Pixel Scroll 4/2/16 Neither a Scroller nor a Pixel be; For Pixels Oft Loses Both Itself And Friend, And Scrolling Dulls The Edge of Filery

(1) SO SUE ME. TrekToday reports “Axanar Files Second Motion To Dismiss”.

For the second time, the lawyers working for Axanar have filed a motion to dismiss and they are again seeking clarification from Paramount Pictures and CBS Corporation regarding which copyrights the production has violated.

Axanar posted an official statement regarding the new motion, which was filed yesterday. “Yesterday, acting on behalf of both Axanar Productions and Producer Alec Peters, Winston & Strawn filed a Motion to Dismiss the first amended copyright complaint of CBS Studios and Paramount Pictures Corporation. The motion explains that in multiple respects, the deficiencies in CBS and Paramount‘s original complaint are still not sufficiently addressed in their amended filing, and that in some ways the amendments have created new defects.

“The motion provides examples as to how CBS and Paramount overreach in what they claim are elements protected under copyright, and fail to be specific as to exactly which copyrights have been infringed upon; and, in the case of the potential feature film Axanar claims of alleged copyright infringement cannot be made against a film that doesn’t yet exist….

The Axanar legal team has requested a May 9 hearing date on the motion to dismiss.

The full motion can be seen here.

(2) DIGGING DEEPER INTO GALAKTIKA. Anna Grace Carpenter documents “more bad behavior” by Galaktika Magazine, the Hungarian periodical charged with not paying a lot of people for their work.

This opened up a broader problem. By this point I was certain that the English-language stories were primarily being published without the consent or compensation of the original authors. (I have been able to confirm that work published as early as 2008 was done so without author knowledge or consent. Pintér spoke with an author whose work was published in 2006 without their consent. The full extent of the ongoing piracy is still uncertain.)

Tracking down the translators who were working for Galaktika during 2015 was a little more difficult than contacting the authors involved; all I had were the names in the bibliography and Google.

The first few I tried didn’t turn up anything immediately useful, but with a little more digging I was able to reach two of the translators who worked with Galaktika in 2015.  The first (who had translated nine stories over the course of the year) said simply that they were not responsible for the rights involved in the stories. They would receive a request from the publisher (likely Attila Németh – the fiction editor at Galaktika) to translate a specific story, and would return the work once they were done….

They told me the effort involved to get paid for their work simply became too much and they stopped working for Galaktika. (They also became aware, after the fact, that Polenth Blake’s short story – “Never the Same” (Strange Horizons Sep 8 2014) – had been taken without her permission because they contacted her about the translation.)

Another Hungarian author I spoke with said they had sold work to Galaktika in 2006 for which they had received pro-rates, but had since stopped working with the magazine due to (among other things) other authors they knew personally not being paid for their work. They said their feeling was that Hungarian authors and translators had a better chance of being paid because they could always go to the Galaktika offices to demand what was owed.

But the translator I spoke with said they had heard of other translators and Hungarian authors who had never been paid – a fact which was such common knowledge that when they told their friends about the work their first question was “And do they pay you?” They recounted calling István Burger “who was really cocky, like it was by his grace that I was allowed to work for them, because apparently it’s him who sends everyone their money. So after Back to the Future I had enough.”

It would seem that Galaktika’s bad behavior is not limited to the theft and piracy of English-language stories, but a deliberate and continuous pattern of behavior where they attempt to profit off the work of others while making as little compensation as possible to the authors and translators providing the material for the magazine.

(3) SAD BUNNIES. A British Board of Film Classification sachem says “Watership Down ‘would be rated PG today’”.

The U-rated 1978 film Watership Down would be classified PG were it released today, the new head of the British Board of Film Classification has said.

BBFC director David Austin told BBC Radio 5 live its violence was “arguably too strong” for it to be rated U now.

He added the film also contains language that would be “unacceptable” in a film rated U under 2016 criteria.

His comments followed complaints over the film’s content after it was aired on Channel 5 on Sunday.

