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My Stargate fan films have been banned.

Posted: Tue, 12th Oct 2004, 9:32am

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b4uask30male

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Hi guys.
I've just had a letter from a law firm, stating that in the UK i'm not allowed to use the stargate name etc.
( I did have an email from someone in the USA saying they was happy for me to keep making them )
But in this case it's MGM in the UK that has contacted the lawyers.
It's rather funny as the end of says they await a repsonse on how to repay MGM.
I think they haven't watched my films wink and i think they think it's a big company ( insted of a no budget fan film )
Of course the normal way it will go will be me saying "what about the thousands of websites that have stargate logo's on"
I will comply with them and remove all stargate stuff because I believe it will gain more of a following now it's banned than it ever did while online.
I know share sites have them out there.
Thought I'd share this with you guys as some of you have mentioned you are interested in making Stargate fan Films.

I'll keep you posted.
Posted: Tue, 12th Oct 2004, 9:51am

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Xcession

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Not to rain on your parade, but surely your films will have to have a cult following if they are to survive in the cultural 'underground' ? It seems that the only way unpopular films can get cult following, is by having fat malcoordinated people, or by having naked celebrities razz

Are your Stargate films really popular to a degree to cause enough people to type "Stargate fan film" into their edonkey client?

Could you get around the laws by changing it to "Star Gate" as opposed to "Stargate"? But I suppose the name also has likeness rights too, so any derivation of the name is also covered. How lame.
Posted: Tue, 12th Oct 2004, 9:59am

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Joshua Davies

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Providing your films are non-profit and you are not selling DVDs or anything then I think I would fight this.

I would send a copy of the letter you got from the US parent company to the UK people with the problem. I would also include some details of how much these films cost you to make and how they are totally non-profit. Also make some references to the many Star Wars fan films there are out there including some links and stats to the more official fan films Lucas has endorsed.

I'm sure if they see that the parent company is ok with it and that you don't make any money at all they would leave you alone.
Posted: Tue, 12th Oct 2004, 10:12am

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b4uask30male

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Thanks guys.

(Yeah they are on file sharing sites and many of the people that join my forum found them from there, they were very big in the stargate circle of things ) ( just search the net and you'll see )

I've spoke to the law firm and agreed to remove them from my site, ( I do have lots of copyright names, daniel jackson etc, ) But in the letter they wanted me to destroy the master tapes.
I told them that i'm unemployed and make these films for the love of stargate and i don't want to destroy my masters as the friends that have starred in them would be gutted.

I said I can't give compensation.
they said mgm is very strong on it's copyright and i'm not the only one they are going after.
Posted: Tue, 12th Oct 2004, 11:47am

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sigerson

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Copyright is a very sticky thing nowadays. I mean when you are making a movie, you actually need to have Coke/Pepsi's permission just to have someone in it drinking Coke/Pepsi. The problem isn't that you might be making money off it. The problem is that you are using their image without them knowing it. In otherwords, they have no control in how this is being used.

And in your case, you are using the Stargate world without them knowing about it. Some companies are more friendly about it, Lucasfilms for example. But then you have other companies like Paramount filing letters to those Star Trek fansites. This was big news back in like 2001/2002.

I'm afraid you are pretty much at their mercy. The only thing you can hope for is some change in their hearts about it. That's what happened with Paramount after fans began complaining very loudly. This even made those media hype tv shows, e.g. Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, Extra, etc. It was only after the negative coverage did they relent their RIAA-esque pursuit.
Posted: Tue, 12th Oct 2004, 11:54am

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xbreaka

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take them to court and then laugh when the judge throws the case out
Posted: Tue, 12th Oct 2004, 11:57am

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Hybrid-Halo

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In your position, I'd be tempted to totally parody the situation, just spend a day or so re-titling, re-naming and re-dubbing everything "Stargate" to "StarDoor". And laugh as the tight asses over at Stargate look miffed as soon as they realise that the name makes no difference to people knowing they're stargate films.

I happen to know that Games Workshop are also incredibly tight on their copyright. A friend released a Warhammer 40k fan animation and he had to re-name and re-draw alot of it.
Posted: Tue, 12th Oct 2004, 12:22pm

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Joshua Davies

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The protection issue is probably more trademark issues than copyright which is very different.

It is a complicated area, but copyright only protects you in very specific ways. Copyright stops you using the EXACT Stargate logo is but not using the word itself or names of characters etc. On the other hand, copyright does protect scripts but only if the script or parts of the script were copied very very closely.

The problem you have more than copyright is trademark protection which would stop you using the name altogether or anything which is too similar to the name. Lucas makes many of his character names trademarks as well but I'm not sure if Stargate would have done this.
Posted: Tue, 12th Oct 2004, 12:34pm

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shadu

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WOW!

I also know than i can make "parody" of a movie without problem. So you are safe in the area but you use a lot of name from the serie so... It is MGM to decide.

If you need help you know where to find me.

Shadu
Posted: Tue, 12th Oct 2004, 12:44pm

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Mellifluous

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fight the feckers. you haven't made any profit. and you're doing them a service more than anything else. lucas is enough of an astute businessman to realise fan films generate more interest in the originals, good for him.
Posted: Tue, 12th Oct 2004, 12:45pm

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hippa03

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It's unbeleivable how a big company like MGM will be waisting time in a minute productions like your's and mine with all respect. Here in Malta we can watch an Italin Television programme with that name, Stargate linea di Confini, or something like that.

Keep making these films and rename them as Stargates or something similay. We support you work Ian.

Last edited Tue, 12th Oct 2004, 12:48pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Tue, 12th Oct 2004, 12:47pm

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Waser

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Hybrid-Halo wrote:



I happen to know that Games Workshop are also incredibly tight on their copyright. A friend released a Warhammer 40k fan animation and he had to re-name and re-draw alot of it.
NOOOOOO not games workshop sad I..I..I loves them

I'm sorry to hear that B4. I really hate it when companies get pissed when someone isn't even making money off whatever they are doing. unsure at stupid stargate people
Posted: Tue, 12th Oct 2004, 12:49pm

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b4uask30male

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Thanks guys.
I believe in my heart and after talking with the law firm that once i sign to say i'll stop them being on the net etc nothing more will happen from it.

the letter i got goes into detail how the images depict the gate and the use of the name atlantis in my episode 5 etc.
( and that's before they have seen the films, coff i may have used the stargate theme )

I don't think I could re-edit them all of them because the masters i have are full ( mixed with sound ) i never kept the original footage.

I was in the middle of making episode 6 smile changing the names would help and using copyright free music but I think i've done what i set out to do with the stargates, ( my first posts on here comfirm that ) I was using the fan film to get people to watch my films, it's so hard to say to someone "watch this film called joe bloggs and his spaceship" whereas people were more inclined to view my work if they had an interest in it.

So with that in mind I think i can now say to people "watch this film, from the makers of the HIT wink banned Call it a Stargate series" ? confused
Posted: Tue, 12th Oct 2004, 1:20pm

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jfbiscardi

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Easy solution:

dont call the Stargate anymore... remember the weird test posted a few weeks ago?

call them Satr Gtae: that might work...

jb
Posted: Tue, 12th Oct 2004, 2:11pm

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er-no

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You are making the fan-films for all the right reasons.
Stand tall and fight them.
Posted: Tue, 12th Oct 2004, 2:33pm

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b4uask30male

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something i've just picked up on, is they mention things about my website that was over 6 months old, and they mention the current things, so they have been watching me for a while
Posted: Tue, 12th Oct 2004, 3:27pm

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Vega70

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Well Ian you have my support. I think MGM are being pathetic. Can you use the fact that the US part of the Co. has allowed you to use the name in this situation ? You could always change it to .."the series formerly known as Star-Gate" ?
Posted: Tue, 12th Oct 2004, 3:40pm

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b4uask30male

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What worries me more is when the lady on the phone said MGM are going after other sites and not just mine.
i wonder if it's got to do with sony buying them ?

ian paterson
.."the director of the formerly known call it a Star-Gate series" ?
Posted: Tue, 12th Oct 2004, 3:55pm

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otteypm

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You should put across the point that it is not in the companies best interest to remove genuine fan sites. If your films were throwing insults at the Stargate 'brand' then I could understand them taking action.

But to impose all this on fans of their products is a bit stupid.
Posted: Tue, 12th Oct 2004, 4:01pm

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Mantra

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If only the companies would open their eyes (credit to George Lucas on this one) and see that the greatest compliment a movie can have is a cult following / fan base and that the ultimate accolade is for people to invest their own time and hard earned money to make a non-profit fan film.

The companies seem to forget that 'we' the fans keep them in their comfortable lifestyle.

Of course, selling something that is not yours is different, but you'd think the companies would be able to distinguish the difference, or maybe they don't cover that area in jobsworth school?

EDIT: I see Ottey and I have done a parallel post smile
Posted: Tue, 12th Oct 2004, 5:54pm

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fallen

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just outta queeriosity, is this gonna affect the stargate adv plugins at all?
Posted: Tue, 12th Oct 2004, 6:54pm

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Kid

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Most of it is just scare tactics.

