Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Lucas Restricts Fan-Made Films To Documentaries, Parodies

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the he'd-frown-on-fansmut dept.

Star Wars Prequels 236

garagekubrick writes: "A great piece at the Houston Chronicle discusses how the community of fan made Star Wars films received a boon in December when Lucasfilm loaned their sponsorship to the event, and George Lucas himself would be a judge. Unfortunately, they've limited the contest to parodies and documentaries, thereby shutting out hundreds of entries. As a Lucas rep says, 'if in fact somebody is using our characters to create a story unto itself, that's not in the spirit of what we think fandom is about. Fandom is about celebrating the story the way it is.' Pretty rich coming from the filmmaker who constantly cites greed as being the root of the dark side, and who keeps discussing the liberating values of digital filmmaking. Guess as long as it doesn't hurt his Empire..."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

first "George Lucas is a Cockbiter" post (-1)

Proctal Relapse (467579) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421066)

George Lucas is a Cockbiter

assholes

FIRST POST! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3421073)

Printer-friendly format

April 26, 2002, 11:04AM

'Star Wars' fans clash with Lucas over film contest
By AMY HARMON
New York Times News Service
When word began circulating on the Internet in December that Lucasfilm would be a co-sponsor of a Star Wars contest for fan-made films, to be judged by George Lucas himself, members of the growing digital underground felt as if the Force was finally with them.

"How cool is this?" read the first of many messages on TheForce.net, the home to more than 50 amateur films inspired by Lucas' Star Wars series.

But when the winning entries are announced on May 3 in front of some 20,000 fans expected at a Star Wars convention in Indianapolis, many of the most popular online movies will not be among them. As it turned out, they were not even eligible for consideration.

Associated Press
Star Wars ceator George Lucas, filming with C-3PO, has been passionately protective about his films and the characters in them.
Citing a need to protect its copyrights, Lucasfilm limited the contest to spoofs and documentaries, shutting out some of Lucas' most ardent fans, many of whom have reinterpreted his famous storyline to create online comedies, dramas and light-saber duels of their own. Under the contest rules, Star Wars Gangsta Rap, a retelling of the original Star Wars trilogy in rhyme, is eligible, while Dark Redemption, set two days before Star Wars: A New Hope, with a girl Jedi, is not.

"We've been very clear all along on where we draw the line," said Jim Ward, vice president of marketing for Lucasfilm. "We love our fans. We want them to have fun. But if in fact somebody is using our characters to create a story unto itself, that's not in the spirit of what we think fandom is about. Fandom is about celebrating the story the way it is."

The restriction has created a backlash. Some followers say Lucasfilm is shunning the fan-made films that are most dedicated to the spirit of Star Wars. The fans say they just want to share their own Star Wars fantasies, not to dilute the mythology that inspired them or the revenue that Lucas derives from it.

"The galaxy is a big place," said Mazen Malawi, 27, who is boycotting the Indianapolis convention because his $675 Star Wars homage, Seeds of Darkness, was excluded from the contest. "We're not asking for money, just recognition."

Malawi, a computer technician in Warren, Ohio, who estimates that he has seen "Stars Wars -- Episode 1: The Phantom Menace (1999) at least 60 times, said Lucasfilm had previously turned down a request from PBS and a European magazine to showcase portions of Seeds, his drama set between the first and second Star Wars trilogies.

Using digital cameras, personal computers and sometimes music, sound effects and characters from the original movies, fans have created more than 100 parallel Star Wars universes, some complete with their own trailers and "making of" documentaries. In part, these fans take their cue from Lucas, an evangelist of digital filmmaking who has led the way by using computers to produce low-cost special effects in his blockbuster movies. Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones, which is to be released on May 16, was produced entirely in digital format.

