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by J. Michael Straczynski (JMS).

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 Message
    From: jmsatb5@aol.com (Jms at B5)
 Subject: Re: SFX
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 5/30/2001 4:27:00 PM  

Message 1 in thread 

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>>Paul Harper wrote:
>
>>> Can we all say "forged autographs"? Yup, the same old shenanigans as
>>> well.
>>
>>_That_, I rather think, is a criminal offense.

That was one of the major concerns that I had based on the last Wolf con I
attended, there seemed to be a fair amount of this going on, and an attitude
that seemed almost to encourage such things.

Case in point (one of a bunch)...there illegal, counterfeited items in the
dealer's room when we had given specific instructions (and had received
elaborate promises) that no such items would be present. I ended up
personally going around and confronting many of the counterfeiters because the
Wolf people would not do so.

The worst of this was the sheer amount of fake autographed material. At one
point, Mira Furlan came to me, profoundly upset, because there were cards that
were being sold supposedly with her autograph but which she never signed. So
again I had to go down into the dealer's room myself. Stupidly, the guy doing
the selling didn't know who I was when I asked about the cards (Mira was
standing behind me, unseen by the guy, which is easy to do given our relatives
heights).

I asked about the cards, as though I were interested in buying them, and he
said that he had personally overseen the autographing, that the autographs were
absolutely authentic...then I stepped out of the way, and let Mira come
forward. "Are these your autographs?" I asked.

She looked them over and pronounced them total forgeries. Suddenly the guy was
saying that he didn't acually oversee the signing, that it was "some fellow in
the States" who sold them to him.

I complained vigorously to the con organizers, and initially was told "well,
we'll ask him to take them off the table." Take them OFF THE TABLE? They
didn't want to offend him. Finally I made it clear that if this wasn't handled
right now in the proper way, the way ANY convention would handle it, I was
gonna call the cops.

So they finally ejected the dealer from the con, which solved that one problem
but left the others selling bogus merchandise unresolved.

Subsequent to this, presumably to make amends to the dealer, they put the word
out to other dealers and people that "Joe just went nuts on a dealer for no
real reason," that I was being a bully and unreasonable...never mentioning the
counterfeiting part of it. In my view, the concern seemed to be far more with
maintaining good relations with the dealers who were fleecing the fans, than in
protecting the fans from the very real prospect of spending a great deal of
their money to obtain something that was a complete fake.

I had to work hard to overcome a lot of the badmouthing that came out of this,
but thankfully there were many, many witnesses.

jms

(jmsatb5@aol.com)
(all message content (c) 2001 by synthetic worlds, ltd.,
permission to reprint specifically denied to SFX Magazine
and don't send me story ideas)
    From: jmsatb5@aol.com (Jms at B5)
 Subject: Re: SFX
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 6/1/2001 3:33:00 PM  

Message 2 in thread 

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>
>Paul Harper <paul@harper.net> wrote in message
>news:j2meht4sa0oqhvvd3em645snc7f8lt8tuk@4ax.com...
>> >Then, later on, apparently it was found the fake merchandise was genuine.
>>
>> Found by whom?
>>
>> Oh yeah. The organisers.
>>
>> Must be true then ;-}
>>
>
>I'm not saying that's what went on, but that was one of the stories that was
>floating around.

If that had even a scintilla of truth behind it, you can bet someone would've
paraded this information out to me. But nobody ever said boo about that, this
is literally the first time I've heard that. They clearly just floated it out
there sub rosa but never said it publicly, or to me, because it could not be
sustained.

jms

(jmsatb5@aol.com)
(all message content (c) 2001 by synthetic worlds, ltd.,
permission to reprint specifically denied to SFX Magazine
and don't send me story ideas)
    From: jmsatb5@aol.com (Jms at B5)
 Subject: Re: SFX
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 6/3/2001 2:57:00 PM  

Message 3 in thread 

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>Someone I was talking to, I mentioned her in an earlier post, volunteered to
>be a steward, and said that they only had a quarter of the people they
>needed, and the fact that the main organisers seemed to be trying to treat
>the guests as their own personal property.

Yeah, there was a lot of that, glomming onto people in an ingratiating kind of
way to engender personal loyalty. There was also, in my view, a deliberate
attempt to create a rift between the cast and the producers for control
reasons, and to create a buffer against any criticisms I or John or others
might bring.

jms

(jmsatb5@aol.com)
(all message content (c) 2001 by synthetic worlds, ltd.,
permission to reprint specifically denied to SFX Magazine
and don't send me story ideas)

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