Unless you use specific trademarks then they can't legally do anything about you no matter how similar your stuff is. (well as long as its not exact dialog from the show or anything razz )

The stories are original even if they do use the same character names.

Not to mention that parodies are immune.
Posted: Tue, 12th Oct 2004, 6:57pm

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Kid

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On a sidenote, why is everyone crediting George Lucas? He was cracking down on Star Wars fan films earlier in the year!
Posted: Tue, 12th Oct 2004, 7:20pm

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sidewinder

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Maybe they're just not fans?

Either way, they can't make you destroy your master tapes. There's no legal foundation for that. You should do a little legal research, and instead of pleading with them, just flat out say that they can't do this-or-that, and give the legal reason why.
Posted: Tue, 12th Oct 2004, 7:46pm

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Andreas

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I think you're being a bit lazy b4! your movies deserve to be watched by all stargate geaks around the world. Put the time into it an do as other said, go rename the titles, get the masters and re-do some music and have your actors re-do thier lines. common' even though many peoples have watched the movies you can't give up now, there is more audience out there!

Stand tall and fight those j3rk-0ffs
Posted: Tue, 12th Oct 2004, 8:00pm

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xbreaka

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ia gree give em the ol fook off and see if there serious about backing
Posted: Tue, 12th Oct 2004, 8:22pm

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b4uask30male

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Thanks.
I've been thinking about what you guys are saying
I'll try after the new year to redub over the music and if possible get the actors to say the lines that are needed again. ( only the ones where the music is over it.

Also because you guys have been so nice and are pushing me, i'll carry on with episode 6 ( now to be, call it a door, unless you guys can think of a better title using the call it a part.

and what i'll do is change the names and use copyright free music and i'll release 5 mins of the film every month, ( to keep interest going )
Posted: Tue, 12th Oct 2004, 8:23pm

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boffa86

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why not star gejt biggrin
Posted: Tue, 12th Oct 2004, 8:54pm

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Crawford

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I wonder how they'd react if you renamed it "Wormhole Extreme".
Posted: Tue, 12th Oct 2004, 8:57pm

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xbreaka

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why not call it stargate just to smack them in the dace
Posted: Tue, 12th Oct 2004, 9:17pm

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Kid

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it should be called 'call it a stargate and I'll sue you'
Posted: Tue, 12th Oct 2004, 11:06pm

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Coureur de Bois

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That is udderly ridiculous. You need to stick it to the man HARDCORE Ian! I think Episode 6 should have an MGM Exec character in it, who comes out of nowhere during certain parts of the film and points out infringments. And then at the end he is exploded in a fantastic display of smoke/fire/flame engulfed body parts.

Don't give in so easily. They have no ground on which to stand.
Posted: Tue, 12th Oct 2004, 11:42pm

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Bryce007

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These movie guys are becoming like the freakin diaRIAA these days
Posted: Wed, 13th Oct 2004, 12:07am

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Serpent

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Kid wrote:

it should be called 'call it a stargate and I'll sue you'
Haha.

B4, you better go in, kick some ass, and take names! In other words, prove 'em wrong, I haven't seen your Stargates yet. sad
Posted: Wed, 13th Oct 2004, 2:37am

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xbreaka

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do what eminem does and make a film poking fun at mgm
Posted: Wed, 13th Oct 2004, 8:02am

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Klinn OWarren

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Sorry to hear the bad news B4 - kinda' sucks when the big bad corporates make frivilous decisions like this because their lawyers have nothing better to do. At the very least, if they're afraid that your movies are infringing on their copyrights, that means that you've done well enough to arouse their attention. smile Hope they ease off. Good luck~
Posted: Wed, 13th Oct 2004, 9:10am

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b4uask30male

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Hi
I did offer them a while back for sale ( at a loss in fact ) if people wanted to see a better quality version.
the reason that idea started was because i had some people show the online versions at stargate conventions and i thought that dvd quality would have been better.
I took the for sale down after about 1 month ( this was 6 months ago )

I've found on another site a person that has admitted he contacted mgm to get my little films into trouble. sad ( he may have done so but MGM were watching me before he contacted them.
the problem now is that the law firm said { i'm not the only site ) so this guy has ( if he did ) caused a huge problem, I guess they can't just stop one site and leave the rest.
here's the post that guy made. ( no matter what I would never "Grass" on someone )
http://www.gaters.net/showthread.php?p=247632#post247632
Posted: Wed, 13th Oct 2004, 5:18pm

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wpl

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it seems like (I don't know for sure) that they would have some legal ground if you were selling them. I dunno rolleyes
Posted: Wed, 13th Oct 2004, 6:06pm

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TAP2

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I read your post on SG1Archive wink

It's a shame really... although I think it wasn't the most clever idea selling the films (even if it was just for the dvd and postage)

If you continue you can always rename it to something else.
Posted: Fri, 15th Oct 2004, 3:16am

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Clifford Hoeft

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I have some brief details regarding Call it a Stargate at www.cliffordhoeft.com which were provided to me by Ian Paterson of Superteam Productions.

For more news on Call it a Stargate and other fan films please visit my website.
Posted: Fri, 15th Oct 2004, 3:55pm

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Mugsy42

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I can understand why they are being heavy, Atlantis is soo bad, theyre concerned anyones fan films will be better than the series. Awful effects, dodgy script, carbon copy characters. What a pile of shiiite.
Posted: Fri, 15th Oct 2004, 3:56pm

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Frozenpede

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Hey Ian Ive got an idea....why dont they buy up the "Call It a Stargate" series and give you a job? it seams rediculous for them to just destroy it.
Posted: Fri, 15th Oct 2004, 6:36pm

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Semaj Ovured

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Is that he was turned in for selling his Stargate DVDs online as currently as two months ago (even though he insists he stopped the practice "ages" ago).

It's all laid out here: http://boards.theforce.net/Fan_Films/b10015/17186544/p2/
by TheRealFennShysa who provides a complete (and researched) chronology of events including repeated warnings by the fanfilm forum members that this was a BAD idea.

Ian chose to ignore it and is now paying the price. He's also trying to play the victim here.

And everwhere he goes to spin his way out of it, we'll follow to prove his trying avoid the fact that he's responsible for the whole mess.

Should they force him to destroy his films? ABSOLUTELY NOT. But was he busted for breaking copyright laws? YOU BET.
Posted: Fri, 15th Oct 2004, 6:51pm

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TheRealFennShysa

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b4uask30male wrote:

I did offer them a while back for sale ( at a loss in fact ) if people wanted to see a better quality version. the reason that idea started was because i had some people show the online versions at stargate conventions and i thought that dvd quality would have been better. I took the for sale down after about 1 month ( this was 6 months ago )
Unfortunately, Ian is spreading a misleading version of the story again (and I see James got over here before me while I was copying and pasting this info), so here's the whole post (so you guys can have a record of it here) as to what's *actually* been going on.

So, here's the chronology:

July 2 - IanPaterson shows up on TFN, hawking the fifth episode of the Call it a Stargate series. Within 12 hours, people notice that the filmmaker is offering the films for sale on his site THAT DAY and ask questions about this activity. (at that point, he was asking £10.00 GBP, $17.00 USD, $23.00 CAD, $25.00 AUD, 14.00 EUR, 1,820.19 JPY - information taken from pages listed at www.archive.org)

July 3 - IanPaterson claims he has "written permission to sell the films from the makers of the real show." He also exhibits his tenuous relationship with grammar and spelling.
Other readers express incredulity at these claims, as this flies in the face of precedent set from nearly every major studio. Readers also note that if this *is* the case, nothing on the filmmaker's website mentions this, and warn the filmmaker about the consequences of selling his films, both to himself and to the fanfilm community.

Filmmaker (which is what I'll call him from now on) goes silent on TFN.

July 28 - Filmmaker claims to have just discovered the original TFN thread, even though he is the one who started it. Acuses aother filmmakers of being lazy.
He makes the contradictory statement "Just because they argreed I could sell them doesn't mean they should be out their in shops." Actually, had anyone with the capability to grant permission *HAD* granted permission, that is *exactly* what it means.

In a separate thread, filmmaker offers to show the *email* he claims is his proof. An email is not written permission, as he claimed on July 3. He also claims on this date that "we don't sell that many and i'm selling them somewhere else." So - July 28, and HE'S STILL SELLING THEM.

Also makes the claim that he is the only one who ever contacted a film company about their fanfilm, and in his haste ignored the precedent set up by many others, including Durbnpsn (Oobie), Josh Meeter (Steven Spielberg BOUGHT his original fanfilm), and the entire official Star Wars fan film contest.

STILL July 28 - begins to crack on his permission story - lets on that his email is not from MGM, which sinks his argument right there, as they are the only entity who can grant permission.
Claims the email granting permission said "We have no issue with your films being sold on your site at this time, we have viewed the content and find it no offensive to the brand." Ignores the fact that this statement *does not grant permission*, just mentions that they aren't concerned *yet*... yet will become very important later.
Filmmaker then begins ranting rather incoherently about being called a liar, gets huffy, and vows to storm away from the thread, since he's been persecuted so unfairly.