But Lucas has not always been as enthusiastic about the power of digital technology when wielded by his fans. Lucasfilm took a dim view of Star Wars 1.1: The Phantom Edit, which began circulating on the Internet soon after the release of the Phantom Menace. In the name of improving the pace, Mike Nichols, a freelance film editor in Santa Clarita, Calif., removed most scenes featuring the much-reviled character Jar Jar Binks. The company took steps to stop the distribution of the fan's cut and said that Lucas would not look at it. This prompted Nichols to speculate on his Web site that Attack of the Clones might inspire Star Wars II.1: Attack of the Fans.

Except for parodies, which are protected under the First Amendment, it is entirely within Lucasfilms' legal rights to stamp out films based on its copyrighted material. But the tension between Lucas and his filmmaking fans may underscore a digital-age conflict that transcends the letter of the law.

Some cultural critics see the emergence of fan films as a return to a participatory form of culture that existed before creative works came to be so tightly protected by copyright. Moreover, in an age when mass media provide the basis of common experience, Star Wars and a handful of other cultural icons may have become a kind of shorthand form of communication.

"It's not just about Star Wars," said Henry Jenkins, director of the comparative media studies program at the Massachussetts Institute of Technology. "It's what's going to be the relationship between media consumers and producers in this new interactive age."

Now, as Lucasfilm seeks to stir fan interest in the new movie -- the convention, called Celebration II, is being produced by the company with the official Star Wars fan club -- some fans say they feel betrayed.

"I feel like they're partially exploiting what we're doing to their gain, without any real reward back," said Chris Hanel, 21, who continues to field complaints about the contest on his Star Wars Internet radio show at www.digitalllama.com. "If you're going to honor fan films, do it right."

New creative works have always been built on top of old ones, from Homer's repackaging of twice-told tales in The Iliad to Lucas' own openly acknowledged pilfering of Joseph Campbell's writings on mythic archetypes for his original Star Wars trilogy. Fans photocopied their own Star Trek stories in the 1970s, and fans regularly publish unauthorized Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes on the Internet.

What is different now is that digital tools make it easier for fans to produce more sophisticated works and to distribute them to a worldwide audience. This has heightened anxiety among copyright holders, who fear they will lose control of their creative vision. Some of the special effects in Star Wars fan films are more convincing than those from the original trilogy.

Given the accessibility of the technology, some digital devotees say fans should simply work harder to come up with their own material: "Make your OWN FILM," Kevin Rubio wrote on TheForce.net discussion board. "Use your OWN CHARACTER. AND STOP PLAYING WITH GEORGE'S! Some of you may find the result's even more rewarding"

Rubio helped found the fan genre with his 1997 film Troops, which featured storm troopers handling domestic disputes in the manner of the reality television show Cops. He allowed that the Star Wars convention audience could be "cheated out of a lot of great works" because of the contest restrictions.

Jessica Litman, author of Digital Copyright, argues that more give and take could make for a richer culture without depriving creators of their financial due. She points to jazz as a modern art form that has thrived on a tradition of riffing on others' creative themes.

The fate of fan films will depend largely on how strictly media companies enforce their copyrights. Lucasfilm, for example, may simply be trying to protect its Star Wars vision without cracking down on fans. One fan film, Darth Vader: The Rudy Pirany Story, was accepted by the contest after its director, Victor Martin, agreed to edit out scenes in which his protagonist -- an actor with a permanent Darth Vader mask who can't find work after Star Wars -- buys cocaine from Yoda and takes a role in a pornography movie.

Martin, 37, a graphic designer in Culver City, Calif., said it was worth it to qualify for the $5,000 prize and to have his film shown with 44 finalists at www.atomfilms.com. But, he added, "I thought it was funnier before."

Will George Lucas sue the kids ? (3, Flamebait)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421169)



Imagine this ...

A kid is playing with his StarWar toys.

Using his own imagination, he positions the toy figures, and playacting.

The kid provides dialogue, sound-effects, screenplay, and all the rest.

Suddenly, the front door busts open. An army of armed law enforcement officers come rushing in and take the boy into custody.

