Tag Archives: movie industry

Church of God Goes Against Sony Pictures and Comcast

Since the religious comedy Salvation Boulevard did not have the expected success, The Church of God decided to sue Sony Pictures, IFC Films and Comcast for infringing the copyright of the church’s logo with the hope of stopping the film’s distribution.

One of the largest and known Christian movements, Church of God has no more than 6 million members from 150 countries and 1 million in the U.S. and it was founded in 1886. Their cross logo was registered back in 2010 so that third parties would not abuse or, god forbids, make money out of their mark.
And since this seemed to be a smart move, a lawsuit was filed against the makers of the movie Salvation Boulevard, which premiered in the U.S. theatres last Friday.

Salvation Boulevard’s plot relates to a pastor by the name of Dan, played by Pierce Brosnan. With the help of his church, he turns, through unconventional methods, faith into a business empire. To add more fatalism to the story, Dan’s church uses a logo clearly inspired by the Church of God.
TorrentFreak obtained the complaint in which Church of God accuses the labels (Sony Pictures, Mandalay Pictures, IFC Films and Comcast) of copyright infringement, trademark infringement and unfair competition by using a mirrored version of the church’s logo in their movie. The lawsuit was filed at the U.S. District Court of Eastern Tennessee last week.

“Defendants are using a certain ‘cross’ design to promote the Salvation Boulevard film. The design also appears within the film to identify a ‘religious group’ at the center of the film’s storyline,” the complaint reads.

“Exemplary frames from a promotional trailer of the Salvation Boulevard film are shown below, wherein Defendants’ Cross Design is shown on the upper left of the ‘church’ appearing in the frame on the left and on the vest apparel item in the frame to the right.”

Through this suit the Church hopes that any distribution of the film will be put to a hold and, why not, burned just as the witches back in the dark ages. A substantial compensation is required, naturally, to boost up God’s confidence.

This, however, is not the first time when major labels are sued. For example, some time ago Mike Tyson’s tattooist sued Warner Bros. because it used a copy of his artwork in The Hangover II. The case was settled for an undisclosed amount.

Digital Merchandising Signals the Next Piracy Fight for Movie Industry

According to a post at hollywoodreporter.com, Todd Blatt, a mechanical engineer from Baltimore, has come up with a revolutionary project that makes possible to physically recreate digital data.

Apparently, movie viewers will be given the chance to print out objects they see on screen simply using a 3D printer. However, movie studios are not very fond of the idea as Paramount has recently proven labeling such a project as “counterfeiting”.

The company recently sent out a cease-and-desist letter to the innovative engineer after he exposed his work on a movie prop website.

HR comments:

Obviously, the creator of such a product might run into trouble depending on how the technology is packaged. “Bring home a character from Transformers” might imply a false endorsement. “Look like Angelina Jolie” might constitute a violation of the actress’ publicity rights. But copyright? Is a physical re-creation of an object on-screen a derivative work?

Here’s another example of the technology — a video showing the re-creation of the extraterrestrial shapeshifting white cubes from the film Super 8. The object in question is now being packaged as a “super vibrating jewelry box” instead of “Super 8 Cubes.” Does that get it off the hook from any legal trouble?

Below we also posted the video in question:

BitTorrent and Paramount Pictures Collaborate on Movie Release

The exposure that BitTorrent can offer is starting to be appealing and seen in its true value. Record and movie companies have been making parades of futile resistance to the technological progress, digital revolution and its impact on the way almost everything can be distributed and reach consumers. However, it’s never too late to awaken at a smarter approach as this new, unexpected partnership is set to demonstrate between Hollywood colossus Paramount Pictures and BitTorrent.

The Tunnel, a horror film that already has lit up the imagination and anticipation of many internet users, will debut in a non-traditional way – the movie will premiere online with BitTorrent on May 19th and simultaneously Paramount Pictures will release it on physical DVD.

Transmission Films and Paramount Home Entertainment Australia, who collaborate on film acquisitions, have confirmed the release plan.