STILL July 28 - Filmmaker returns to the TFN thread. Big surprise. Claims someone on the Stargate crew (names the person as "William Boyd Godfrey", but an IMDBpro search does not turn him up as an actual crew member) saw one of the films and showed it around the set. Also claims a website reviewed his films positively, although that bears no relation to the subject at hand, as the site in question (sci-fi-online.co.uk) is a fan site, not affiliated with The SciFi Channel or any studio, especially MGM.
Filmmaker NOW claims that the above message ("We have no issue with your films being sold on your site at this time, we have viewed the content and find it no offensive to the brand.) which he claims is permission came from The SciFi Channel UK, which ALSO shoots down his permission argument, as the channel does not have the authority to grant those permissions.

Filmmaker goes silent.

At some point during this time, the filmmaker received a letter from MGM UK stating he is not allowed to use the Stargate name, request that he remove the content, and bring up the subject of damages.


October 13 - Filmmaker shows up again on TFN "to clear things up"... claims he stopped selling the film "ages", before the original thread, which is an outright fabrication, as the films *were* on sale on his site when the discussions started, and *still* on sale at least three weeks later.
Filmmaker gets annoyed people have a memory and can read the archived posts, asks us to "please drop the selling part". Again charges that he's the persecuted one here, since other nameless people agree with and like him so much. Also tries to draw attention away from his own wrongdoing by stating that he "noticed that someone else was selling films and was a member of TFN, when i asked jedi if he would report him.... well you can guess" - however, this must have been in a PM, as I can find no record of it on the boards. Also, I'm curious as to who he means, as I haven't heard of another TFN member selling films illegally - if there was one, we would have dealt with it exactly the same way.

Filmmaker also posts on the gaters.net boards that he told MGM he lost money on the deal, and [/i]"I had the for sale part on for about a month, 6 months ago but pulled it off".[/i] He's clearly lied to them now, as the facts show he did have them for sale as late as the end of July, and as far back as October 2003, as evidenced by the page archived here: http://web.archive.org/web/20031023135134/http://superteam.biz/aboutus.htm.


October 14 - This morning on TFN, the filmmaker posts that the films weren't for sale on his own site (using the quote I used above from July 2cool, as if that makes everything okay. However, he ignores the fact that it was finding the films for sale on his website that caused this discussion in the first place. And you can see an archive of that page here: http://web.archive.org/web/20040207174421/http://superteam.biz/aboutus.htm.
But then IN THE SAME POST (!), he claims that "i never did sell them somewhere esle so i hope you lot feel guilty" - I'm frankly at a loss to understand this one...

Also that morning, the filmmaker claimed again on gaters.net that (all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding), he pulled the sale of his Stargate films "ages ago", clearly showing that his definitions of "ages" doesn't match the norm. He also claims that any negative comments about his films were because people didn't really watch them. He tries to slam the Star Wars fanfilm community with the misconception of the films being "4 mates fight with sticks and then add some fx's", which although may have been true several years (or ages) ago, is now a swift ticket to having your film rejected from TFN - which BTW, is also what happened to the Call it a Stargate films when they were submitted to TFN some time ago...

Frankly, I'm astounded by the filmmaker's latest post on gaters.net - he mentions the details of MGM's demands, which unfortunately are exactly the kind of actions we thought a corporation might make (stop making the films, destroy the masters, pay court costs) in a situation like this, and vows to stand defiant in their path - had he done nothing wrong, I might applaud that, but this person was selling his film without permission, lied multiple times about the chronology of events, and cannot accept the fact that he's made a mistake (a *very* big costly mistake, now)...
And now he's trotting out the unsubstantiated claims again that other people are selling fanfilms, so that somehow makes it all better. Well, sorry, Charlie, it doesn't work that way - *if* other people are actually doing that, and *if* the copyright holders feel the need to take action, woe be unto them - but that doesn't change the fact that you did something wrong, were warned *REPEATEDLY* and yet continues blindly along, and you got caught.

I'm gonna close with a quote from the filmmaker that he made on July 28 - "Just thinking whats the worst that could happen if someone sells dvd's without permission (like some people i've seen, but i;m not going to bug them to show me if they are allowed)
worst case. = the company asks the sell to stop selling, the seller still sells, the company threaten seller with court action. the seller sells story to papers, "poor fanfilm maker is sued by giants ", it goes to court, the court order the seller to stop selling and charges for court costs."


Guess what, Ian/Mark - you at least got one thing right - enjoy your prediction...

Fennn
Posted: Fri, 15th Oct 2004, 7:45pm

Post 45 of 96

Frozenpede

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Semaj Ovured wrote:

Is that he was turned in for selling his Stargate DVDs online as currently as two months ago (even though he insists he stopped the practice "ages" ago).

It's all laid out here: http://boards.theforce.net/Fan_Films/b10015/17186544/p2/
by TheRealFennShysa who provides a complete (and researched) chronology of events including repeated warnings by the fanfilm forum members that this was a BAD idea.

Ian chose to ignore it and is now paying the price. He's also trying to play the victim here.

And everwhere he goes to spin his way out of it, we'll follow to prove his trying avoid the fact that he's responsible for the whole mess.

Should they force him to destroy his films? ABSOLUTELY NOT. But was he busted for breaking copyright laws? YOU BET.
Who are you guys? and what authority do you practice?
Posted: Fri, 15th Oct 2004, 8:21pm

Post 46 of 96

Semaj Ovured

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Authority? No authority. Just concerned fanfilmmakers who seek to police ourselves in order to root out those willing to endanger the entire movement for a quick buck.

The only defense we have against fanfilms being completely shut down is the willingness to prove to the studios that we are worthy of their trust. And that means to "out" those who seek to profit off another's copyright.

So, I'd say you could call us watchdogs.
Posted: Fri, 15th Oct 2004, 8:30pm

Post 47 of 96

Frozenpede

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so wait....MGM had no idea about Ian untill you went in for him?
Posted: Fri, 15th Oct 2004, 8:43pm

Post 48 of 96

Kid

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Semaj Ovured wrote:

Authority? No authority. Just concerned fanfilmmakers who seek to police ourselves in order to root out those willing to endanger the entire movement for a quick buck.

The only defense we have against fanfilms being completely shut down is the willingness to prove to the studios that we are worthy of their trust. And that means to "out" those who seek to profit off another's copyright.

So, I'd say you could call us watchdogs.
So in otherwords you are just jealous that hes made something and people are actually interested where as the best you can do is just go around looking to put people down.

Don't come on our forum spouting your trash, we don't need chumps like you.

Ian was obviously not looking to make a quick buck out of it and simply covering costs of giving people a better experience on dvd. If you had any experience in film making in addition to trolling, then you would realise that filmmaking even at this level costs a lot of money and there's no way anyone is going to profit from it.

Well done for spoiling someone's fun, I hope someone steps on you in the near future so you can feel what it is like.
Posted: Fri, 15th Oct 2004, 9:50pm

Post 49 of 96

Semaj Ovured

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Sorry, but your slap is fallen on a numb cheek. I am not jealous of Ian or Call it ...

I've made my own films, thank you. 3 so far. And they have done quite well. I also write and do several other things that fill my time. But I am part of the community. I have made a fanfilm and should I decide to tell another story, I want the freedom to do so and show it on the internet.

I don't know if or how long MGM was watching Ian. I just know that three of us took notice, WARNED HIM (as did others in the thread) and when he arrogantly challenged us and dismissed the threat, it was clear that he was asking for what happened to him.

And our efforts - which we made clear to MGM was on behalf of the fanfilm community - shows them we can be trusted to root out our own.

Ian's efforts seek to undermine all the work we have done as a community to police ourselves and to prove that the fanfilm concept is NOT a threat to the studios. Lucas gets that, as do many others. But Ian crossed the line.

HE BROKE THE LAW. Period. It doesn't matter if he was trying to recoup costs, was selling them at a loss, or was trying make a mint. IT IS AGAINST THE COPYRIGHT OF STARGATE AND THE LAW TO SELL THEM. There are NO exceptions to that. Period.

What part of that don't you people understand?
Posted: Fri, 15th Oct 2004, 9:57pm

Post 50 of 96

Crawford

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I've gotta go with Semaj and TheRealFennShysa here. If Ian was selling DVDs of his videos, then he was selling derivative works. That's a violation of copyright, whether he was making money or not. Also, the use of any of the names is a trademark issue.

Go here for some background:

http://chillingeffects.org/fanfic/

It's pretty rare for any company to let someone without a license sell their works. The only case I'm aware of is MST3k, but they put "keep circulating the tapes" at the end of most of their episodes!
Posted: Fri, 15th Oct 2004, 10:01pm

Post 51 of 96

aenigma

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TheRealFennShysa wrote:

...Unfortunately... post snipped for excessive boredom.
Sounds like you guys have too much time on your hands. Clearly it’s a matter for the lawyers to hash out so what you think is pretty much irrelevant. Hounding his every step won’t win you brownie points.