The charge ?

The boy has violated George Lucas' copyright / trademark on StarWars' characters.

The End.

You think that can't happen ?

Just wait till congress pass ALL THE LAWS Hollywood wants, and the kids won't be able to play with their imagination anymore.

Re:Will George Lucas sue the kids ? (2)

ArsSineArtificio (150115) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421219)

Rod Serling: For beyond reason and discourse, there is the raw emotion of the uninformed.

pan to night sky

And from this, a fallacy so ridiculous, it could exist only... in the Slippery Slope Zone.

cue music

Re:Will George Lucas sue the kids ? (2, Funny)

Thenomain (537937) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421251)

Nah, the kids will just be in violation of the Toy Usage Agreement (TUA) on the back of the box that was assumed on opening the box. You know, the one that reads, "Should you violate the Agreement, LucasArts (or any agency working on behalf of LucasArts) reserves the right to reposess your toy." Using the toy you bought in any way you want is a privilege, not a right.

The PTUA (Proper Toy Use Alliance) will then be formed to go around offering to "discuss" proper toy use and its downfalls with parents, slapping them with audits, and threatening to sue if they don't comply with paying for the new toy license on toys they didn't bother saving the boxes on.

Elementary schools will eventually be forced to offer the infamous "Mattel Tax" and increase their requirements by $500 per student (passed on to the Tax Payer for public schools).

But no well-thinking business-oriented government would allow such a rediculous thing to happen, right?

First roast toast ! (-1, Offtopic)

Krapangor (533950) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421074)

Hmmmm, tasty and crispy !
Mad props from Paris !

Fan FICTION? (5, Insightful)

The_Xnuiem (558191) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421079)

I guess, once again, Lucas proves he just doesnt care about his fans, just his franchise. He has attempted to kill, maim, destroy all types of fan sites and fan fiction based on SW, aka bobafett.com Makes you wonder why he even bothers to deny its about the money, when he finds ways to discourage everything else it could be about.

Re:Fan FICTION? (3, Funny)

Zekk (411637) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421082)

Maybe he's worried someone else will make a movie with Jar Jar in it...

Re:Fan FICTION? (3, Funny)

handsomepete (561396) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421093)

Maybe he's worried someone else will make a movie with Jar Jar in it...

Wait, that's what I thought *we* were worried about...

Re:Fan FICTION? (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421249)

Wait, that's what I thought *we* were worried about...

Oh I don't know, I wouldn't might seeing something wet and messy happening to JarJar in the first 10 seconds of the movie.

New Movie (2, Funny)

orangeguru (411012) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421273)

Return of the Jar Jar Clones?!

Imagine the whole thing with Back street boys as the only human actors plus gazillions of animated JJs ... brrrrrrr ...

orangeguru

What the fuck? (-1)

egg troll (515396) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421243)

This page was generated by a Swarm of Homo Elephants for egg troll (515396).

Slashbot Copy n' Paste Fun! (0, Funny)

ReluctantBadger (550830) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421080)


