James Bond Could Soon Be Canadian, Eh?

The iconic James Bond could soon be written with a maple leaf slant, as it seems copyright law is different in Canada. The famous 007 character is now in the public domain up there.

In Canada, copyright expires a mere 50 years after a writer’s death, long before it is up elsewhere in the world. In other words, Ian Fleming’s famous boy has entered the public domain in Canada right now as the author passed away in 1964. The only drawback is that said James Bond books can then only legally be sold within Canada.

OregonLive mentions the words of 007 in the movie Tomorrow Never Dies, where the British spy utters, “I always enjoyed learning a new tongue,” to which Miss Moneypenny snappily responded, “You always were a cunning linguist, James.”

While that line caused a certain amount of amusement in its day, it seems to be rather appropriate now, as Bond will have to get his tongue around the Canadian dialect and slang.

Fleming’s family are, apparently, not too happy about the situation. On the other hand, it seems Canadian writers weren’t too impressed with recent movies like Skyfall. They prefer the classic James Bond, the man’s man, the tough guy, the womanizer — in other words, the character initially envisioned by Fleming when he first started writing the 007 books, so this may not be a bad thing in the long run.

Ian Fleming wrote 12 novels and nine stories about the famous secret agent. Since the author’s death, the life of his character has continued in several films, with actors ranging from the suave Sean Connery to the most recent Bond, Daniel Craig. The later is currently working on the 24th Bond film, Spectre due out in November this year.

The character has also, apparently, been kept alive through a couple of dozen other novels by authors officially sanctioned by the Fleming estate, namely William Boyd, Sebastian Faulks, and John Gardner.

Some of the James Bond novels were set in the present, others in the past during the Cold War period, with the latest movie, Spectre, based on a 1950s-era Bond story. The storyline emanates from unpublished Fleming material, written up by screenwriter Anthony Horowitz. In the new movie, we get to see our hero going up against the Russians during a Formula 1 race in Germany.

A couple of Canadian authors have already commented on the possibility of penning a 007 adventure. Linwood Barclay of Oakville, Ontario, said he fancies writing a Bond story set during the 1970s in Canada. The bestselling mystery and thriller writer said that was a good time period, as Canada had just come out of the Centennial and there was a “lot of stuff happening.”

Another author, Peter Robinson, who penned the Inspector Banks series set in the U.K. said he would love have a chance at writing a James Bond novel. Robinson says he has read every one of the Fleming novels and has been a 007 fan since he first saw Ursula Andress stroll out of the ocean in the first Bond film, Dr. No. Robinson showed interest in placing Bond in a late-1960s scenario, as he saw Bond as a “man of action in a very specific arena.”

Several other Canadian authors have shown interest in the idea, but Bond fans will probably have to wait a while to see what comes out of the copyright situation. According to the Globe and Mail, any attempts to contact Ian Fleming Publications Ltd. for their comment on the situation have so far failed.

Speaking of James Bond, the Inquisitr recently quoted Colin Firth as saying 007 might have an age limit, stating that many fans would be disappointed by this, but more likely pointing them in the direction of his latest film, Kingsman: The Secret Service.

What do you think readers? Can you imagine Bond speaking with a Canadian lilt, eh? Enjoy the trailer for the 1962 James Bond movie Dr. No below, where 007 is “licensed to kill whom he pleases, where he pleases, when he pleases.”

[Image: Screengrab from YouTube video]