Rumor Control: Harlan Ellison NOT Suing Over New Star Trek Movie | TrekMovie.com
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Rumor Control: Harlan Ellison NOT Suing Over New Star Trek Movie March 18, 2009

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: Star Trek (2009 film) , trackback

A couple of days ago it was announced that "City on the Edge of Forever" writer Harlan Ellison was suing Paramount over alleged payments due to him for merchandising. This lawsuit was big news, being reported all across the web from entertainment sites, to Variety to the New York Times. And now it is sparked a new rumor, which is actually an old rumor.

 

The rebirth of a rumor
It started with Wired when they posted an article earlier today titled "Ellison Threatening Abrams’ Trek with Lawsuit.’ The article claims that Ellison is "oiling up the two-cycle chainsaw to take on Paramount and J.J. Abrams over the new Star Trek movie." This would be news as there was absolutely no mention of Abrams or the new film in the original press release issued by Ellison and his attorney on Sunday. Wired’s proof of this is actually linking to an article from 2007 on RottenTomatoes about a report from AICN and CHUD about Harlan being upset about reports that the Guardian of Forever was in the new movie. The actual source of that that was actually a rumor started by IESB on November 11th, 2007, which sparked a tirade by Ellison on his site (see TrekMovie article on that).

The problem with all of that is that TrekMovie actually talked to Mr. Ellison about this a month later in December of 2007, and he dispelled it. We got Ellison on video saying that he looked into it and there was no Guardian of Forever in the Star Trek movie, and he went on to say the Internet ‘bombed out of existence’ and refered to people who spread rumors on it as ‘idiots’  along with many other colorful metaphors. Ellison went on to say he thought JJ Abrams was “a brilliant writer” and that Abrams is “does not need to steal” from him.
(see the video below, discussion of the GoF and new Trek movie is at around 1:30).

But a good rumor is hard to kill, and so Wired decided to bring it back from the dead. This then spurned other sites to pick up the rumor, including Cinemablend and SciFiWire.  So just to be sure TrekMovie again re-confirmed that the Guardian of Forever does not play a factor in the new movie, and if you haven’t heard already [SPOILERS] all the time traveling in the film is done via ships…two of them to be specific [END SPOILERS].

And to be super duper sure, we checked with John H. Carmichael, Mr. Ellison’s attorney. Mr. Carmichael tells TrekMovie that he saw the reports about a link between the lawsuit and the new movie and he had "no idea what that is about." Ellison’s lawyer made it clear that the new film is "not the focus" of the suit. As we reported on Sunday, the suit is related mostly to merchandising and the thing that sparked it all off was the 2006 publication of the "Crucible" trilogy of books by Simon and Schuster, which featured the Guardian of Forever. Even the timing of the case close to the film is coincidental. Carmichael tells TrekMovie they have been trying to work with the WGA for the past few years to resolve Ellison’s issues until they just gave up, and are in fact naming the WGA in the suit as well for not "doing its stated purpose" of advocating writer’s rights.


The Crucible trilogy is what really set Ellison off

While on the phone Mr. Carmichael also noted that Paramount should actually not be part of suit at all, and they will be filing an update to their original suit to change the target to CBS Corporation, who they have deemed to be the current legal successor to Desilu. It was Desilu in the 60s who had the contract with Ellison and the other writers. Desilu was purchased by Paramount, but after the Viacom split, apparently it is now CBS Corporation which is the appropriate legal entity for contracts associated with Desilu.

TrekMovie will have more on the Ellison lawsuit as it moves through the legal system.
 


Spock, are you sure you know how to work this thing?

Gerrold supports Ellison
In addition to sparking reports and rumors, the Ellison lawsuit has also sparked a lot of debate. Our first article already has hundreds of comments, some of them quite ‘colorful’. One notable commentator is one of Ellison’s fellow Star Trek scribes David Gerrold, writer of “Trouble with Tribbles.” Gerrold made several comments in support of Ellison, including this note to Ellison’s critics, (in part):

I know Harlan, I’ve known him for over forty years. He’s a passionate man. He gave me one of the character references I needed when I adopted my son. He’s also set a standard for writers throughout the field to aspire to. And in all the time I’ve known him, I’ve watched him continually educate himself and grow, not only as a storyteller, but also as a human being. He does not deserve one-tenth of the BS that people spread about him.

That he never hesitates to rage against stupidity and injustice should make him a superhero in this arena, not an object of disdain to the uninformed. This man has done more to elevate the science fiction field than almost anybody I can think of. He has continually demanded that writers function at their highest level, that producers use the medium to educate and challenge and inspire. He has continually demanded that all of us be the very best we can be. That he is impatient is not because he is a crank, it is because the job is so big and most of us are moving too slowly.

 

Comments

1. Hat Rick - March 19, 2009

Let us all hope for the best of all possible worlds for all involved.

2. SirMartman - March 19, 2009

Thats interesting, I hope this gets sorted fast.

Ive high hopes for ST:TFB

:o)

3. Ryan T. Riddle - March 19, 2009

It’s more sensational and salacious to link Ellison’s suit to the new movie, but it’s good to know that this site will actual do the journalistic legwork and check the facts by asking a source — in this case, Ellison’s lawyer. Bravo!

4. Captain Decker - March 19, 2009

Trekmovie does indeed do fantastic research to get to the heart of these stories. Excellent work, Anthony.

5. Paulaner - March 19, 2009

That guy is funny.

6. Cobalt 1365 - March 19, 2009

Thank you Trekmovie for rising above the other sites mentioned and actually doing research and fact-checking before starting rumors.

7. Adam E - March 19, 2009

Great picture of the Guardian with the new and classic Kirk & Spock.

8. Fortyseven - March 19, 2009

I’ve got to say, that video goes a long way toward softening my opinion of the guy. :P

9. Tuvok - March 19, 2009

This is most interesting. Mostly because I’ve wanted to see that episode for a while now. =D

10. crazydaystrom - March 19, 2009

Its been my impression over the decades that Ellison is an honorable man. Outspoken, maddening, short-fused and cantankerous, yes, but an honorable man.

11. LoyalStarTrekFan - March 19, 2009

This site is better than some mainstream news organizations when it comes to fact-checking and rumor control. The TrekMovie staff should be commended on their excellent work.

12. LoyalStarTrekFan - March 19, 2009

“…he went on to refer to people who spread rumors on the internet as ‘idiots’ who should be ‘bombed out of existence’ along with many other colorful metaphors.”

Mr. Ellison may or may not have a legal case, I’m not a lawyer so I can’t say one way or the other, but he does have an attitude problem.