“Well done to whoever at Channel 5 decided that Watership Down was a nice Easter Sunday afternoon film to show,” wrote one tweeter.

… The film – which features the voices of Sir John Hurt and the late Richard Briers – received a U rating on its initial release for its “very mild language, mild violence and threat”.

According to Austin, though, “standards were different then”. “The film has been a U for 38 years, but if it came in tomorrow it would not be,” he continued.

(4) PITY THE FOOL. The March 31 Scroll quoted a story about Gmail’s new “mic drop” feature. On April 1 the BBC reported, “Google April Fool Gmail button sparks backlash”.

Google has removed an April Fool’s Gmail button, which sent a comical animation to recipients, after reports of people getting into trouble at work.

The button appeared beside Gmail’s normal send button and allowed users to shut down an email thread by sending a gif of a Minion dropping a microphone.

However, a flurry of complaints about the button appeared on Google’s forums.

The firm has since withdrawn the feature and apologised.

Will R. swears, “For the record, I didn’t realize they were crazy enough to make this an actual button.” Well, if they did.

(5) MORE UNTIMELY FOOLISHNESS. Variety reported on April Fool’s Eve (or as you civilians say, March 31) that actor Tom Hiddleston delivered Chicago’s Fox32 weather report as Loki — “Tom Hiddleston Gives Weather Report, Blames Storm on Thor”.

Tom Hiddleston can add another credit to his resume: weatherman.

The “Night Manager” and “Avengers” actor dropped by a Chicago news station as Loki (though tragically not in costume) to update viewers on the terrible weather hitting the area this weekend. He blamed it all on his thunderous brother Thor, saying that his “brother from another mother’s been misbehaving.”

“The God of Thunder has brought his skill set to bare on the local weather,” Hiddleston added.

In other words, the storm-front means that “Chris Hemsworth has taken his hammer and smashed it on the surface of the sky and it’s going to rain a helluva lot,” the actor said….

Hiddleston and Hemsworth will reprise the feuding brothers onscreen again in “Thor: Ragnarok,” which is set for Nov. 3, 2017.


(6) LINES AT ANIME BOSTON. Smofnews has the story

Anime Boston has posted a long statement detailing the causes of excessive lines at their con last weekend. Some of the causes are ordinary problems, like misallocated staff and the blocked shortcut. Others included a registration system provided by a third party which was found to have a serious bug right before the con started*, and a decision between the local police and the facility to use metal detectors, with the con being a bit out of the loop. It goes to show that being bigger doesn’t necessarily mean having more control of things.

(7) JAMES H. BURNS CLIPPING FILE. The Franklin Square Bulletin, which has no internet presence, but is a decades-old weekly on the South Shore of Long Island, published an item about a favorite son:

“Franklin Square Columnist Nominated For Rondo Award”

Franklin Square resident James H. Burns, a long time writer and actor, has been nominated as “Best Columnist for 2015” at the Classic Horror Film Board, the popular website administered for over twenty years by David Colton, the just-retired Page One editor of USA TODAY. Jim’s citation is for his columns at FILE 770, itself a multi-award winning website devoted to the worlds of the fantastic. It’s fun to note  many of Jim’s articles actually deal with lost elements of growing up in Franklin Square, and other unique facets of life in our community!

The columns range from “World War II and a Lexicon in Time” to man’s first landing on another world (“The Moon at Midnight”); a look at Irish folklore (“And a Moonbeam to Charm You”) to prehistoric worlds (in “My Father and the Brontosaurs” (including dinosaurs at Falaise, and the World’s Fair) and “Sons of a Mesozoic Age” (with memories of the Franklin Square Theatre!); and reflections on his friendships with some of the James Bond filmmakers (“The 007 In  My Mind”) and other theatrical personnel (“Back to Another Future”).

The best column may be a special look at our Christmas and Chanukah traditions, “The Geography of Eden.”

Burns says, “The whole idea behind some of the articles was to capture certain moments in time, experiences common to many of us who grew up in the area, but which might otherwise be forgotten.”

