Category Archives: News items

ComicMix Gains Partial Victory in Dr. Seuss Lawsuit Over Literary Mash-Up

If you followed the Axanar debates, you will also be interested in this court case, Dr Seuss vs David Gerrold.

Last November, during a Kickstarter campaign to fund Oh, The Places You’ll Boldly Go!, featuring the writing of David Gerrold, the art of Ty Templeton, and the editorial skills of ComicMix’s Glenn Hauman, Dr. Seuss Enterprises (DSE) filed suit for damages claiming the project infringed their copyright and trademark on Dr. Seuss’ Oh the Places You’ll Go!

ComicMix LLC moved to dismiss the lawsuit, and the motion was partially granted on June 9. U.S. District Court Judge Janis L. Sammartino dismissed the trademark infringement claims, but allowed the copyright claim to proceed, awaiting proof of any harm to the Dr. Seuss estate’s licensing opportunities. The estate has been given two weeks to amend its copyright infringement claims.

Read the rest of the article by Mike Glyer on File 770


man armed with multiple guns at Phoenix Comicon

And there were fans angry with me for enforcing a weapons policy at Con*Cept.  The Phoenix Comicom is now enforcing an even stricter policy after someone dressed as Rambo showed up with real weapons.

  • No weapons, prop weapons of any kind allowed
  • Added security screening
  •  More officers present

Prior to the ban, event organizers allowed the items at the event, provided they were inspected and peace-bonded by security upon entry.  I know for a fact that this policy does not work. The security at a con I attended allowed all sorts of props, replicas, and even live steel because  1) we know these guys 2) we can’t afford to piss off the Stargate fans.   Another con told me they did not allow any weaponry, even props, but they had no one to enforce it and lots of fans were wearing replica weapons.  No one cared until the SWAT showed up to confiscate weaponry from a dealer.

Story below, but do click the link below to see the video news clip from the news channel.

Times have changed, I would not want to try running a convention these days, just reading some of the codes of conduct would scare me off.   –CPL

PHOENIX – A man armed with multiple guns at Phoenix Comicon is now in police custody.

Police say 31-year-old Mathew Sterling was taken into custody Thursday afternoon for allegedly posting on social media that he planned to kill Phoenix police officers and a performer at the event.

According to officials, the post included pictures of officers that the suspect took at Comicon.

When officers located the suspect inside of the Phoenix Convention Center, he had three handguns, a shotgun, knives and ammunition on his person, officials said. He was also wearing body armor.

According to officials, the man was taking pictures of officers and was found at Comicon with three handguns and one shotgun. He also had knives and ammunition.

Police say the man was inside the Phoenix Convention Center and struggled with officers before he was detained.

Sterling has been booked on the following charges: attempted murder, three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, wearing body armor during the commission of a felony, resisting arrest and carrying a weapon in a prohibited place.

During a Thursday afternoon press conference, Sgt. Mercedes Fortune said Phoenix police will be updating security at the facility, including additional screening, as well as fewer accessible entrances to the building.

The most notable one is that no weapons of any kind will be allowed into the convention. That includes costume props, no matter what it is made out of.

Related: 4 Phoenix Comicon changes you need to know about

Big security changes for @PhoenixComicon:
– No weapons, prop weapons of any kind allowed
– Added security screening
– More officers present

— Josh Frigerio, ABC15 (@JoshFrigerio) May 25, 2017Phoenix Comicon released a statement late Thursday on the incident, including changes to “Con on 3rd” and where to pick up registration station badges.

No injuries were reported in the incident.

If you’ve got 10 K USD kicking around…

From File 770

Visit the edge of space with Captain Kirk. tells how — “‘Star Trek’ Icon William Shatner to Take Zero-G Flight in August”.

This August, William Shatner will get closer to the final frontier than he ever did in his “Star Trek” days.

The 86-year-old actor, who famously portrayed Captain James T. Kirk in the original “Star Trek” TV series and a number of movies, has signed up for an Aug. 4 flight with the Zero Gravity Corporation (Zero-G). The Virginia-based company sells rides on its modified Boeing 727 aircraft G-Force One, which flies in a series of parabolic arcs to give passengers brief tastes of weightlessness.

“Going weightless will turn a dream into reality,” Shatner said in a statement. “I’ve always wondered what it would be like to actually explore the final frontier, and now I have the opportunity to experience zero gravity firsthand. It will be an incredible adventure.”