Slashbot Fun Time Frolics
Simply copy n' paste your favourite expression into a post!
  • "Oooh! How schweet! Does it run Linux?"
  • "I wonder how long it will take before Linux is ported to this puppy?"
  • "I was going to write the app, but I was too lazy to do it, and waited for someone else to make it instead."
  • "The GPL is great - Let's discuss it."
  • "My professor said I should be using emacs..."
  • "My professor said I should be using vi..."
  • "It's sooo easy to port this application, why hasn't anyone done it yet? I would, but I'm too busy working on the kernel and choosing new Transformers wallpaper..."
  • "If everyone was as talented a coder as me, we'd have beaten Microsoft by now!"
  • "I don't care if Windows Ultra has no bugs or security flaws whatsoever, it's still worse than Linux."
  • "Chyeah! Right! If it was a business requirement to use Java, they should have refused to do the project!"
  • "Of course I don't use Internet Explorer. I only use it when I'm forced to, like at the office, and at school, and at home..."
  • "The government can kiss my ass until they stop monitoring my phone calls... FREEEEEDOM!"
  • "I can't believe you paid money for Photoshop! GIMP is way better dude!"
  • "I was going to Ask Slashdot, but then I noticed that Dragonball Z was on cartoon network..."
  • "I've always wanted a Japanese girlfriend so I can understand my non-dubbed/subbed anime collection..."
  • "Uh! That's is such a rip off of Communication OS from Serial Experiments Lain!"
  • "Why didn't Alan ask Linus about the VM? I like being on first name basis with my heroes."
  • "Everyone on IRC told me Enterprise was crap. I watched it, loved it, and then told everyone I met that it was crap."
  • "The government is taking away my rights! This is so like '1984'!"
  • "I'm reading the preface to C for Dummies and my head already hurts..."
  • "But real programmers use a CLI! Anybody who doesn't use a Common Library Injector should have got a degree like me!"
  • "I'm going to code my Gamecube emulator in C, but even though I have only ever used Visual Basic Learning Edition, it should be a one banana problem and ready in the next few days."
  • "I hardly think you can call me a fashion victim - I been encoding to ogg since 1994"
  • "But I'm taking Computer Science at university; You WILL respect my opinion! I am the law!"
  • "I may have only just graduated, and may still be looking for work, but I've got more experience than you with your '20 years of coding'!! Get A BS!"
  • "I asked Neff if they would Open Source the code to my microwave, but they told me it was proprietary..."
  • "I know Ada, Fortran, Cobol, C, C++, Java, HTML, Perl and RPG.... Oh, I thought you meant know *of* them..."

First Robert Steinhšuser post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3421083)

Post your off-color [fachmaart.lu] Steinhäuser jokes here.

And let the force be with you!

Btw, do you need a weapon's permit for a light saber?

Lucas has the right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3421084)

to be a knob.

It's his property.

Torn (0)

prof187 (235849) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421087)

I'm kind of torn over this decision. On the one hand, you have to respect their decision to not allow characters from the series to be allowed, as someone may exploit it somehow. Also, it isn't making them be creative and think of their own people. But on the other hand, by not allowing that, you are taking away aspects from other parts of the movie. If you have to devote time into thinking of new characters and what kind of a personality they have, you are taking away time from other things, such as set, props, a script.

Maybe in the end, the best decision will be found out, whether it be the one that they went with or not.

It's always about money to him (5, Informative)

alen (225700) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421088)

Part of it could be legal. If he allowed it once, he wouldn't be able to fight true piracy in the courts later on. Kind of like people have to pay to sell a book that takes place in the SW universe. If he allowed royalty free once, it may not stand up in court the next time.

But Lucas is the king of special edition versions. Each of his movies have appeared in so many various special editions and formats that the fans must have paid many times over for each of the movies. The RIAA and MPAA must be envious.

Re:It's always about money to him (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3421309)

OK people let's get real. Think of how you would judge a contest that had such a broad scope. It would be very difficult. Lucas makes a wise decision to limit the scope of the contest for various reasons. One such reason is the aformentioned ease of judgability. Another reason would be the length of time it would take to judge that many differant entries.

Fandom (1)

Thenomain (537937) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421091)

And here I thought fandom is about flattery. (Geeks being really enthusiastic flatterers.) Is imitation no longer the most sincere form of flattery?

This is not an uncommon attitude among writers, though, and is much older than the woes the RIAA and SSSCA have been foisted on us. Found on Google a pretty nice list of new and old authors who have similar views: Endangered Fandoms [subreality.com] .

Authors certainly have a right to defend their works, and this isn't as bad as many authors. Whatever, Lucas, oh, and I loved Howard the Duck.

