1. Kevin McClory Fights For Bond Rights

    By David Winter on 2001-05-12

    A ruling last year in a United States Court ruled that Kevin McClory had no rights to the James Bond series. However, McClory’s Company SPECTRE Organisation has issued this Press Release Statement to that reveals he is organising an appeal against the decision. Should he be successful he would launch a rival James Bond series and would also consider launching a James Bond vs. Spectre TV Series. Here’s the press release:

    Dublin, Ireland, May 5, 2001 – The Battle of the Bonds continues with “Thunderball” producer and co-writer Kevin McClory against film giants MGM/UA/Danjaq, all scheduled to appear in the Federal Court of Appeals in Pasadena, California, on Friday May 11th, 2001. “Thunderball” is the most financially successful of the 007 series, (allowing for inflation), to the present day.

    McClory is also the co-author and executive producer of “Never Say Never Again”, the movie that enticed Sean Connery back to the role of James Bond to the delight of millions of Bond fans worldwide. Unfortunately, this would be the last time Connery played 007 because the Fleming trustees, together with MGM/UA/Danjaq, used every method possible to block the making of the McClory production “Warhead” in which Connery agreed to play James Bond. Sean Connery had also co-written the screenplay for “Warhead” with Len Deighton and Kevin McClory.

    McClory will argue his case to protect his James Bond film rights and finally halt nearly 40 years of continuing infringements of his work.

    McClory’s rights to make more James Bond films have been consistently upheld by the United Kingdom High Courts including the Court of Appeals.

    McClory will appear before three judges of the Federal Court of Appeals of the Ninth Circuit in the controversial case of Danjaq, LLC et al V. McClory ( No. 00-55781).

    Ninth Circuit judges joined by a Nevada District Court judge will determine whether the Federal District Court erroneously discharged the case on April 4th, 2000 based on MGM/UA/Danjaq’s defense of Laches in McClory’s absence.

    McClory and his company Spectre are suing MGM/UA/Danjaq for their infringement of various McClory owned James Bond properties, including the film rights of the novel Thunderball, in many of their James Bond films. These include the original nuclear blackmail formula created exclusively for “Thunderball” in 1960 (which Bond fans will recognise in countless films made by MGM/UA/Danjaq); the organisation Spectre and other important elements, all of which McClory has and does own to MGM/UA/Danjaq’s full knowledge.

    The case was last heard during McClory’s unavoidable absence in the Federal District Court on April 4th, 2000 and dismissed when it was ruled that McClory and Spectre Associates Inc. had failed to bring their copyright infringement claim against MGM/UA/Danjaq in a timely fashion.

    McClory’s absence was due to the death of his sister in law, wife of his disabled brother for fifty years. McClory’s request for a one-week continuance of the trial, enabling him to attend the funeral in Europe and comfort his only brother, was denied even though the same judge had granted MGM/UA/Danjaq a three month continuance to attend premieres of a James Bond film. During McClory’s absence, the judge decided to bifocate (divide into two) the case, despite having twice denied requests for bifocation from MGM/UA/Danjaq. As a result, the hearing on Laches unexpectedly commenced and the jury trial was cancelled.

    Assistant Producer and Danjaq executive, Michael Wilson, was MGM/UA/Danjaq’s sole witness.

    Under oath, he claimed that there were no live witnesses to assist the Danjaq/MGM/UA parties defence against McClory’s claims declaring “…except for Mr. McClory, the people involved are all dead.”

    Contrary to Wilson’s deliberately misleading evidence, there are many witnesses alive and well today including his mother, Mrs Albert (Dana) Broccoli. Wilson’s mother publicly claimed, after the district court hearing, that she had helped write some of the screenplays involved in McClory’s infringement claims.

    Many witnesses are still alive, most of whom worked on the infringing films and their respective film deals. These include MGM/UA/Danjaq executives who appear in documentaries made on behalf of MGM/UA and included on the DVD’s of the various infringing James Bond films they released after the Laches hearing.

    The copyright infringement claim was dismissed on MGM/UA/Danjaq’s defence of Laches and the evidence of their only witness. As a result of McClory’s denial for a continuance and a last minute visa problem, McClory was not present as a witness to refute the false evidence presented by MGM/UA/Danjaq and his other listed witnesses were not called.

    Subsequently, the case was dismissed without McClory being allowed a jury trial or the opportunity to have his evidence properly examined to establish whether MGM/UA/Danjaq had infringed McClory’s copyrighted James Bond properties. McClory’s rights to make more James Bond films, based on the McClory owned scripts and/or the film rights of the novel Thunderball, have been consistently upheld by the courts of the United Kingdom. These include an appeal before three Lord Justices sitting in the High Court of Appeal in London, England.

    This is sure to create quite a stir I’m sure, so feel free to discuss it in the Forums, see you there!