You have a chance to share this adventure with Shatner, if you wish: Zero-G is selling a limited number of tickets aboard the actor’s flight for $9,950 apiece, plus 5 percent tax. (For perspective: a seat aboard a normal Zero-G flight runs $4,950, plus 5 percent tax.) Go to Zero-G’s website if you’re interested.


Montreal Gazette,

Actor Harrison Ford had a potentially serious run-in with an airliner at a Southern California airport, NBC-TV reported.

Ford, 74, was told to land his single-engine plane on a runway at John Wayne Airport in Orange County on Monday, but he mistakenly landed it on a parallel taxiway, passing over an American Airlines jet holding nearby.

“Was that airliner meant to be underneath me?” Ford is heard asking air traffic controllers in a recording.

American Airlines Flight 1456, with 110 passengers and six crew, departed safely for Dallas a few minutes later.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor couldn’t confirm that Ford was piloting the Aviat Husky that overflew the Boeing 737, but he said the pilot received and had read back the proper landing instructions.

He didn’t indicate how high the plane was when it flew over the jetliner.

The FAA is investigating, Gregor said.

Ford collects vintage planes and has a long and good record as an aviator.



Don Donderi, at his home office on Friday, teaches a class on the UFO world.

 Q: How did teaching this course come about?

A: Well, I’ve been interested in the topic since I was 10 years old. I was certainly literate at 10 and I was following what was going in the papers and magazines in the United States, where I grew up.

And in 1947, there were (UFO) sightings. There was a famous sighting by a guy named Kenneth Arnold who was a private pilot who flew up in the Cascade (mountain range in Washington) and he saw and reported nine silvery objects flying over the mountains. He was very articulate in his report . … The story got into AP (Associated Press) the next day in June of 1947. And the AP headline writer coined the phrase ‘flying saucers’, which is where it all began.

Q: Wasn’t that the same year as the famous Roswell UFO incident in New Mexico?

A: It’s the same year actually, just a few weeks later. The whole Roswell thing came just after the Kenneth Arnold sighting in 1947.

Q: What’s your take on what happened at Roswell?

A: The U.S. government recovered the remains of a crashed unidentified flying object or to be more correct, an extraterrestrial vehicle.

Q: Do you believe aliens were found at the crash site?

A: It is believed that they also recovered bodies of dead aliens.

Q: Why so much silence and secrecy for all these years?

A: Well, that’s a very good question, and I raise it in my course … The technology involved is extremely advanced; the implications for human society are incredible and possibly upsetting because we are under surveillance by technologically superior beings from other planets. We don’t know how to do what they do. We don’t know what their motives are or their interests are. And at the moment, as far as I know, we don’t have any active defences or preparations to deal with the situation. So it’s obviously upsetting. Secrecy is because when governments, any government, gets hold of new technology, and want to figure out how it works, their first interest is protecting their own turf on this and not sharing it with the world.

Q: How certain are you of life beyond our planet?

A: I’m 100 per cent certain of that. The way I put it in my course and to the public is this: I have three main propositions. One, some of what people report as UFOs are extraterrestrial vehicles. That proposition, I believe, is established beyond reasonable doubt. And if you know your law, you’ll know that’s the standard for a conviction of a felony. Proposition 2 is that some of the extraterrestrial vehicles have ET crews, and proposition 3 is that some of these ET crews ‘catch and release’ humans to study them, so-called alien abductions. Proposition 2, I think, is established beyond a reasonable doubt, and proposition 3 is bound on probabilities.

Q: Do you personally know anyone who was abducted by aliens?

A: I know many people. I’d say 10, at least, who have claimed to be abducted. And in many cases, I respect their claims because I think they’re based on sound evidence.

Q: There are doubters, of course. How do you handle skepticism?

A: Listen, skepticism is absolutely OK. If you pick up my book (UFOs, ETs and alien abductions: A scientist looks at the evidence, 2013) which you probably won’t do, you’ll find I have a great deal of respect for skeptics who are doing their best to make sure what they know and what the world knows is based on reasonable sound evidence. That’s good. I’m a scientist.

Q: With the proliferation of drones, wouldn’t it be easy to fly one above Mount Royal and say, ‘Hey, look up, it’s a UFO!”