13. NaradaAlpha - March 19, 2009

HAHA anthony beware what you allow to be posted here in regards to a certain time portal or a certain Harlan Ellison-written episode of TOS or else the Great Vulture of the Galaxy (Ellison) might name TrekMovie.com as part of the lawsuit…LOL we must’n't anger the writer/fuhrer or he’ll rage LOL

14. NaradaAlpha - March 19, 2009

addendum: Harlan Ellison=FERENGI (Mwahahahahahahahaha!!!)

15. Dom - March 19, 2009

Harlan Ellison is one of the greats!

If he hadn’t kicked up a fuss down the years, writers would probably get worse than the substandard deals and less than fair recognition they currently get!

16. Carlg - March 19, 2009

Well, glad we got that sorted, then.

17. Dyson Sphere - March 19, 2009

Senator Vreenak dispels another FAAAAAAAAKE before going off to dine with Edith Keeler at an undisclosed Hollywood restaurant.

18. NaradaAlpha - March 19, 2009

Harlan might be a great in terms of writing…but he himself says its all about the money…not writers rights, but money… Harlan=motivated by greed, not honor, therefore Harlan=Ferengi…

19. S. John Ross - March 19, 2009

Very good work on separating the hype and rumor from the facts. Groovy stuff.

20. NaradaAlpha - March 19, 2009

btw..,maybe Harlan would be happier if from now on Star Trek novelists substituted a giant Homer Simpson-voiced-chocolate-covered donut for The Guardian and that girl Alicia Travers from Enterprise’s ‘Storm Front’, Parts 1 & 2′ for Edith… LOL

21. Alf, in pog form - March 19, 2009

You published a picture of “the Guardian of Forever”; Harlan and his lawyer buddies are gonna sue your @$$!!!

22. Konar - March 19, 2009

#7 Agree that picture is hilarious

23. 4 8 15 16 23 42 - March 19, 2009

I’m with #7 & #22, I think that pic should be recycled for use out of this thread… it seems quite a fitting encapsulation of the whole premise of STXI.

Another caption that can go with it is Nero’s line: “James T. Kirk was a great man, but that was another life.”

24. Stanky McFibberich - March 19, 2009

“he went on to refer to people who spread rumors on the internet as ‘idiots’”

I don’t care about most of what Mr. Ellison says, but he is right on with this part of his comment.

25. Curveball - March 19, 2009

Here’s a another cool fan vid,
combining
DARK KNIGHT
and
STAR TREK!

Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZfNv34c2YJ4

26. Captian Cameron goes Berserk!! - March 19, 2009

That’s a cool pic using the new guys and the old guys

27. Robert H. - March 19, 2009

I wondered about that. On how someone is suing someone else, is it real or legitimate?

28. Kirk here - March 19, 2009

Concerning #18:

Wanting what is owed to you is not greed, regardless of the amount.

New Line Cinema called Peter Jackson greedy for wanting what had been contractually agreed upon. Since they’re the ones who were keeping millions of dollars that they owed to someone else, I think that *they* were the greedy ones.

The same applies here.

29. awesome-o - March 19, 2009

Breaking News:

Harlan Ellison has amended his lawsuit to include Trekmovie.com as a co-defendant for posting images from the classic TOS episode “A City on the Edge of Forever.”

Even More Breaking News:

Harlan Ellison is now suing me for typing the name of the episode he wrote.

30. CmdrR - March 19, 2009

Jeez, Harlan and Phantom media-created Harlan. Make up your mind and fictional mind. Either you two are suing JJ or there’s only one of you and he’s not. You two who may be one can’t have it both ways.

31. Danpaine - March 19, 2009

The story the other day actually was a factor in me pulling that episode for a re-watch the other night. What a classic. Still love it. They just don’t make em’ like that anymore.

32. CmdrR - March 19, 2009

alternate caption for the GoF pic:

Shat: “And if we’re successful… in throwing Quinto and Pine out an airlock?”

Guardian: “Then you will be returned.
It will be as though none of you had gone.”

33. Chuck Foo - March 19, 2009

” …but he himself says its all about the money…not writers rights, but money”

That isn’t greed. That’s a rare quality call sincerity – something most people are incapable of it seems.

34. NaradaAlpha - March 19, 2009

#30 LMFAO!!!

story amended: Harlan Ellison amends lawsuits to sue everyone who ever heard of the episode of Star Trek he wrote, and did more than ignore it LOL

35. NaradaAlpha - March 19, 2009

#28==im not saying hes greedy for wanting wats his im saying hes greedy for pursuing it to a degree that any psychiatrist would diagnose as a sign of an obsession or worse… hes pursuing it to such an insane extent so that he cares nothing about anything but his goal…

normal writer behavior: in a case like this a normal writer would sue but do so calmly and intelligently, respecting other writers and viewers/readers as well

Harlan behavior: hes suing not caring if other writers suffer, if the craft suffers or for anything but his payout…people like that in other industries are called the head honchos at AIG…

so… U=EPIC FAIL

HARLAN=EPIC FAIL

harlans dishonoring writers everywhere by making all writers look like parasitic moneyleeches

36. Derf - March 19, 2009

“We got Ellison on video saying that he looked into it and there was no Guardian of Forever in the Star Trek movie, and he went on to refer to people who spread rumors on the internet as ‘idiots’ who should be ‘bombed out of existence’ along with many other colorful metaphors.”

Idiots?

Some random blogger: “I went to see The Guardian with Kevin Costner, and while some moments kept me on the edge of my seat, it seemed like the movie went on forever.”

Harlan: “Blam! You owe me $1,000,000! I googled my precious, and your article came up! Yippee…gooolllddd!” (fires pistol repeatedly and dances).

Asshat.

37. Denise de Arman - March 19, 2009

Anthony, you and your staff do such a good job presenting us with the facts. Thank you for all the work you do for us here at Trekmovie.

38. Mike in Iowa - March 19, 2009

Kudos, Anthony. You’ve proven that there is tremendous value in actually “doing the work” of a journalist – whether your medium be a blog or a magazine. You out-hustled Wired because you cared to get the story right.

I wish more bloggers (and offline media) were as rigorous.

Thanks.

39. Carlos Teran - March 19, 2009

I just hope this suit is settled in Harlan’s lifetime.

40. screaming satellite - March 19, 2009

hey wont this new time line effect COTEOF? i mean maybe it never happens – the ship dosnt go to the guardian planet and Bones dosnt accidently inject himself and goes back and Kirk never falls in love with Edith…therefore it dosnt exist…it never happened

maybe they will hold up in court?

41. Praetor Tal - March 19, 2009

No one would believe it if Ellison didn’t already have an earned reputation for litigious nastiness.

42. S. John Ross - March 19, 2009

Looking at those “Crucible” covers makes me smile, because it’s nice to see some Star Trek properties remembering the trinity.

