Copyright

Saban Trying to Take Down Awesome Power Rangers Bootleg Reboot

Restrictive copyright and IP regimes means you can't re-imagine some of your childhood memories.

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Filmmaker Joseph Kahn directed a short film, "Power/Rangers," based on a story written with James Van Der Beek, who also stars in the 11 and a half minute video. You can watch a safe-for-work version via YouTube:

There was a not-safe-for-work version on Vimeo but it's been taken down. Kahn noted that the film was a "bootleg experiment" that was "not for profit, strictly for exhibition" and that he wasn't claiming any rights to any of the characters, any affiliation with Saban, and wasn't trying to sell any product. Nevertheless Kahn explains on Twitter that the television production company Saban, which owns the rights to Power Rangers, is trying to "shut down" his video.

There's a Power Rangers movie coming out next year, and while there's certainly room in the market for a blockbuster action film and a 10-minute online video, it's no surprise Saban and the other rights holders to Power Rangers would police the intellectual property privileges granted them by the government over the fictional characters.

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  1. Awesome Power Rangers

    I love you, Reason, but you are going down a path I cannot follow.

    1. Nick Saban does rule the galaxy.

  2. That was so very cool.

  3. …what’s the libertarian dog in this fight? People who own IP own IP. It’s tautological.

    1. IP is nebulous. Always has been, always will be. As abstract as a property line is, it is exceedingly concrete by comparison to the boundaries of an IP claim. So there’s always room for debate about what exactly those boundaries are.

      However, I do think this is a fairly straightforward trademark claim. Hell, they even used the name “Power Rangers”. Considering the apparent budget, it amazes me that they thought Saban wouldn’t notice.

  4. Mixed feelings.
    Let’s say I make a very high-quality automobile which, because of our quality control, has a higher reject rate of parts, so we charge more for it and the spare parts; how about we call it Bugatti.
    So in a non-IP world, Joe comes along, melts down some aluminum cans, files ’em to shape, appropriates our logo and sells Bugatti pistons at a discount. And my company starts getting all sorts of facebook pages slamming the quality of our spares.
    Now, I guess I can sue Joe for, what?
    As an aside, most of the high-end cars get stick about their ‘over-zealous’ enforcement of C/R laws, but they really have no option. Under US C/R law, if you lose control of your logo once, you can pretty much kiss it goodby.

    1. That’s trademark, not copyright.

        1. I realize it wasn’t a very constructive comment, but I think your analogy is close to the situation at hand and thus the topic at hand is trademark.

          There’s no copying and there’s no income so the only claim that can be made by Saban is damage to the brand.

      1. That’s trademark, not copyright.

        But isn’t trademark IP as well? Genuinely asking, this is an area that I’ve only recently gotten interested in and I don’t know it like I know certain other things.

        1. The core IP trio is copyright, patent, and trademark (so, yes). The reason I note the distinction though is that the rules for each are all quite different. For example, there is no statutory limit on the length of time a trademark is valid, provided it is actively maintained by the trademark holder.

          1. “For example, there is no statutory limit on the length of time a trademark is valid, provided it is actively maintained by the trademark holder.”

            Which is the reason Ferrari builds Testa Rosas that have no connection at all with the original.
            If they don’t use it, they lose control.

    2. An authorized dealer of Bugatti has an incentive to sell only authorized Bugatti vehicles. A consumer that does not purchase through an authorized dealer has who to blame for purchasing the cheap knock-off?

      1. I don’t care who is to blame; I care about all those negative reviews on Yelp about Bugatti spares.

        1. “I bought a goddamned Bugatti and the transmission was filled with SAWDUST!”

          1. I was told you were supposed to use ground beef, but I was only told that. By a friend.

        2. Took my new Bugatti back to the dealer after my canooter valve brake causing my muffler bearings to go out and they said I need to take it to Sevo.

    3. In the scenario you describe, consumers would be much more conscious of the providers from whom they’re buying. The “Certified Bugatti” claim would be akin to a strip-mall Chinese restaurant claiming “Certified Kung-Pao” about their chicken dish. It wouldn’t make sense. I don’t know how manufacturers or retailers would go about assuring prospective consumers, because extensive IP protections elide those concerns, but I’m certain we’d have workarounds. Markets are pretty terrific that way.