A: Exactly. One of my better friends, who is a drone user commercially — takes real estate photos for people — he and I and everyone else in the field knows it’s perfectly possible to fake UFO photographs and experiences.

Q: Have you ever seen a UFO yourself ?

A: Only the kind that wouldn’t impress anyone as sound evidence because nocturnal lights, which is a technical term, are a dime a dozen and you couldn’t be sure at a distance what it was.

Q: What are the chances of a UFO landing on Ste-Catherine St. and an alien climbing out to shake my hand?

A: (Laughing) Ah yes, the famous White House lawn landing. I have no idea; I can’t possibly tell you on the basis of anything I’ve learned on the subject. Except that … whoever shows up will go away and not come back here for a while.

Disney & Princess Leia

Two interesting controversies arising from Carrie Fisher’s death. The first, how to deal with her absence in the next Star Wars movies, the second, the petition to have Princess Leia made an official Disney princess. 

Arguments for an against the use of CGI are interesting. A precedent was set with the use of a CGIed Peter Cushing.  Negotiations will have to be opened with her estate (her daughter?). The insurance payout (50M from Lloyds of London) will come in handy.

I do, personally, have a problem with Leia being made a Disney princess. She does not belong with those pathetic females.  

From Montreal Gazette:
 Carrie Fisher’s unexpected death has left a gaping hole in the Star Wars universe. But it has also left a huge question mark as to how the creative team behind Episode IX (which is due in 2019) will address her General Leia character in the saga’s final instalment.

Fisher, who died Dec. 27 four days after going into cardiac arrest on a flight from London to Los Angeles, had filmed her scenes for Episode VIII, but had not yet begun work on Episode IX.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, insiders have revealed that there were several sequences involving her character, including a reunion with Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and a confrontation with her evil son Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), set for Episode VIII and IX.

Episode IX is not scheduled to begin filming until early next year, but according to The Hollywood Reporter, director Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World) is set to meet with Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy to address Leia’s fate.

Disney, which owns the Star Wars franchise, reportedly took out a US$50 million insurance policy from Lloyd’s of London in the event that Fisher was unable to fulfil her three-film deal, but if they were to digitally recreate Leia, the company will need to renegotiate a contract with the star’s estate.

CGI effects in Rogue One helped resurrect Peter Cushing’s Grand Moff Tarkin in several key scenes, as well as a younger Leia in the film’s closing shot, but would audiences accept a fully CG version of the character in Episode IX?

When Philip Seymour Hoffman died before completing his work on The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2, director Francis Lawrence opted to change the script rather than use CGI.

The ending, in which Hoffman’s Head Gamemaker was supposed to console Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss Everdeen, was rewritten to include Woody Harrelson’s Haymitch Abernathy.

Trevorrow, who is writing Episode IX with Derek Connolly, still has time to rework the storyline to accommodate Leia’s absence.

But after seeing Cushing’s likeness in Rogue One, we’re betting Disney will resurrect Fisher’s iconic character for one or two moments.

Meanwhile, Fisher fans have started a petition online asking Disney to crown Leia as an official Disney Princess.

“After the tragic lose of Carrie Fisher, we feel that it is only fitting for Disney to do away with the rule that an official Disney princess must be animated,” the petition addressing Disney CEO Bob Iger reads.

Judge Denies Axanar Its Fair Use Defense

From the Axamonitor website, with thanks to File 770 for pointing me to the latest developments.

While a Federal judge denied summary judgment January 4, 2017, to both sides in the Axanar copyright infringement lawsuit, he dealt a major blow to the defendants’ hope to use fair use as a defense in the case.

Going to Trial

The 15-page decision moved the case forward to its scheduled January 31 trial date, striking out a central part of the defendants’ case. While Klausner found Axanar was indeed substantially similar to Star Trek using an extrinsic test, despite the defense’s protestations to the contrary, he left to the jury the intrinsic, or subjective, decision over whether the “total concept and feel of [Axanar and Star Trek works were] substantially similar.”1)

‘Objectively Infringing’

The extrinsic test Klausner used examines “specific expressive elements: the plot, themes, dialogue, mood, setting, pace, characters, and sequence of events in the two works to determine if articulable similarities exist.“2)

