Wednesday, May 02, 2007

My Latest Letter To The Fox 'Law Men'

Here's the latest e-mail I sent to Fox regarding the Wolverine review debacle:

Mr. Zedeck,

Here's the content of an e-mail I have today received:

Ok I am an American copyright lawyer.

Apparently they are claiming copyright infringement. Your review, however, contains almost no copying of their material. You include exactly a grand total of one sentence of direct quotation ("You brainwashed me...") and although it's true that the fair use standard is more strict for unpublished material (See Harper & Row v. Nation), quoting *one single sentence* is fair use beyond any possible doubt. Fair use "of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting... is not an infringement of copyright." 17 U.S.C. section 107.
Here, a single sentence from an entire film script is copied for the purposes of criticism and news reporting. Fair use clearly applies here and is a defense to a claim of copyright infringement.

Feel free to forward this back to Fox and ask them to clarify how exactly you're infringing on their intellectual property.

Quotes from e-mail ends.

The thing is, that single line they say I quoted from the script isn't even a quote, just a sample of information.

I haven't engaged a counsel. Do you know why? Because three well known webmasters, two well known film producers and countless other people - such as this anonymous, apparent (I admit he may not be) copyright lawyer - have illustrated to me in coutnless ways that, actually, I'm doing nothing wrong.

I'm simply expressing an opion. On a truly awful script.

In any case, had you pressurised me into removing the script, the piece I replaced it with would have been much, much worse.

You, see I know several places online where this script can be downloaded. And I can prove that these downlaod options pre-existed before I had ever even saw the thing. And I could put links anywhere and everywhere I wanted to, and the web would be flooded with reviews far less respectful than mine.

And I could replace this initial review, one that intrigues and tempts people, with a second version - simple kill piece that repeats again and again how bad a script I felt it to be, with nothing more. No mitigation, just an expression of repulsion.

Neither of these will be good news for the film's PR.

So, please, be thankful that I haven't moved to either of those measures.

Brendon Connelly

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