So…you’re the fan film police…here’s your stinkin’ badges.
Posted: Fri, 15th Oct 2004, 10:09pm

Post 52 of 96

Jedi2016

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They're quite right. Although Ian told you all about how he's being "persecuted" by MGM, he neglected to mention the "WHY", the fact that he was violating their copyright. The argument about "covering costs" means nothing in court. The profit involved doesn't matter, only the fact that he was selling something that belongs to someone else (in this case, Stargate). Besides, ten quid seems a little high for the "cost" of a single DVD-R.. they run only a few dollars here in the US, I imagine that would equate to about £1.50 or £2.00, not £10.00.

And, according to Ian himself, they were well aware of his activities long before Semaj and I contacted MGM. Therefore, our involvement means absolutely nothing, he would have gotten the C&D anyway.

Also pay careful attention to how many of his "story points" don't make any sense. According to him, he took down the DVDs long before the rest of us ever saw them. If that were the case, why did we challenge him about it? And why was MGM able to see these DVDs on his site months after they were supposedly taken down? This is a question he's refused to answer in discussions on no fewer than three forums.

He's also failed to point out the instances of other sites that he claims are being "persecuted" (in direct opposition to MGM's own statement that they support fan activities wholeheartedly so long as they don't violate copyright). Nor has he produced the letter he recieved from MGM's lawyers, although he claims to have scanned it for us.
Posted: Fri, 15th Oct 2004, 10:21pm

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Hybrid-Halo

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Jedi2016 wrote:

He's also failed to point out the instances of other sites that he claims are being "persecuted" (in direct opposition to MGM's own statement that they support fan activities wholeheartedly so long as they don't violate copyright).
Well, that makes absolutely no sense, as fan films have always directly ripped ideas, costume or names from the films they are a homage to. How can a company support fan film, if they disallow any use of the film itself...

I'm gonna go right ahead and cover a few other things mentioned.

Jedi2016 wrote:

Besides, ten quid seems a little high for the "cost" of a single DVD-R.. they run only a few dollars here in the US, I imagine that would equate to about £1.50 or £2.00, not £10.00.
Post and packaging for a dvd from UK to the states can cost around £6, paper and ink for the inlays and cover is approx £1. That leaves a total £9 average cost per DVD, assuming it is one disc, that's not a whole load of profit.

Maybe Ian was in the wrong, but one post sums everything up

aenigma wrote:

Sounds like you guys have too much time on your hands. Clearly it’s a matter for the lawyers to hash out so what you think is pretty much irrelevant. Hounding his every step won’t win you brownie points.

So…you’re the fan film police…here’s your stinkin’ badges.
This thread doesn't need to move on from that. Ian's fanfilms, let alone YOUR films don't really play any huge part in this community... But many of us as small time movie makers more often than not take the side of the fanfilm maker when corporations start to throw their weight around, it's a pretty predictable and understandable turn of events if you ask me.

Now... I suggest you return to the police state, banal, anally retentive community from whence you came.

On a final note, THANK GOD Stargate fanfilms have been banned... STARGATE SUCKS.
Posted: Fri, 15th Oct 2004, 10:37pm

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Bryce007

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Couple things..

Interesting posts "fennya" and "jedi" but have to say that people who spend they're time trying to get everyone to dislike a person on the internet by writing absurdly long posts against the said individual are pricks in my opinion, even if they cover they're tracks by saying they are "protecting the trust" that these studios dont even give. They just allow it to happen until they see a problem. I do agree that selling them does present tons of legal issues

You are just the type of person that likes playing judge, and makes sure everything is fair and perfect. Well, hopefully you realize that simply because no one listens to you in real life doesnt mean your carefully planned text-attacks on Ian really matter to any of us that have common sense.

Also, i agree with hybrid on the stargate thing, but it was quite the undertaking hobby-wise.
Posted: Fri, 15th Oct 2004, 10:37pm

Post 55 of 96

Jedi2016

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SG fanfilms have not been banned. Only ONE, that's because he was selling them.
Posted: Fri, 15th Oct 2004, 10:38pm

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Hybrid-Halo

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Jedi2016 wrote:

SG fanfilms have not been banned. Only ONE, that's because he was selling them.
That's a real shame. wink

Back on point, I don't see why you've put so much effort into telling us all that Ian is in the wrong, the vast majority of us knew this as soon as him selling DVD's was mentioned, your motives are somewhat shifty if you ask me.

Last edited Sat, 16th Oct 2004, 3:17pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Fri, 15th Oct 2004, 10:58pm

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Frozenpede

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Ok guys lets ease up a bit on them, I guess in their own way they had good intentions.... but dang it yall make Ian out to be an evil buisness man while those who know him (or as much as one can over the net) know thats just not the case.... I respect yall as filmakers but Ian has been a great asset to the internet film movement that you claim to want to protect. He has hosted film competitions and invited others to get involved with his Superteam Productions as well as including actors from across the world in one film!

Many of us here are bias toward him and I apologize for it.... but he's really a champion of internet films...not a threat.
Posted: Fri, 15th Oct 2004, 11:03pm

Post 58 of 96

Crawford

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Bryce007 wrote:

Interesting posts "fennya" and "jedi" but have to say that people who spend they're time trying to get everyone to dislike a person on the internet by writing absurdly long posts against the said individual...
I don't think they were trying to get anyone to "dislike" Ian. Just pointing out the other side of the story.
Posted: Fri, 15th Oct 2004, 11:21pm

Post 59 of 96

Frozenpede

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Read my post right above... I think we are wasting time fighting among ourselves... it seams Jedi just neads to get to know Ian and Superteam.
Posted: Fri, 15th Oct 2004, 11:37pm

Post 60 of 96

Jedi2016

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As I believe both Semaj and Fenn said, we have no animosity towards Ian as a person and filmmaker. But he crossed the line when he sold his movies. Plain and simple.
Posted: Fri, 15th Oct 2004, 11:46pm

Post 61 of 96

Frozenpede

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Jedi2016 wrote:

As I believe both Semaj and Fenn said, we have no animosity towards Ian as a person and filmmaker. But he crossed the line when he sold his movies. Plain and simple.
but he obviously didnt cross the line when you had to TELL the company before they noticed.
Posted: Fri, 15th Oct 2004, 11:51pm

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Katsu

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"HE BROKE THE LAW. Period. It doesn't matter if he was trying to recoup costs, was selling them at a loss, or was trying make a mint."

"But he crossed the line when he sold his movies. Plain and simple."

He broke the law... He crossed the line..
I was just asking myself how many ripped movies or mp3 or software or games you got on your HD. I was just asking myself why on earth would someone be so penetrant and track every step of a person he doesn´t know, just because he was upset of his movie. Sounds for me like you really think you are some kind of "Copyright Police"...... Get a girlfriend... asap...
Posted: Sat, 16th Oct 2004, 12:03am

Post 63 of 96

shadu

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Fan are not banned or bad. But by the law you can't make money (even a little...) with them if you use name, idea, etc coming from the real show (that why i make movie with original story). What is the limit? 5$, 10$, 40$ by DVD? This is not the point they want (MGM) to send a clear message: "Don't touch our copyright". The lawyer will certainly cost more than the "loss" make by ian movie (if loss their is...). I never saw a star war movie sell on internet even if they are legion in the WEB and I am not sure Lucas will love that either.

Corporation can encourage the making of fan movie (like lucas) because the fan are their public and their source of money. But they will not lets anyone make money from their product because that treated their copyright. And they seem to send a clear message on that. Just like any of us will do if someone stole one of our original idea. That's why copyright law exist.

I hope than all of this will be resolve quickly and for the best way for Ian because i respect and love most of his work.

Good luck Ian.

Shadu
Posted: Sat, 16th Oct 2004, 12:03am

Post 64 of 96

TheRealFennShysa

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Frozenpede wrote:

so wait....MGM had no idea about Ian untill you went in for him?
Nope... according to Ian (at least in one version of his story), MGM had been keeping an eye on him for some six months now... the incidents at TFN happened in July...

Kid wrote:

So in otherwords you are just jealous that hes made something and people are actually interested where as the best you can do is just go around looking to put people down.
Don't come on our forum spouting your trash, we don't need chumps like you.
If pointing out deceptions, half-truths and outright fabrications is putting someone down, then so be it... as to the jealousy comment, please... I'm not going to argue my repuatation or filmography with you - I think it stands for itself... http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1185170/

Bryce007 wrote:

have to say that people who spend they're time trying to get everyone to dislike a person on the internet by writing absurdly long posts against the said individual are pricks in my opinion
I never once tried to make anyone *dislike* Ian... however, I was most definitely trying to set the record straight, which apparently some people don't care about... so be it...

Hybrid-Halo wrote:

How can a company support fan film, if they disallow any use of the film itself...
The difference here is that Ian was selling DVDs... it doesn't matter how many of them were sold, how much (or little) he charged, none of that matters - he did not have the right or a license to do to... the studios turn a blind eye, for the most part, to the fanfilm community, because the overwhelming majority of the filmmakers are doing it for fun and not trying to sell their works.