      1. Dweebston|2.25.15 @ 12:04AM|#
        “In the scenario you describe, consumers would be much more conscious of the providers from whom they’re buying.”

        If there is no legal protection for my logo, there is no way for consumers to make the judgement.
        I advertise that I’m ‘the real Bugatti!’. Right next to my ad is the same logo claiming they are ‘the real Bugatti!’
        There is fraud involved here, representing a good as it is not, and that needs legal protection.

  5. OT: Federal judge overturns interstate gun sale ban. Am I late to this party?

    http://www.buckeyefirearms.org…..-sales-ban

    1. it’s another of those cases where the “facts of the matter” should influence the decision more than the “feelings-based approach”

      “Those cases”? You mean, like, *every* case?

    1. Haven’t seen Power Rangers, but have Mortal Kombat. If the former is anything like the latter it’d be better for both to be left in the past.

  6. OT and apologies if you guys already saw this too but it is hilarious.

    CEO of Tumblr not entirely sure how bandwidth markets work, while attempting to defend tier 2 regulation in the recent Net Neutrality bill.

    “I confess, not my area of expertise,”- Karp

    1. Well, it is tumblr.

      1. Yahoo paid $1 Billion for it.

        And then I’m like…..Well, it is Yahoo..

        Ha.

        1. But Ms. Mayer is going to meet with Shrilary in a gab-fest next week or so!
          “List to the Far Left” or some such, as Clinton Inc cruises into town!

  7. Doesn’t Saban have better things to do, like figuring out how to pay gods New recruiting class? Oh wait, wrong Saban…

    1. *his new recruiting class. Worst Swype mishap ever. Buck Fama.

    2. He is surely the devil but there’s no denying that he’s the best college coach there is by far.

      1. Urban Meyer has tons of things to say to you, way back to when Utah kicked some serious…

  8. I’ll just leave this here:

    Some dude took the non-sex scenes of a Star Trek: TNG porn parody and strung them together to make a “lost episode”. Surprisingly, it works if you think of it as an season one episode.

    1. Riker didn’t have a beard in season 1, and Geordi was part of the bridge crew. Ensign Ro didn’t come on until many seasons later. And there were only three season one episodes after the death of Tasha Yar.

      But still well done.

      1. I realize that. I was referring to the level of the special effects.

        1. That level being top notch?

    2. Why would somebody leave the sex scenes out?!?

      Now I want to see fake Troi naked

  9. Katee Sackoff as the pink ranger?

    *thumbs up*

    Does she show her tits in the nsfw version or is it nsfw because they say naughty words?

    1. I’m trying to figure out how the YouTube version isn’t the NSFW version. Seems like plenty of blood and swearing to me.

      1. The NSFW version had titties in the Zack scene. Some of the fight scenes may have been longer too

        1. That’s what Dailymotion is for!

    2. In addition to being totally awesome in every other way, Katee Sackhoff also rides the coolest bike on the planet.

      http://kickstart.bikeexif.com/…..moto-5.jpg

      1. She’s gotta be a libertarian, no?

        1. Anybody that rides a bike has a little libertarian in them somewhere–even if they don’t know it yet. And with awesome women like that? turning them off by arguing with them about politics is objectively anti-libertarian.

          1. I’ll put some libertarian in her!

            Sorry, couldn’t help myself.

            1. +1 libertarian tube steak

        2. She’s gotta be a libertarian, no?

          From what I understand…she actually is, at least a little.

          1. She seems to have pretty libertarian views on gun rights, at least.

            http://www.nydailynews.com/ent…..-1.1370350

  10. Is there no evil Nick Saban will not perpetrate?

    “Roll Tide” indeed…

  11. It was sorely lacking on Dragonzord.

    1. And green ranger.

      1. Though I guess that was tommy.

        1. Also the white ranger!

          But the Tigerzord had nothing on the Dragonzord.

  12. It’s really like fan fiction – companies are best off ignoring it, even if’s really offensive.

    Because you never know, they could change the names and that ridiculous slash fan fiction can become the next blockbuster movie (or not).