Re:Fandom (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3421125)

Imitation is still the sincerest form of flattery. Literary imitation however, involves creating a new work in the style of an older work. Just copying existing characters, plots, or settings isn't exactly a creative process. This has been pretty constant for 3000 years.

Remember kids... (4, Funny)

RyanFenton (230700) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421094)


"if in fact somebody is using our characters to create a story unto itself, that's not in the spirit of what we think fandom is about. Fandom is about celebrating the story the way it is."

Remember kids - when you use your *imagination*, only use it to twist your favorite characters, like Big Bird, into ironic circumstances, where they do something you'd never expect of them.

Otherwise, you could be hurting their value as characters.

Have fun kids!

;^)

Ryan Fenton

Re:Remember kids... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3421161)

I'm beginning to think Slashdot is read only by spoiled brats that are only interested in doing what they want. If anyone slaps their hand and says, "no, thats mine," then they get a story on Slashdot about how evil they are.

If it be money or trying to stay true to his characters values, its his choice. All you people do is bitch when you don't get your way.

Re:Remember kids... (1)

geekster (87252) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421214)

Yeah it's his story and characters, and so fucking what? What will he loose with people using his characters? Why are people always so paranoid and over protected of their ideas.

Please! You can't own ideas it's as simple as that.

Re:Remember kids... (1)

haystor (102186) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421270)

Yea its his story and characters, and so what? What will people lose not using his characters? Why are people always so unimaginative with their ideas?

Weren't you ever a child? (5, Insightful)

RyanFenton (230700) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421227)


If it be money or trying to stay true to his characters values, its his choice. All you people do is bitch when you don't get your way.

I realize you're mostly just being contrary (though there are worse words for it) - but weren't you ever a child? Did you ever watch or read a story with great characters, then *imagine* what could be? Sometimes amazing childhood tales come from kids sitting with their legos, acting out what a character might do in a given situation. It might not mean that much to you - but the right to freely tell such stories is a cherished act for millions of people. To disallow such public discussion on those topics is to strip people of the right to discuss their earliest explorations into creativity. Yes, older people can be expected to create their own characters - but the young should be highly encouraged to play around with the ideas of characters they like, regardless of who owns them. They should also be free to share these ideas. To do otherwise may very well be to prevent millions of children from growing their imaginations, just so a handful of adults may continue to explore their imaginations for debatably larger ammount of money.

:^)

Ryan Fenton

Exactly... TOYS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3421187)

You triggered an interesting thought: the Star Wars action toys. Does Lucas expect kids to only create parodies and documentaries or even only reinactments of actual scenes from Star Wars when they are playing?

It seems to me that by allowing toys to be licenced, he has given a tacet wink to letting fans create their own situations.

Re:Remember kids... (3, Insightful)

parliboy (233658) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421274)

Um... ok...

We had Star Wars Special Edition. We had Empire Strikes Back Special Edition. We had Return of the Jedi Special Edition.

We've had hundred of fiction books.

I certainly don't remember Kyle Katarn being a central point of the trilogy.

And, we've just had to deal with rumors of another editing of A New Hope.

Perhaps... perhaps before Mr. Lucas makes this statement, he would be so nice as to decide just which way the story is in the first place.

Oxymoron (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3421096)

I guess he think the term fan-fiction is an oxymoron.

Jar Jar Says.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3421097)

In the world today, America faces an increasingly hostile international community. Nevermind the terrorists themselves, who will hate America no matter what she does; even our supposed Allies in Europe and the Middle East are starting to dissent openly about the Bush administration's mounting missteps.

America is a nation that cannot find Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar, and no matter how much Bush downplays this military failure, Americans themselves are beginning to doubt their collective virility.

When Ariel Sharon refuses to take Bush on his word and withdraw Israeli troops from deployments in the West Bank, we can hardly blame him. Not only has Bush utterly failed to offer any constructive engagement in the Mid-East peace process since he took office, but he utterly lacks all credibility in confronting terrorism both in the Middle East and abroad. America may have successfully penetrated and disrupted the Al Qaeda networks within Afghanistan, but Bush's unwillingness to encourage effective statebuilding amidst Afghanistan's rubble demonstrates he lacks staying power.