Bryce007 wrote:

Well, hopefully you realize that simply because no one listens to you in real life doesnt mean your carefully planned text-attacks on Ian really matter to any of us that have common sense.
For someone who brings up the point of common sense, you seem to have a tenous grasp on it.

This is a very serious issue, and I'm in odd position in seeing it from both sides of the coin - on one hand, I'm a fan who enjoys making fanfilms, and have made some very popular films... and on the other, I've done a lot of work for and with the companies whose properties are the subject of many fannish endeavours... *and* I've had to deal with bootleggers hijacking and reselling my work, so people making money off something they have no right to is a real sticking point with me...

Believe me, stuff like this has come up when I've had talks with my associates and friends at the various studios, and it's a serious issue - for the most part, they enjoy the fanfilm community, but they worry about what the corporate masters will do if things go to far...

Had Ian once made an effort to tell the truth, instead of contantly changing and/or fabricating his story, maybe we might not have made such an effort... but the fact is that, there's a lot of people who watch what we do on ALL the sites... Ian's actions have the potential of ruining a good thing for all of us...

Fenn
Posted: Sat, 16th Oct 2004, 12:04am

Post 65 of 96

stqagehanduk

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A couple of years ago now my theatre company (Battered Suitcase) staged the third of our Doctor Who stage plays and had a similar situation when there was a minor snafu with the terms of our permission to use copyright (soon resolved), only to be exacerbated by some peice of slime (I have my suspicions who) writing to sites claimning that I and my company were guilty of fraudulent practice. I've never been so close to litigation in my life.

The bottom line is that there will always be talentless pygmies trying to drag you down, so its sense to keep your backside covered at all times.


Selling them was asking for trouble, though - would asking people to send you a SAE and blank DVD have got round that?
Posted: Sat, 16th Oct 2004, 12:09am

Post 66 of 96

JohnCarter

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Technically, anybody who makes a fan film that cannot be construed as a parody or fit within fair use BREAKS the law...

Every single "fan" filmmaker out there breaks or has broken the law... Coming from a forum that glorifies fan films and fan filmmaking, you are in a hard place to give lessons...

Studios tolerate this state of affair because it fuels the system: it's free publicity. Obviously, the device works. It fuels the raving needs of fans between legitimate projects, keep the buzz going and so on. They get free publicity and rabid fans that'll be their eyes for them as exemplified in said case.

But this whole thread is ridiculous. Was Ian wrong in selling his films? Wholeheartedly. Does he need rabid fans on his back? Not really. Does it hurt MGM? Not at all EXCEPT under the definition of trademark. Which is why they strike. And why Disney is so aggressive going as far as suing parents who paint their characters in a child's room... It is their responsability under trademark law. If you don't enforce it, you lose it. You have to do every possible effort to protect your trademark.

MGM is big enough to take care of it's business and it has. Wheter or not a bunch of geeks have anything to do with it would be mildly amusing if it was at all the case. They pay people do to this: enforce trademarks. They scout the web, check the press, all that stuff just to make sure their trademarks are protected because it is also their responsability under the law.

Copyright doesn't protect everything. From the look of it, MGM is trying to protect it's trademark, a whole different issue. From what Ian says, they don't want the name, the logo and every other trademarked elements used... Nothing more, nothing less. It's their absolute right as well.

To ask for compensation is standard yet funny. They won't get much out of this and they know it. They will settle for no more movies using the Stargate monikers and so on and so forth. Yawn. A whole bunch of people got hot under the collar for nothing.

In the meantime it gives some publicity to Ian and to fan films in general, remember, good or bad, as long as they talk about it... Fan films is a trend I still fail to comprehend. I think it's hard enough to make a film, do your own thing instead of trying to copy people who have a gazillion times more ressources than you. The end results always suffer in comparaison. Maybe you've dreamt your whole life of working for Lucas Films or (fill in the blanks for your favorite entertainment company) but wouldn't you wow them more if you showed them something truly original and groundbreaking instead of copying their work?

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, true. But I think original material packs more punch. And that folks is my two bits.

PS: I didn't know you could get on imdb for directing fan films... THAT'S VERY ODD... An interesting legal quagmire indeed...

Last edited Sat, 16th Oct 2004, 12:31am; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Sat, 16th Oct 2004, 12:20am

Post 67 of 96

stqagehanduk

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And two beautifully formed bits they are, too.
Posted: Sat, 16th Oct 2004, 12:52am

Post 68 of 96

Hybrid-Halo

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TheRealFennShysa wrote:

If pointing out deceptions, half-truths and outright fabrications is putting someone down, then so be it... as to the jealousy comment, please... I'm not going to argue my repuatation or filmography with you - I think it stands for itself... http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1185170/
If averaging less than 4/10 on imdb is not really any sign of talent. Though granted, you've made amusing pieces of film... none of them are on this site which is pretty much as far as my attention travels internet-film wise.

The more you type in this thread, the more obvious, to me that you're hounding Ian for reasons you haven't really stated. Maybe you're just incapable of admitting to yourself that you're turning into the kind of person that people hate, peoples reaction to you here should be proof of that.

Last edited Sat, 16th Oct 2004, 3:20pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Sat, 16th Oct 2004, 1:45am

Post 69 of 96

Kid

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Semaj Ovured wrote:

HE BROKE THE LAW. Period. It doesn't matter if he was trying to recoup costs, was selling them at a loss, or was trying make a mint. IT IS AGAINST THE COPYRIGHT OF STARGATE AND THE LAW TO SELL THEM. There are NO exceptions to that. Period.

What part of that don't you people understand?
Selling them makes no difference dumbass. Either you are breaking copyright or you arn't. In his case he isn't so you haven't even got that right. The only thing he is actually doing which is illegal is infringing on the Stargate trademark. If he renamed it then it would be perfectly legal.

Morally there is an obvious difference between profiteering and selling something to cover costs. Technically whether you are selling it or not makes no difference. Either way YOU are a chumptard.
Posted: Sat, 16th Oct 2004, 1:54am

Post 70 of 96

Jedi2016

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Ah, now we're down to name-calling. Interesting. Especially seeing as how there's no discernable reason for it.

If all he's guilty of is using the Stargate name, then tell me... why have no other Stargate fan sites been targeted? Site much larger and much more popular than Superteam's have been left utterly alone. The answer is simple. They aren't breaking any laws.

Simply making fanfilms is not copyright infringement. While it may skirt the line, the companies tolerate it for the reasons stated above, that it helps increase awareness and popularity of the brand. Free advertising, as it were. However, if you sell that fanfilm, then yes, you're openly violating copyright.

That is the SOLE reason why MGM has gone after Superteam.
Posted: Sat, 16th Oct 2004, 2:00am

Post 71 of 96

Kid

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My first reply was to those 2 guys who have it in for Ian.

This is for everyone else. No one is crossing a line by selling anything.

Copying something is illegal whether you sell it or not. Selling a fan film does not make it illegal.

It is perfectly legal for anyone to make a story using the characters from stargate and do what every they want with it. Selling it makes NO difference.

What you can't do is...

Copy exact dialog/script.
Use trademarks.
Use music or footage which you have not been given explicit permission to use.

Again I repeat for all those who have mentioned it SELLING IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE LEGALLY.

And looking at prices, £10 for copying a dvd including postage is pretty good. A dvd and case costs roughly £2, a Jiffy bag costs £2.50, say it takes half an hour to burn and post, thats £2.50 worth of time, so before postage even its £7. Postage to the uk is £3.64 for something of that weight so really hes losing money on every sale!
Posted: Sat, 16th Oct 2004, 2:15am

Post 72 of 96

Kid

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Jedi2016 wrote:

Ah, now we're down to name-calling. Interesting. Especially seeing as how there's no discernable reason for it.
I'm down to name calling, because someone bringing down someone else because they have nothing better to do really pisses me off.

Jedi2016 wrote:

If all he's guilty of is using the Stargate name, then tell me... why have no other Stargate fan sites been targeted? Site much larger and much more popular than Superteam's have been left utterly alone. The answer is simple. They aren't breaking any laws.
Most likely because chumps from a message board haven't pointed them out to MGM yet. What you have to bear in mind is that film companies take action whether they have a legal standpoint or not. A good example is Time Warner sueing everyone who is using the word shire despite the fact that it is a well used word in the UK. They know that they can get what they want through intimidation and money, whether its legal or not.

Jedi2016 wrote:

Simply making fanfilms is not copyright infringement.
Correct.

Jedi2016 wrote:

While it may skirt the line, the companies tolerate it for the reasons stated above, that it helps increase awareness and popularity of the brand. Free advertising, as it were. However, if you sell that fanfilm, then yes, you're openly violating copyright.
Wrong. I don't know where everyone gets this idea that selling it makes it illagal. Thats wrong. Either its illegal or its not. A parody of an existing work is not illegal. Using the character names from an existing work is not illegal. Using music from the show is illegal whether you sell it or not. Copying the stargate cgi would also be illegal whether you sell it or not. Making your own similar cgi that is different is not illegal, whether you sell it or not.

