Could I impose on either of you for a quick synopsis of this topic for the newcomer? Thanks.
Kevin Burns, a highly successful documentary producer in Hollywood, is in charge of overseeing the Irwin Allen estate and all the TV shows he created. He takes his job seriously and is very protective of the properties and the revenue they can generate. In the past he has issued Cease and Desist orders on fan produced projects concerning "Lost in Space". There are many who don't like his view of the fan communities effort to keep the show alive, while others can understand that he is well within his legal right to do so. It is a fairly incendiary topic, not sure why it was brought up in such context concerning this old Youtube clip.
Post by irishpeter on Aug 15, 2012 12:26:17 GMT -5
I brought it up because I was under the impression that Burns had ordered all of the fan projects pulled from You Tube. And btw no- this is not an *old* clip. It showed up on my 'new' recommendations queue. But the big news here: Haselius replied the other day to my query on there (if you click in and see) and said he had never heard from Burns- ever. So it sounds like this was a fake rumor to begin with and a tempest in a tea pot. 'Incendiary'? Whatever.
Last Edit: Aug 15, 2012 12:44:53 GMT -5 by irishpeter
I brought it up because I was under the impression that Burns had ordered all of the fan projects pulled from You Tube. And no- this is not an *old* clip. And Haselius replied the other day to my query on and said he had never heard from Burns- ever. 'Incendiary'? What?
Well, yes, the last time this subject was discussed here, passions got quite high about what Kevin did, so incendiary was an appropriate word. As for the clip being old, it was loaded up on YouTube on August 18, 2011. That was a year ago, so it is an old clip. I do know of what I speak!
I understand. Interesting that the Haselius pieces no longer have the Williams music cues (which diminishes alot of the impact imo).
You just can't remove John Williams' music from anything and not expect it to lose it's emotional impact. The producers of the new Superman movie are finding this out with announcement that Hans Zimmer will not be including the familiar theme in his "Man of Steel" score.
Check this one out. It was uploaded on 8-10-2012 and is complete with the John Williams music. If you read the comments, Mr. Hasselius says he has a copy of the cease and desist order, but all of his videos are still on Youtube.
Maybe he doesn't care because he realizes there is really nothing Kevin Burns can do about it other than have a tantrum, and have lawyers write intimidating letters.
Doesn't a cease and desist order have to come from a judge? Mr. Haselius said it was an email from a lawyer. I don't think emails can be considered official notification. Anyway, letters (and especially emails), from lawyers mean nothing unless a judge is willing to back it up.
There is more copywrite infringement going on on the internet than you can shake a stick at. If some judge decided to take up the cause of copywrite infringement on Youtube alone, Mr. Burns would have to stand in a very long line. Unless money is being made off of the production, no court will bother with it.
Again, Kevin Burns represents THE rights holder to ALL of the Irwin Allen properties and can say what can or cannot be done with them if he believes the franchise is being used for someone else's financial gains. It does not matter if the "Star Trek" people, or any other franchise looks the other way on some things, they also have the law on their side to put an end to it ANY time they want and no amount of crying and screaming from a fan can do anything about it.
I had the IRS, the FBI and local studio reps stopping by my conventions all the time to make sure what we were doing was legal and not infringing on the rights of the franchise holders. We had a few minor violations, they told us what to do to correct them and comply with the law. We made the corrections and had a great relationship with all of them for years. We would have studio people come out and give presentations on upcoming films, tons of button and poster give aways, exclusive films to show, and passes to film screenings, all because we played by the rules and respected them!!
Just to clear up a few points, an attorney can absolutely send a cease and desist order. Actually, anybody can (you can get forms on line). It's just a letter created by the rights holders, or their representatives, to inform the parties involved of a copyright breach and instructions to stop what they're doing under the threat of legal action. If the infringement continues, then it goes to the courts. It's a lot cheaper to send the letter privately than it is to get it from a judge (everything in the court costs money). Besides, the rights holder doesn't need to obtain court backing to assert his rights. He has it automatically simply by holding the copyright. If an email came from Kevin Burns and/or Synthesis Entertainment and/or his lawyers, then trust me, it's bona fide. It may suck, but Kevin Burns was well within his rights to stop them from proceeding.
As far as You Tube videos, Burns can have You Tube remove them and close out his profile. I've had two of my LIS videos taken down because of music and images. Yet I've seen other such videos flourish by other people. And my Voyage videos go untouched. So, go figure.
Anyone ignoring a threatening letter from an attorney is, honestly, a fool. And unless Mr. Haselius has a battery of lawyers waiting to defend him, he has no choice but to back down. It's not his property and he has no permission to use it. Kevin Burns can do a hell of a lot more than "throw a tantrum" and if Burns files a lawsuit, the courts will indeed "touch it." A judge can throw it out, but unless there's no proof of infringement, he wouldn't do that. Haselius would be an idiot to let it go that far. He'd be liable for Burns' legal costs as well. All for a fan film? Not worth it. Who knows? If he had gone to Burns and asked for permission before doing all the work, maybe he would have been allowed to proceed.
While a physical letter is the norm, electronic communications are also acceptable today as we inch ever so slowly toward a paperless society. Many court documents are filed electronically. It conserves paper, saves on postage and reduces our carbon footprint.
Last Edit: Aug 16, 2012 8:28:48 GMT -5 by scottymac
Post by irishpeter on Aug 16, 2012 10:15:21 GMT -5
Well I don't know what to make of this now - Haselius posted this on one of the comment boards " No, it's not bullshit. I have a copy of the e-mail from the lawyer who issued the cease and desist order. PM me if you want a copy. Paramount does not have an issue with fan-based videos. The Lost in Space owner does. Haselius00 in reply to mearp69 2 days ago "-------- ------------------------------------------------------------ So this contradicts his statement to me that he never heard from Kevin Burns. Whatever.