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Old September 19th 13, 15:27   #1
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Would Fanfilms Help B5 Make Some Kind of Return?

Sorry to self-promote, but this is a B5-related article I posted on my site today
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[FONT=Arial]http://kevin-long.com/what.asp?who=kevin&id=108[/FONT]

Sound off below, or on my site, or not at all, as you please.
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Old September 19th 13, 23:49   #2
Jan
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Re: Would Fanfilms Help B5 Make Some Kind of Return?

This looks so familiar that I'm almost certain I already answered it on Facebook. Regarding:

Quote:
... and I have to assume he'd sue anyone who tried such a thing back into the stone age. Most genre creators are like that,...
Quite literally *couldn't* happen. JMS doesn't own the B5 universe, WB does. But yeah, they're likely to step in.

WB and Paramount might as well be in different universes. Cawley got permission from Paramount to do the Phase 2 films. Given that JMS spent two years trying to buy the rights to B5 back from WB and failed, how likely do you think it is that they'd allow amateurs play in their sandbox? Answer, someplace between zero and zilch.

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Old September 20th 13, 00:42   #3
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Re: Would Fanfilms Help B5 Make Some Kind of Return?

Fan films would just get the fan sued to Hell and back by Warners.

Warner Brothers & Babylon 5 = Catch22 & Monkey/Nut/Jar.
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Old September 20th 13, 02:35   #4
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Re: Would Fanfilms Help B5 Make Some Kind of Return?

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WB and Paramount might as well be in different universes. Cawley got permission from Paramount to do the Phase 2 films. Given that JMS spent two years trying to buy the rights to B5 back from WB and failed, how likely do you think it is that they'd allow amateurs play in their sandbox? Answer, someplace between zero and zilch.
I've heard conflicting stories on Cawley and "Permission." Some say he had it, some say that just someone in Roddenberry's family said "Sure," but as the Roddenberries don't own Trek, it carries no weight. I don't know.

But even if he did, he wasn't the first person to make a Trek fan film (Hidden Frontier were the first batch cranking 'em out consistently). He wasn't even the first person to make a high-quality one. (THe Exeter people beat him by a year or two) Back in the '70s/'80s, Paramount was very sue-happy on the subject.

At some point, however, either they just couldn't keep up, or they recognized it as free publicity, or they just stopped caring. It's not that Fan Films aren't illegal - they totally are - but Paramount has agreed to turn a blind eye so long as no one's making any money.

Warners, though, I have no idea how they'd react.
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Old September 20th 13, 02:42   #5
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Re: Would Fanfilms Help B5 Make Some Kind of Return?

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Fan films would just get the fan sued to Hell and back by Warners.

Warner Brothers & Babylon 5 = Catch22 & Monkey/Nut/Jar.
My first opinion is to say you're right. That said: "Star Wreck: In The Pirkenning" is 50% Babylon 5 fan film. As far as I can tell, Warners never gave it a second thought.

Not that they could do anything about it anyway. Parody is protected as free speech. But no one seems to have had their hackles raised or even noticed. I was friends with some of the Star Wrek crew, and AFAICT, they never even got a C&D from Warners.

From a legal point of view, EVEN IF THEY KNEW THEY WEREN'T GOING TO WIN A SUIT, they'd still send out a C&D simply to establish a legal history of protecting their copyright. They have to, otherwise opponents can argue "You really didn't care," and that makes future lawsuits problematic. Warners *APPEARS* to have done nothing.

This is odd, honestly. Either they didn't notice at all, or else they just consider B5 a dead property not worth hassling about.

Honestly, if I were gonna' try to make a B5 fan film (Which I'm not), the first thing I'd do would be to contact Warners and simply ask them if I could do a "Star Trek Phase 2" kinda' thing with their property, and point out what that did for Trek. I'm assuming they'd say 'no', but given that they couldn't even be bothered to sue someone about it in a high-profile situation, ya never know.
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