Commentary – The industry that cried wolf

February 26, 2009 by · 9 Comments
Filed under: Commentary 

SFFaudio Commentary

Kiwi cartoonist Dylan Horrocks has a very apt editorial cartoon that he’s placed in the public domain

“…the internet” by Dylan Horrocks

Posted by Jesse Willis

Audio Dune Chronicles Complete!

February 25, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
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SFFaudio Recent Arrivals

With the release of Chapterhouse Dune this month, Macmillan Audio has completed the entire original Dune Chronicles, all recorded with full casts. Macmillan’s full list of audio Dune titles (including those by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson) can be found |HERE|, complete with audio samples!

Dune by Frank Herbert
Dune (Dune Chronicles, Book 1)
By Frank Herbert, Performed by Full Cast
18 CDs – 22 hours – [UNABRIDGED]

 
Dune Messiah by Frank Herbert
Dune Messiah (Dune Chronicles, Book 2)
By Frank Herbert, Performed by Full Cast
7 CDs – 9 hours – [UNABRIDGED]

 
Children of Dune by Frank Herbert
Children of Dune (Dune Chronicles, Book 3)
By Frank Herbert, Performed by Full Cast
14 CDs – 17 hours – [UNABRIDGED]

 
God Emperor of Dune by Frank Herbert
God Emperor of Dune (Dune Chronicles, Book 4)
By Frank Herbert, Performed by Full Cast
13 CDs – 16 hours – [UNABRIDGED]

 
Heretics of Dune by Frank Herbert
Heretics of Dune (Dune Chronicles, Book 5)
By Frank Herbert, Performed by Full Cast
15 CDs – 18.5 hours – [UNABRIDGED]

 
Chapterhouse Dune by Frank Herbert
Chapterhouse Dune (Dune Chronicles, Book 6)
By Frank Herbert, Performed by Full Cast
13 CDs – 16.5 hours – [UNABRIDGED]

 

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

CONAN attacks fans

February 24, 2009 by · 17 Comments
Filed under: News 

SFFaudio News

Meego ConanAn intellectual property company has been harassing fans that were making audio versions of public domain Robert E. Howard CONAN stories.

They’d keep going, but the new fucked-up New Zealand copyright law will shut down their whole operation if the company complains.

Broken Sea Audio Productions, headquartered in New Zealand, has shut down all their Robert E. Howard projects after receiving another threatening letter from the lawyers for Conan Properties International LLC (aka Paradox Entertainment).

CPI is the limited liability company that claims all licensing powers over works by Robert E. Howard worldwide.

The whole situation is absolutely rotten. CPI is muscling a non-profit audio drama fan group that makes audio dramas and audiobooks, for fun, out of public domain stories, all so it can defend its trademark on “CONAN: The Barbarian” (the stories for which are in the PUBLIC DOMAIN).

Things might look different were it not for the horrendous new legislation set to be implemented on February 28th, 2009 March 27th, 2009 in New Zealand. The new NZ law makes websites that are accused of infringement subject to arbitrary-ISP pulldowns.

Here is the most recent letter from CPI/Paradox Entertainment |PDF| in its entirety.

What make this all the worse is that its an echo of a fight BSAP, in NZ, had thought it had already won. See, back in August 2008 BSAP received a similar cease and desist letter from the same firm. In that letter CPI threatened a lawsuit over the use of “CONAN” (for which they claim a trademark)…

letter1565.jpg

In response to it BSAP removed their unique, but still offending, “CONAN” logo and the CPI lawyers sent a follow-up letter. Saying…

CPI Lawyer Letter #2

After that, with the Conan audiobooks and audio dramas no longer displaying any “CONAN” label, all seemed well for the non-profit audio drama group. Paul Mannering, and staff, continued to cast Conan fans as voice actors and work on the script for a new audio dramatization based on another Robert E. Howard public domain work, Hour Of The Dragon.

Later, in November 2008, something rather cool happened. Paul Mannering got an email from the CPI/Paradox’s branding department offering BSAP a free “CONAN” license. It was to be a “royalty free” license too, that would forever keep a threat of lawsuit from CPI/Paradox at bay and allow BSAP to brand its Conan audio as “CONAN” audio.

