?

Log in

Gene Wilder, Rest In Peace

Comedy master Gene Wilder died Sunday night from complications from Alzheimer's disease.  He was 83.

Goddammit, why do we keep losing the good ones?!?
I would pay serious money to see this.  Really serious money.  As in, "Just take my wallet and give me back how much I should have."

Lock And Load

Things PeeGee learned at Wizard World Chicago -- IDW artist Sam Ellis, who works on Adventure Time, is also the lead character designer for Archer.

Ellis will be at C2E2 next April. I showed him my Sailor Moon game and asked, if I made an Archer game for the Atari, would he sign it? He said yes.

So my mission is clear....

Fighting Evil By Moonlight.

There are some things you just can't get rid of.

Ever since the Batman -- The Killing Joke movie showed us Batman and Batgirl getting it on, my enthusiasm for the Caped Crusader has plummeted like a Kayne West album in its second week.  I was ready to trash every last bit of Batman memoribia I have, but I eventually decided to wait until I calmed down from the squick.  So I have been placing extraneous Batman stuff aside until I decide once and for all if I can keep being a fan or if I don't want it anymore.

That said, there are a few things that will remain in my collection.  My Batman video games, obviously.  The first two movies in the Nolan trilogy (sorry, I didn't like Dark Knight Rises).  A few other things here and there, and certain comic books.  For example, Justice League #5 (September 1987).  This is the infamous "One Punch" issue.  I hate Guy Gardner.  I think he's a total asshole and his existence not only doesn't make sense in the Green Lantern continuity, but it's insulting to the concept of superheroes, and I will argue those points to the death.  So when Guy decided to challenge Batman to a fistfight, that one image, of Batman dropping him like a sack of flour with one punch, was something I had been wishing for for ages.  The first time I saw it, I just stared at the page, realizing my dreams had come true.  I know Keith Giffen, the writer, said it was a throwaway joke, but it was something the readers had been aching to see, and there is no putting that genie back in the bottle.

(Side note:  this also means I keep Justice League Of America Vol 2 #0.  In that issue, it is revealed that Black Canary took a picture of the unconscious Guy Gardner and faxed it to Wonder Woman.  The issue features a scene where Wonder Woman and Superman are grilling Batman for details of the "fight" and loving every minute of it, to the point where they ask Batman to re-enact the fight and he gladly does so.  The Caped Crusader, dour and grim and withdrawn, is actually bragging about fucking Guy Gardner up and Wondy and Supes were just eating it up.  And I don't blame them one little bit.)

So, like I said, there are certain key issues that I will be holding on to no matter what, although I do note that they all come from before Batsy's roll in the hay with his metaphorical daughter.  The original Court Of Owls story?  That stays. No Man's Land?  Never getting rid of that, it's one of my favorite Batman stories of all time.  But it's not just the epic stuff.  There is one issue that, due to a personal bias, I will never get rid of, because, like Batman actually bragging about something for a change, this one is a little throwaway detail that, the more you think about it, the better it gets.

The issue in question is Justice League Of America #27 (1999).  In it, there is a scene in a restaraunt.  The Martian Manhunter has disguised himself as a Japanese woman (CULTURAL APPROPRIATION!  MARTIANS ARE INSENSITIVE!) for a meeting with Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne.  Here's the page that is fraught with portent:


For those of you wondering what the hell Bruce is on about, the Martain Manhunter has adopted the alias of Hino Rei, a.k.a. Sailor Mars.

Batman reads and/or watches Sailor Moon.

And now, I want a picture of a Batman cosplayer holding my signed Sailor Moon video game....
Oh, who lives in peace 'neath the willow tree...Sexual Harassment Batman....


Who explains sexual harassment to you and me...Sexual Harassment Batman....


Don't say that! Don't touch there!


Don't be nasty, says the silly bear!


He's come to teach you right and wrong...Sexual Harassement Batman!

Sexual Predator Batman 2

Now THIS one's creepy....

Sexual Predator Batman

They weren't kidding -- The Killing Joke really DOES make you see Batman in a new light!