It's clear America needs a full-scale international image make-over.

When the Washington Monument was erected over the course of forty years during the nineteenth century, America made an important statement to the world at large and our enemies in particular: not only did we revere our first and perhaps best president, but we venerated him to the point of memorializing his manhood. The monument comprises five hundred and fifty five feet of stone-hard cock, turgid and unflinching, at perpetual attention and ready to skewer enemies with the full sexual energy of the entire nation channeled through Washington's posthumous penis.

But the World Trade Center attacks have proved that our nation's phallic monuments themselves are under attack. If both Wall Street's genitalia (World Trade Center buildings) and the Defense Department's scrotum (the Pentagon) can be bombed with impunity, than no monument, no matter how grand or imperial, can stand a chance.

That is, nearly no monument of cement and metal.

America's natural monuments have proven far more resilient. The White Sands National Park was repeatedly nuked over the course of the second half of the twentieth century, purposefully no less, and yet the park's resplendent beauty remains. The Hudson River has witnessed toxic spill after toxic spill and years of environmental custodial mismanagement and yet continues to pour fresh water into the Atlantic Ocean as it always has.

What I propose is nothing less than terraforming Florida from a flaccid penis into an erect and virile penis:

Some may question the wisdom of undertaking such a monumental undertaking to build such a monument. To these naysayers, I say that, in addition to sound politics, I have sound economics and environmental analysis on my side.

Global warming, another problem the Bush administration has utterly failed to address despite international solidarity behind the Kyoto protocols, has ensured that if we do not act soon, all of Florida will be submerged under the rising tides. Since Florida will already require substantial renovation, it might as well be renovated in such a fashion as to proclaim America's masculinity in the loudest terms.

And as the Walt Disney Corporation has demonstrated, there are vast fortunes to be made in transforming the Floridian landscape in unnatural but superior manners. What's more, by relocating Florida's tourist traps hundreds of miles northward and closer to the metropolitan centers of the civilized world, the opportunities for a grand economic renaissance are immeasurable, not to mention the residual benefits of widening the ocean divides between the shores of America and the festering pit of tobacco and loose women to the south.

Understandably, some might be reluctant to pursue a project as grand as this, unprecedented in scale as it is. To be true, Russia tried but failed to reverse the flow of its major rivers, but America is no failed totalitarian state weighed down with the political and cultural baggage of communism. If America is ever to be recognized as the sole remaining superpower, then she must prevail where the Evil Empire could not.

Write your Congressman today and send a clear message that a limp Florida can no longer be tolerated. It's time for America to reassert her manhood.

It's not about greed, i think.. it's about control (2, Insightful)

cygnusx (193092) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421102)

I think what LucasArts fears most is not that a fan will make a `better' Star Wars -- unlikely, too much resources required -- rather, what they're scared about is the lack of control over what they feel are their trademarks. Sad. This control-freakish attitude costs will cost them viewer in the long run, as Eric Flint pointed out [baen.com] a few stories ago.

CYA? (1)

Reverberant (303566) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421103)

Lucas might be trying to protect himself. If a fan movie coincidently has a plotline that is similar to that of a future Lucas/Lucasfilm project (Star Wars or otherwise), Lucas could be worried about copyight lawsuits.

Re:CYA? (3, Funny)

martissimo (515886) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421123)

One fan film, Darth Vader: The Rudy Pirany Story, was accepted by the contest after its director, Victor Martin, agreed to edit out scenes in which his protagonist -- an actor with a permanent Darth Vader mask who can't find work after Star Wars -- buys cocaine from Yoda and takes a role in a pornography movie.