    Or companies could embrace it. CBS not only lets fans make their own Star Trek episodes, they let them form non-profit companies and run kickstarters to fund them.

  13. Oh, and Ed:

    “Restrictive copyright and IP regimes means you can’t re-imagine some of your childhood memories.”

    The mouse-house may be really, really nasty, but I’m pretty sure Mickey’s lawyers can’t keep you from imagining anything you please.

    1. This comment, plus the Star Trek porn? I don’t like the thoughts you guys are causing me to have….

  14. What the heck are Awesome Power Rangers? Are they like butt rangers? If so I don’t know what either one are.

  15. I can’t be the only one who thought that a significant chunk of the Power Rangers set up was taken from Voltron.

    When the Power Rangers join together to form the big fighting robot, they look exactly like Voltron did when they joined together to form Voltron.

    One of the Power Rangers vehicles was even the same robot lion that all the Voltron people rode before they joined together to form Voltron.

    For all I know, Saban paid off the Voltron people–and maybe there’s a non disclosure agreement. But maybe there isn’t! If Saban didn’t pay off the Voltron people, then this fan flick might be able to claim some kind of fair use–because the original concept–and vehicles–may belong to the Voltron people. …or buy the rights from the Voltron people too.

    I remember the people who developed Kimba refused to discuss the Lion King on camera, despite The Lion King having the same characters, the same story, and the central character being named Simba (rather than Kimba). Because the original Kimba people wouldn’t talk, everyone assumed that Disney paid them off.

    1. Ken Shultz|2.25.15 @ 12:19AM|#
      “I can’t be the only one who thought that a significant chunk of the Power Rangers set up was taken from Voltron.”

      Ken, as an old fart, I have no idea what either of those are.

      1. I’m younger than Ken, and I only know what one of those things is.

    2. That sort of “stacked” giant robots was pretty common in Asian superhero shows. Asians rip each other’s animation style all the time (Koreans are famous for this).

      The Power Rangers were based on earlier Japanese “Super Sentai” shows. Most of the power Ranger fighting scenes lifted straight from the Japanese shows. You saw the teens fight putty patrol because otherwise the American actors would hang around in the eatery joint and have nothing to do.

    3. “But maybe there isn’t! If Saban didn’t pay off the Voltron people, then this fan flick might be able to claim some kind of fair use–because the original concept–and vehicles–may belong to the Voltron people,,,”

      No, I believe Saban paid off the Japanese version of the Power Rangers in order to produce the American version of the show. That is what he is protecting.

      The thing here is if there is no IP, author will not be paid for movie adaptations of their stories. Why should a studio ever do such a thing in that circumstance?

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  17. OT: I just saw The Dallas Buyers Club, first time.

    The FDA guys who were fucking with him, every single agency in government is infested with guys just like that, including the one that will be regulating the Internet. They are going to fuck it to death. Of all of Obumbles bad ideas this is the worst, by design I am sure.

    1. It’s not like people use the internet for anything useful.

      1. I know it could go away tomorr… *click*

    1. How many of those 8,500 views were you?

      1. ALL of ’em!

        1. From what I gather, that’s entirely possible.

  18. Unless they resurrect the corpse of Thuy Trang, I ain’t interested…

  19. As ReasonTV mentionned in this video about the Downfall parodies clips, that Power Rangers fanfilm do some free promotion for the franchise as Reason #2.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PuT6GNS-nHE

  20. After the beating the Scarlet and Gray Power Ranger put on him in the Sugar Bowl, I’m surprised Saban isn’t trying to shIt down the entire franchise.

    1. or trying to resurrect the Houndstooth Ranger.

  21. I took karate lessons from the Red Ranger (the stunt guy in the suit) when I was a kid. And I’m thinking that isn’t something I should ever share with anyone…
    No, he didn’t molest me. Well, maybe a little, who could say no to the Red Ranger.

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  26. Joseph Kahn is a filmmaker and he directed a short film lately .this film is a bootleg experiment.and it will come out next year .if you like him ,then you will not miss it

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