Wondering Woman

SJW's on the Internet are upset that Wonder Woman is being played in the movies by an Israeli.

Is there ANYTHING people won't bitch about?!?

Weed....


As everyone knows, Illinois is facing a budget shortfall.  The gov and the state leg are locked in a stupid dick measuring contest, keeping funds from a lot of government agencies in this state.  So where to find money without increasing taxes, especially during an election year?

How about pot?

Today, Gov. Bruce Rauner signed into law a bill that has decriminalized small amounts of weed.  If you are caught with 10 grams or less, you don't get arrested, you simply get fined a ticket up to $200.  This makes Illinois the 17th state to enact such legislation.

The key to the debate was what constituted a "harmless" amount of weed.  10 grams was seen as an acceptable limit, the equivalent of a BAL.  The bill passed with bipartisan support, probably after seeing how things went in Cook County -- a few years ago, they also decriminalized small amounts of pot, and it's been very good for their budget.

Let taht be a lesson to you -- if you can't have faith in people to do what is right, have faith in their greed.

Who You Gonna Call?

This weekend marks the third frame for Ghostbusters 2016.  Conventional wisdom is that most movie have made most of their money in a territory by the third weekend.

So how are things looking for GB16?

Not good.  Not good in the least.

Estimated budget of $144 mil.  Estimated advertising and print costs of $100 mil.  Those are the lowest end figures that exist, although it is likely much higher.  Remember I said I would be surprised if the movie made $100 mil, that it was possible but an extremely tall order?  As of yesterday, GB16's domestic box office haul stood at just a hair above $92 mil.  Now, the opening weekend was soft but solid, and the second week drop was only in the 50% range, which is more than respectable for any movie, let alone one that has been at the center of so much bullshit.  But still, a franchise kickstarter hasn't even crossed $100 mil yet.

Things are even worse when you factor in the global haul.  The total gross for Ghostbusters 2016, including foreign markets, is $128.3 mil.  Going into its third weekend, the movie hasn't made back its budget yet.  And according to Paul Feig, it has to hit at least $500 mil worldwide in order for all these great spin-offs and sequels and shit to start appearing.

Pool's closed.

Let's Talk About Standards

Oh, holy shit....

One of the coders is a furry. He's not a furry activist, he understands this is weird, and he owns it. He hangs with a crew that does the usual furry porn and other shit.

I bring this up because he copied me into a discussion of his group. Each and every one of them is appalled at TKJ movie and Batman shtupping Batgirl.

I PM'ed him, A group that draws herm and cub porn is repulsed by Batsex?

"Yup."

Folks, when the furries think you fucked up....

APB: The Status Of Batman -- Bomb Run

...okay.  Here's what's going on.

I clearly need at least a break from Batman.  I'm not going to say for sure if the game is gone or not.  And I promise I won't trash my Batman shit, I'll hold onto it until I have calmed down enough to see if I can separate TKJ from the rest of the Batman stuff, I just won't be buying anything new until I figure out what this means.  So those of you who were expecting copies of Batman -- Bomb Run, you might still get them, you might not.  But I do need some time to myself regarding this.  Your patience is appreciated.
You know, Wolverine may spend a creepy amount of time with underage girls, but at least he didn't fuck Jubilee or Kitty Pryde.

I am officially shitcanning the Batman -- Bomb Run fan game I was working on.  All code has been deleted.  All notes have been shredded.  It's the Internet, so the images of the box mock-up and label will still be out there.  But that's it.  I want nothing to do with Batman now.  In fact, I'm not even sure I'm going to keep the first two Nolan movies or get rid of them with everything else.

You can tell me this is an overreaction.  I don't care.  I can't even look at the Adam West Batman without thinking of TKJ.  Batman has been ruined for me.  No more comics, no more movies, no nothing.  Whoever thought this was a good idea, you are wrong, and the damage control everyone is employing is proof.

Buzzkill Ahoy, Cap'n

...I'm suddenly not so interested in making that Batman -- Bomb Run game....

Batman -- Who's Your Daddy?

“The world doesn't make sense until you force it to.”

― Frank Miller

So…apparently, in the new animated movie Batman — The Killing Joke, Batman and Batgirl have sex.