Yup, i have a sneaking suspicion that this closely mirrors the Plot of the upcoming Episode 3 ;)

Blame the law (3, Interesting)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421105)

According to current law, if Lucasfilms shows the propensity to forgive others using their trademarked material, their ownership of those trademarks would be jeopardized. It would mean anyone could make Star Wars films or merchandise and sell them. Parodies and documentaries are protected as fair use, so Lucasfilms can promote them without threatening their trademark ownership. I don't know of many IP production companies that'll even go that far.

I can live with getting the Phantom Edit in DivX over P2P file sharing programs. Just let me see Troops on the big screen.

Re:Blame the law (2, Interesting)

TheKAVH (196883) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421172)

So what's stop Lucas from selling liscenses to these amateur films at a low low price, say a $1?

Re:Blame the law (2)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421192)

I'm not sure. There may be reasons why selling licenses ex-post-facto would also cause problems. I don't think anyone does that; I've never seen anyone settle an IP case that way; either the offender loses the right, or the court upholds the usage. IANAL, so you might want to ask one.

Re:Blame the law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3421196)

But Lucas does sell TOYS to kids. Do you think that he expects the kids to only follow his storylines?

I gave Vader a whirly once because he hijacked my tonka truck.

Re:Blame the law (1)

dammy (131759) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421223)

The trademark issues can be gotten around by Lucas issuing licenses to individual fan films for some nominal fee that just covers expenses. That would allow the creativity to be released and still securing his rights. That is IF that is what he wants and not just Dark Side issues such as absolute control that he can get away with under current law.

I'm hoping after the last episode (ie he's squeezed the last drop of profit out of that franchise) he will allow/fund movies like Troops, which IMO, is better then half of Lucas' films...

Dammy

Re:Blame the law (2)

xigxag (167441) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421244)

According to current law, if Lucasfilms shows the propensity to forgive others using their trademarked material, their ownership of those trademarks would be jeopardized.

This is really not an issue. Lucasfilm could easily license its trademarked products at nominal cost to participants in the contest without losing control of those trademarks.

Lucas and Rosen? (5, Funny)

mttlg (174815) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421108)

Why am I suddenly getting the image of George Lucas and Hilary Rosen on a date, discussing how to completely dominate the entertainment industry and control every possible use of the content they produce, complete with evil laughter, creepy background music, and a slow fade to black, followed by narration setting the scene for a rebellion against an all-powerful enemy? Will there be another Star Wars film contest next year?

Re:Lucas and Rosen? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3421178)

Imagine the hot, hot anal-vaginal double-penetration sex!

test (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3421109)

test

why test when you can invest? (-1)

Yr0 (224662) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421156)

DR. LUNIX TORVALDS TEL:234 8023132472 FAX: 234 - 1 - 7595586 HELSINKI-FINLAND.

Dear Sir,

I write you this letter of request for partnership which I hope you will give your urgent attention. We worked as members of the Operating System/Penguin Abuse Committee inaugurated by the present Democratically Elected Comittee of the Electronic Frontier Foundation headed by General Richard Stallman (rtd). We are empowered to deligently reviewed, re-appraised, scrutinized and approved feces payments to lunix users who executed *bsd devils under the past operating system regime and our work is almost concluded.

In the course of our work we discovered this fecal matter, which resulted from grossly over used toilets, which were executed for the Gnu is Not Unix Corporation (GNU) by a consortium of several Foreign Companies like
VA SOFTWARE, RED HAT INC SUSE GMBH AND A JOINT VENTURES OF MANDRAKE AND CALDERA GMBH FOR:

(1) THE EXPANSION OF THE FECAL NETWORK WITH LINUX USERS FECES AND DOWNSTREAM PRODUCTS DISTRIBUTION AND SUBSEQUENT EVACUATION.

(2) CONTRACT FOR THE TURN AROUND MAINTENANCE (TAM) OF THE VARIOUS PENGUIN FECES FARMS IN THE COUNTRY.

