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  • How Much Power Does The Great Maker Have?

    Missed this earlier.

    Originally posted by Triple F View Post
    Doing B5Scrolls I already know of at least two types of books that many fans would want to see - and who, other than jms could create. But then again, would he allow them to be written - perhaps you can ask him if he would be happy for say the likes of Tim Earls or Ron Thornton & Luc Mayrand to create a REAL Tech manual or an 'Art' of B5 book.
    Why on earth would *I* want to ask him anything of the sort?! If you want to know something, go ask yourself.

    If anybody wants to create new material in the B5 universe all they have to do is have an established company approach WB and see about getting a license. Simple. Then if they want it to be canon, then they or WB can approach JMS and make a deal for his services in reviewing the material.

    You seem to think that he wouldn't 'allow' it but I saw numerous posts where he was asked about that sort of book over the years and he seemed to think that there would be one at some point and that (iirc) Ron Thornton at least would be part of it. What happened, I don't know.

    Jan
    "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

  • #2
    Originally posted by JoeD80 View Post
    That would be up to WB as copyright holder of the show.
    That's what I thought, apparently though that is *not* the case. Haven't you ever wondered why only jms approved books have been published.

    Funny you should mention that. We had an agreement with Joe to produce a canon, multi-volume encyclopaedia/tech journal. However, disputes erupted, and it never happened. We were actually going to launch the series with the Lost Tales. We had printed up something like 50,000 flyers to go in the first wave of DVD cases. These flyers were eventually (it took a few weeks) approved by WB. The _day_ before they were due to be inserted into the cases, Joe announced that no flyer should be placed in the DVD case. Without the ability to market directly to Babylon 5 fans (there was no longer any magazine, remember), the project was killed stone dead, and we had to scrap everything we had done up to that point (some of the material is about to make an appearance in our forthcoming Powers & Principalities supplement).
    Sorry if that's going a bit off topic.

    EDIT
    Kind of responds to your last post as well Jan, jms *does* (without a shadow of a doubt) put the brakes on projects which some other fans (other than writing ones) might find interesting. Ron has also mentioned how Joe would never allow him to create a tech manual. Art books have been discussed then dropped as well. This is not personal opinion on my part - but what I've been told by a number of differnt people (who have been in the room as it were-and have the emails to back it up) and spanning over a number of years. In a way it's hardly surprising that interest in B5 is sliding. Some of Joe's decisions have not been overly sympathetic to a few sections of the fan community - and of course these do not appear on the living document as joe is the main contributor to it.
    Last edited by Triple F; 03-07-2009, 12:43 AM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Triple F View Post
      That's what I thought, apparently though that is *not* the case. Haven't you ever wondered why only jms approved books have been published.
      Because Joe likes to control things does not affect copyright law. It's still up to WB. If Ron wrote a book, submitted it through a licensee, and Joe didn't like it; WB might agree to his wishes to not publish it, but *legally* they could still go ahead. It was the same with the Mongoose books -- WB could have published them, but it was WB in the end that chose not to:

      Originally posted by jms
      So it's between them and WB at this point.
      And no, I've never wondered why most everything was approved by Joe; I just figured it was because WB didn't want to be like Paramount and put out 60% crap product.
      Last edited by JoeD80; 03-09-2009, 04:01 PM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Jan View Post
        You seem to think that he wouldn't 'allow' it but I saw numerous posts where he was asked about that sort of book over the years and he seemed to think that there would be one at some point and that (iirc) Ron Thornton at least would be part of it. What happened, I don't know.
        Originally posted by Triple F View Post
        Ron has also mentioned how Joe would never allow him to create a tech manual.
        I did finally locate this jms post, which seems to imply that Ron would write a tech manual:

        Originally posted by jms
        The majority of those questions are best left to Ron to one day explain in a tech manual, as he has more of the hard-science info at his fingertips than I do.
        Last edited by JoeD80; 03-09-2009, 05:08 PM.

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        • #5
          I always figured that never saw the light of day because of Foundation Imaging losing the contract for B5's FX after season 3. I doubt we will ever know for sure one way or the other.
          The Optimist: The glass is half full
          The Pessimist: The glass is half empty
          The Engineer: The glass is twice as big as it needs to be

          Comment


          • #6
            Quoting people, while interesting, doesnÆt really prove anything.

            Originally posted by John Copeland
            Concerning the lack of technical details on the ships. Well, they aren't the kind of details that we deal with in making the show. It's not important to the show, it's important to some of the fans...but that is something else again. What you have to realize is that in the case of Trek or even Star Wars - which have legions of books on this stuff - it was all figured out after the fact and not by the folks who made the show.
            Originally posted by Tim Earls
            Joe didn't concern himself too much about tech or specs. But there were some of us who knew how much the fans would like to get 'specs' on ships and so on. (thatÆs why I released the size charts in the first place)
            Originally posted by Ron Thornton
            Joe has to approve any B5 licensed publication. He would never I mean NEVER let me publish anything B5.

            The proof of the pudding is in whatÆs been published, or not, over many years. ThereÆs no books other than those telling stories in the B5 æverse, and the reason for it is pretty well said in both TimÆs and John CÆs comments. ItÆs just the way things are.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Triple F View Post
              Quoting people, while interesting, doesn’t really prove anything.
              At first you say, "quoting people while interesting, doesn't really prove anything." You then proceed to quote people. I find this quite odd. Also, I'm not sure what you are getting at. John and Tim's comments don't touch the point of publishing a tech manual or anything about licensing at all. Ron is talking about publishing a book today -- Joe might not want him to and Ron may feel like that puts a stop to it; but it's still up to WB. WB can publish anything *legally* they want for the B5 universe whether jms approves or not. It's a matter of if they really want to do that or not without Joe in the process --

              This happened with a licensee producing shot glasses in the 90's: there had been a "glassware" license approved. Joe later found out that shot glasses were being produced (among other glass items), and he didn't want that. However, Joe couldn't *legally* stop it -- he had to ask WB to ask them to stop production as a courtesy to him. So, WB was the one who asked the licensee to sell what they had left and not produce any more. It's *legally* up to WB to handle the license. They choose to involve Joe.