Now, don’t misunderstand me.  I think this is wrong on so many levels it’s not even funny.  But here’s the thing — as creepy and sick as this is, it might not be the worst thing Batman has ever done.

Batman might be a cold-blooded murderer.

Thinking about this little event, I remembered a fan theory of mine.  I held it for a lot of years a long time ago.  And it just popped back up into my consciousness, and I remembered there has ALWAYS been a possibility that Batman is not the purest and noblest of superheroes as Frank Miller likes to espouse, but…well, let me explain.

To understand my point, you have to understand where I’m coming from.  And for that, we need to go back to the old days.  REALLY old, to the original Batman comics by Bob Kane and Bill Finger.  A lot has happened in the intervening years, including revisions to continuity that render most of this moot.  So we are going to look at things before other writers started dorking with the continuity.  This means one really important detail changes — no ninjas.  Ninjas didn’t really factor into Bat continuity until they became pop culture icons, and their presence alters a key piece of the evidence I’m going to present.

Let’s think about how Robin became Batman’s sidekick.  Dick’s parents, The Flying Graysons, are putting on an acrobatic show in Gotham when mobster Tony Zucco tries to shake down the circus owner.  To this end, John and Mary Grayson are killed in an “accident” while Bruce is in the audience.  As Dick stands there mourning his parents, Batman appears behind him and offers him a chance to fight back against crime.  Dick accepts and becomes Robin.

So, Bruce Wayne is Batman, crusader of Gotham City, the Dark Knight.  Aided by Dick Grayson, Robin, his youthful ward….

…did you ever think about that?  “Ward.”  Bruce clearly regarded Dick as a son.  And yet, the entire time, Bruce never officially adopted him, Dick remained his ward.  Why?

Because an adoption would open up an investigation into the death of the Flying Graysons.  And what could be found might be very very damaging.

I never really noticed initially, just thought it was just comic artists being generic to meet a deadline, but Bruce and Dick looked remarkably alike.  Dick almost looked like a younger version of Bruce.

So, you are Bruce Wayne.  Your parents have been killed in front of your eyes, and you decide to dedicate your life to fighting crime.  To accomplish this, you begin training yourself for any eventuality you may need.  Detective skills.  Engineering.  Criminal psychology.  Acrobatics.  So you need to learn acrobatics so you can swing around the city.  Where do you go to learn acrobatics?  Why, to acrobats, of course.  And you would go to the best there is.

The Flying Graysons.

Bruce is about the same age as the Flying Graysons.  And, as this was during his teens, he and Mary Grayson would be in the throes of hormonal influence.  It’s possible, and in fact likely, that Bruce and Mary had a fling.

What if that fling produced a son?  Richard Grayson?

Bruce had ostensibly gone to the circus to watch the show, but as soon as John and Mary are killed, Batman is instantly right there.  Like Bruce knew he would need the costume at some point during the show.  What if part of the Graysons coming to Gotham was Mary and John were going to try to shake down Bruce?  They would have heard about an acrobatic crime fighter operating in Gotham and would realize it was him.  Which would mean an end to Batman.  Would Batman have killed the Graysons and framed Zucco to keep his secret?  Then approach Dick at the most vulnerable moment of his life to keep him from ever suspecting what really happened?  Remember, as it is, everyone thinks Zucco did it and no one’s bothering to investigate further.  But what if there is more there, and all it takes is someone actually paying attention?

Now you see why I had to disallow the ninjas — with them, Bruce learns acrobatics from practitioners of an ancient art.  But if you strip that away, it is entirely possible that Bruce is a killer and basically broke Dick Grayson psychologically in order to further his agenda.

What do you, the viewers at home, think?

...Must...Fight It...Need...Free Time....

Me a couple of months ago:  I don't think I'm going to watch the new Ghostbusters movie.  It doesn't look like it's for me.

As of today:  constant negative reviews.  Claims the movie is sexist towards men.  Statements that the movie just.  Isn't.  Funny.

...no...must resist...going to see this...for....myself.....

Sailor Moon S Part 1 Gets A Release Date!