Jedi2016 wrote:

That is the SOLE reason why MGM has gone after Superteam.
Again wrong. They have gone after him simply because they have been led to believe all this rubbish that these guys have been telling them.
Posted: Sat, 16th Oct 2004, 2:24am

Post 73 of 96

Kid

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JohnCarter wrote:

And why Disney is so aggressive going as far as suing parents who paint their characters in a child's room... It is their responsability under trademark law. If you don't enforce it, you lose it. You have to do every possible effort to protect your trademark.
No. Again this is a common misconception. Trademarks are protected, fullstop. The 'we have to enforce it or we lose the trademark' speil is just an excuse to persue it as far as they want without looking petty. It has no legal basis in US or UK law.
Posted: Sat, 16th Oct 2004, 3:08am

Post 74 of 96

Jedi2016

Force: 10 | Joined: 15th Oct 2004 | Posts: 7

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Kid wrote:



Jedi2016 wrote:

That is the SOLE reason why MGM has gone after Superteam.
Again wrong. They have gone after him simply because they have been led to believe all this rubbish that these guys have been telling them.
What rubbish? What precisely did we tell MGM (since you seem to be privy to our phone conversations now) that made them go after Superteam?

Oh, that's right.. MGM was after Superteam BEFORE we called them... Well, in that case, nevermind.
Posted: Sat, 16th Oct 2004, 3:11am

Post 75 of 96

JohnCarter

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Kid wrote:

JohnCarter wrote:

And why Disney is so aggressive going as far as suing parents who paint their characters in a child's room... It is their responsability under trademark law. If you don't enforce it, you lose it. You have to do every possible effort to protect your trademark.
No. Again this is a common misconception. Trademarks are protected, fullstop. The 'we have to enforce it or we lose the trademark' speil is just an excuse to persue it as far as they want without looking petty. It has no legal basis in US or UK law.
No expert on UK or US law but here in Canada, when I applied for a trademark for Ghetto-Tech, we were informed (by the lawyers) that we had to use all reasonable means to enforce our trademark rights. The trademark protects us to the full extent of the law BUT the efforts have to be made in order to protect the brand. A trademark is good for 10 years and can be renewed for periods of ten years indefinitely. Technically, if well maintained and protected, a trademark can last forever.

A very quick search on the net turned up this:
http://www.ggmark.com/guide.html

Which seems to confirm my statements and also this:

"A mark may be abandoned "unintentionally," when the trademark owner fails to use it properly, or fails to monitor its use by others. "Improper use" is use which places the mark in danger of becoming generic. Thus, marks should be used consistently, and distinctively, to enhance their source-identifying function.

If an entity other than the trademark owner, uses a mark on its own products, in its own way, the mark's ability to function as an indicator of source is diminished. For this reason, all third-party uses of a mark should be licensed, and monitored carefully. Unlicensed uses, or unmonitored thirty-party licensing, can result in a finding that a mark has been abandoned.

Trademark infringement also diminishes the source-identifying capabilities of marks. When marks are appropriated unlawfully by unlicensed third parties, consumers are likely to become confused regarding the source or origin of goods or services. Therefore, trademark owners should take steps to discover, and prosecute, adverse users. A trademark owner's failure to prosecute known infringers of a mark, may result in a finding of abandonment of trademark rights."

as for this:

Kid wrote:

Jedi2016 wrote:

Simply making fanfilms is not copyright infringement.

Correct.
If I make a fan film based on a character that is trademarked (which is the case for most of them). Let's say Batman for fun...

Well, I am infringing not only on copyright but on trademark as well. Now the character is so strongly identified to DC and it's makes good publicity for Warner (who owns DC)... But technically, it is infringement... Using the likeness, the Batman logo, the batarangs, etc... All trademarks and copyright infringements. Hence, passible of lawsuits... Unless you can prove it's a parody. Character names like Daniel Jackson cannot be trademarked or copyrighted. Not even Bruce Wayne or Clark Kent. But Batman and Superman can, and their likeness are. It is illegal to make copies or likeness of these characters without a proper license.

Stargate is a trademark owned by MGM. They want Ian to cease using it, therefore enforcing their tradermarks rights. End of story if he complies. Big whoopie.

It would cost a fortune to sue all the Batman filmmakers out there and the benefits exceed the problems. That's why not much happens there. But yeah, technically it IS illegal to make a fan film. They let it happen because it suits them. So the grand standing and posturing of the TFN people is a bit over the top considering the basis of their own community.
Posted: Sat, 16th Oct 2004, 5:05am

Post 76 of 96

Jedi2016

Force: 10 | Joined: 15th Oct 2004 | Posts: 7

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We're well aware of how closely we toe the line, make no mistake. That's why we're VERY careful not to step over that line. Which is precisely what Ian did. Which is precisely why we lashed out so hard at him. We're simply trying to protect what's ours. We're well aware of how easily the studios could shut us all down if they so wished. And if people keep trying to make money off of their fanfilms, as Ian did, it puts us all in jeopardy because it could be the catalyst that sets the studios off. That's why we're so "against" him, that's why we turned him in. For one, to stop him from possibly taking us all down, and secondly, to let the studio know that the fanfilm community as a whole is well aware of where "the line in the sand" is, and that we make sure we stay on the right side of that line.
Posted: Sat, 16th Oct 2004, 7:30am

Post 77 of 96

sidewinder

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Kid, you're a bit backwards on your definitions of copyright infringement, but maybe it's just a UK thing. More comments from me when it's not 2:30 in the morning.
Posted: Sat, 16th Oct 2004, 8:11am

Post 78 of 96

b4uask30male

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Hi guys
sorry, didn't mean it to get out of hand sad
At the point Jedi ( and other ) TOLD ON ME MY SITE DID not HAVE THE FOR SALE, and my post on tfn proves that were I say " I was seing them but stopped beause i was asking donations and thought it was wrong so i move them" this is on a post on tfn if needed i'll dig the url out, it took two days after that message was posted for jedi to contact mgm, ( I'm not a fan of TFN so i didn't visit there again untill a while later "

The DVD's I was selling was a 2 isc set in double case, yeah the ones that sold to the usa I lost money. : but it was ony for people to have a better copy of what they have already seen on the net.

I knew that what I used in my films were not mine, even the music, so I have no issue with them asking me to stop, If you look at the letter i have it goes on about how i used there images on my site and they point out that on the start of my films i have a copyright warning ( although they didn't get the joke "if you copy this you will be called a pirate, pirates should stay on our sea's" but they didn't pick up on the gate in the film, the names in the films the music and anything else IN the film, the letter is aimed at the site.
On another thead on tfn I mentioned to jedi that what he says goes there, as he's repsected and they seem to follow him, ( even to the point where he says i'm no different to a drug dealer _) i o take offence to that.
I mentioned that on other sites where i've been there longer i'm sure it might be a different case, andi know you guys are not backing me up because you like me, but because you see that:
Telling on someone is wrong, where will it end,....
every fanfilm uses at least one bit of copyright or trademark.

I'm happy to go on from here and use this publicity.
Thanks for your time.
Posted: Sat, 16th Oct 2004, 8:12am

Post 79 of 96

Bryce007

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Few more things...

Its incredibly unlikely that massive companies will "take down" the fanfilm community. its so farfetched, its ridiculous jedi.

Turning him in at all was just lame. plain and simple, thats just policing for the sake of personal satifaction of knowing that someone out there with better films than you is now having a crappy time.

4/10 on imdb "stands on it own"?

Jedi and fennya, when exactly was it you two became fanfilm forensic enforcers? you took so much interest as to make a huge chronological speech about his doings?

The legal issues are all obviously there, even if he lost or never made money on them. Everyone should just drop the constant barrage of "they're definitions of the law".

Everyone and they're mom knows that huge movie studio "infringment"
police are incredibly vigilant and petty. No big surprise they would look first at someone that is giving away dvd's and charging for shipping.

i dont really see what else could be proven on this thread that hasnt already been said....so, im done.
Posted: Sat, 16th Oct 2004, 8:36am

Post 80 of 96

Jedi2016

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Ian, the "drug dealer" comment was a simple analogy. If you can't understand what I was saying, I'm not going to bother trying to explain it to you.

And again, I'll ask.. if you had removed the DVDs from your website, then what the hell were we all seeing when we were talking about this on TFN three months ago? Hallucinations?

Bryce... please expand on your statement about "personal satifaction of knowing that someone out there with better films than you is now having a crappy time". Have you seen any of my films? Do you even know what I've worked on? Do you know what projects I have currently in-progress? Do you have an idea of what my skills and qualifications entail? Since the answer is a decided "no", I don't see where your comment is coming from.

Your statement about the studios not shutting us down is also a bit shortsighted. You're starting to sound like Ian.. "Oh, we'll just do whatever we want, they can't touch us."

As for the "turning him in" thing, do you honestly think that MGM went after him solely because I called them? I thank you for the vote of confidence, but I must admit my influence in Hollywood doesn't stretch quite that far. And again, I'll remind you that by IAN'S OWN STATEMENT, MGM was "after him" long before any such phone calls were made. Which makes them irrelevant in the overall scale of things. Not to mention, as again pointed out by Ian himself, the letter came from MGM UK. My phone call was to MGM US, which, according to Ian, was "okay" with his films.