Burns writes about the small “farm” that used to behind Valley Caterers in “Clanky!”, and takes a look at a Franklin Square Independence Day evening, and the dawn of the Space Age, in “On This, The Fourth.”  (Some of his mainstream work for CBS-NY.COM and NEWSDAY is also reflected in the nomination, as the features were excerpted at the website.)

You can vote for “The Rondo Awards” until April 10th, by going online to:   http://monsterkidclassichorrorforum.yuku.com/topic/62030/s-ballot-Gasp-14th-Annual-Rondo-Hatton-Classic-Horror#.VvAfW-azkWp.

You can read some of  the articles by Googling, “James H. Burns,” File 770, or “James H. Burns,” CBS.

(8) ADRIENNE CORRI OBIT. BBC reports the death of actress Adrienne Corri on March 13, who played the rape victim in A Clockwork Orange, appeared in Hammer films, and featured in a Doctor Who (according to IMDB).


  • April 2, 1968 2001: A Space Odyssey has its world premiere in Washington D.C.


April 2 is the second annual Planet of the Apes day.

The second annual gathering (this time both virtual and actual!) to celebrate the classic 1968 film and all its sequels, remakes and re-imaginings. We’re hosting a fan meetup event at the Idle Hour Cafe in North Hollywood, CA beginning at 5pm on Saturday, April 2nd [NOTE THE NEW DATE FOR EVENT] For those who can’t attend in person, we encourage fans in other cities to join us via Skype and Facebook, of course. More details will follow soon, so RSVP now to and note if you’re attending in person to give us a human-count. Mark this date in your calendar now and prepare to GO APE with the Damn Dirty Geeks!


  • April 2, 1805 — Hans Christian Anderson.
  • April 2, 1908 — Buddy Ebsen. He missed appearing in the Wizard of Oz because the Tin Man’s makeup poisoned him. His Twilight Zone episode was written by Charles Beaumont.
  • April 2, 1914 — Sir Alec Guinness.

(12) FIFTY-FIVE YEARS AGO. The Traveler at Galactic Odyssey thinks Rod Serling should be doing better — “[April 2, 1961] Uprooting Itself (The Twilight Zone, Season 2, Episodes 17, 19, 20, 21”.

Twenty years ago, even ten (and zero in some places), science fiction was all about the twist ending.  Aliens would seed a dead planet with life only for it to turn out…that planet was EARTH!  Or folks might spend a story in a struggle to stay alive, only to find out THEY WERE ALREADY DEAD!  And so on.  Stories would usually end with a shock sentence, often with copious slammers (!!!)

But the genre matured.  Characters, writing, and fully explored concepts appeared.  These days, the “gimmick” often takes the back seat, facilitating rather than dominating the story.

The Twilight Zone, the science fiction/fantasy/horror anthology created by Rod Serling, is generally a cut above anything else on TV.  This includes its pale competitors like One Step Beyond and Way Out.  Unfortunately, several times in the first season, and more frequently in this, the second season, the show has aped the gimmick stories of print sf.  The result is a run of predictable, sub-par episodes.  There is light at the end of this tunnel, however – the most recent episodes have returned the focus to interesting characters and genuine drama.


(14) OUR POET CHERRIOT. Kip W. confessed in a comment here.

This is just to say
I have eaten the Hugos
That you were saving
From destruction
Forgive me
They were just sitting there
Such sweetness
Such noms

[Thanks to Chip Hitchcock, Martin Morse Wooster, David K.M. Klaus, Andrew Porter, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day ULTRAGOTHA.]

127 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 4/2/16 Neither a Scroller nor a Pixel be; For Pixels Oft Loses Both Itself And Friend, And Scrolling Dulls The Edge of Filery

  1. Regarding the Twilight Zone/twist ending thing: that’s my biggest complaint about Ridley Scott’s later versions of Blade Runner. He undermines a powerful message about overcoming prejudice in favor of the sort of cheesy twist that was already getting tiresome back in the 1950s.

    Argue all you want about what Deckard was supposed to be; my contention is that the story is far better and stronger if he’s not a replicant.

