South Park KennyFor connoisseurs of the craven follies of international copyright law, the 49th parallel is a gift. You’ve got the Orwellian situation of 1984 being public domain in Moose-and-Molson-Land, but locked up in the Land of the Free-Lunch-from-a-K-Street-Lobbyist. You’ve got the Great DRM Debacle, when Canada finally gave way on DRM breaking in a surrender more abject than the defeats of 1812. And now you’ve got a cunning Canadian plan to remake a James Bond film, since Ian Fleming’s work is now in the public domain under Canada’s current life-plus-50 copyright regime. Only, that movie can never be shown in the life-plus-70 jurisdictions of the U.S. and the European Union.

Filmmakers Lee Demarbre and Ian Driscoll are the cunning perpetrators of this fiendish plan for world-minus-certain-markets movie domination. As they revealed in an interview with Canada’s CBC Radio, they plan to remake For Your Eyes Only — not the best-remembered movie in the franchise, and arguably ripe for a doing-over, even from the creators of such gems as Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter. (You can read more details here.)

Note, in passing, how instances of Canadian-public-domain books leaking south of the border are often cited as scandals of one kind or another. Remember the outcry when Amazon deleted 1984 from Kindles remotely after a Canadian edition accidentally slipped out? Yet this time, everyone seems to be applauding D&D’s chutzpah.

The dynamic filmmaking duet have let slip that they may release a quartet of Bond films Surely the Broccoli empire can’t take this lying down. Will the next Bond film be a cyber-drama with James taking down evil international movie pirates? I’m shaken. Though not exactly stirred.


  1. It’s not so much that they plan to “remake” For Your Eyes Only as it is that they plan to re-adapt it from the book. If they seriously do plan to try this, it could be an interesting experiment, because such an adaptation would have to leave out any elements that were in the movie but not the book, or risk the same sort of legal action the recent movie Mr. Holmes attracted for using elements that were still under copyright.

    And, just as with Never Say Never Again, they can’t use any of the trademarked iconography associated with the “traditional” Bond movies, like the gun-barrel opening.

    It should be interesting to see what happens.

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