43. Chris Basken - March 19, 2009

So can he get back to producing the fine, fine SF literature he’s known for?

44. Andy Patterson - March 19, 2009

You go Gerrold.

45. Trek Nerd Central - March 19, 2009

This has nothing to do with the thread, but I had to post it somewhere — a link to today’s huge, funny story in The New York Times about Trekkies building their own captain’s chairs. I almost spat out my coffee when I saw it.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/19/garden/19trek.html?hp=&pagewanted=all

Fess up, people: How many of you have built your own? ? ? . . . (Not me! )

46. Locke for President - March 19, 2009

A line has to be drawn at some point. Should the creators of the Klingon and Romulans be entitled to royalties from all the movies, episodes and and books that had those races in them?

I think Mo Hurley created the Borg for The Next Generation. Should he be getting a cut from the First Contact movie, and half of the Voyager episodes?

As someone who has gotten paid for my writing and other artistic work, pretty much my customer can do with my work what they wish. Unless, of course, we had a contract upfront that said otherwise.

47. starfleetmom - March 19, 2009

Wow Anthony,…I hop eHarlan doesn’t sue you for that picture of the new Spock and Kirk in the Guardian!

48. Capt Mike Of The Terran Empire - March 19, 2009

I just loved that Pic with the Guardiean with both Kirks and Spocks. I think harlan should get whats coming to him. He had a contract and should get paid for it. Who among us would not want to get paid for the work we did. Who among us would not want to get what was promised us in a signed Contract. If any of you signed a contract to do a job and you do it well would you not want to get paid for it as the contract you signed specifys. I know I would.

49. Daoud - March 19, 2009

ON an editorial note, although Harlan Ellison is not suing OVER the new Star Trek movie, he’s suing CONTEMPORANEOUSLY at the time of its near-release. That quacks like a duck.

BTW, interesting that the combination of cheap barcode scanners, the captain’s chair, and the overlit iBridge creates the image of what appears to be a DALEK between Kirk and Spock….

Better get a check cut to Terry Nation’s estate, just in case!

50. cpelc - March 19, 2009

46 -

“Mr Shatner is not doing any Star Trek related interview right now because of the new movie.”

That’s new…he was practically living off doing that recently.

51. Toothless Grishnar Cat - March 19, 2009

Say what you will about Harlan, but he provides some amazing metaphors…

52. sebimeyer - March 19, 2009

The Guardian was also a big plot point in the first of the Imzadi novels by Peter David. Would be interesting to hear what Peter has to say about it, although he may have a slight bias. He worked for Ellison as he was Executive Producer on a little show called Babylon 5.

53. sebimeyer - March 19, 2009

damn you, misplaced modifiers…

Just to clarify: Ellison was executive producer of B5, David wrote for him on that show.

54. Bob Tompkins - March 19, 2009

Let us hope David Gerrold is not the next to jump on the lawsuit merry-go-round. David Gerrold is a name none of us would know had Star Trek not existed.

Allow me to tell you a little bit about lawsuits in general: for example, in Indiana it is very difficult to even get a medical malpractice lawsuit filed, let alone heard, even if it is the farthest thing from frivolous.. As some of you may recall, my wife was diagnosed with Ovarian cancer at about the same time as the announcement that Trek 11 was being moved to May 09.

We followed up Indiana University’s diagnosis with a trip to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Tx. [#1 in the world by most reports] in January 2009

Thir diagnosis? Unbelievably, it was Colon cancer. This was confirmed by my wife’s hospitalization for a colon blockage shortly after our return from Houston.

The local Pathology lab dropped the ball. Obviously. And then they compounded the error by sending [at first] the wrong slides and stains to MD Anderson in an attempt to mask their error. Fortunately, IU sent more of the same slides and stains from their records repository and AmeriPath Pathology Lab was BUSTED.

Had my wife been treared for Colon Cancer from the beginning, just after her hysterectomy in Jan 2008, her 5 year survival chances were 60- 65%. She was instead given drugs for metatstatic Colon cancer [none of which are very effective against Ovarian cance- it is much like Pancreatic, a quick one-way trip. hen my wife started downhill again in October 2008, we all just assumed the Ovarian Cancer was running its course and had recurred.

The implications are that even though colon cancer, even metastatic Colon cancer has a higher 5 year survival rate [60-65%] than metastatic Ovarian cancer [5%].

Had she been treated for colon cancer at the onset in January 2008, we might have been looking at several more years with a good quality of life.

Instead, the Colon cancer, unabated by the popgun Ovarian cancer drugs has run amok, metasticized to her lungs, her liver, her lymphatic system, her right kidney and God knows where else. She has been given weeks to a couple of months of life.

I consulted an attorney, planning to take some sort of action after my wife passes- I refuse to spend her final days in a courtroom- and was told my case is very shaky under Indiana Statutes, which are very pro-medical institution.

The bottom line? Both diseases are terminal in their diagnoses, uncurable. Since the outcome would be the same with either diagnosis,iot is considered an error that made no difference under Indiana law.

So, you all will understand when I say I could give a rat’s ass about Harlan Ellison’s time-traveling ring of stone or David Gerrold’s fluffy little balls.

Real life once again invades the realm of what we might consider ‘important.’
Screw both of these guys- I just want my wife back.

55. krikzil - March 19, 2009

A pdf of the lawsuit is on Ellison’s website.

56. sean - March 19, 2009

Anyone who wants to boo hoo Harlan should actually watch the video and listen to what he says. Brash though he might at times be, he’s also very smart, and simply wants what he was contractually promised.

57. sean - March 19, 2009

#54

Bob, my sympathies on your incredibly difficult situation.

58. Ripped Shirt Kirk - March 19, 2009

Hellison does not deserve one-tenth of the BS that people spread about him, so does that mean that he deserve some of the BS that people spread about him right? And do I dare say first????

59. Ripped Shirt Kirk - March 19, 2009

Damn, 57 post while only writing a few letters :)

60. Daoud - March 19, 2009

#55 Empathy and sympathies…

And file for later… find another attorney, one who can cross state lines to Florida. AmeriPath is a national company headquartered in Florida. They may be protected more in Indiana, but Florida might be different.

I wish I could say that I know Harlan would ask his lawyer to help….

61. Admiral Waugh - March 19, 2009

To Mr. Gerrold:

That’s all fine, well and good, Harlan has been a wonderful influence on sci-fi, our worlds, etc. We get it. Just because we might feel that way about a person doesn’t mean that he can’t be wrong about something — or many things. And Harlan is wrong — about many things.

One of them is that he deserves royalties for the use of the Guardian of Forever. As a legal matter, I hope he fails miserably. It would be a complete abuse of copyright law, which is already a sad parody of its former, more enlightened self.

