Bond books to be revised to appease sensitive readers....



  • Miles MesservyMiles Messervy Posts: 1,737MI6 Agent

    The fire on the cover of LALD seems particularly appropriate.

    Decent looking covers, but not good enough to make me buy these even if the text hadn’t been altered.

  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 3,857MI6 Agent
    edited March 15

    good article boss!

    The disabled villain: why sensitivity reading can’t kill off this ugly trope

    I know we've discussed this trope before, its more prevalent in Fleming than in the films, his villains always had some visible deformity that made them bizarre and Outside the norm, and seemed to motivate their journey into Evil. And that's part of a long established literary shorthand, especially in the comics. Dick Tracy's villains all had strangely shaped skulls. and Batman's rogues gallery, think especially of the origin stories of the Joker or TwoFace. and the Universal horror monsters. Fleming liked that sort of pulp-ish stuff, so I'm not surprised he imagined similar looking villains. but I can also imagine a real life reader with prosthetic hands might read Dr No and think "waitaminnit! I'm not conspiring to deflect US test rockets, why is this author asserting such cause-and-effect?"


    HG1940 said:

    I am from Latin America. I haven't found anything that bothers me in the 5 or 6 book from Ian Fleming that I've read so far.


    thanks for pointing this out HG. I might have thought you were paranoid, but South America has had many oppressive dictatorial regimes both right and left, so I'm sure you've experienced some real life government censorship.

    In this case, as in most similar cases that come up, its market driven. Blame the freemarket, no government intervention required. Someone threatens a boycott of Disney films (and it just has to be one loud voice), so instead Disney withdraws Song of the South from circulation. The companies that own these works of art dont think of them as works of art, they think of them as valuable properties, and they want to continue selling as many as possible into the future. Disney has a vast catalog, so one film that no longer gets seen doesn't hurt them, its withdrawl may even gain positive publicity. IFP only own 17 books so their choices are more limited, so instead of withdrawing one book they change a chapter title and drop a few paragraphs that don't even affect the plot. and so far's I know, nobody threatened to boycott IFP, so this was a voluntary preemptive measure.

    by the way, upthread I mentioned Fleming's books are in the public domain in Canada. Indigo, our largest bookchain, has been been publishing their own editions of Fleming for a few years now. I was in an indigo store this weekend, and can confirm their edition of Live and Let Die does have the offensive chapter title and paragraphs of dialect. Just in case anyone gets desperate and wants to make a road trip to find an uncensored edition.

    The covers however are just white text on black background, the most generic I've ever seen. Much easier just to find a nice old PAN or Signet edition.

    dont know if anybody can see this online order page outside Canada?

    EDIT: heres another link for someone selling the indigo edition on abebooks, it includes a screenshot of the page where they claim public domain

  • RevelatorRevelator Posts: 515MI6 Agent

    Public domain to the rescue! Bless Canada, and may it become a model for the rest of the world. Your next mission Caractacus, should you choose to accept it, is to track down that Canada-only annotated edition of Casino Royale!

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 5,544MI6 Agent

    As we said on the previous page, annotated editions would be good as a way of IFP finding more print, I'd like to see that.

    That Canadian edition looks like it has a die cut cover, like the old Pan (?) FRWL I think it was. Still not sure how they can sell those as I would have thought James Bond is still trademarked there, even if the books themselves are public domain.

  • RevelatorRevelator Posts: 515MI6 Agent
    edited March 15

    I notice that the trademarked phrase "James Bond" is never used on the front covers. That might be how Indigo can sell the books without infringing on the trademark.

    Something similar went on with Felix the Cat. Many of Felix's silent cartoons are in public domain, but the character is trademarked by Dreamworks. So when Tommy Stathes, the world's foremost champion of silent cartoons, released his Blu-Ray of Felix cartoons, he titled it Otto Messmer's Feline Follies and used a vintage poster with an early version of Felix as the cover. Not once did he use the phrase "Felix the Cat."

  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 3,857MI6 Agent

    @emtiem I dont know the legalities, I just know Indigo is publishing their own editions of the Fleming books, and there is also a Canada only short story collection called Licence Expired.

    Here is the publication notes page from that edition of LaLD, from the abebooks link above. note the fourth paragraph, where they assert their own rights reserved! I'm probably not even allowed to link to this screenshot according to that wording, uh-oh (can you even see the screenshot outside of Canada? if not, I'll abuse image uploading priveleges one more time in the name of Bondian scholarship)

    I read an article the other day about an upcoming lo-budget horror movie with Winnie the Pooh as a horror movie monster. allowable because A A Milne's first book has fallen in the public domain (Tigger, who was introduced in the sequel, is still copywrited) . I've often seen it stated Disney keeps forcing copyright periods to be extended for ever longer periods of time so that they never lose ownership of Mickey Mouse, but the same article said that specifically the Steamboat Willie version of Mickey Mouse shall also fall into public domain soon. Not later images of Mickey Mouse, but that very first version is somehow its own thing. again, I don't understand the legalities.

