From: email@example.com (Jonathan S Hofmann)
Subject: Boycott Creation Cons!
Just something I got from a BITNET mailing list. Anyone who goes to
conventions should read it, as CREATION is trying to monopolize the market
and drive the (better, IMHO) fan-run cons out of business.
Date: Mon, 29 Jul 1991 12:43:00 EST
Sender: Star Trek Fan Club list
Subj: Re: Creation Convention Aug 9-10
Before you go to another Creation Convention, please
read the following and understand just what these
people are about and how they negatively affect your
fannish enjoyment for the next year...
The following information from the commercial electronic networks
GEnie and CompuServe concerns the exclusive licenses signed
between Creation Conventions and Paramount Pictures and certain
actors appearing in Star Trek productions. Complete messages are
represented with no attempt to edit, correct spelling, or remove
personal messages that were included with other information.
Category 21, Topic 5
Message 195 Wed May 22, 1991
BRADFERGUSON at 06:36 EDT
This is important, so please listen up:
I've confirmed that Creation is attempting to sign all significant ST:TNG
cast members to exclusive appearance contracts. If a cast member signs such
a contract, he or she would be prevented from appearing at any convention not
run by Creation -- including fan-run conventions. For this, Creation will
pay the cast member a certain annual guarantee.
Marina Sirtis has already signed such a contract with Creation and, as a
result, has cancelled her scheduled appearance at Fan-Out in the Baltimore
area this coming March. I can confirm that Creation is negotiating with
Patrick Stewart, who is at least a little skeptical about the wisdom of
signing Creation's contract and has asked the head of his fan club (IAAPS)
for her opinion. (She strongly advised him not to sign.)
Fans who want to see their favorite cast members at conventions NOT run by
Creation would do well to write those cast members and urge them NOT to sign
Creation's exclusive contract. At least one ST:TNG cast member is concerned
that the money he can earn from appearances at fan-run conventions will be
neither as generous nor as frequent as the payments promised by Creation. (It
might be worthwhile to point out to them that the original cast of STAR TREK
is still booked solid for fan-con appearances throughout the year at very
generous rates more than twenty years after the cancellation of the show.)
Category 21, Topic 5
Message 246 Thu May 30, 1991
BRADFERGUSON at 07:01 EDT
More trouble is just now coming to light:
Two weeks ago, Paramount quietly signed a contract with Creation giving
it the exclusive right to sell STAR TREK merchandise at conventions.
The only exception to this is to be made for retailers who get a special,
exemptive license from Paramount -- and I don't know of any who have.
Hucksters who cater to fan-run cons are just now being informed that they
can no longer sell TREK-related merchandise there. One huckster says
Paramount representatives have been going through dealers' rooms to
deliver that message in person.
The implication is clear: Paramount intends that the only place one will
be able to purchase TREK paraphernalia is at Creation cons. It probably
needs to be pointed out again that Creation is attempting to sign ST:TNG
cast members to exclusive appearance contracts, and has already succeeded
in signing Marina Sirtis.
This makes two frontal attacks on fan-run conventions in just the past
Category 21, Topic 5
Message 259 Fri May 31, 1991
BRADFERGUSON at 07:46 EDT
Jeff -- I've never posted an address for Paramount, and I don't know what
it is. However, I don't think writing would do any good. There are other
factors at work here ... and Roddenberry has long made clear his contempt
for what the fans think. Oh, and TREK isn't a trademark. STAR TREK is,
though. I also think people should keep their money in their pockets,
just on general principles. The fans are being used callously.
As for the rest of it: Clearly, Paramount has made the determination that
ST:TNG will not work in post-run syndication as TREK Classic has. Paramount
does not expect ST:TNG to last very long or do very well in reruns, and so it
has decided to market the hell out of it now rather than wait. That's why you
have the videos available now, for instance. I think that, at least, is a
correct decision; I don't think ST:TNG will enjoy any major success in post-
Paramount also correctly realizes that STAR TREK in all its aspects is a
cash cow, at least for the time being. The company doesn't really care
what you think about its marketing practices. It knows the stuff will
sell anyway, and it will sell for at least several years. People buy all
sorts of odd stuff, as long as it has STAR TREK stamped on it somewhere
and, unfortunately, they are not very discriminating about it.
L.POZA asks how Paramount can keep TREK stuff from being sold at cons.
