Popular movie franchisee owners jealously guard their works;
they fear that their works might be distorted or presented in a bad
light by unauthorized parties thereby affecting their value and
success. While it is true that studio houses should protect their
works, it is at the same time worth discussing how much of the
goodwill is retained by such franchisee owners when they act
against their own fans.
Last year, the owners of Pokémon Company International
Inc. slapped a copyright infringement suit against fans organizing
a Pokémon themed party; following its footsteps this year
are the owners of the Star Trek franchise who have alleged
copyright infringement against the fan-made film 'Axanar'.
The copyright owners have claimed that the fan movie is heavily
derived from the original series thereby infringing the copyright
over the characters, the look of characters (pointy ears, clothes),
and use of Klingon language etc. This action by the copyright
owners has disappointed the fans considering that the movie
'Axanar' is a film funded by various fans.
A major reason for success of franchisee films/T.V. series can
be accorded to fan-fictions, open forum discussions and may be
through videos or films dedicated to their favorite work. It is
because of this reason that there are movie houses that are now
contemplating the idea of connecting more with their fans by
supporting their works, doing so is another way of adding to the
reputation and goodwill associated with the studio and the
franchise. A recent example can be seen close home, in India, where
a fan of a popular Bollywood actor, juxtaposed himself in the
trailer of the actor's upcoming movie; instead of claiming it
to be an act of infringement, the actor invited the fan to work for
him. It is worth noting that while the movie owners can be
successful in their infringement claims, because they own the
copyrights, it is also possible that their goodwill among the fans
might get affected.
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guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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