The first volume of Sailor Moon Crystal is out in August.  And just in time for Christmas, the first part of Sailor Moon S is coming.  It will feature episodes 90-108, and will street on November 15th.  So that's two Sailor Moon sets out in about three months.

On August 8, 2014, a man by the name of Scott Cawthon had a statement to make.  Cawthon was a garage programmer who mostly worked on Christian games, and he felt a bit stung by a recent review to his previous title, Chipper And Sons Lumber Company.  The game was featured by Jim Sterling on The Jimquisition, and Sterling commented that the animatronic beavers in the game looked unintentionally terrifying.  Cawthon's response to this was to make a game around this idea of terrifying animatronics, a very simple game, one that could have easily been done on the Sega Genesis or SNES.  Simple graphics, simple mechanics, with nothing but an air of dread and inevitability and confinement. Five Nights At Freddy's had arrived.

FNAF became a sensation, partly from YouTube let's players recording their reactions, but also from the simple fact that a garage programmer succeeded in making a genuinely scary game, something most AAA developers with tens of millions of dollars of development budget could not do.  Three sequels followed, with a fourth coming soon, as well as a goofy RPG and a book.  A movie set in the continuity of the games is in development, and Cawthon has licensed the originals to be ported onto other game consoles.  I admire Cawthon, not only for what he accomplished, but for his humility.  He has not let his success go to his head, and has given back very generously.  He's just an amazing guy.

Through it all, people wondered about the inspiration for the game.  Was this based on anything real?  After all, there are a lot of strange things that happen in the world.  One need look no further than Domino's Pizza -- in 1986, they began an ad campaign featuring "The Noid," a villain who sought to steal pizzas.  A mentally ill man named Kenneth Lamar Noid thought the ads were made to make fun of him, and on January 30, 1989, he snapped.  He went to a Domino's Pizza in Atlanta and took two employees hostage.  After forcing them to make a pizza for him, he demanded $100,000, a getaway car, and a copy of The Widow's Son.  He eventually surrendered to police, and was found not guilty by reason of insanity (ya think?).  Domino's quietly discontinued the Noid campaign after that.

Well, here we are in Long Branch, New Jersey, home of a family pizzeriea called Freddie's Restaurant And Pizzeria.  For some unknown reason, FNAF fans have zeroed in on the place and have been calling to ask if it was the inspiration for the games.  Edna Moore, a waitress who has worked there for 34 years, said, "I've never seen anything like this.  You can get 200 calls in an hour.  It's very annoying.  You try to do your job, and you keep picking up the phone."  Regular customers are having trouble getting through, and the place has added extra phone lines and staff to handle all the calls.

Cawthon himself denies Freddie's is the inspiration for FNAF, and has asked fans to not bother the place.  He says that none of the locations are real, and the games are not based on any actual place.

And this is where another of those strange coincidences happens.  The YouTube show The Game Theorists is stocked with FNAF fans, and they made a shocking discovery.  Cawthon, it should be noted, denies that this incident had anything to do with his games.  But if so, that makes the coincidence even creepier, especially when it comes to the date.

The whole thing took place in Aurora, Colorado on December 13, 1993.  A Chuck E. Cheese restaurant had just finished a kid's birthday party, and the staff was staying late cleaning the place up.  At about 900PM, Nathan Dunlap entered the restaurant, secretly armed with a .25 caliber semiauto.  Dunlap was 19 years old and had been fired from the place five months earlier.  He ordered a ham and cheese sandwich and played an arcade game.  At 950PM, he went into one of the bathrooms and hid out, waiting for the place to close.  At 1005PM, he came out of the bathroom.  Sylvia Crowell, 19, was cleaning the salad bar when Dunlap came up behind her and shot her in the right ear.  Next was Colleen O'Connor, 17, who fell to her knees and begged him not to shoot her, but he did, single shot to the top of the head.  Next was Bobby Stephens, 20, who had been outside smoking and came back in, thinking the popping sound was just balloons being popped (gunshots do not sound like in the movies, most people who have never heard a real gunshot don't realize what it is when they hear it).  He went in the kitchen and was loading the dishwasher when Dunlap entered and fired a shot.  Stephens was struck in the jaw.  Stephens did the only thing he could think to do -- he played dead in hopes Dunlap would move on.  He was right.  Dunlap killed another person in a room off the main hallway as he made for the manager's office, where Marge Kohlberg, 50, was tallying up receipts from the night before.  Dunlap forced her to unlock the safe, then shot her in the ear.  He grabbed about $1,500 in cash from the safe, and when he saw Kohlberg was still moving, he fired another shot into her opposite ear to finish her off (it should be noted that the manager who fired Dunlap was not at the restaurant).  Police arrived on the scene and found the four dead bodies and the still-alive Stephens.  Dunlap was arrested about 12 hours later at his mother's apartment.  At the trial, Stephens was the key witness and Dunlap got the death penalty.  Hasn't been carried out yet, but that's a story for another day.  The restaurant is closed up and doesn't exist anymore.