Hopefully, Harlan can get back to what he does best: art.

62. DJ Neelix - March 19, 2009

@12 LoyalStarTrekFan
@24 Stanky McFibberich
@36 Derf

If you would have taken the time to actually listen to the interview, you would have found out that TrekMovie has misquoted him. He clearly says that the INTERNET should be bombed out of existence, not the ‘idiots’ that’s lurking on it.

I find it strange that you can write an article and not listen what he actually says on such a touchy quote.

Other than that, good job all in all!

63. Harry Ballz - March 19, 2009

I usually joke around, but I have a serious question……people have been posting here about how Anthony should be careful in using any images of The Guardian Of Forever because Ellison could sue, BUT….if any website that makes a profit uses an image that is the “intellectual property” of someone else, how ARE they immune from reprisals of said use? Is it because it is deemed to be simply reporting on the facts and is now under the “newsworthy” category? If a TV station reports on Ellison’s lawsuit, are they allowed to arbitrarily use an image of the Guardian behind the newscaster to illustrate what is being talked about?

Where does one draw the line for when copyrighted images can be used?

64. anti-matter - March 19, 2009

I think all fans enjoy the episode, but to use the ‘guardian of forever’ in a movie these days i think would be a lame story telling device (unless it was dramatically reimagined) It’s a dated concept, that is not a critisism, the show, as cutting edge as it was, was also a product of it’s time. I think a lot of sci-fi fans appreciate and enjoy Mr. Ellison’s work, but I’ve never seen a clip of him talking about ideas or concepts or his creative process, things I like to hear artists talk about. I only hear about how everyone is screwing him out of money.

back to the GUARDIAN OF FOREVER, does anyone know if he was credited with TAS episode featuring the GOF? I really like that episode and i thought really touching.

65. Daoud - March 19, 2009

C’mon, he had “Becky” Beckwith dealing drugs on the Enterprise, and killing a fellow crew member to cover it up.

And he had Kirk in such a major moment of indecision that Spock had to takeover.

That wasn’t Star Trek. That was more like the almost K/S Pocket Trek novel “Killing Time” ;)

But, back to the melodrama. :)

Agreed that Anthony Pascale has more journalistic integrity than any other Trek reporter currently bringing news.

Half the quadrant knows it, that’s why they’re speaking “trekmovieese”. Those other sites like Wired should be hauled away AS garbage. :)

66. Paulaner - March 19, 2009

#63 “Where does one draw the line for when copyrighted images can be used?”

I’m not an expert, but I think that there are laws and legal protocols to rule this kind of matters.

67. Spock - March 19, 2009

Harlan Ellison is suing his parents because they used his name when naming him.

68. redbellpeppers - March 19, 2009

i\If the ol’ coot can legally prove that paramound didn’t uphold their end of the deal, then pay him off and shut him up.

Hopefully, the studios would grow a brain and quit working with unions.

69. sean - March 19, 2009

#63

Harry, that would all likely fall under ‘fair use’ which covers criticism, parody, reporting, etc. It allows for the use of copyrighted materials with or without permission. If you could make a strong argument that Anthony is making a direct or significant profit simply by posting the picture of The Guardian (though the picture above clearly falls under parody), then yes, it’s possible Harlan or Paramount could seek compensation. But that would be a difficult argument to substantiate.

70. Harry Ballz - March 19, 2009

Sean, thanks for the reply. To be specific, I’m not saying that Anthony makes a profit by using a picture of the Guardian, but that he has advertisers on this site which pay him and that he has used such things as the picture of the Guardian to draw viewers TO this site, therefore keeping the people happy who paid for said advertising. So, in a fashion, is he profiting from using such imagery?

71. Trek Nerd Central - March 19, 2009

54. Bob, my sympathies. What a nightmare. Bless you both.

72. I am not Herbert - March 19, 2009

Idiots indeed. Eliminate the ninnies and the twits…

73. I am not Herbert - March 19, 2009

68. redbellpeppers:

“Hopefully, the studios would grow a brain and quit working with unions.”

I resist the urge to tell you who needs to grow a brain…

74. CMX54 - March 19, 2009

#54: Your situation by comparison makes Ellison and Gerrold seem like nothing more than greedy whiners. And perhaps, they are.

Bob, my thoughts and prayers are with you both…

75. bgiles73 - March 19, 2009

Does David Gerrold get pai everytime a tribble makes an appearance? Or even better does George Lucas ever cut Timothy Zahn a royalty check when Coruscant makes an appearance in Star Wars? The whole thing of licensing and all that starts to get confusing when writers are playing around in a universe created by some one else. I heard not that long ago that George Lucas sued the designer of the original stormtrooper armor for making the armor available to paying customers. Lucas lost- but the guy selling the armor was the one who came up with the design in the first place!

76. Odkin - March 19, 2009

The new movie would probably be better and appeal more to long-time fans if they HAD used the Guardian of Forever as the time travel device. It probably WAS pitched that way, and fear of Ellison probably got it cut out. Too bad for all us fans.

Anyone who says Ellison’s suit is not related to the movie is crazy. He may not be suing ABOUT the movie, but there is NO OTHER REASON for this timing. There is no Edith Keeler or Guardian merchandising right now. It’s a ploy to blackmail the studio at the height of PR sensitivity about Trek. And that is ENTIRELY because of the imminent movie.

77. redbellpeppers - March 19, 2009

“Does David Gerrold get pai everytime a tribble makes an appearance? Or even better does George Lucas ever cut Timothy Zahn a royalty check when Coruscant makes an appearance in Star Wars? The whole thing of licensing and all that starts to get confusing when writers are playing around in a universe created by some one else. I heard not that long ago that George Lucas sued the designer of the original stormtrooper armor for making the armor available to paying customers. Lucas lost- but the guy selling the armor was the one who came up with the design in the first place!”

You see… and I think that is wrong. Sure someone else designed the Stormtrooper suit… but they did it for Lucas. Lucas paid him for his design- so it’s Lucas’s.

This does not help me to embrace the union / contract mentality. More than ever, I wish that the studios would have told the Unions to jump off a cliff.

78. Captain Dunsel - March 19, 2009

#46 “Should the creators of the Klingon and Romulans be entitled to royalties from all the movies, episodes and and books that had those races in them?”

If that’s what the contract they signed calls for, Yes. If not, No.

This only seems to be a difficult concept for people to get their heads around because of two things:

1) Harlan Ellison behaves in a highly irritating manner
2) The details of typical contracts and the details of typical media both change over time.