« Defendants intentionally use elements from the Star Trek Copyrighted Works to create works that stay true to Star Trek canon down to excruciating details. Defendants even touted that ‘Axanar feels like Star Trek.’ »Judge R. Gary Klausner

Here, Klausner wrote, the “Defendants [producer Alec Peters and Axanar Productions] intentionally use elements from the Star Trek Copyrighted Works to create works that stay true to Star Trek canon down to excruciating details. Defendants even touted that ‘Axanar feels like Star Trek.’”3)

Read the rest of the article:

Best wishes flow in for Star Wars star Carrie Fisher

Princess Leia actress and writer in intensive care after medical emergency aboard flight to L.A. Friday

The Associated Press Posted: Dec 24, 2016 12:24 PM ET Last Updated: Dec 24, 2016 12:32 PM ET

Todd Fisher, her brother, said Friday night that she is receiving excellent care, but that he could not classify her condition. He earlier told The Associated Press that she had been stabilized and was out of the emergency room.

In a subsequent interview, he said many details about her condition or what caused the medical emergency are unknown.

Fans on Twitter hoped she would pull through. One wrote: “Carrie Fisher survived alcoholism, addiction, depression, bipolar disorder & 60 years in Hollywood. If anyone can survive 2016, it’s her.”



In her latest newsletter for the group, Yvonne Penney announced Toronto’s First Thursday gatherings will end next week.

December will be the final First Thursday as founded by Tommy Ferguson in 1997. This decision has not been an easy one because of its longevity in the SF community in Toronto and region.

Here is why this is happening:

  1. I am retiring in 2017 and I have a long list of things that I want to accomplish and hopefully will have the time and continued health to do it in.
  2. Arthritis is slowly making its presence felt. For a number of years I have had difficulty in walking because of arthritis in my right ankle, my shoulders are in constant pain and my hips give me grief at times.
  3. Because of an unfortunate atmosphere that has arisen because one member decided he didn’t like the pub we were using. When the Foxes Den suddenly closed its doors (It’s now a Firkin), a new venue needed to be found, and rather than work with the group, he decided to start his own. He and his group cannot lay claim to the original pubnite as they were not around when the First Thursday Pubnite was created, which by the way was not created solely for the 2003 Worldcon bid – it predates that. Also, attendance has been low for the past several years; we no longer had the numbers, even at the Foxes Den, we once had many years ago.

This sort of split is not new; it occurs all the time anywhere in the world for any community or interest. I find it stressful….

Two stories from File 770: Mars, Dr Seus

(1) LITIGATION. File 770 reported in September about the Kickstarter appeal raising funds for Oh, The Places You’ll Boldly Go!, featuring the writing of David Gerrold, the art of Ty Templeton, and the editorial skills of ComicMix’s Glenn Hauman.

The holders of the Dr. Seuss rights have objected and sued for damages reports in “Oh, The Lawsuits You’ll See”.

Dr. Seuss‘ stories should NOT be rehashed with Vulcans or Klingons in the mix — at least not without permission … according to a new lawsuit.

The Doc’s camp just filed suit against ComicMix, which thought it’d be neat to make a ‘Star Trek‘ version of “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” In the docs, obtained by TMZ, the Seuss’ co. says ComicMix fused elements of the classic book with their own story, and even jacked actual prose from the original … all without asking.

They say ComicMix knew damn well it was doing the Doc dirty because its Kickstarter page for the project mentioned they might have to go to court to prove their work was parody and not a violation of copyright. They acknowledged, “we may even lose.”

Team Seuss is suing for damages. A lawyer for ComicMix tells us they love Dr. Seuss and hope to resolve the suit amicably.


And in case you missed Mars last night:

(2) NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MARS SERIES. Don’t wait until the November 14 premiere. Stream the Mars premiere now.

The year is 2033, and humanity’s first crewed mission to Mars is about to become a reality. As a clock counts down the final 90 seconds to landing, an expert crew of astronauts endures the final harrowing moments before touching down on the red planet. Even with the best training and resources available, the maiden crew of the Daedalus spacecraft must push itself to the brink of human capability in order to successfully establish the first sustainable colony on Mars. Set both in the future and in the present day, the global miniseries event MARS blends feature film-caliber scripted elements set in the future with documentary vérité interviews with today’s best and brightest minds in modern science and innovation, illuminating how research and development is creating the space technology that will enable our first attempt at a mission to Mars.