Now, like I said, Cawthon has denied that this had anything to do with the inspiration for FNAF.  But there's a lot of creepy coincidences that extend beyond the "murders in a family pizzeria" that underpin the whole thing.  There are four animatronics in the game, and their paths and locations correspond roughly with where the four bodies were found.  There's also the fifth, Golden Freddy, who can't be stopped, a possible allusion to Stephens.  But here's the one that is almost impossible to dismiss -- it is possible to determine when the first game takes place, thanks to the paycheck the player gets at the end of the game.


As you can see, the year is blurred out, the month and day are visible, 11-12.  Paychecks are issued on Fridays, and not only is 11-12 a Friday during the year 1993, but how much the check is for is perfectly in line with what the minimum wage was in 1993.

So.  Is Cawthon bluffing?  Was the 1993 Aurora shooting actually the inspiration for FNAF?  Or is it just some wild coincidence?  While coincidences do happen, the date on the check makes it very very hard to believe.

Bottom line -- no matter what, this little place in Joisee has nothing to do with it.  So leave them alone, will ya?

Confidential To.....

...okay, fine, if she shows up around here, I'll be nice to her and not act like a total bitch.  Okay?

Leap Of Faith

I just got off the phone with my teacher.  We had a long, long discussion about something.  And I now have a public declaration to make.

No good ideas come from the Internet.  A quick spin around 4chan is all you need to know that.  I'm still undecided where the coder channel I hang out on falls in the range of "smart people" to "pants on head".  They know their stuff.  At the same time, though, they are quite prone to silliness and sometimes even get a little stupid.  (Yes, they read this.  I've told them this directly, so this isn't me being brave, just consistent.)

It started a few days ago.  One of the coders has a sister getting married, and he thought it would be a grand idea if he became a minister and performed the ceremony.  This brought up questions and uncertainty, and when I checked my email that day, there were dozens of messages from channel denizens asking this outlaw Christian to come online and help sort this stuff out.

(Sidebar:  an "outlaw," as the word is supposed to mean, is not a criminal.  It comes from medieval England, when people paid their king for his protection and judgment.  An outlaw was literally someone outside the law, living without the king's protections.  Robin Hood was an outlaw.  So basically, a renegade.  I'm a devout Christian who supports gay rights, racial equality, and other things that fall outside traditional Catholic pervue and many other subsets, as well.  I'm an outlaw Christian, and damn proud of it.  And don't bother to threaten me with excommunication, it's too late for that.)

Being me, I started with the legal angles and whether or not the marriage would be legally binding, what he had to do, and so on.  But the truth is being a minister is no big deal.  There's no test you take or study.  You don't even get a secret decoder ring.  You just go to an offering church, "I can be minister, pleez?", pay your fee, register with the county you will be officiating in (sometimes paying a fee there, we are talking governments and they love getting their palms greased), and Bob's your auntie's live-in lover.  Obviously, some churches take this very seriously.  But there's a number that give less of a shit than a constipated racehorse (the Universal Life Church should just change it's questionaire to, "Do you have a pulse?  Y/N").