              If WB one day started feeling like they weren't making enough Babylon 5 money, they could drop Joe from the process and approve whatever they felt like to rake in the dollars, and Joe couldn't do anything to stop it.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by JoeD80
                However, Joe couldn't *legally* stop it -- he had to ask WB to ask them to stop production as a courtesy to him. So, WB was the one who asked the licensee to sell what they had left and not produce any more. It's *legally* up to WB to handle the license. They choose to involve Joe.
                So your saying he has no Legal right to say yay or nay to B5 merchandise but there appears to be a more informal setup between him and Warners which essentially gives him a veto – which he uses and they honour. So in other words he does have a very real influence on what, or more relevantly does *not*, appears as B5 merchandise . . . . . . . I thought that was my point.

                Unless you know of an example where Warners told him no way, it’s staying.



                Originally posted by JoeD80 View Post
                At first you say, "quoting people while interesting, doesn't really prove anything." You then proceed to quote people. I find this quite odd. Also, I'm not sure what you are getting at.
                You see, what I was doing there was . . . . . . . .oh never mind.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I think it's a bit unfair to lay this at Joe's feet, with the implication that he's maybe stopped any books that he wasn't interested in and/or involved in. As I may have mentioned here before, some years back I had talked to producer John Copeland about the possibility of working on an 'Art of Babylon 5' book, which we took to Warners as a possible licensed project. Personally, I thought it would have been a great project, and having the show's producer involved would have smoothed out a lot of obstacles along the way, but after months of wrangling with Warners over ridiculous and often inconsequential details, the project eventually petered out. At no point was JMS ever involved, although I presume that Copeland talked to him about it, but all the red tape with the licensing people pretty much killed it.

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                  • #10
                    Here are a few posts from JMS on his power:

                    http://jmsnews.com/msg.aspx?id=1-15168
                    5) Merchandising. This is something I don't have major control
                    over. I'm consulted on deals once they're made, to make sure that the
                    resultant product is up to B5 standards, but that's it. I just don't see
                    B5 ever being big enough to have that problem in any event. It's not a
                    25 year franchise.
                    http://jmsnews.com/msg.aspx?id=1-9435
                    I have consultation rights on everything merchandised, to keep it within the proper B5 framework. I'd like to keep that hand as light as possible,
                    though...like I said, I'm curious to see what *others* can do with the show.
                    That said (or posted), when asked about the B5 computer game that seemed to be close to happening back aroung the time of TLT, he replied that it had been another low-budget deal and he'd vetoed it. Dunno if that was shorthand for 'refused to be involved' or 'wouldn't give it the canon stamp of approval' or something else.

                    Jan

                    ETA: Since there seems to be interest, I'm going to start a new thread about some of this discussion in the "Babylon 5 Forum". I'll split off some of the posts from this thread when I've got time later on. Hopefully everybody hasn't already said what they want to on the subject. New thread title: How much power does the Great Maker have?
                    Last edited by Jan; 03-10-2009, 08:55 AM.
                    "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      How Much Power Does The Great Maker Have?

                      Over in the scripts forum, there's been a side conversation on whether JMS has the power to veto B5 merchandise/books/games etc. and whether he's used that power in the past. Since it seems to be of interest, here's a thread for the discussion where more people are likely to find it. Later on, I'll split off some of the posts from the other thread and bring them over here.

                      We all know that WB owns the Babylon 5 universe but that JMS has some consultation rights. Some believe that he's used his power to veto projects, others aren't sure he's got that much power.

                      Does he get too much blame for projects that never happened? Should he be credited (or blamed) for the quality of the items that did come down the pike? CAN he veto a project or just express an opinion which WB can then act on or ignore?

                      What do you think?

                      Jan
                      "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Triple F View Post
                        The proof of the pudding is in whatÆs been published, or not, over many years. ThereÆs no books other than those telling stories in the B5 æverse, and the reason for it is pretty well said in both TimÆs and John CÆs comments. ItÆs just the way things are.
                        Incorrect. There is the Babylon 5 Security Manual. It even appears to still be available. Check out the listing over at Amazon.

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                        • #13
                          And who could forget the "Dining on Babylon 5" book that even had a cameo on the show?

                          Or the season-by-season books by Jane Killick? Like most generalizations,
                          There’s no books other than those telling stories in the B5 ‘verse
                          is false. There may not be many examples but they do exist. And one has to wonder whether sales might have had some influence as to whether there might have been more. Maybe Joe Nazzaro has some data?

                          Jan
                          "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Besides the Babylon 5 Security Manual and the season-by-season books by Jane Killick, another B5 book that I have is the Creating Babylon 5 book by David Bassom. I think I have a slightly different edition than what appears on Amazon. I don't recall the TNT logo on my edition (but maybe it is). Also appearing on the Amazon page in the list of Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought is another David Bassom item - The A to Z Guide of Babylon 5, which I don't have.
                            Last edited by nottenst; 03-10-2009, 10:52 AM. Reason: hit submit too soon

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by nottenst View Post
                              Besides the Babylon 5 Security Manual and the season-by-season books by Jane Killick, another B5 book that I have is the Creating Babylon 5 book by David Bassom. I think I have a slightly different edition than what appears on Amazon.
                              As I recall there was a UK edition as well as a US edition. I don't know if there were any differences other than different spellings of various words. I do recall somebody saying that the covers were different.

                              Jan
                              "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

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