  2. Tasha Turner said:

    3. For people’s names include preferred format first last or last, first

    You’ll need better terms than “last” and “first”, as people are known to occasionally nominate works originating in countries where the customary order is different. E.g., when Liu Cixin becomes “Cixin Liu” on the English-language cover, how do you determine what’s “first” and what’s “last”?

    (I would think that what makes the Hugo administrator’s job easiest is to provide the name as it appears on the first English version of the work.)

  3. Tasha Turner also said:

    11. Contact information – MacII has mentioned sometimes Hugo Admins have a hard time tracking shortlisted people down – maybe add a field for contact information as a number of voters might know phone number, email info, or link to “contact me forms” which could save time in tracking people down

    I’d like to argue against this. I doubt this would lead to any info coming through that an admin couldn’t look up themselves, and I’d be worried about people going, “Oh no, I can’t vote for that thing because I don’t have that info for it.”

  4. Re: cartoons for children:

    I ran away and hid every time Nicodemus was crushed in The Secret of NIMH. We owned the movie and obviously I enjoyed it…except that one part. Then I was gone.

    I also recall seeing several parents with young ‘uns at the theatrical showing of South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut. Most of them hustled out when “Uncle Fucker” got rolling. Except one time where the parent was laughing way too hard. I wonder what the ~10-year-old girl made of the film.

  5. David
    Wikipedia remembers it too, which is a good thing for my peace of mind.

    From M to GP to PG
    In 1970 the ages for “R” and “X” were raised from 16 to 17. Also, due to confusion over whether “M”-rated films were suitable for children, “M” was renamed to “GP” (for General audiences, Parental guidance suggested), and in 1971 the MPAA added the content advisory “Some material not generally suitable for pre-teenagers”. In 1972, “GP” was revised to “PG”.

    Also: new thread you folks should go look at.

  6. Kyra wrote:

    Important breaking news:

    Tasmania Is Currently Looking For A ‘Chief Wombat Cuddler’

    Does that mean the regular, run-of-the-mill wombats are left out? (looks speculatively at Red Wombat).

  7. @Kip W

    Surprised nobody has mentioned M ratings. It was always my hope that I could see an M-rated movie (with an adult, which posed its own problems) and maybe catch a flash of nudity! Woo!

    I was 11 or 12 when my father accidentally let me watch an M-rated movie. It was “The Moonshine War,” with Alan Alda.

    Here’s the history of how M changed to GP changed to PG.

    What fooled my father was that the rating in the paper for “The Moonshine War” said “GP” but when they showed the announcements before the film started, it said “M”.

  8. @Petréa Mitchell
    I acknowledge the name issue is more complex and will work on rewording

    I’d forgotten to include the below which I think answers your response to 11 and comments made by Kevin Standlee and others during the nomination process when the discussion came up about what to enter & the amount of time it was taking to find the information for fields we weren’t expecting. What do you think?

    12. For each category mention which fields are required and which are optional & how they are used/why asked for

    Group sourcing letters/suggestions is great as one forgets things or misremembers conversations. Keep the comments and ideas coming. I promise I’m listing disagreement with me in the doc and will include those in the next iteration if I can’t find a way to incorporate it.

  9. Tasha, I like all your ideas and think it’s very kind to go to this work to suggest a methodology to make things easier for both nominators and administrators.

  10. Tasha, I was going to suggest your #12. Good idea – we don’t want to discourage people from nominating. I like all your list.

  11. If we’re going to add columns to the Hugo forms, I’d suggest a free space. “Any other information you’d like us to have?” And make it a ? so it’s marked as optional, just for the further edification of you or them.

    This could allow for contact data, clarifying whether you mean blogpost or published book by that title, another link to the example, the author’s real name etc. Which would keep all that out of the other boxes, leading to cleaner data.

    And no scrolly boxes inside scrolly boxes, thanks. That was VERY confusing this year.