I'm not entirely sure how it happened, but after I described the "proper" duties of a minister, i.e. what they could and could not do, an idea swept through the channel like VD through a frat house.  "Peter!  Why don't you become a minister?"

Why would I want to do that?

"You wouldn't refuse same sex couples.  And Wizard World is offering marriage services and receptions for geeks.  Imagine having a writer for Bleeding Cool officiating?  Besides, unlike a regular minister, you won't see anything weird about people getting married while dressed like the crew of Star Trek."

I'm too cynical.  Some of those couples, I'd be taking book on how long the marriage would last.  "Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to witness these two people hopelessly fuck up the rest of their lives."

"You could also handle funerals."

There are plenty of people better qualified to help the grieving than me.

And so it went, with me shooting down everything, until they got to the big one -- "You could provide spiritual counseling."

Oh, come on, I'm no good at that stuff.

Almost immediately, the chat window filled with, "Oh, yes, you are!"  Apparently, they see something worthwhile in my philosophy, reasoning, and perspective.  Enough so that they basically are trying to pressgang me into becoming a minister.

My teacher has been busy for the past few days, so I didn't get a chance to talk to her until just now.  I laid out the situation and asked, What should I do?

"What do you think?"

I chuckled and said, If I could answer that, I wouldn't be talking to you about it.

"Think about it, Peter -- your faith and devotion are genuine.  Why are you hesitating?"

I was silent for a bit, and finally answered her.  I don't need it.  I mean, provide spiritual guidance and counseling?  I do that already without any badge of officiality.  People don't listen to me because I'm a Christian or a minister, they listen because what I say makes sense to them.  And I don't have to follow the party line of a church I'm continually butting heads with.

"And why aren't you just dismissing the idea of becoming a minister?"

Silent for a bit again, and I finally answered.  It would feel good.  I mean, it carries as much weight as being a king in the SCA, but...I would like it.

"Well, nothing says you have to do it right now or never, right?"

...yeah....

"So you're doing fine right now as you are.  And if later, you feel the time is right, you can go through with it.  Or simply continue on.  The choice is completely yours."

...I just....guess it would make my servitude to God more explicit.

"Don't do it to prove yourself to others.  Some won't care that you're a minister.  Others will think you are a false minister because you do not teach the same faith they follow.  And God loves you for your love, not for any titles you possess.  The only one you should be concerned about is you.  And you don't sound like you fully embrace the idea."

...maybe later on down the line....

"That's it.  Close the door for now, but don't lock it."

So, as much as various people think me being a minister is a swell idea, I have to say no.  At least, for now.  Things may change later, but right now?  It's not for me right now.  But thank you for your support anyway.
The fine and upstanding shinycat wrote in regarding my Star Trek: Axanar piece.  Specifically, the part where I mention that, according to the guidelines, fan films are now required to identify themselves as fan films --

"Shouldn't Paramount have more faith in people to tell the difference between a fan film and the real thing?"

...well...frankly, no.  People can be fooled, even those most knowledgable about a subject.  Longtime readers know that I made a Sailor Moon game for the Atari 2600 for no other reason that to collect SM signatures on it.  I want you to take a look at this picture of the game....


And this is a picture of a regulation official release Atari 2600 game, RealSports Baseball.  Check this out....


Now, I did get a couple of details wrong, I don't have the title on the top and bottom flaps, and there's no bar code on the bottom flap.  But I think you will agree I came pretty damn close.

Here's the thing -- when I went to get my games signed by Erica Mendez, I took them out of my bag, and people in line freaked out.  They wanted to know where I got it, how did I find it, and Jesus Christ, they didn't even KNOW there was a Sailor Moon game for the Atari 2600!  This was at an anime convention, with a crowd of people who recognized how old my SM DVD was simply because of the ADVision logo on it.  They know their manga and anime, they know their merch and fan items, but in this one instance, I had produced something so shocking and amazing to them that they lost the plot and thought it was real (one guy did say he was questioning it because he didn't think Atari was around at the time of Sailor Moon, but he didn't mention that until after I revealed I made them).

If it can happen to people who are knowledgable, it can happen to anyone, especially people who aren't plugged into the fandom.  Sorry, but Paramount has a point here.

