The British general election is next month. Labour Party leader Ed Miliband apparently has the time to think about who should play James Bond. He’d like to see a woman actor: Rosamund Pike in particular. Some, like this Guardian writer, agree:
….So far, the feminist revolution has been largely limited to comics. We pointed out last week that there is a thing going on in that world with feminist superheroes. If Thor can be a woman, so can Bond. (Idris Elba could obviously be Bond too, but that is a different piece)….
Actually, one would think the man who desires to be the next British Prime Minister should be rather more concerned about when they’ll finally be a woman leader of his own Labour Party. One supposes he doesn’t plan to step down himself immediately and make way for one at last?
That said, who does he think should play the next, say, Lara Croft? A man?
….This is a genius way of demonstrating a generational shift in political attitudes, a seemingly guileless exercise in spontaneity that tells you more about Ed Miliband than any number of debates, interviews or even a peek at his kitchen. This is a man who genuinely does not imagine gender as a limiting factor, who has interesting ideas, and the confidence to express them….
No, except in the sloppiest of senses this is not about any of that. It is especially not about his “interesting ideas.” Rather it is about his messing around with someone else’s interesting idea and appropriating it for his own electoral purposes.
He has no right to do that. He’s out of line. I’m sure he didn’t mean it this way, but that “spontaneity” actually shows he doesn’t quite understand what intellectual property and copyright means.
A creator’s perspective needs to be injected into this. Allow me. Author Ian Fleming created the sort of iconic character every writer DREAMS he could invent. “James Bond” is not (yet) a public trust. Fleming’s books are still in copyright, and those books and the copyrighted films based on them belong solely to those who now own the rights.
If you write, imagine it? Opinionated politicians and busybodies pronouncing how one or more of your beloved characters you’ve worked so hard to bring to life should be altered to be what you never intended to or wanted to write? Indeed, evidently they are pretty much demanding it – trying to bully you in public into doing so?
“There’s been a generational change,” they lecture you. “The world has moved on. Valérie really should be a 7 foot tall Icelandic zombie….”
My polite response? Get stuffed. Go write your own novels and concoct your own characters. Mine are what they are for my reasons.
If one feels there should be a black British secret agent, or a woman one, write them. Produce an original tale for the ages. Get to work. It might well be brilliant, and that’s what’s needed, not piggybacking on someone else’s “interesting idea” and, essentially, stealing it.
No politician or newspaper makes a call on my copyrighted characters. I decide who and what they are, as will those who will “own” them after me. In fact, I may put that into my literary will so my heirs understand that fully. 😉
Have a good Thursday, wherever you are in the world. 🙂