    Title Bryony and Roses
    Author T. Kingfisher
    Publisher Red Wombat Tea Company
    Other info? aka Ursula Vernon

  12. M ratings:
    OK, so the difference in age between me and Kip is relevant here: I was born in 1968, so 1972 (the date Wikipedia gives for the revision from GP to PG) is just a little too early for me to be paying attention.

  13. (2) The thing that appalls me about Galaktika’s malfeasance is that I’ve never turned down a request from someone who wanted permission to translate and republish a short story. These are inherently reprints, so I’ve already been paid once, and I am always delighted to have my work made available in other languages. And I know I’m not the only writer out there who likes being translated. I imagine that Galaktika could have offered token sums and gotten cheerful permission from nearly every author they chose to rip off, instead. The fact that they didn’t pay their translators, either, is depressingly unsurprising.

  14. Jim Henley on April 3, 2016 at 1:59 pm said:
    I’m sorry, I can’t stop myself from pointing out that “O Captain! My Captain!” sucks moosewang and is by far the worst thing Whitman ever wrote.

    I agree absolutely, but damn if I don’t tear up every time I read it.

    I guess I’m a sentimental fool.

  15. @lurkertype
    Fantastic suggestion. Tomorrow I will work on taking @Petréa Mitchell, your, and other suggestions and incorporating into a rewrite. I’m also working on how to work @Hampus Eckerman’s disagreement on emails into the text without my bias showing.

    I don’t see this as my work. I’m just recording things filers have expressed over the last 3 months. I just wish I hadn’t been so focused on nominating that I hadn’t thought to start a memo/doc so I’m relying on my unreliable memory.

    This was much easier when I did this on Scalzi’s blog over Wiscon Matthesen (?) scandal as it was a single blog post.

  16. @JJ – uhm, shouldn’t we be worried if she does?

    ::waves to @Naomi Kritzer just to be safe::

  17. snowcrash: uhm, shouldn’t we be worried if she does?

    Dropping in here can be dangerous for an author.

    Next thing you know, Filers will be writing Feghoots which end in phrases like

    Hat Strictures Tease

  18. Tasha Turner:

    6. Nomination ballot verification emails: One email a day if you’ve made changes or button to request copy of your ballot as it stands. Some disagreement on this. See File 770 x and x (I’ll replace with links later)

    There are so many ways to do this. It would even be possible to store , say, the last 10 changes in database and be able to view them when logged in. Then you don’t have to send out emails at all, as long as you let people be able to login even after voting has closed. No need to have a button to request information on mail if you can view it on web. But everything is about how long time it would take to implement.

    Sending out email once a day is not enough if the once a day is the last day.

  19. On movie ratings:

    One curious side-effect of the creation of NC-17 and the major-studio release of Showgirls, at least in my area, was the way the customary newspaper ads for theatrical showtimes handled the event. Apparently, some link in the advertising chain (and I don’t know which) balked at the idea of listing an NC-17 movie in those ads. At the same time, there was an obvious push to provide complete information on showtimes.

    Thus it came to be that those ads listed showtimes, but not the title, for Showgirls. The space where a title would be was simply blank. If you didn’t realize what was going on, it looked like the theater was selling tickets to an empty room for non-shows starting at specific times… which I still find hilarious.

  20. Finally got my confirmation email for the last version of my Hugo ballot, and it’s correct.

    Please note scroll boxes inside scroll boxes next year.

  21. What about 2 buttons – a Save and Continue Working, which wouldn’t trigger an email, and a Save and End Session, which would send the email

  22. @Viverrine

    That sounds similar to a lot of online self-assessment portals – each category has a Save & Continue function, while the header and footer of the page have a Save & Submit function.

    So how to ensure that people who have been exclusively using S&C get their emails though? I’m thinking an email at the end of any week when a change has been made, plus an universal confirmation mail at the end of the nomination period.

  23. I had a sleeping day today so no new work on the list. I have copied comments over to the document so I have everything together in one place.

    I like @Viverrine suggestion & @Snowcrash great follow up comments on it.

    I think I’m going to put the email ideas as a separate section and include the various suggestions.

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