Well, collectibles such as old toys and games seem safe, but the _major_
market -- fresh merchandise such as videos, clothing, books, figurines
and what-have-you now belongs to Creation. Creation has bought the
franchise, which has value two ways: It brings more money to Creation,
and it hurts the fan-run cons, Creation's only major competition. It
will also hurt organizations such as Dreamworks, a "little guy" in the
pro-run con business.
Dennis -- There has been no effect on Shore Leave yet, and I would not
particularly expect this year's con to be affected. However, that may
not be true for long. Creation will probably target the three fan-run
cons in Baltimore (Fan-Out, Shore Leave and OktoberTrek [nee ClipperCon]);
Creation (probably correctly) blames the fan-run cons for its own
generally poor performance in Baltimore and Washington. If Creation
can prevent the fan-run cons from obtaining major guests by signing
them to exclusive contracts, that would hurt. Then again, it may restore
some sanity to the fan-run con system; some of them have simply gotten
too big, and the organizations backing them have grown bloated and self-
important. Smaller could be better. I also suspect that if any
Paramount or Creation agents intend to skulk around the Shore Leave
dealers' room to harass merchants, they damned well better have bought
memberships and be wearing badges. A fan group called the Klingon Empire
is helping to provide security, and some of those folks make Hulk Hogan
look downright puny.
Tabitha is quite right: Paramount is flipping us the bird.
As for Michael Dorn: Well, for heaven's sake. I mean, the script is OUT
there, and so I know exactly what Dorn is doing in ST6. The studio
obviously ordered Dorn to be cute about his participation in the film;
let him be.
Date: Sun, May 26, 1991 10:34:07 PM
Subject: #190895-Creation Monopoly
From: Priscilla J. Ball 72000,3172
I heard they did get the monopoly to sell stills of the guest at their
cons (not anyone besides the guest and not at non-Creation cons). I also
heard they paid $150,000 for the privilege.
Category 21, Topic 1
Message 581 Thu Jun 06, 1991
WIL.WHEATON [I'm Baack!] at 15:57 EDT
I agree with Paramount giving exclusive rights... maybe it'll cut
out some of the blatantly illegal crap that people sell. I don't
think *I'LL* ever sign exclusively with anyone... I would not want
to be committed to a set number of cons a year. Depending on how they
go, i like to do 2 or 3 or more.
A young (5 yrs.) friend of mine said to me recently "The people
sitting in your seat are stupid! They don't even talk or anything!"
The thing I liked Least about Wesley was that I never got to make him
interesting... he never did anything remotely interesting until I
voiced my desire to leave that show... oh well. The thing that I
liked best is that he was VERY easy to do. Very little preparation
was needed, compared to, say, Joey Trotta.
Thanks for the Questions! _W.
Category 21, Topic 5
Message 317 Mon Jun 03, 1991
BRADFERGUSON at 23:27 EDT
First, this news: I can confirm that Michael Dorn has signed an
exclusive appearance contract with Creation. Like Marina Sirtis',
Dorn's is for one year (as Arne said) and runs through 1992. At this
writing, Sirtis and Dorn are the only two actors who have signed such
No one has to worry about this year's Shore Leave. The Creation
deal is for next year and doesn't affect any fan-run con held this
Trademarks: Paramount can, and has, trademarked "Enterprise" as a
starship name. There are some things Paramount probably _can't_
trademark. Off the top of my head, one would be "Federation," which
is a term that's been used in SF for decades to mean exactly what it
meant in STAR TREK. However, "Klingon" could be trademarked easily.
Arne -- I got your Xerox of the artwork. Gorgeous beyond description;
many thanks. It's the cover.
Category 21, Topic 5
Message 321 Tue Jun 04, 1991
D.GOLDEN2 [Daiv-Mon] at 07:22 EDT
I talked to Walter Koenig about the contracts, his reply was
he was in the business to make money, if he is offered a good deal
that makes him more money he might sign.
I asked the same thing to James Doohan, his reply was very
much AGAINST the idea of an exclusive contract.
