Whoa! I'm not calling for Fleming to be "censored." What I'm advocating is that the owners (IFP) of Fleming's work seriously consider what's more important to them: Maintaining the historical integrity of his works at the expense of hurting a (very vocal) segment of the population or, potentially increasing the sales of updated versions of Fleming's novels via the positive PR they, IFP, would doubtlessly receive by taking such a bold, enlightened step towards the future?
Perhaps, because it is Fleming, this hits too close to home on this site, so I'll use another, current-day, example to illustrate what I mean. No one (except for a small minority) is upset with Bubba Watson for his plans to paint over the Confederate Flag on his Dukes of Hazard car. It is his property, and as such, he can do with it as he pleases. Mr. Watson realizes that the image of the Rebel Flag is hurtful to many, and as such, has decided to act accordingly. No one, government or otherwise, is forcing him to do this.
However, if Mr. Watson had not made the right choice, then it would be entirely within the rights of the those offended by such racist-tinged imagery to go through the legal system to force him to get rid of the painted flag. We're a long way away from official, governmental censorship of the less-enlightened elements of Fleming's novels. In the meantime, I'm all for giving IFP the opportunity to do the right thing without feeling the need to get government involved.
Double Naught: I thought the various responses to your first comment on this idea already covered this comprehensively enough. I'm not sure that you have added anything to your original argument, which I AM sensitive to the motivating factors thereof, but just cannot abide for reasons already explained. I know you don't mean it to, but what you are advocating DOES equate to censorship. Macmillan describes censorship as, "The process of removing parts of books, movies, letters, etc. that are considered inappropriate for moral, religious or political reasons", and Oxford says, "The suppression or prohibition of any parts of books, films, news, etc. that are considered obscene, politically unacceptable, or a threat to security".
At least the teenaged market abridged versions AMC Hornet has mentioned were marked as 'abridged' and of course the original novels still remained available in parallel to these. (Though for the record I am no fan of abridged novels either - I'm looking at you, Reader's Digest).
I agree with most of the points raised by Revelator, especially regarding sales etc. If someone wants to read a spy thriller without the dated and now 'offensive' references in Fleming then there are plenty of authors out there vying for readers' attention. And if the wish be for James Bond adventures in particular then there are the continuation authors for you. But if you wish to read Fleming, then read Fleming. Otherwise it's not Fleming, is it? I just don't think you can cut it both ways.
I disagree that the Bubba Watson example is at all analogous. While painting over the Confederate flag _will_ change the meaning of The General Lee (why not change the car's name as well while you're at it), it is not the same as changing, via retrospective CGI say, the appearance or meaning of that car in all of the original television episodes or the Hollywood remake (I'm looking at you, George Lucas). Nor will it affect the thousands of replica General Lee's that use the same model and continue to conform to the original specifications. But really the value of the car, while a symbol, is as an authentic and original prop, not as a body of work. It is a collectible, not a discourse. I think Bubba has taken a reasonably courageous and principled stand in this case - one that I don't necessarily agree with - but one that is responsive to the recent public interest around appropriated meanings and usage of the Confederate flag by some people and groups. In the case of the General Lee, I would probably just cover the paint job with a vinyl wrap of the American flag rather than stripping and repainting the roof.