UNAUTHORIZED & VIOLENT EDITION
EXCLUSIVE: The Power Rangers fan film dispute has been settled. Following an agreement late Friday, the fan video is back on YouTube and Vimeo after a legal chest bumping between lawyers for franchise copyright holder Haim Saban and film fan producer Adi Shankar. Both hosting sites had pulled the video due to copyright concerns. Vimeo came down first on its own, and then Saban;s lawyers notified YouTube that director Joseph Kahn’s bloody take on the children’s show was in violation of their copyright and did not fall under “fair use.”
Producers of Power Rangers Video Might Be In For Legal Fight
It is now back up with an age restriction on the video on YouTube. There is also a disclaimer on Vimeo from producer Shankar that reads: “Deboot of the Power Rangers. My take on the FAN FILM. Not a pilot, not a series, not for profit, strictly for exhibition. This is a bootleg experiment not affiliated or endorsed by Saban Entertainment or Lionsgate nor is it selling any product. I claim no rights to any of the characters (don’t send me any money, not kickstarted, this film is free). This is the NSFW version. An alternate safe version is on youtube.”
Kahn told Deadline tonight: “They put these disclaimers on so kids so don’t confuse our super-violent film with their Power Rangers brand. There are no hard feelings. We signed contracts. We can play it anywhere we want on all platforms. I think they realized that people just want to see it.”
The Power Rangers Bootleg on YouTube now has 12.5M views and, given the viral history, is expected to climb. (Watch it above.) Lionsgate and Saban are planning a feature based on the popular Saturday morning kids show.
The gritty Power/Rangers short film viewed by millions earlier this week is back on YouTube and Vimeo. According to Deadline, the film’s creators have struck a deal with Saban, which owns the rights to Power Rangers, and are now free to put their short anywhere online. The YouTube and Vimeo versions now come with extensive disclaimers noting that they present a fan film, were made without any affiliation from Saban, and claim no rights to the characters. YouTube is now hosting a cleaner version of the video, while the original “NSFW” version is being hosted on Vimeo.
“”Internet changes things.””
“Hey internet, YOU WON,” Power/Rangers director Joseph Kahn writes on Twitter. “Saban has kindly and generously agreed to let us show POWER/RANGERS!”
Kahn tells Deadline that Saban wanted the disclaimers present so that kids wouldn’t confuse his “super-violent film” with the decidedly friendlier Power Rangers show that they’re used to. The short, produced by Adi Shankar and starring James Van Der Beek and Katee Sackhoff, went online late Monday and was viewed by around 12 million people on YouTube before being pulled on Thursday in response to a copyright notice from Saban. The Vimeo version was pulled even sooner. The film was also hosted on Facebook — apparently the only platform that it never managed to get pulled from. It remains there without disclaimers.
“Internet changes things,” Kahn writes. “New world, new rules.”