If everybody would write to the stars and tell them not to
sign, might sway them to decide differently. If they see a large
negative reaction to the contracts and a decrease in convention
attendance the stars & Creation will thing rethink the contract
c/o Paramount Pictures
5555 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90038
Category 21, Topic 5
Message 333 Wed Jun 05, 1991
BRADFERGUSON at 03:12 EDT
I'm not surprised that Jimmy Doohan is death on the exclusive-contract
deal. Jimmy and his wife have put together a life that has them
doing what they love best, which is to knock around the country in
a travel van and make a personal appearance once in a while. Jimmy
books his own appearances and sets his own pace. He's happy. I'm
certain he doesn't want anybody telling him what to do or where to
Dennis -- I don't know if Marina Sirtis is entirely ignorant of
the difference between Creation-run and fan-run cons. In her
appearance at the 1989 Shore Leave, she was asked which kind she
liked doing better, and she replied that when she did a Creation
con, she did everything that she was assigned to do and nothing
more, but when she was at a fan-run con, she'd sit longer at the
autograph table and visit the con suite and stuff like that,
because she wanted to do more for the fan-run cons; it wasn't all
business for her.
Category 21, Topic 5
Message 342 Thu Jun 06, 1991
L.POZA [NihonMeister] at 03:55 EDT
Got a post from another net RE: the Creation monopoly, from a
dealer who is most painfully aware of it. It's a bit lengthy, but
Date: 06-04-91 (06:13) StarTrek Number: 20,389 / 20,389
To: LUIS POZA Refer#: 20,059
From: TIM LUBRANO Read: NO
Subj: CREATION CON MONOPOLY
I am a Star Trek dealer, I am the person behind the table at cons
you attend and I am sorry to say that what you have written is true.
I received a letter from creation just a few days ago stating that
they have indeed licensed all T-Shirts, hats, patches, photos, pins
etc. and ALL Star Trek six merchandise and that as a dealer if I want
to sell stuff at their shows I must get it wholesale through them
first. To me this is a gross injustice to both dealers and to the
fans. If all dealers are forced to carry only creation supplied
merchandise then you'll have sixty dealers tables all carrying the
same items, no variety, no imagination but plenty of money for
creation. They get money from their dealers per table (As much as
350.00 per), They get the money from the fans(As high as 20-25.00
for major guests) They have their own tables at the shows(In direct
competition with their dealers and now this. Almost all of the fan
created or dealer created merchandise is far superior to the
licensed stuff out on the market and none of the props or uniforms
are licensed so you wont find these anymore. Creation has gone so
far even to say that they will be going around to non-creation
shows enforcing their license and bringing to court other promoters
that try and stand in their way.
Think of what would happen if they get their way and sign exclusive
contracts with all of the stars, you would never be able to have a
charity Con like Wishcon that is going to happen in Springfield Mass
in November with all the proceeds going to the make a wish foundation
for terminally ill children. (Sorry if you want that star you'll have
to pay creation first)
Star Trek conventions were founded by fans for fans and although I
make my living off of doing these shows I feel I offer good
merchandise at a fair price now all of the dealers will have to
raise their prices in order to give creation their cut and that's bad
for YOU THE FANS.
Creation may be the largest company that puts on Cons but they
are by far not the best. Their programming is dull. They show you
the same slide show and blooper reel year after year then they have
their auction. They promise people info on upcoming movies and episodes
but deliver little in the way of information. The fan run shows are
by far THE BEST with many things to see and do and less focus on $$$$
and more focus on the fans some fan shows just break even.
Many of the dealers I have talked to may plan a boycott of
creation shows, but if their are not enough independent or fan run
shows to take up the slack this may not work. All I can say is write
letters to Paramount or to Creation but don't expect too much
sympathy, Creation paid Paramount a lot of money to get this licence
and Money speaks louder than words or fans in this situation.
Thanks for listening.
Well spoken. This is really all too much. I for one am not anxious to visit
any future Creation cons. Anyone else? Spread the word.
Category 21, Topic 5
Message 371 Mon Jun 10, 1991
WIL.WHEATON [Scarecrow] at 13:27 EDT
Here is MY suggestion to you all. Don't write Paramount; they don't
have any concept of what fans and cons are about, excepting Richard
Arnold and a few All they see is the bottom line, and lots of $$$.
Why not copy off all of these messages, put them in an envelope and
send them off to Creation?? I remember going to one when I was little
for Horror and only seeing dealers tables, and not much else. They
are good for us actors, because they are pretty straight up with us,
and don't spring things on us, but , due to reaction here, I may
have to rethink if they call me anytime soon.
Fight the Powers the Be!!!
inciting a riot,
J. Scott Hofmann | "Take my Worf...Please!" -- Data in
firstname.lastname@example.org | _The Outrageous Okona_, ST:TNG
aka Diode (LPMuds), Saevin (TinyMUSH) | Epoch development team, UIUC