Speculation on Alan Moore’s Dossier Record

As reported here in July, the Absolute Edition of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier was supposed to contain a recording of Alan Moore songs that fit into the story, but DC removed it. Many have wondered why.

Here’s one possible explanation: On The V, a UK-based web-board, Adi Tantimedh posts:

The reason the record isn’t included in the Absolute edition is that DC’s lawyers were played the songs and were worried that they sounded too similar to old British Sixties pop and TV shows, including the THUNDERBIRDS theme. Fearing charges of plagiarism – as opposed to pastiche or homage – they refused to press the songs for the book. Moore was only told this much, much later, and is pissed off, because, you know, if Oasis can do Beatles riffs without getting sued, why can’t a song that pastiches Sixties pop?

So the songs are still owned and controlled by Moore and his co-composer to do as they please, as long as DC has nothing to do with it. Moore is supposed to still control the masters and copies have not been circulated so far.

As the thread continues, Adi goes on:

[Moore] said that as the Absolute went to press, DC told him they wouldn’t include the songs because they were still nervous about the plagiarism issue, but someone else told him it was more likely they just didn’t want to spend the extra money pressing the vinyl disks. He chalks it off to DC messing him about as usual.

Adi can reasonably be assumed to know what he’s talking about, since he’s interviewed Moore about the book.

If I had to guess, I’d say both reasons — extreme legal caution and cheapness — are likely. We are talking about a company that had six characters in the background of one panel of a Legion comic redrawn because they looked too much like the cast of Friends… only first, someone had to explain to the decision-maker that Friends was a very popular TV show at the time. They can be both that gun-shy and that out of touch.

12 Responses to “Speculation on Alan Moore’s Dossier Record”

  1. Adam_Y Says:

    That’s a shame. I bet that it’s cheapness disguised as cowardice though.

  2. Ray Cornwall Says:

    Why doesn’t Alan just sell the mp3s?

  3. Johanna Says:

    For one thing, that’s not as easy as it sounds, technically; for another, once a couple of people have it, I bet it spreads all over the net.

  4. odessa steps magazine Says:

    Don’t you think not matter whatever medium in which the record was released, bootleg copies would be quickly available?

  5. Dave Rose Says:

    It’s too bad the Absolute Edition didn’t include the songs. It might have made it worth the price DC charged for it. I couldn’t believe the price the book was for what was there.

  6. Ray Cornwall Says:

    Hey, I’m betting both versions of LoEG: Black Dossier are out there now, and that involves scanning hardback books, not an easy thing at all. It can’t be much harder making mp3s out of flexidiscs.

    Anything can be bootlegged. But I would think that he’d make some serious coin doing mp3s. Besides, he’s already made the songs- it really wouldn’t be that difficult making saleable copies of the songs. And do you think Amazon or iTunes wouldn’t kill each other for the chance to sell music by the guy who just sold a million books this summer?

  7. Chris G. Says:

    “I couldn’t believe the price the book was for what was there.”

    I felt that way about the unAbsolute version.

  8. ramon Says:

    i wish someone would ask dc why they didn’t reprint moore’s scripts this time but still charged 33% more than the previous 2 absolutes.

  9. Rich Johnston Says:

    I understand that Moore wanted the music released as a vinyl record. Not for piracy concerns but for aesthetic ones.

    LITG has reported previously that the record may be released at a later date, seprately.

    It is also worth pointing out that, despite DC’s best efforts, copies of The Black Dossier are widely available in Britain and no one has sued anyone yet.

  10. Crooked Says:

    Despite the fact that it still lists for $99 on Amazon, my copy has something $49.95 written right on the slipcase.

  11. Johanna Says:

    DC’s website shows the price as $99. But then, this wouldn’t be the first time they didn’t update their own site.

  12. Crooked Says:

    I was totally wrong. The price on the slipcase is $99.00. But Amazon only charged me $47.25 (plus $3.99 shipping).




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