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Taking Care of Business
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Old September 23rd, 2003, 07:13 AM   #16
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Wow this is an interesting dicussion,

I have just recieved funding for a movie to begin shooting in november, and it involves using Darth Vader, costume and full name.

I am already sure there is an infringement upon using such a famous character and name. We are seeking legal advice, as well trying to retain permission from the legal owners of it, ie. lucas films to gain the right to use it.

As this film does not defame nor represent this character in a totally unusual manner my legal advice has been very positive.

Any extra advice or avenues i should cover here?

Zac
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Old September 23rd, 2003, 08:05 AM   #17
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Lucas films has rigorously defended their trademarks etc. They have pursued underground film makers etc. that have infringed on their rights. I would tread lightly.
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Old September 23rd, 2003, 08:17 AM   #18
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Jeff, I know, that is why we are seeking permission from them before we proceed.

If permission can not be had, then we will have to explore re-writing the script using a different central character.

All i know is that i can't pay them for the permission, so it will be up to them if they want to allow myself to use the character, even though it is free adverstising for them, you just never know.

Zac
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Old September 23rd, 2003, 04:00 PM   #19
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Zac, are you a non-proft, student, or some other deserving entity? :)

If so, call me at my office, and I'll see if I can't help you -- at the very least, I can probably steer you in the right direction.

415 364-6700

If not, short version: parody is a defense to infringement, but it is a fair use defense, meaning you will not know whether it will succeed until someone sues you. If it is not parody, then it very likely would infringe the character copyright.
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Old September 23rd, 2003, 09:10 PM   #20
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Paul,

Thanks so much for the offer, i will be calling you.

Yes i am a student, and deserving :) but this movie was being made to hopefully entered into some comps. So it is possible it could make me a profit, or just cost me money.

Here we go, but how do you define parody, our story is a fish out of water story, so I guess it is a parody.

Paul i will be calling soon, when i work out the time zones.

Zac
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Old September 23rd, 2003, 09:45 PM   #21
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Zac,

"Student" is good enough for me to do this pro bono. It's great that you want to enter it into competitions, and I hope you make a fortune. ;)

As for what is parody, we'll discuss that when you call -- there are legal tests and limits.

What are your deadlines? I need to do a conflicts check (required by my firm's malpractice carrier), and I'd prefer to get a formal approval for the representation from my firm.

Paul
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Old September 23rd, 2003, 10:00 PM   #22
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Paul the short is being produced to be entered into tropfest.

http://www.tropfest.com.au which i believe has a submit date 15th of JAN.

If it makes it into the finals, it will be seen by over 100,000 people live, then is also sold afterwards on DVD and VHS.

So it would be great.

I look forward to speaking to you. Btw can i have you time zone please, other wise i could be ringing around 17 hours out sometimes.

Zac
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Old September 24th, 2003, 06:52 AM   #23
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Good grief, Zac -- I didn't realize you were posting from Australia. I'm in San Francisco. However, you should know that I know next to nothing about Australian law -- I can only advise about American IP issues, none of which may apply to you unless you show your film in the US.
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Old September 24th, 2003, 07:06 AM   #24
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Paul as far as i know, the laws to do with international copyright, are of that, international, and said laws would be the same no matter where.

I do have the details, which if you would email me at zac@mindfreeproductions.com of the exact company that owns the rights here and abroad.

I don't want to share anymore details over this. Would be good to privatly communicate... email is a bit cheaper than the $5 a minute to call u before we know anything can be done.
Thanks already for you help.

Zac
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