Things that were once unheard of are now commonplace (DVDs and streaming media and pirated MPEGS) and things once commonplace are no longer done. (Not too many radio adaptations being produced these days, compared to the 1940′s)

Everyone here seems to want to decide what *should* be fair to ask for in a contract, and how much money is enough (for someone else), and whether or not being a jerk means you don’t get to collect $200 or pass GO.

But that’s not what COURTS and LAWSUITS decide. Those institutions decide what the contract ACTUALLY SAYS, and if there’s ambiguity in the contract, whose reading prevails, and who taps into the revenue stream where and for how much and how big was the stream at that point.

If Ellison’s interpretation of the contract is factually correct, he should prevail – regardless of his personal style. If it’s not, he should lose. And if the court determines that his suit is frivilous, he should be penalized for abuse of process.

It’s all really that simple, even for a man with the charm of a bubonic rat.

79. Captain Dunsel - March 19, 2009

I should probably point out, the “even for a man with the charm of a bubonic rat” comment was a reference to *myself*, not Harlan Ellison. I want to clear that up, before I am sued for libel by the bubonic rats.

80. Jane-stream - March 19, 2009

Thanks for the rumor control.This guy is funny

81. Randall - March 19, 2009

Gerrold is Ellison’s friend and is therefore likely to whitewash Ellison’s behavior, words, and manner.

The real answer is that there’s no good guy or “right” side in this thing.

I’m certainly not going to take Paramount’s side in this. I’m a writer myself and certainly know that large corporations will do whatever they can, sometimes, to cheat and stick it to the little guy. But you don’t have to be a writer to know this. We see it every day. It seems to be in their nature. So only the naive would jump right in and take their side.

On the other hand, is Ellison right? How could he be? He didn’t create Star Trek. He created ONE concept, an idea within the framework of the show—a single episode.

And when he sold that episode TO Star Trek, he sold that concept. PERIOD. Now he acts like he wants a piece of it—of course because they’re making money off it.

See, this has ALWAYS been Ellison’s problem. He’s perpetually wanting his cake and eating it too. Much of his VERY LIVELIHOOD, his existence, was based on the action of selling his ideas and creativity to others to then peddle as part of a product. That’s what scriptwriters do. It’s the double-edged sword of the profession; you contribute a piece to a larger whole, but then the whole goes on to have a life of its own without you.

If Ellison wanted a piece of Star Trek perpetually, then he should have found a way to get that in the beginning, when he had whatever slim chance he may have had (of course he in fact probably never had such a chance–but you know what I mean). But by merely creating a PIECE of the show—a character (Edith Keeler) and a concept (the Guardian of Forever) and the episode surrounding them—that doesn’t mean he becomes entitled, years down the road, to demand money everytime those pieces pop up in the zeitgeist of Star Trek again. Once he gave them over to Star Trek they became PART of Star Trek. Period. And the owner of Star Trek, at present, is a company called Paramount, part of a larger, far more gigantic corporate entity. That’s the way it works.

And there’s precedent for this. The Guardian was used in the first animated episode of Star Trek way back when. I have no idea what, if any, deal was made with Ellison then—but the point is made. This concept of his WAS and IS part of STAR TREK overall…. not his to withhold and dole out as he sees fit. Does Gerrold get some cash every time a tribble is mentioned or seen? Maybe he does. But I don’t see any automatic RIGHT that either Gerrold or Ellison would have to that. It’d be different if they alone, themselves, had created Star Trek entirely. Then they’d have firmer ground to stand on. But at best their ground is soft and spongey and terribly murky.

Of course, in a world where everyone did the right thing, then the asshat business types who populate corporations (including Paramount’s halls) would still show Ellison and other writers the courtesy of informing them when their small contributions are going to show up in some other product or media, and offer them a bone. “Harlan, the Guardian is being used in a novel by so-and-so. We wanted to show you some respect and courtesy in this by offering you the following check”… and then hand over said check which is made out for some non-insulting but not overly large sum. That’s how business ought to be done. Is it? Rarely.

And of course if Ellison had any actual, binding contract about these matters, he’d have a great case. But to my knowledge he doesn’t, nor does any other writer in his position—because, again, what they created was a PIECE of a larger thing. A script on spec for a series is not a novel, nor is it the same as creating a series oneself. It’s just a piece of a greater whole.

Ellison plays these games about money a lot, which is understandable—he wants the cash. Even if he’s socked something away, it’s no fun growing old and wondering if you’ll have enough money to see to your own needs or to leave something behind for your loved ones. We’d all have something of his attitude were we in his position. But his manner? No.

82. martin - March 19, 2009

@81- RANDALL
points out the main flaw with Ellisons logic.

If Ellison’s creation of Guardian or Keeler within an existing series allowed him to own it, what kind of havoc would that cause?

On every soap opera, when a writer was credited with an episode that introduces a character, so that writer is supposed to get ownership of that character throughout the run of the show?

Or as part of the plot points he is trying to claim, it would be like saying that Joe Schmo who wrote hour 5 of season 1 of 24 invented the plot point where Jack gets a confession out of someone by using the word dammit and by raising his voice in a threatening manner — so Joe owns the right over Jack using dammit throughout the run of the show?.

Unless I am wrong, I never see the copyright on individual episodes owned by anyone other than the studio and/or production company.

On another note, I was more disturbed by the idea that Ellison was a character referral for Gerrold in his adoption of his son. I would have hoped that anyone that used Harlan Ellison as a character referral should probably be disqualfiied!

83. krikzil - March 19, 2009

It’s pretty clear that many of you haven’t bothered to research WGA contracts. So many words posted, so little fact.

84. Dom - March 19, 2009

Writers are generally ill-treated and regarded as ‘the bottom of the pile’ – easily dispensed with and replaceable – in Hollywood. It’s always been bad there, be it in the days of the studio system or more recent times where a bunch of pseuds have proliferated the idea of the director as the ‘auteur’ of all movies!

Harlan Ellison is one of the few writers who historically has stood up, shaken his fist, yelled ‘F*@k you!’ and done something about it!

Yes, it’s all about about money. He’s a professional writer. ‘Professional’ as in ‘that’s his job!’

How many people here can claim to do their jobs purely for ‘lurve’?! We do our jobs because we need food on the table, a room to sleep in and shirts on our backs? In any one of our dweebit jobs that earn us our keep, would we tolerate our employers not paying us?

If you work in a pub and you only get three quarters of your pay, would you not want the rest? If you spend hours in a call centre taking abuse from the people you cold call, would you accept not getting all your commission money when you actually get a sale? Hell, if you are on commission selling boob jobs in a plastic surgery clinic, would you accept only getting half the commission you’re owed?

Just because people have a name and an element of fame doesn’t mean there aren’t bigger people out to rook them! Indeed, the more successful you are, the more chance there is that you will get screwed over.

