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Old August 14th, 2005, 07:58 PM   #1
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bootleg movies

One of the things that distressed me here at the Star Trek convention was the apparant bootlegs of films.
one was the popular Fan Film 'Star Wars Revelations' which had been burned to DVD and was selling for 20 bucks a copy
Another was the short film 'Batman Dead End' selling for 10 bucks a copy.

I seem to remember Lucas does not allow people who make fan films to sell them for profit, I'm also sure, the people selling these are doing so without the producer/director/creators permssion.

Just in case I'm right, I got their web site and took pictures of their display at the vendor area.
When I mentioned this to them, they basically snickered at me. I mentioned it to the people running the floor, and they didn't do anything. Creationnet who runs all these 'official' conventions claims they are cracking down on bootlegging. They didn't this time (there was plenty of bootlegs around of old TV shows and horror movies) I found out the basic procedure was to ask the vendor if they had bootlegs. If they said no, then thats all that was needed.


If I'm wrong about this, I'll drop it, if not, could someone tell me who to get in touch with concerning the above mentioned films.
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Old August 16th, 2005, 08:31 PM   #2
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Joe, I'm definitely interested in what you end up doing.
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Old August 16th, 2005, 11:37 PM   #3
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What's a fan film?
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Old August 18th, 2005, 05:42 PM   #4
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I contacted shane, the director who made Star Wars Revelations. He is glad I did and has sent a cease and desist order to the company. Not surprising, the phone number on their flyer wasn't any good. Creation said they were a first time vendor. The upside is it turns out we live less than 7 miles apart, I plan on visiting him soon. I also managed to get a picture of the dvd on display at the vendors table and emailed to him.

The folks at creationnet acted surprised and promised they would not tolerate that. Funny, nothing happened when I mentioned it at the convention. I guess only Trek stuff got watched out for. Considering what they charge for their conventions, and how controlled the vendors room is, I simply don't believe they are the least bit careful. I hope Lucas films sues their butts but good.

As far as the Batman film, I don't know who to contact about that. Any help would be appreciated. (this is the film where batman is in an alley and fights characters from other well know franchises). That one was going for 10.00 a copy.

I'm asking all of us who give a darn about independent productions, especially those that are done out love with no hope of profit, to protect these people who make them and turn those vendors making illegal profits in to authorities or at least the owner/producer/directors of the films.

If I had know for sure that selling revelations was illegal, (I emailed the web site and asked),I'd have called the cops in Las Vegas, creation net be damned.

My only regret is waiting till the end of the convention to act. In the future, I'll head to the first internet connection I can find and take action.

same goes for star trek, or any other genre film.

Bob, a fan film is one where a group of people get together and make their own film about a commercial subject they are into. Star Wars and Star Trek and the usually the ones every one uses as subject matter. They don't make copies of films already made, but usually create their own scripts and characters based on the the movies premise.
You can go to www.theforce.net to start your search for all things star wars.
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Old August 18th, 2005, 08:55 PM   #5
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So this would be a parody of a Star wars "type" script, maybe using some of the environment (death stra, whatever) but NOT the characters? And they are independent of the "film" (ie Lucas can't control Star Warsy fan films).

DO I understand correctly?
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Old August 19th, 2005, 11:36 AM   #6
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Bob, they can be parodies, but usually they simply recreate the atmostphere of the film using their own characters (yes they use jedi knights, but different ones than in the movie). Unless it's strickly a parody (like a SLN skit for broadcast) Lucas does maintain copyright control. He and Paramount understand the benefits of fans making films based on their respective franchises, but reserve sole right to make any money off of it. The law gives the copyright owner the right to choose when,where and against whom to enforce their rights.
The issue here is those making fan films don't do so for profit. Just a desire to be part of the particular genre they admire. It's wrong for others to simply make copies and sell them. Peoply like you and I are their main line of defense. They can't afford expensive flesh eating lawyers.

I know many out there don't care, so when the MPAA makes our lives miserable with excessive restrictions and elimination of fair use rights, don't complain, you'll have brought in on yourselves.
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Old August 19th, 2005, 08:06 PM   #7
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I think Joe is right on the money. One of my clients is a major computer game developer. We tolerate a lot of fan-produced videos, fiction, art-work, etc., that is actually infringing of our copyrights because, frankly, we like to encourage our fans and it doesn't hurt our economic bottom line. We will, however, usually draw the line at commercial exploitation of fan-produced material. This is not to say that all IP owners feel the same way but, I suspect, a lot of them do.
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Old August 20th, 2005, 09:54 AM   #8
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Joe- Sandy Collera is behind the Batman film. He is a SFX person, trying to get into filmmaking. If you do a search, you should be able to find his site.
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Old August 20th, 2005, 09:57 AM   #9
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Oh, by the way... A fan film is just a film made by the fans, like the Batman film that has been mentioned. It can be anything at all, Star Trek, Star Wars, or any of the thousands of comic titles out there. Just a way for the guy in the crowd to say "This is how it should be done!"
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Old August 21st, 2005, 02:16 AM   #10
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Keith, right you are. Sorry my definiton was so narrow. And I'll try to contact
Sandy Collera. Thanks.

The people selling the illegal stuff at the Star Trek con were smug and insulting, made me wonder who was really behind them and made me really pissed off as every one can tell.

people, we need to realize. Those who make fan films will be prevented from doing so if it turns out someone can easily make money from them and we just turn a blind eye. This isn't about protecting some big faceless, heartless mega corporation, this about protecting passion and commitment. Even if you don't give a rats butt about fan films, please care about independent expression no matter what form. These people selling the fan films were also selling bootleg independent horror and action films from the 50's thru the 70's. The illegal dvd they sell could be yours some day. They count on small studios not having the resources to come after them.
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Old August 21st, 2005, 07:11 AM   #11
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Joe- The main reason these people put the fan films out, is mainly for the recognition. They aren't concerned with selling the movies, because they do not have any license. Even if someone else makes some money (Which is illegal gain, again witout license from the property owners), the guy is getting his movie out there. He's happy, the fans are happy, the bootleggers are happy, only the studios are unhappy.

But then again, after watching what Columbia has done to Trek, screw them.
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Old August 21st, 2005, 09:45 AM   #12
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Joe, did you ever think about calling the police on them at the time?
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Old August 21st, 2005, 05:14 PM   #13
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Keith, You can't say that about all the fan films. When I contacted shane, he was livid.

Dylan, I thought about it, but wasn't sure until later I could do that. I thought at first it would be a civil issue, now I know it can be considered a criminal one. Live and learn.
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