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THE BATTLE
FOR BOND

 

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Author and journalist ROBERT SELLERS talks exclusively to 007 MAGAZINE about the latest page in the seemingly never-ending saga of the ‘THUNDERBALL case’.

 
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve been criticised in the past about my dubious merits as an author, but this is the first time someone’s actively tried to destroy my work. I knew I had a hot potato on my hands when I first started writing about Kevin McClory and the THUNDERBALL case, controversies seem never to be far away whenever and wherever that case is mentioned, but with access to all the official documents I knew I was on safe ground, everything I was writing about could be proven. I had the evidence, I had it all, in black and white.

Still, it took me about six months to find a publisher, mainly because they were all pretty shit-scared of legal action; quite rightly as it’s turned out. Only Tomahawk Press had the courage and the belief in the project to go ahead and publish. I will be eternally grateful to them for giving this book its chance at life.

James Bond creator Ian Fleming with Len Deighton James Bond creator Ian Fleming with Len Deighton James Bond creator Ian Fleming with Len Deighton
James Bond creator Ian Fleming with Len Deighton James Bond creator Ian Fleming with Len Deighton James Bond creator Ian Fleming with Len Deighton
James Bond creator Ian Fleming with Len Deighton James Bond creator Ian Fleming with Len Deighton James Bond creator Ian Fleming with Len Deighton

Pretty quickly after the book was published the Ian Fleming Will Trust, through their London lawyers, took great exception to our publishing, in full, copies of a number of letters by Ian Fleming, to which the Trust owned copyright. They really were not best pleased, and notified us that we had infringed their copyright and were liable for damages.

We, that’s the publisher and I, claimed that we had every right to reproduce these documents in the book without infringing copyright as they were used as part of the prosecution case in the 1963 Ian Fleming plagiarism trial. We also believed ourselves to be protected by law, since section 45, subsection 2 of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act of 1988 states that it is not an infringement of copyright if the publication of documents occurs within the context of reporting legal proceedings, which clearly is the case with this book. In addition, we felt we could rely on the fair dealing exception of criticism and review as set out in section 30 of the act. We wondered why the Fleming Will Trust believed these exemptions didn’t apply in this case.

CONTINUED

© Robert Sellers/007 MAGAZINE, 2008. All rights reserved.

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The Battle For Bond
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