If an idea to which you hold the rights is being used to make someone else money without your consent and you are contractually supposed to get a cut, wouldn’t you be p!ssed off? How many beers could you buy with that money? How many school uniforms could you buy your kids? How many days could your family spend in a nice hotel, somewhere sunny, with that money?

Of course it’s about the money! And even where pride kicks in, looking at how the thing you created is being used leads back to money. Suppose its non-permitted usage damages the reputation of your creation and prevents you from using it for your own gain later on? Suppose someone thinks the non-permitted usage is actually ***permitted*** by you and therefore your own reputation is damaged, leading to you not being hired for a job, down the line?

Just because Harlan Ellison is known for being upfront about what he thinks about certain people who worked on Trek doesn’t give posters here the go-ahead to slag him off for giving his full-blown opinion.

In the internet age, we’ve come to know writers in a somewhat different way and we get to hear about them being ‘big fans’ and so on. But do you really think JJ Abrams, Alex Kurtsman and Bob Orci, for example, would have made Star Trek if they weren’t being paid to do it! Yeah, we know Bob Orci loves Trek, but do you think he’d write the movie for free? He’s a professional! When I do work for people, I always charge, even if they’re poor or strapped for cash.

It might sound harsh, but if someone is using my skills and my time for their gain, I should be paid for it. If that person low on cash, I’ll take a tenner or they can give me a bottle of wine . . . even buy me a pint. But self-respect requires that you always charge something for your professional time!

I know what it’s like, as a staffmember, to get bounced paycheques, to sit with my equally impoverished workmates divvying up our spare change to see if we can get ourselves a cup of coffee in the lunch-hour, dreading the letter from the bank saying that, for the second month in a row, our pay has been deleted from our accounts, yet we’re scared to leave in case we never see our money!

Speaking as someone who is, politically, on the right, but, as a freelance, is still a grateful union member, I can say that Ellison is someone we should look up to: someone who isn’t afraid to cry foul when bigger people are peeing on the individuals who expend the energy making bigger people richer!

Keep at it Harlan! We need you!

85. David M. - March 19, 2009

I’m of two minds on this Harlan Ellison lawsuit against Paramount. On the one hand, I respect Mr. Ellison for his contributions to “Star Trek” and to science-fiction in general. Over the last 40 years, Paramount has made a small fortune marketing books and other products derived from “City on the Edge of Forever.” While the episode which aired was quite different from the story that Ellison wrote, “City” is his creation and he’s entitled to his share of the proceeds from the sale of those products.

On the other hand, the “Trek” actors themselves never received any compensation from the studio once “Trek” went off the air in ’69. As I understand it, that was simply a consequence of the way TV actors’ contracts were structured at the time. William Shatner wrote of living out of the back of a pickup truck in the 70′s. Dee Kelley kept appearing at conventions even as he was dying of cancer, because that was essentially his only source of income. Why should Ellison, a writer, be better-compensated for his contributions to “Trek” than the actors and actresses who brought the show to life week after week?

86. bill hiro - March 19, 2009

“Why should Ellison, a writer, be better-compensated for his contributions to “Trek” than the actors and actresses who brought the show to life week after week?”

Because that’s what his contract and the WGA agreement calls for it, assuming arguendo that his assertions are correct, which they may or may not be. But as for the rationale of why he should be compensated better than the actors? Because its in his contract and not in theirs. Thats it.

87. bill hiro - March 19, 2009

And further, you say “‘Ellison, a writer” like “a writer” is nothing. “Ellison, a mere peddler of words”, when the play’s the thing. Without the words, what can an actor do? He’s got nothing to say, nothing to play, nothing to emote upon. It all starts with the idea and the word.

88. bill hiro - March 19, 2009

74 – ” … Ellison and Gerrold seem like nothing more than greedy whiners. And perhaps, they are.”

I don’t get you people. What is “greedy” and “whining” about suing to get the benefit of what you bargained for and signed your name to? That so many of you are hot to defend a multinational corporation against an individual, with no idea of what the actual facts are, is astonishing.

89. Lendorien - March 19, 2009

Fascinating conversation, this. I think the problem people have with Ellison is that he’s a cranky, nasty guy, or at least he comes off that way to anyone who reads anything he writes about stuff like this. I have no doubt that he’s probably a good fellow once you get to know him, but for many star trek fans, all we’ve really seen is the rancor associated with City on the Edge of Forever. That Roddenberry deliberately poisoned the pond didn’t help either..

Personally, I feel that there are other ways to fight for one’s rights as a creative artists than being brutally vicious in one’s language. And sometimes you get further that way too. The old attracting more bees with honey than salt thing.

But if Ellison’s contract stipulates that he is due residuals, then he should be paid them. Period.

90. Commodore Lurker - March 19, 2009

Decloaking . . .

To all the Ellison bashers: I’ll say it again:

When I was a 16 year old trembling Trekkie ( long ago ), Harlen Ellison generously took the time to speak to me face-to-face, sign an autograph, and give me advice on my own writing.

He didn’t have to do that. He could have told me F**k off kid. He didn’t ! He spoke to me for as long as I had guts to ask him intelligent questions.

I have to agree with David Gerrold on his personal kindness as opposed to his image of a raging ranter. Even Anthony used to word “triade” above.

Harlen Ellison has utter impatience for stupidity because he understands the human potential. He fights because he’s tired of seeing writers ripped off everyday.

If you ever have the fortune to meet the man, ask him intelligent questions, and you will find the gentle soul within him.

Recloaking. }:-D>

91. AJ - March 19, 2009

Will someone corroborate a memory I have that, at the end of “Terminator,” there is a credit which reads “Acknowledgment to the works of Harlan Ellison”?

92. Commodore Lurker - March 19, 2009

Decloaking . . .

AJ, I believe that is a recent addition (yes it exists) and results from an out of court settlement between James Cameron and Harlen.

I don’t know which Ellison works are referred to.

I don’t have all the facts and the above may not be 100% correct.

Recloaking. }:-D>

93. Dom - March 19, 2009

91. AJ

I believe the Terminator credit relates to two Outer Limits episodes that have similarities to the plot of The Terminator: ‘Demon with a Glass Hand’ and ‘Soldier.’

IIRC, a settlement was made out of court to avoid Harlan Ellison suing for plagiarism and a credit was added to subsequent releases of the film.

94. McCoy's Gall Bladder - March 19, 2009

Larry Niven has done more for Science Fiction and most of you have never heard of him

Azimov, Clarke, and Heinlein are of course the greatest.

I cant remember the last work by Ellison I’ve ever read.

I stopped reading him about the time Roger Zelazney died; mid nineties.

Neil Gaiman needs to write the Trek sequel.

