Posted by Michael Raben at spider-mtc-ta051.proxy.aol.com on March 22, 2001 at 01:06:50:
In Reply to: Student film posted by Australian fanboy on March 21, 2001 at 23:09:29:
: I am a fan from Australia at the age of 16 who is making a student film to enter into any festivals that i can and i would really like Kevin Smith's approval to use a couple of character names in it.
: I have signified that they are from Kevin's movies and have a note on the start of the movie showing that they are not of my creation but Kevin's.
: This is my first time doing something like this so i don't know the laws about this sort of thing.
OK; important legal issue here. You're messing with copyrighted likenesses; which is a whole heaping mess of trouble. An additional issue is that with the exception of Jay and Silent Bob, Kevin (or more appropriately View Askew) doesn't own any of those rights. Most belong to Miramax; a few belong to Gramercy.
Now, if you REFERENCE a character name, there's no problem. Reference to your hearts content: Darth Vader, Jay & Silent Bob, Butch Cassidy, etc. -
it's open season.
If you PLACE ANOTHER ACTOR IN THE ROLE of a copyrighted character, you're setting yourself up to be severely SCREWED. If this is just a dumb home movie that's never going to be seen by anyone but your friends, you're probably not going to *REALLY* be stepping on any toes. If you're planning on taking this to festivals, kiss your ass goodbye. Pandora's box is opened and the lawsuits come flying. Why? Because a festival is CHARGING MONEY for tickets. That raises the stakes to a whole new level - someone is making money off of your breaking the law. Bad news for everyone involved.
So don't do it.
: Do you think there's a possibility of there being a
: "View Askew Fan-Filmfest" with our loving tributes to Kevin's imortal characters? (Of course they will not be nearly as good as the real thing)
There was actually talk of something akin to this awhile back - nothing ever came from it though.
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