Giving Star Trek Fanfilms The Axanar

Once again, my background and history with fan projects brings all the boys to the yard, asking what I think.

...so...Star Trek: Axanar....

CBS and Paramount have been studying the fan film situation for Star Trek for a long time now, and have been trying to figure out how to balance the goodwill of the fandom with their control.  But producer Alec Peters came bouncing up and just kept thwacking the beehive, forcing them to take some sort of action.  In doing so, Peters has potentially ruined Star Trek fan films for everyone.  Well, sort of, I'll get to that in a minute.  But on paper, he screwed everyone over, such as possilby Star Trek: New Voyages.  He pushed too hard, and now CBS and Paramount are shoving back, with neither side aiming for the happy medium.

Here's a little free advice to Peters -- there's an old Polish proverb that says, "When you play around with matches, you shouldn't be surprised if you accidentally light one."  And here's another -- "Whatever hits the fan will not be distributed evenly."

Peters main argument against CBS and Paramount's lawsuit is that fan films are allowed because neither of them said they weren't.  There are no rules established, so there are no rules to abide by.  Well, he got his wish.  The officlal Star Trek site has now listed a set of rules that, while they won't endorse Trek fan films, will keep them from being seen as a threat and inviting a lawsuit.  And almost every last item seems to specifically target Axanar and Peters.  And poetentially cause a lot of collateral damage.

Let's start with the very first thing on the list -- "The fan production must be less than 15 minutes for a single self-contained story, or no more than 2 segments, episodes or parts, not to exceed 30 minutes total, with no additional seasons, episodes, parts, sequels or remakes."  This is going to fuck up a LOT of fan productions, including New Voyages, which has played nice all this time.  It also means the very funny Red Shirt Diaries would have to stop because it was more than two segments.  I'm wondering what will happen to them.

"The title of the fan production or any parts cannot include the name “Star Trek.” However, the title must contain a subtitle with the phrase: “A STAR TREK FAN PRODUCTION” in plain typeface. The fan production cannot use the term “official” in either its title or subtitle or in any marketing, promotions or social media for the fan production."  This is kind of common sense, but a clear indication that Paramount and CBS are worried, since it forces fan films to identify themselves as fan films.

"The content in the fan production must be original, not reproductions, recreations or clips from any Star Trek production. If non-Star Trek third party content is used, all necessary permissions for any third party content should be obtained in writing."  Once again, pretty common sense.  No remixing original footage like the DS9 episode that took place during The Trouble With Tribbles, and no scoring the production with Lady Gaga.

"If the fan production uses commercially-available Star Trek uniforms, accessories, toys and props, these items must be official merchandise and not bootleg items or imitations of such commercially available products."  Seems kind of pointless, but once again, CBS and Paramount were accused of not having hard and fast rules.  Well, here's hard and fast for you, bitch.

"The fan production must be a real “fan” production, i.e., creators, actors and all other participants must be amateurs, cannot be compensated for their services, and cannot be currently or previously employed on any Star Trek series, films, production of DVDs or with any of CBS or Paramount Pictures’ licensees."  Ouch.  This one really hurts.  A lot of people who have been involved in Trek have popped up in fan productions.  Not only that, but that means no SAG members, and potentially someone who worked The Star Trek Experience a few years ago would be legally barred from appealing.  Compensation isn't just money, either, it's meals and hotels and transportation and such.

Actually, the compensation part ties into the biggest complaint against Axanar and the part that people like me speculate led to the lawsuit in the first place -- Peters and his partners were going to get compensated for Axanar in the form of their own film production company.  Remember, they used the Kickstarter funds to set things up, the studio would still exist and be in operation after production wrapped.  Basically, they did an end run around the system, and this is to smack them down.

"The fan production must be non-commercial:"  TL;DR -- if you fundraise instead of ponying up yourself, you have an upper limit of $50K.  This includes platform fees.  Distribution cannot raise revenue, so only torrents or streaming with no ads whatsoever unless the ads are not associated with the fan production.  So running it on YouTube and Daily Motion is safe (and probably there so that, if CBS and/or Paramount claim the video, they can put ads over it and claim revenue for themselves if they desire), but no physical media like DVD or Blu-ray.  Because it's easy to doctor the books and skim money from that.  No offering props and such as rewards for donating, either, unless it is officially licensed merch.