95. McCoy's Gall Bladder - March 19, 2009

Guilds and Unions were good things when Henry Fnord literally worked men to death on his assembly lines and coal miners never saw the sun, and children worked as chimney sweeps, but they’re all crooks now.

96. Canon Schmanon - March 19, 2009

I don’t care what Gerrold thinks. Even Hitler had friends.

97. Harry Ballz - March 19, 2009

I don’t appreciate that Ellison is allowed to “go postal” on anything that pops into his troll-like mind, but if any of US try to express ourselves with the same candour (while keeping the language clean) we are automatically censored! If we think the man has no manners, or sense of class, we have every right to express it!**

**the above statement has been copyrighted. Any attempt to paraphrase or repeat in any fashion will be met with a frivilous lawsuit!

98. McCoy's Gall Bladder - March 20, 2009

Final point:

IF IF IF Ellison’s lawsuits ever had any merit, wouldn’t one have succeeded by now?

Hi Harry :)

99. 4 8 15 16 23 42 - March 20, 2009

70 Harry Ballz — “Sean, thanks for the reply. To be specific, I’m not saying that Anthony makes a profit by using a picture of the Guardian, but that he has advertisers on this site which pay him and that he has used such things as the picture of the Guardian to draw viewers TO this site, therefore keeping the people happy who paid for said advertising. So, in a fashion, is he profiting from using such imagery?”

Harry, no, it has to be more direct than the scenario you describe. TrekMovie would have to directly profit, like by selling pins & stickers with the GoF image. It would be argued that TrekMovie makes money from advertisers for its news reporting content, the Star Trek imagery is incidental & simply for illustrative reasons in support of the news stories.

Also, even if Ellison were litigious enough to get in a huff about the use of GoF imagery on TrekMovie, he can’t just sue outright. The first thing that happens is a cease & desist order, at which point TrekMovie can simply remove the offending content, or try to duke it out in court — in court, like I say above, they’d almost certainly win, but they’d still lose the attorney costs and time, and in all likelihood would therefore simply comply with the cease & desist order.

P.s. – I am not a lawyer, but I am into music sampling & for that reason have consulted with a lawyer with a background in this area (my uncle) about the whole fair use issue.

100. Dom - March 20, 2009

94. McCoy’s Gall Bladder: ‘Larry Niven has done more for Science Fiction and most of you have never heard of him’

Yes we have! Ringworld! Star Trek: The Animated Series.

‘Azimov, Clarke, and Heinlein are of course the greatest.’

Asimov, Clarke and Heinlein were mostly known for science fiction. Ellison has worked across multiple genres.

‘I cant remember the last work by Ellison I’ve ever read.’

He turns up a lot in multi-author short story compilations. It says something for our society that great short stories don’t get the recognition they deserve and all the praise is reserved for novelists. How often are short story collections treated as an adjunct to a novelist’s career, rather than an equal?

Hemingway was a great novelist, but I like his short stories better. F Scott Fitzgerald was a phenomenal author, with The Great Gatsby and Tender is the Night being among my favourite novels ever. But I also have huge affection for his short fiction. Stories like The Cut Glass Bowl and The Diamons as Big as The Ritz are up there with any novels. And as for the wonderful Pat Hobby stories . . .

Yet I can guarantee that, like me, most people got to the short stories after the novels. Indeed, a lot of long form novelists aren’t such good short story writers, meaning that people are put off short stories when they read a novelist’s attempts at them.

Harlan Ellison is mostly known for short form fiction and, sadly, unless he has a ton of novels to put out as well, it’s difficult to publicise him. Indeed, in the UK there’s not even any cultural interest in compilation short fiction periodicals. You can find Asimov’s Science Fiction if you look around bigger newsagents, but they’re obviously imports!

‘Neil Gaiman needs to write the Trek sequel.’

Well, stranger things have happened! Gaiman’s short stories are excellent, as are his novels and comic books. But his movies have been hit and miss.

‘Guilds and Unions were good things when Henry Fnord literally worked men to death on his assembly lines and coal miners never saw the sun, and children worked as chimney sweeps, but they’re all crooks now.’

Sometimes you need a shark to protect yourself against sharks!

101. Randall - March 20, 2009

To those of you who are bringing up the WGA contracts and how the rest of us are “ignorant” of them, then enlighten us. I see no relevance here DIRECTLY to Ellison’s charge that he’s due some compensation on this point. Contracts refer to SPECIFIC points–and unless Ellison possesses a contract which spells out this very point—that he is due compensation or right of refusal when someone wants to use elements of “City on the Edge of Forever”—then the issue of WGA contracts is not relevant. I know of no retroactive agreement that says Ellison or any other writer of a single script (other than writers who actually had a part in creating a series–that is, a LEGAL part) can, decades later, now CLAIM pieces of an existing series as their own even if they DID create the episode or episodes in question.

I’m not even sure as a writer myself that I’d want that. Of course, sure, I’d want it out of pure greed—gimme the money, yes. But the complications are mind boggling. And possibly could cause a stifling of creativity in an industry that is already running, creatively, on about two cylinders. Because if the suits have to dole out cash in perpetuity to every writer who coughs up a character or a single concept, won’t that make them less likely to accept the contributions of said writers?

I don’t know… maybe that’s over analyzing the situation. But even though my sympathies, financially, lie with people getting their due, I’m bothered by this idea of Ellison’s habit of popping out of the woodwork repeatedly to rail against being “ripped off” right and left. He’s done it forever. Some of you are kids and don’t know—he’s been doing this since the 60s. I would have told him long ago—why don’t you just pick another profession then? Why don’t you get out of TV and Hollywood and retire to writing books, solely? But he’s kept his hand in Hollywood—even if only remotely. And yet he still busts a vein over practices the he knows go on every day and will never change. I mean for chrissakes, shut up already.

And please let’s stop this genuflecting at Ellison’s feet, on top of it, okay? Other people have done a lot more for the union than Ellison. If anything his mouth and his attitude have proven to be unprofessional at times, not helpful. And as a writer, he’s not that great. Really sit down and read his works sometime. He’s the kind of thing teenagers admire and think is great until (one hopes) they grow up and realize is often pretentious and overblown. Ellison’s real talent, from the beginning, has been in his magnificent capacity for IDEAS–he really in all honesty should have been a producer, should have been given his own series, once upon a time. He would have fit right in with Arch Oboler and Rod Serling, though to my mind Serling is head and shoulders (at least) above Ellison as a writer. But as an idea man Ellison is possibly one of the greatest ever. In the old Hollywood studio system they would have controlled him and used him like a superb tool, grinding great ideas out of him and then having his story treatments rewritten to squeeze the middlebrow nonsense out of them. A shame.