As for copyright law, I'll let the C&D stand on it's own there. In case you weren't aware, companies don't send those out without a VERY good reason. Ponder that for a bit.
Posted: Sat, 16th Oct 2004, 11:24am

Post 81 of 96

b4uask30male

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what you guys was talking about ( and it was only 1 person that made the first comment about selling dvd's ) was that he had seen them on my site for sale ( but they was not there, please read my post ( and this time read it ) where i say on tfn that i HAD pulled them from my site and moved them.

I'm not going to give you the satifaction of believing that was you say is right, ( i seen you p although you post this on many sites, not just here and repeat what you say doesn't make it true.

I'm really sorry that FXhome has been involved, my first post was to keep people informed ( i could have said nothing ) but as many people on here make fan films it would be interesting for them to know ( direct ) from me what is going on.

Many thanks and sorry to fxhome members
Posted: Sat, 16th Oct 2004, 1:42pm

Post 82 of 96

Frozenpede

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To tell the truth Ian Ive never fully understood fan filming, with the amount of money, time and effort put into a lot of them, couldnt you make your own idea and go WAY farther...and actually sell them without lawsuits?
Posted: Sat, 16th Oct 2004, 2:07pm

Post 83 of 96

Kid

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JohnCarter wrote:

"A mark may be abandoned "unintentionally," when the trademark owner fails to use it properly, or fails to monitor its use by others. "Improper use" is use which places the mark in danger of becoming generic. Thus, marks should be used consistently, and distinctively, to enhance their source-identifying function.

If an entity other than the trademark owner, uses a mark on its own products, in its own way, the mark's ability to function as an indicator of source is diminished. For this reason, all third-party uses of a mark should be licensed, and monitored carefully. Unlicensed uses, or unmonitored thirty-party licensing, can result in a finding that a mark has been abandoned.

Trademark infringement also diminishes the source-identifying capabilities of marks. When marks are appropriated unlawfully by unlicensed third parties, consumers are likely to become confused regarding the source or origin of goods or services. Therefore, trademark owners should take steps to discover, and prosecute, adverse users. A trademark owner's failure to prosecute known infringers of a mark, may result in a finding of abandonment of trademark rights."
What this means is not that you have to enforce every infringment or lose it. It simply means that you cannot allow it to become a generic term for a type of product. Examples of trademarks which have become generic are Hoover, Sellotape and Coke. (This only applies in the US btw, in the UK and most of the rest of the world that recognise trademarks there is no such clause)

Batman and Superman are poor examples to compare to. Not only are their names not regular run of the mill names but they are both based on comic book characters with very distinct likenesses. The stargate characters are mosly your basic army guy and so they have no likeness rights. Their names are common names and so they can't be trademarked. The stargate itself and the Go'uld are really the only things they can call a likeness too and since parasites and wormholes are pretty common in scifi you would only have to make small differences in order for them not to apply.

People keep talking about understanding copyright, but that only applies to the music and things like scripts and copying exact dialog. (or cutting in sequences from the series in question)
Posted: Sat, 16th Oct 2004, 2:09pm

Post 84 of 96

b4uask30male

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Yeah, your right fonepede
The thing was, way back 3-4 years ago i found alamdv and saw a s.gate plugin, I though WOW, got to make a film with that.
And so we did, it was never ment to be more than just a day out filming ( you know how it goes, no real script just out for fun ) and we put it on the net because we used plugins from alamdv for guns etc.
People liked and wanted more so we made more, if we knew then what we know now, I would have made it a true parady and called it something else.

I wasn't really a fanfilm maker at that point, i think the only other fan type film i made was Jurassic Lark ( a day out with puppets really ) I much prefer to make my own stories but I found that people were willing to watch my stargates because they already had an interest in it.

The amount of good emails i'm getting since this has happened has made me think about two possible directions to take.
one would be to finish the episodes i'm currently making but changing them to full parady and then.... next year make a feature lenght version for sale. ( the reason i do this is because my films have had 99% positive feedback, sure i know they are low budget etc, but the comments i get are all praise and they enjoy them, the bottom line is, your enjoyment shouldn't be determined by how much a film costs to make.

The other route i might take and one i was planning on doing anyway is to re make call me a psycho but thanks to MGM i now have some notariaty ( spelt wrong i bet )

You haven't seen the last of me. Mwahaaaa haaa

Last edited Sat, 16th Oct 2004, 2:13pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Sat, 16th Oct 2004, 2:12pm

Post 85 of 96

Kid

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Jedi2016 wrote:

As for copyright law, I'll let the C&D stand on it's own there. In case you weren't aware, companies don't send those out without a VERY good reason. Ponder that for a bit.
Rubbish. Companies send them out as standard practice because its an easy way to stop something without even going to the effort of looking at it legally. Hence why they get used on fan websites all over the place willy nilly no matter if the site is selling anything or tainting the brand or whatever.
Posted: Sat, 16th Oct 2004, 2:18pm

Post 86 of 96

Sollthar

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I've followed this debate now and read the other forums too and would like to comment on it, for the sake of many who read this:

First of all, as much as I like IAN, what he did was illegal - there's no way around it.

I can see where you TFN guys Jedy, realfennshysa etc are coming from and I'm sure you are aware why what you did won't get you many friends in here - even though technically, you weren't wrong and I understand your reasons.
(allthough I question them a bit too, as I hardly believe IAN could destroy the fanfilm base as I don't think he'll be the only one who sells DVDs with copyrighted material on it)


Seeing I'm currently working on establishing my own franchise with NightCast, I did have to do a lot of research on copyright laws and trademark laws. And they really are a complicated matter.

The most important part is that:

The copyrightholder defines how far the copyright goes

Theoretically, copyright law is broken by simply republishing a copyrighted or trademarked product - even if you don't charge a dime for it. So making a fanfilm with copyrighted names, music etc and publish it, is technically illegal and you could be sued for it.

If a company, as apparantly many have done, says: "Alright, you can make fan films, publish them in the community, use copyrighted names, music, anything - as long as you don't resell it in any ways". Then so it is.

It is up to them when to apply the law and when not. It is up to them to decide what they will allow to do and what not. And obviously in IANs case, they didn't allow it.


That does not turn MGM into a monster, nor does it turn IAN into a monster. It's simply they way it is and it's their right to do that and IAN will have to accept it. (What he does NOT have to do though, is to destory the master tapes. There's actually no legal ground for that - so don't do that Ian! Would be a shame for all the work you've put in and great loss for the community!)

Best to do for you IanI guess would be to try to get along with MGM so you can still have your films on the internet but simply stop selling them, as they asked for - because it is their right.



On a side note, Jedy and RealFennShysa didn't attack anyone verbally, they explained their point calm and rationally and I think that should be respected - even if you don't agree with what they did or said.

There's no need for this to be turned into a flamewar by calling each other names or trying to figure out who can land the best joke about the other side.

In the opposite I think what Ian said before is true: This could be an interesting matter to learn from for everyone involved or following the discussion.
Posted: Sat, 16th Oct 2004, 2:20pm

Post 87 of 96

xbreaka

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phew lcukily i got all of ians films tucked away on my hd
Posted: Sat, 16th Oct 2004, 2:33pm

Post 88 of 96

Frozenpede

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TheRealFennShysa wrote:

If pointing out deceptions, half-truths and outright fabrications is putting someone down, then so be it... as to the jealousy comment, please... I'm not going to argue my repuatation or filmography with you - I think it stands for itself... http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1185170/
wow eek are all those fan films? Hillbilly from Superteams is from Tennessee as well, you might wanta contact him about working together on a project.

congratulations on your success.
Posted: Sat, 16th Oct 2004, 2:35pm

Post 89 of 96

JohnCarter

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Sollthar wrote:

(What he does NOT have to do though, is to destory the master tapes. There's actually no legal ground for that - so don't do that Ian! Would be a shame for all the work you've put in and great loss for the community!)
We see eye to eye on that one Sollthar. Except you are wrong on the master tapes. Well, at least in the Canada and the US. If MGM could somehow prove that Ian's films are (quoted from the lawbook): "intentional distortion, mutilation, or other modification of that work which would be prejudicial to (the copyright holder) honor or reputation, and any intentional distortion, mutilation, or modification of that work."


Here's the excerpt where it is permitted to destroy masters (as per a court order):

§ 503. Remedies for infringement: Impounding and disposition of infringing articles


(a) At any time while an action under this title is pending, the court may order the impounding, on such terms as it may deem reasonable, of all copies or phonorecords claimed to have been made or used in violation of the copyright owner's exclusive rights, and of all plates, molds, matrices, masters, tapes, film negatives, or other articles by means of which such copies or phonorecords may be reproduced.


(b) As part of a final judgment or decree, the court may order the destruction or other reasonable disposition of all copies or phonorecords found to have been made or used in violation of the copyright owner's exclusive rights, and of all plates, molds, matrices, masters, tapes, film negatives, or other articles by means of which such copies or phonorecords may be reproduced.