"The fan production must be family friendly and suitable for public presentation. Videos must not include profanity, nudity, obscenity, pornography, depictions of drugs, alcohol, tobacco, or any harmful or illegal activity, or any material that is offensive, fraudulent, defamatory, libelous, disparaging, sexually explicit, threatening, hateful, or any other inappropriate content. The content of the fan production cannot violate any individual’s right of privacy."  NO PORN, GODDAMMIT!!!  Other than that, implied sex and drinking is okay as long as you don't call attention to it.  The "right of privacy" seems to be there to give people who have second thoughts a way out.

"The fan production must display the following disclaimer in the on-screen credits of the fan productions and on any marketing material including the fan production website or page hosting the fan production: “Star Trek and all related marks, logos and characters are solely owned by CBS Studios Inc. This fan production is not endorsed by, sponsored by, nor affiliated with CBS, Paramount Pictures, or any other Star Trek franchise, and is a non-commercial fan-made film intended for recreational use.  No commercial exhibition or distribution is permitted. No alleged independent rights will be asserted against CBS or Paramount Pictures.”"  Standard boilerplate used to protect trademarks, since not rigidly enforcing THAT weakens any future claims.  Once again, common sense stuff.

"Creators of fan productions must not seek to register their works, nor any elements of the works, under copyright or trademark law."  Can you say, "Ken Penders?"  I knew you could!
"Fan productions cannot create or imply any association or endorsement by CBS or Paramount Pictures."  No ego stroking.

And, of course, is the standard boilerplate about CBS and Paramount being free to change these terms at any time and even if something isn't covered at the moment, they still reserve the right to object, saying, "You never said that!" won't work.  This is also a potential out for New Voyages and Continues, since it is still up to CBS and Paramount whether or not to take action if you step outside the lines (which, legally, it always has been, this just makes that explicit).  They could continue to ignore them with surgical striking things like Axanar that raise $1 mil in funding and are being used to jumpstart a film production company.

Some fans are up in arms about this, saying that, if Paramount and CBS would just make good Trek, the fans wouldn't have to take matters into their own hands.  Uh, legally, Star Trek isn't owned by the fans, it is owned by CBS and Paramount.  What they are arguing is akin to me saying I don't like how someone is writing and drawing Spider-Man, so I'm going to show them how it's done.  There's an arrogance to this argument that frankly disturbs me.

True story (and one I admit with some shame) -- being that I am primarily a writer, I never understood the big deal over comic book companies not giving original artwork back to creators.  Then I started drawing my Stress Puppy comic strip and comics like Sound Waves.  And suddenly, I very much understood what the big deal was.  It seems a lot of people that are arguing that Axanar should be allowed to do what they want have never created something and found themselves facing the fear that they would lose control or even ownership of it.

It all boils down to the same thing I've said when I discussed this previously -- Star Trek is owned by CBS and Paramount.  It's theirs.  Not mine, not yours, theirs.  And they can be as inconsistent as they want when enforcing their copyrights.  I've done plenty of fan stuff, not the least of which is the Doctor Whooves mash-up comics I do on Christmas Day on Bleeding Cool.  Hasbro and the BBC have never said a word about it, but that doesn't mean they never will.  Even if I play by the rules, Hasbro or the Beeb may eventually decide the party's over and shut me down.  And all I can do is take my gear, say, "It's been giggles," and go home, as I don't own any of it.

Bottom line -- Peters tried to get slick, and was counting on fan pressure to create a personal army and defend him as he started his own business without getting a license.  He didn't think he would become a target, and he guessed wrong.  And now, innocent bystanders are in the way of the swinging axe.

Peters isn't a champion of the fandom.  He's the class clown that got the entire class extra homework for acting like an asshole.

Latest Month

August 2016
S M T W T F S
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031   

Tags

Syndicate

RSS Atom
Powered by LiveJournal.com