution and block half our potential customer base".

    As before, Americans will still be able to read this book, they'll just have to legally import a copy (by going to Canada themselves or getting a delivery) - or, of course, download an infringing copy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    G Thompson (profile), 27 Jun 2015 @ 12:53am

    But how will Ian Fleming's estate survive? /s

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    andy, 27 Jun 2015 @ 1:20am

    DO SOMETHING!!!

    Don't just get upset about things like this or the many many illegal activities the copyright monopoly get away with , Don't just get pissed off or depressed at the thought of how absolutely pathetic and irrelevant the copyright laws have become.

    Copy these stories and forward them to as many politicians you can and ask for their opinion and their support in removing all copyright laws that prevent the promotion of content.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      jupiterkansas (profile), 27 Jun 2015 @ 1:42am

      Re: DO SOMETHING!!!

      Who are they going to listen to? You with your vote, or the MPAA with their donations?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 27 Jun 2015 @ 1:47am

      Re: DO SOMETHING!!!

      "ask for their opinion and their support"

      That has already been bought by others. You know, the very same people who have created the situation we're unhappy about.

      "removing all copyright laws"

      I prefer realistic goals myself. That is never going to happen, especially not in the current climate.

      I appreciate the sentiment, but what you're talking about is more of a waste of time than any conversation here would be. Plus, you make the error of assuming that commenting here automatically means that people aren't taking action elsewhere. That is untrue.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 Jun 2015 @ 9:07am

        Re: Re: DO SOMETHING!!!

        It is more realistic to rip all the money out of elections that make copyright budge.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 Jun 2015 @ 10:19pm

        Re: Re: DO SOMETHING!!!

        Abolish copyright. It CAN be done.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Pragmatic, 1 Jul 2015 @ 5:04am

          Re: Re: Re: DO SOMETHING!!!

          You'd need a Constitutional amendment. Good luck with that.

          We'd be better off encouraging each other to stop using maximalist language, particularly words based around portraying copyright as property that should be protected. Copyright is a temporary monopoly privilege that gives rightsholders the right to sue for infringement. That's all it is and all it does. The sooner people realize that, the better we'll be able to push back against this crap.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Guardian, 27 Jun 2015 @ 6:27am

    life plus 50 ?

    canada is now life plus 80

    so the guy now is violating the law ....thank conservatives

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Gothenem (profile), 29 Jun 2015 @ 5:54am

      Re: life plus 50 ?

      Ummm, no.

      Copyrighted works in Canada still follows the "Life plus 50 years" standard from the Berne Convention.

      You may be confusing the extention of copyrighted performances which increased from 50 years from the original performance to 70 years from the original performance.

      where you got 80 from, I do not know.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    David, 27 Jun 2015 @ 6:53am

    Posthumous copyright extensions are theft

    The author was not able to profit in any way from the copyright extension, and the politicians rob the Public Domain in return for a share in the spoils in the form of corporate bribes.

    The spoils of those thefts are distributed to non-artists (heirs, estates, politicians, record company executives). Any promotion of the dead artists work they could achieve pales when compared by the promotion of being freely accessible, and freely forming the base of new art, the way culture is supposed to work.

    The proliferation of art is turned into a secondary goal to the proliferation of money.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jun 2015 @ 8:52am

    out_of_the_blue just hates it when due process is enforced.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    DaveK (profile), 27 Jun 2015 @ 9:00am

    How times change.

    When I was a kid in the '70s, loads of paperbacks in the UK had a warning on the frontispiece saying that the book was not for sale or resale in the USA, which I was given to understand was something to do with your excessively-lax copyright regime.

    The mind fair boggles at the thought of it now!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      David, 28 Jun 2015 @ 2:31am

      Re: How times change.

      The population of vampires adapts to the amount of blood they can draw. Of course there are "jobs at stake". And the larger one lets the vampire population grow, the larger the job at the stake becomes.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    DaveK (profile), 28 Jun 2015 @ 6:13am

    The name is Bond, ...

    ... James Bond-except-where-void-for-legal-reasons!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Vic, 28 Jun 2015 @ 4:19pm

    I imagine plenty more is on the way as well. All this creativity...

    I imagine that this is one more 'good' reason for Canada being put right back into that 301 "naughty list" again and push their copyright to synchronize with other "civilized" countries life (or death?) + 70 years!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Random thought, 29 Jun 2015 @ 1:37pm

    The US needs to free James Bond!

    Heck, I'm surprised he hasn't managed to escape by himself yet.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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