Harlan Ellison, writer of the award-winning City on the Edge of Forever original series episode, filed suit against Paramount on March 13 for failing to account to, or pay Ellison for the merchandising, publishing or any other exploitations of his famous teleplay.
As reported by Harlanellison.com, the lawsuit also names the Writers Guild of America, alleging that the WGA failed to act on Ellison’s behalf after numerous requests.Ellison’s lawyer, John H. Carmichael said, “Writers under that WGA agreement are supposed to get 25% of the revenue from the licensing of publication rights.”
Paramount, through its sister-corporation Simon & Schuster, through its Pocket Books division, licensed the right to publish a trilogy of the episode (Crucible: McCoy: Provenance of Shadows, Crucible: Spock–The Fire and the Rose and Crucible: Kirk: The Star to Every Wandering, all by David R. George III,) using Ellison’s unique story elements. Paramount also licensed merchandise, such as the Guardian of Forever Hallmark Christmas ornament.
According to Carmichael, “Paramount will not respond to any alleged Guild requests for an accounting. Not just for the books, but for much City-related merchandise, such as a Hallmark Christmas ornament of the “talking” Guardian of Forever actually using lines Ellison wrote for his script, obvious re-uses of Ellison’s singular creation, for which he should be compensated.