As far as the TFN people, I find them well behaving for the most part (at least here. But I read some of the other threads in their own forum: I am not impressed) except they are hypocritical. Screaming that Ian is breaking the law while they are doing it as well... Acting like offended virgins and so on... The pontifical tone considering the fact they are in fact infringing too (granted, to a lesser extent) makes me take their pleas with a severe grain of salt. Not too mention that there is a lot of exageration and dramatization in their statements.

Just do your OWN thing people.

Frozenpede wrote:

To tell the truth Ian Ive never fully understood fan filming, with the amount of money, time and effort put into a lot of them, couldnt you make your own idea and go WAY farther...and actually sell them without lawsuits?
Looks like we finally found something we could agree on, Frozenpede... wink

Kid wrote:

Batman and Superman are poor examples to compare to. Not only are their names not regular run of the mill names but they are both based on comic book characters with very distinct likenesses.
That was EXACTLY my point though. I guess it wasn't clear enough. A Batman fan films breaks more copyright laws than a Stargate one. Heck, even a Star Wars fan film does!

Kid wrote:

The stargate characters are mosly your basic army guy and so they have no likeness rights. Their names are common names and so they can't be trademarked. The stargate itself and the Go'uld are really the only things they can call a likeness too and since parasites and wormholes are pretty common in scifi you would only have to make small differences in order for them not to apply.
That's true and that's what I said: MGM only wants the Stargate reference removed. They couldn't care less about the rest (Well, they'd probably ask for the copyrighted music to be removed too if they had bothered to watch the films) but they are protecting their trademark as it is their right. Which is why I am saying this thing is blown out of proportion by the TFN people.

Kid wrote:

People keep talking about understanding copyright, but that only applies to the music and things like scripts and copying exact dialog. (or cutting in sequences from the series in question)
I'm siding with Sidewinder on that one... Your perception is a bit out of whack. Or maybe it's an UK thing. But it ain't like this this side of the ocean... Copyright applies to anything that is scribbled down the minute it is in writing. It applies to paintings, sculptures, images, photographs and so on... At least it does here.

Last edited Sat, 16th Oct 2004, 3:02pm; edited 6 times in total.

Posted: Sat, 16th Oct 2004, 2:45pm

Post 90 of 96

Sollthar

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Ah yes, you're right, Christian.

I should have specified:
There are circumstances under wich the destruction of the master tapes can be ordered.

But as I have seen Ians films as well as some other Stargate Fanwork I doubt that these circumstances apply or that MGM actually wants to take this to a court and get a court order for that. But of course, it's up to MGM to apply them if they want to.



I remember having to destroy an original tape of Turicon years back because there was some high-security-no-trespassing-allowed-whatsoever-bank-money-building in the background, and they called the police, got my tapes and erased every shot where this building was visible. Legally.

It's an odd world. smile
Posted: Sat, 16th Oct 2004, 3:07pm

Post 91 of 96

Xcession

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Cripes this has got out of hand!

As i see it, B4 was wrong to ask for any money for a fan film when its basis was obviously on a copyrighted name/symbol/whatever. I'm sure the need to cover costs was a predominant factor in this decision to charge, but at the same time hes not a kid, its not like he could have been unaware of copyright law. A blind-eye was, more than likely, turned.

Jedi2016 and his group from TFN were also probably right for alerting those responsible and although he protests that his singular call couldn't have been solely responsible for MGM clamping down, it would be naive to suggest that it wasn't in some way a cause of MGM finally getting anal on B4. If they'd been on his back for months anyway the phone call probably just pushed MGM over the edge and caused The Machine to started whiring. If the call hadn't been made...who knows.

Its the motives for doing it that i'm a little less clear on. Its commendable that Jedi and his pals were looking out for their own by ensuring MGM could see that the fan film community was a law abiding bunch, but it feels a little like the "looking after our interests" reason was thought up after the fact. The likelyhood of one of the major studios actually shutting ALL FAN FILMS down as a result of one or two lawbreakers just seems totally implausible. They've got bigger fish to fry.

There has long been...er...tension, between TFN and FXHome and the ranting and name-calling in this thread has highlighted that.
The thought that i suspect many of us secretly harbour, is that grassing b4 up was partially a result of the baseless long-running hostility towards FXHome. I'm saying this by way of explaining the poor reception the TFN guys have got, not because i necessarily care.
FXHomers are no better though - Jedi and his posse have come in to explain themselves and have done so succintly and calmly; and we've just laid into them!
Posted: Sat, 16th Oct 2004, 3:27pm

Post 92 of 96

JohnCarter

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Xcession wrote:

Its commendable that Jedi and his pals were looking out for their own by ensuring MGM could see that the fan film community was a law abiding bunch, but it feels a little like the "looking after our interests" reason was thought up after the fact. The likelyhood of one of the major studios actually shutting ALL FAN FILMS down as a result of one or two lawbreakers just seems totally implausible. They've got bigger fish to fry.
Well, I thought I was fair in my expressing of my opinions. But some people here were indeed rude and it shouldn't have happened. I find that the TFN people behaved nicely. Didn't know there were "tensions" between the two communities though.

I find the tone employed by these people irritates me slightly however. All fan filmmakers are breaking the law on paper. That the companies let them do it or not is irrelevant. I was merely trying to point out the hypocrisy in their discourse.

But a law-abiding fan film community is an oxymoron no matter how you spin it. Period.

That being said, I am not against fan films, I just don't get the point of going through all this for ABSOLUTELY nothing.

But hey! I guess it makes for a good hobby. But on paper, they are all "criminals" if we want to be sticklers. So "criminals" denouncing another "criminal" on the basis they want to still be able to commit their (lesser) "crimes" and giving long winded lessons about it makes me laugh...
Posted: Sat, 16th Oct 2004, 3:35pm

Post 93 of 96

Xcession

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Didn't know there were "tensions" between the two communities though.
Yes, sadly. When AlamDV first came out, the mid-teen, pirated-AfterEffects members of TFN decided that allowing kids and amateurs to create special effects easily and for vastly reduced prices, was a bad thing. This was partially because AlamDV1 was...well...crap. But any subsequent mention of CSB's products on the TFN forums caused a slew of uninformed flaming and insults aimed at the "noobs" on FXHome. The popular consensus was that allowing the aforementionned noobs to create special effects without any time or money, was somehow devaluing the currency of film-making itself.

As a result, TFN had this irrational hatred of competition and FXHome had an irrational hatred of TFN's apparent snobery.

I've no idea what the general feelings are NOW, however, as i know many of our members now frequent TFN too. I'm merely explaining the background.

Last edited Sat, 16th Oct 2004, 3:50pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Sat, 16th Oct 2004, 3:43pm

Post 94 of 96

JohnCarter

Force: 3295 | Joined: 11th Mar 2003 | Posts: 1078

VisionLab User Windows User MacOS User

Gold Member

Wow!

Well, that kind of put things in perspective. I was reading stuff on the TFN board regarding this particular subject and must admit that I wasn't impressed.

I don't see why allowing people to partake in a hobby for cheap is a bad thing and how it can "devaluate" the currency of filmmaking. Some of the most revered filmmakers today started young. Heck, if the new crop can start younger, they can get maybe even better.

My personal opinion is that fan filmmaking devaluates much more filmmaking because they are by definition cheap ripoffs of established, revered films- and by their very nature, lack in originality to an extent that has become sometimes ridiculous. I think this does a lot more damage to filmmaking that being able to do effects for cheap.

This is sooooooo childish.

The democratization of filmmaking has brought a slew of bad films, true, but there are gems out there too. And a lot of people who otherwise would never been able to make a film because of the costs involved can.

The end result is a lot more crap, but quite a few new talents. i am all for it.

Last edited Sat, 16th Oct 2004, 3:45pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Sat, 16th Oct 2004, 4:02pm

Post 95 of 96

Kid

Force: 4177 | Joined: 1st Apr 2001 | Posts: 1876

EffectsLab Lite User VideoWrap User Windows User

Gold Member

Rating: +2

Well I can see why TFN people don't like alamdv.

Its the same as what happened with web pages. I could always make them and that made me better than people who couldn't. All these WYSIWYG editors came out and then anyone can make a webpage. It means that I am no longer good simply for being able to make a webpage, but I have to go to the effort of making good webpages. razz

The same applies to special effects but it is a purely selfish motive. What matters is that people can make good films easily and being able to pull off a given effect is not what makes a film good but the story and the use of locations and props and camera techniques. The fact that everyone can make effects brings them from being a gimmick to just another tool in your arsenal for making good films.
Posted: Sat, 16th Oct 2004, 4:26pm

Post 96 of 96

Simon K Jones

Force: 27955 | Joined: 1st Jan 2002 | Posts: 11683

VisionLab User VideoWrap User PhotoKey 5 Pro User MuzzlePlug User PowerPlug User PhotoKey 3 Plug-in User FXhome Movie Maker FXpreset Maker Windows User

FXhome Team Member

The heated reaction by some FXhomers here was unfortunate, although understandable based on the available information at the time.

I think the truth is where it needs to be now and everyone has had their say, so this thread is now locked to prevent a pointless argument carrying on ad infinitum.