But then, just yesterday, an unexpected email from the CPI lawyers arrived…

letter3a565.jpg

…dashing the possibility of a license AND renewing the threat of a lawsuit…

letter3b565.jpg

It seems to me that given that the Robert E. Howard stories are PUBLIC DOMAIN, that Howard is 73 years dead, had no spouse, nor children, that Broken Sea is giving away their productions to Robert E. Howard’s Conan fans – only one judgment is reasonable:

CPI LLC/Paradox Entertainment is being an asshole.

And that’s the situation as it now stands. All future BSAP audiobooks and audio dramatizations based on the PUBLIC DOMAIN writings of Robert E. Howard are canceled – or at least it’s all put on hold until someone can offer some legal advice to Paul Mannering and the Broken Sea creative team.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Hugos!

February 24, 2009 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: News 

SFFaudio News

SFFaudio MetaLots of Hugo Award talk, as this year’s nominating deadline rapidly approaches (Feb 28 is the final day to submit nominations). We’ve got a page here at SFFaudio that contains a list of audio versions of Hugo Award winning fiction. We compiled it over four years ago. Things have changed so rapidly over the last two years that the page fell embarrassingly out of date, so Jesse and I are rebuilding it using nothing but twine and an old screwdriver. Oh yeah, and the internet. We’re including cover art when we can find it, so the process is slow – but here is the first part which contains a list of Hugo Awards from the 2000’s. Find it |HERE|. If you spot any errors or omissions, please contact the nearest authorities, and then zip me an e-mail. Our hopes and dreams include getting a new decade added to this list each week.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

Recent Arrivals from Penguin Audio

February 24, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
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SFFaudio Recent Arrivals

Four Stephen King audio re-issues!

Desperation by Stephen KingDesperation
By Stephen King; Read by Kathy Bates
8 CDs – 9 hours – [ABRIDGED]
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Published: 2009 (reissue from 1996)
ISBN: 9780143143895

One of King’s best novels!

There’s a place along Interstate 50 that some call the loneliest place on Earth. It’s known as Desperation, Nevada. It’s not a very nice place to live. It’s an even worse place to die. Let the battle against evil begin.
 
 
The Regulators by Stephen KingThe Regulators
By Stephen King; Read by Kate Nelligan
8 CDs – 9 hours – [ABRIDGED]
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Published: 2009 (reissue from 1996)
ISBN: 9780143143918

This was released at the same time as Desperation, has the same cast as that novel, and appeared as written by Richard Bachman.

There’s a place in Wentworth, Ohio, where summer is in full swing. It’s called Poplar Street. Up until now it’s been a nice place to live. The idling red van around the corner is about to change all that. Let the battle against evil begin.
 
 

Thinner by Stephen KingThinner
By Stephen King; Read by Joe Mantegna
9 CDs – 10 hours – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Published: 2009 (reissue from 1984)
ISBN: 9780143143901

The last Bachman book – after this novel was published, it was revealed that Bachman was Stephen King.

When an old Gypsy man curses Billy Halleck for sideswiping his daughter, six weeks later he’s 93 pounds lighter. Now Billy is terrified. And desperate enough for one last gamble…that will lead him to a nightmare showdown with the forces of evil melting his flesh away.
 
 
Rose Madder by Stephen KingRose Madder
By Stephen King; Read by Blair Brown
14 CDs – 18 hours – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Published: 2009 (reissue from 1995)
ISBN: 9780143143949

Intense novel about an abused wife.

This is the story of Rose Daniels, “the most richly portrayed female King’s ever created.”* Escape from her macabre marriage is not as easy as fleeing to a new city, picking a new name, finding a new job, and lucking out with a new man. Not with a husband like Norman…
 
 
Posted by Scott D. Danielson

BBC Radio 3,4,7 – Season of Science Fiction Drama

February 23, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Audio Drama, Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

Science Fiction Drama (on BBC Radio 3, 4 and 7)

Here’s the OFFICIAL WEBSITE for the “Season Of Science Fiction” recently announced for BBC Radio 3, 4 and 7.

Posted by Jesse Willis

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