“Our experience with Paramount has been positive, and we’re impressed with how forward-thinking they’ve been on considering our specific project,” producer and editor Enzo Tedeschi told TorrentFreak.

“From day one we’ve maintained that The Tunnel is not supporting or condoning piracy, but instead trying to incorporate a legitimate use of peer-to-peer in our distribution strategy internationally.”

TorrentFreak also got a statement from co-producer Julian Harvey who said: “So much of the debate at the moment is caught up around what has been happening in the past, but that’s not what The Tunnel is about. We’re trying to look ahead. We have a film and we’re trying to find an audience.”

The DVD release will contain two hours of exclusive footage among which an alternate ending and a behind the scenes documentary.

“Our experience with Paramount has been positive, and we’re impressed with how forward-thinking they’ve been on considering our specific project,” Enzo added.

“From day one we’ve maintained that The Tunnel is not supporting or condoning piracy, but instead trying to incorporate a legitimate use of peer-to-peer in our distribution strategy internationally.”

Maybe Hollywood is starting to wise up. This partnership is a premiere itself anyway.

Don’t miss the (free) premiere in front of your computer! Here’s a little teaser for you all:

From the movie’s official website:

We believe that if we stop fighting the peer to peer networks, they could become the biggest revolution we have ever seen in the way we share entertainment and information.

After spending years being frustrated by what we saw as the movie industry’s short-sighted and conventional outlook towards the online community, we decided it was time to try something different – The 135K Project was born.

We figured that movie posters and collectable frames from movies are being sold every day, so what if we could raise the money to make “The Tunnel” by selling every individual frame of it? We would be able to make a movie unencumbered by a studio’s need for box office. We could do what we got into the industry to do in the first place. Tell stories we like and get them out there so people could enjoy them.

What’s the key to doing that? You.

If you like the look of “The Tunnel” or the idea behind The 135K Project – buy a frame or two, blog about it, follow us on twitter, seed and embed the finished film when it’s released. Whatever you can do. It will all help and show the world there might just be another way. Who knows where that might lead?

Warner Bros Hires Students as Anti-Piracy Spies

The entertainment industry proves to be quite inventive and resourceful when it comes to finding ways to satisfy its penny-related paranoia. Its latest such effort could be seen as training students to snitch on each other. According to some reports on the Internet, Warner Bros wants to recruit anti-piracy ‘spies’ and has posted an advert at Manchester University with this exact purpose.

Allegedly, those tempted by the position can opt for a year-long contract involving monitoring the illegal downloading and distribution of the movie studio’s movies.

The job as a “download” spy also means that the employee is must set “trap” purchases of pirated content and requires experience with P2P protocols.

However, I’m sure you can come up with better ideas to make a fair buck as a student, don’t you?

3-D Films Safe from Pirates. For How Long?

Beyond their magnetism towards audience, the highly impressive special effects of James Cameron’s 3-D epic “Avatar”, are giving movie studios hope for a different type of special effect – an anti-piracy one.

Michael Peyser, a University of Southern California (USC) professor of production and executive producer of 2007’s “U2 3D”, thinks 3-D films will enjoy a peaceful and fruitful period, away from the danger of being pirated since “there’s no commodity to it, nor can the files, even if they’re copied, be viewed.”

3-D Films Safe from Pirates. For How Long?
Avatar: The Movie that Has Changed the Face of Movies

Camcorders(allegedly accountable for up to 90 % of pirated new releases) are rather useless when it comes to illegaly recording 3-D films in the theatres because the images on such films consist of two projections of differently polarized light. Polarization lines up light waves so that they all vibrate at the same angle – “If you record a 3-D image with a handheld [camcorder], then you’re just going to end up with a blurry image,” pointed out Rick Heineman, a spokesman for 3-D technology company RealD, according to msnbc.com.

However, if right now we can’t talk about a market for illegal copies of 3-D films (watching them home doesn’t really make sense) in a not very distant future we could. Several companies like Sony, Panasonic and Samsung have announced their plans for 3-D-compatible TVs releases in 2010. This means a new market could open up for pirates but those 3-D effects remain problematic.