BSAP’s CONAN audio dramas and audiobooks threatened by a big corporate monster

SFFaudio News

The Queen Of The Black Coast by Robert E. HowardOn the 22nd August 2008 Broken Sea Audio Productions, and its chief bottle-washer Paul Mannering, received a cease and desist letter from a law firm representing Conan Properties International LLC (aka Paradox Entertainment).

Sez Paul:

The letter claims that BSAP is selling audio books of Robert E. Howard’s work. BrokenSea have responded by confirming that we do not sell any material, and no income is received by us for making these audio files available to the public. Our production of both audio books and audio drama’s of Robert E. Howard’s work is based entirely on work that is in the public domain (www.gutenberg.org.au)

Out of respect for tangible brands, such as the “Conan” title we are changing the title and logo of our Conan audio drama to “Robert E. Howard’s Hyborian Sagas.” We expect this change to be in place by Thursday 28th August.

Here is the |PDF| of Conan Properties International’s CEASE AND DESIST letter sent to Broken Sea.

Here are my $0.02…

For a man who killed himself 72 years ago, with no children and no spouse to inherit his estate (nearly all of which is in the public domain) it’s amazing how spurious vigorous Robert E. Howard’s defense of his lapsed copyright is.

I chalk it up to either the nefarious forces of Stygian evil, or the Black Seers of Yimsha. Either way, R.E.H. has been zombified, and forced to say things – or rather has had his lawyers say things that aren’t true. Time for some barbarians to overthrow the forces of civilization (by ignoring the intended effects of cease and desist chill).

SFFaudio will still be calling spades shovels and Conan stories Conan stories. Long live Broken Sea Audio Productions, long live BSAP’s CONAN!

UPDATE: The ever vigilant Quasar Dragon has a posted a post on this issue check it out HERE.

Posted by Jesse Willis

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10 thoughts to “BSAP’s CONAN audio dramas and audiobooks threatened by a big corporate monster”

  1. Without defending Paradox’s position, I note that it’s not a matter of lapsed copyright, it’s a matter of trademark, which is a very different beast from copyright in most respects.

  2. I can absolutely see them trademarking their “conan” logo – that’s legitimate – they’ve got a product that they are licensing, the “conan” brand. Unfortunately, the product (Howard’s fiction) that they are branding is, for the most part, public domain. If I was releasing a The War Of The Worlds audiobook I couldn’t use the logo made for the Tom Cruise movie version – but I can still call it “The War Of The Worlds.”

  3. Thank you both for commenting. It is driving me mad because I love REH and his works and we just wanted to pay homage to the Genius of REH, heck we don’t sell ANY audio at BrokenSea… We just want people to enjoy and join the fun… sighs…

  4. What makes me most angry is that Paradox isn’t even selling Conan audiobooks. The only place you can get these great stories in audio is from Broken Seas. I loved the reading of Red Nails and said so in a review on my site. I’ll be cheering for you, Broken Seas.

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