    @Revelator I havent forgotten youre looking for that edition of Casino Royale. classic Mission Impossible quotes are good incentive though, I'll work harder to find it I promise

    speaking of early animation, isnt your avatar Oswald the Lucky Rabbit? if you ever run out of Fleming rarities to talk about, you should start an early animation thread! My favourites are the early Fleisher cartoons, but you seem to like cartoons even earlier than that.

  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,360MI6 Agent

    As a Law graduate it never ceases to amaze me how lawyers and those in the know can exploit loopholes in the law to their own benefit. I suppose it's the old saying about necessity being the mother of invention. It seems that there's nearly always a sneaky way around things if you know the law and are creative enough in exploiting its in-built weaknesses.

    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 5,544MI6 Agent
    edited March 15

    It's a puzzle. Obviously anyone can write the words 'James Bond 007' in a book, just like anyone can write a book naming Coca-Cola without having to own the trademark, but I'd have thought there would be some protection over using that trademark in the situation of a book starring that literary character. These things seem to have many ins and outs.

    The current books here all have credits in the front for Danjaq owning 'James Bond' and '007' (so not sure how Indigo are using 007 on their covers) which IFP use under licence (not the publishers, incidentally; which seems kind of surprising), can that really just because they put it on the cover?

  • RevelatorRevelator Posts: 515MI6 Agent
    edited March 15

    That fourth paragraph must be boilerplate legalese dropped into every book Indigo publishes. It's only legal standing would be to prohibit literal reproduction of the Indigo edition rather than its text, which presumably has been unaltered by the company. Now if Indigo had added stuff to Fleming, it could copyright those editions and slap on stickers: "Now with EXTRA Sex, Snobbery, and Sadism!"

    The Steamboat Willie version of Mickey will indeed fall into public domain soon, so any animators hoping to appropriate him must make sure he conforms exactly to the that film's portrayal. No eyes with pupils or cute Disney speaking voice, or the lawyers will feast. But if Mickey utters random grunts and spends his time abusing farm animals, you'll be fine.

    My avatar is indeed Oswald the Lucky Rabbit! He appeared in lots of shorts but my favorites are the 1929-32 Oswald cartoons directed by Bill Nolan at the Walter Lantz studio. An early animation thread would be a good idea, especially since so much is on YouTube. The early '30s Fleischer cartoons are wonderfully crazy--no Halloween is complete without a screening of Bimbo's Initiation and Swing You Sinners!

  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 35,540Chief of Staff
  • The Red KindThe Red Kind EnglandPosts: 3,005MI6 Agent

    I quite like those Indigo covers, with the small gunsight on the map location where a majority of the action takes place.

    "Any of the opposition around..?"
  • RevelatorRevelator Posts: 515MI6 Agent

    I reported on the Indigo editions at the MI6 board and received a response from NickTwentyTwo:

    "I worked at Indigo when these editions came out. The colour circle on the front is a hole in the cover, that when opened, reveals a map of where the story largely takes place, fairly cool. I actually had no idea if these were censored or not but I’m glad they don’t appear to be (I’ll check later today for sure). I’ve only got Goldfinger in this edition."

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 5,544MI6 Agent

    As Red Kind said, yes. I wonder how they deal with Royale-les-Eaux! 😊

  • The Domino EffectThe Domino Effect Posts: 3,631MI6 Agent

    I have the complete Indigo set and find them to be a nice uniform series, if unspectacular. However, the set does not include "The Man With the Golden Gun." Canadian copyright law at the time was limited to 50 years after the creator's death, but unpublished works by creators who died after 1948 but before 1999 retained their copyright until 2049. As Fleming died in 1964 and TMWTGG was only published in April 1965, that title falls into that category (as does "Octopussy and the Living Daylights" which Indigo also didn't publish). For no apparent reason other than a possible aversion to short stories, the series is also missing "For Your Eyes Only." So for completionists, it's not even a complete set of what they could have published. Incidentally, Canadian copyright law changed last December and it's now 70 years after the death of the creator. However, it's not retroactive and therefore Fleming remains in the public domain here (with the exception of TMWTGG and OATLD).

  • MFisherMFisher Posts: 742MI6 Agent

    So as an aside.... the prices of these are skyrocketing... I had picked up the complete set of the Penguin press editions with the pulp style art a few years back despite having everything Folio has done so far.. And as they were cheap and I liked the cover art I snagged them..... However after I saw the prices online recently I just dumped them for $500 I may go browse the used bookstores myself this week.

  • chrisisallchrisisall Western Mass, USAPosts: 9,061MI6 Agent

    I'm looking forward to picking up my favourite Fleming Bond when it comes out here in July. I rather like the simplicity of the cover.

    Dalton & Connery rule. Brozz was cool.
  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,360MI6 Agent

    Although rather generic it does at least recall the classic painted Pan paperbacks cover for Moonraker which I first picked up second hand in 1996. It was also the first Bond novel I ever read in the summer of 1997 so it has a special place in my heart and remains my favourite Bond novel to this day:

    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
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