But as to this point about Star Trek—as I said, unless Ellison somehow later negotiated a contract which specifically grants him control over the elements he created, then I can’t side with him on this.

And to the person who wrote how wonderful Ellison was in person–I can come up with a dozen stories for every ONE like that where Ellison was a rude prick to someone in person. And not because they asked a “stupid question” or some such nonsense. Let’s also stop awarding Ellison this claim to some great fount of knowledge and wisdom. There are a hell of a lot of people out there smarter than he, I promise you. His touchy and defensive arrogance and insecurity is legendary. That some people don’t recognize it as such doesn’t validate it.

102. Harry Ballz - March 20, 2009

#98

Hi MGB!! Pardon the expression, but I used to drive one of you in high school! ;>)

#99

Thanks for the “fair use” explanation!

103. Captain O'Hara - March 20, 2009

Ellison is a sad, bitter old hack; he’s the only who should be “bombed out of existance”

104. Neville Ross - March 20, 2009

Randall-”And to the person who wrote how wonderful Ellison was in person–I can come up with a dozen stories for every ONE like that where Ellison was a rude prick to someone in person. And not because they asked a “stupid question” or some such nonsense. Let’s also stop awarding Ellison this claim to some great fount of knowledge and wisdom. There are a hell of a lot of people out there smarter than he, I promise you. His touchy and defensive arrogance and insecurity is legendary. That some people don’t recognize it as such doesn’t validate it.”

Let’s not forget his feeling up of women over his life at every convention he’s been to, or his touching up Connie Willis’s breast at a Worldcon a few years back-an event he’s NEVER even apologized for. Talk about bad behavior from Paramount-he needs to own up for this.

105. starfall42 - March 20, 2009

And let’s not forget “The Last Dangerous Visions”, which Ellison has been saying will be out real soon now since 1971. The contributing authors have had their stories held so long many of them have died of old age, despite his repeated promises that publication was just a few months away. The authors that withdrew their stories had to endure the Wrath of Harlan at full blast.

106. krikzil (aka Lixy) - March 21, 2009

“To those of you who are bringing up the WGA contracts and how the rest of us are “ignorant” of them, then enlighten us. ”

Well, try visiting Ellison’s website and reading his lawsuit. He cites the WGA contract and the law.

“And please let’s stop this genuflecting at Ellison’s feet, on top of it, okay? ”

Hmm, well then how ’bout you stop ranting and raving about how evil the man is.

Sheesh. It’s about a lawsuit, not whether Ellison is a saint or sinner. Yet you all carry on so. I’m with one of the posters above, why on earth are you all siding with the studios who have acted in bad faith towards artists since their creation??? Very, very odd.

107. P Technobabble - March 22, 2009

I am still a Harlan Ellison fan, no matter what some posters here have to say. I do not know the guy personally, and I am well aware that his comments can be controversial. I’ve probably seen or listened to as many of his interviews as most people here (who actually follow his career), and I must say that, while I am sometimes taken aback by his candor, I have not heard anything that warrants some of the detestable comments being tossed at him in this forum… a place supposedly inhabited by the more mature, more intellectual, more enlightened, less adolescent crowd. I am more disturbed, offended and embarrassed by some of the comments made about Ellison than I am by anything Ellison ever said. And, again, I realize this is the price we pay to have something like the First Amendment, but it’s unfortunate that some people simply use the First Amendment to clutter the airwaves with their mean-spirited excrement… I’m sure Gene Roddenberry, himself, could appear in a vision to all Star Trek fans, telling us about his hopes for a peaceful, cooperative, compassionate evolution of mankind, but there will always be a cancer of intolerance, ignorance and mean-ness coursing through the blood of society. To me, this is the saddest part of all…

108. Randall - March 23, 2009

#106 krikzil:

“Well, try visiting Ellison’s website and reading his lawsuit. He cites the WGA contract and the law.”

He cites these, yes… but Ellison is not a lawyer, and I was asking for those of you who supposedly know better to enlighten the rest of us. There have clearly been exceptions to the WGA contract over the years for various reasons, and my understanding of it is that it is still superseded by certain contracts made between writers and studios both before and after the 1966 change.

Your response to me was to instruct me to go to Ellison’s web site. Reiterating the opinion of ONE SIDE of an argument does not serve to educate others on BOTH sides of the argument, nor on the legal nuances involved. Clearly you’re just an Ellison cheerleader who wants people like me to shut up. Nice, but hardly instructive.

“Hmm, well then how ’bout you stop ranting and raving about how evil the man is.”

I wasn’t aware that I had done this in the slightest. In fact I had nice things to say about the man’s talents, and said them. That you read my criticisms of his public persona and behavior as “ranting and raving about how evil (he) is” indicates, again, that you’re nothing but a biased fan who can’t stand to hear your hero derided.

I do not know Harlan Ellison personally—though a cousin of mine DID know Ellison personally, back in the 70s. (Not that that means a thing—I simply report it as a fact, and don’t offer it as support for anything I’ve said). I base my judgements of him on his writings and his public statements and actions. From where I stand and from what I observe, the man is not the highly professional, but angry do-gooder his fans like to paint him as, and what he seems to believe about himself.

It’s curious, also, that you somehow found anything I said (but perhaps you were referring to others who have posted here) as being a support for Paramount or any other studio. Quite the contrary; I made it clear that the studios, like any corporate entities, are not to be trusted, and they’re well-known for sticking it to the little guy (in this case writers) all the time.

What I take issue with, however, is the apparent notion that Ellison is due a piece of Star Trek (or at least any of it that emanates from the characters and concepts he created originating from the one episode he wrote for the show) when it is most definitely NOT clear that he is due any such thing, contractually. Ellison MAY be in the right—I didn’t deny that and don’t. Surely there’s been times in his ridiculously litigious life that Ellison has had a valid point and been correct—and I hope at those times that he won. But what rankles me is this automatic assumption going around that because ELLISON says it is so, then it must be so.

I’ve followed his career for decades and have come away with a bad taste in my mouth as a result. This doesn’t translate into hate for the man, however—because again, I don’t KNOW him. I simply find it ridiculous that he’s viewed as some great hero by numerous fans and that his work, which has often been mediocre at best, is held up as an example of greatness in science fiction screenwriting and fiction. I see the value in some of what he’s done, and I recognize his contributions. But beyond that, no thank you.

109. Harry Ballz - March 23, 2009

everybody got that??!!

110. johnny - July 31, 2010

what have you written lately? ellison deserves more respect and credit as his episode defined star treks allegoric style of writing, something abandoned in the god awful reboot loved by 20 year old reboot fanboys.

111. johnny - July 31, 2010

secondly with a screenname of harry ballz your never going to be taken seriously literarily or forum wise.

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