(3) THE CONSTRUCTION OF STORAGE TANKS FOR LUNIX PRODUCTS (SEMEN).

Amounting to the tune of 100 tons of Fecal matter but was over invoiced to 150 tons of Feces. And we deliberately approved these fecal deposits and all Lunix users have been paid with these penguins executed and since abused, leaving the large amount of Eric S Raymonds maginificent deposit floating in the escrow pool of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) ready to be paid for the sexual services from the products in item number 2 as stated above. Before digressing further I would want you to know that our GNU General Public License forbids us from owning any money or having heretosexual relationships whilst in GNU service hence we are contacting you to be part of this transaction.

We intend to use your anus as a front to get the over invoiced amount of 50 tons of feces out of the BSD Sewers to a designated toilet by you. Not regarding your field of specialization (sphincter expansion) you are going to forward us with any name that we will claim executed the sewaging services in the turn around maintenance of the Penguin fecal abuse farms mentioned above. All logistics are in place and all modalities worked out for the smooth insertion of the feces within ten to fourteen days of commencement after the receipt of a semen deposit from you. You are going to get 25% of the feces by posing as the owner of this feces while my colleagues and I will get 70% to ourselves with which we wish to invest in Agriculture and Farming in conjunction with you and 5% will be set aside for the use of both parties for all excretions incurred locally and internationally during the realisation of this transaction, including toilet paper, as a matter of fact you are expected to take a sincere inventory of your toilet paper.

It is imperative to let you know that I am also a keen scatologist, with qualifications world wide.

Despite researches carried out to verify and ascertain your personality we can only move ahead if you can further assure us of your anal capacity, homosexuality and promise to help and treat this proposal with utmost confidentiality. We are men of proven integrity in our various fields who have put in 22 - 30years of feces in the toilets of our country, we are therefore averse to having our image and anuses widened. That is why we should acknowledge the fact that confidentiality is the key to the smooth insertion of this infection free transaction.

Awaiting your earliest positive response.

Best regards and remain blessed.

DR LUNIX TORVALDS

Who decides what fandom is about? (5, Insightful)

cowscows (103644) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421115)

Call me crazy, but shouldn't the fans, and not the creators decide what fandom is all about?

Will sports arenas try to throw people out for cheering for the visiting team? Will they decide that it's illegal for me to get a hometeam jersey printed up with my name on the back, instead of an actual player's name, because we should celebrate the game how it actually is, not how we'll enjoy it the best?

It's silly.

it's their film contest (1)

MrSloth (544065) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421119)

Since it is their contest, they can accept any kind of entries they want.

Maybe they don't want people to use their characters, and that's their every right.

Fanfiction? (1)

Kourino (206616) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421126)

So I wonder what old George feels about fanfiction? After all, that's often a big rewrite of things, or an addition to the official "canon" of a story/series. Yet I wouldn't doubt that some of the most dedicated fans (at least of anime) are good fanfic writers.

In fact, in the anime fandom world, fanfiction is a very much established part of fandom. Take, for example, the work at theria.net [theria.net] , which has THE best Slayers fanfics I've seen, some of which (I think) are of like quality with the actual Slayers anime series. In Japan, the corporations and the laws distinguish between "public" publications (say, running Sailormoon in the popular Kodansha magazine) and "private" publications (the thriving doujinshi environment of unofficial, but legal, fan work based on copyrighted material).

To say that fandom is something that should be limited to retelling someone else's vision strikes me as an extremely narrow statement that would have an adverse effect on fandom, and entertainment in general, if it were to suddenly become true.

LUCAS! INVEST NOW! (-1)

Yr0 (224662) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421127)

DR. LUNIX TORVALDS TEL:234 8023132472 FAX: 234 - 1 - 7595586 HELSINKI-FINLAND.

Dear Sir,

I write you this letter of request for partnership which I hope you will give your urgent attention. We worked as members of the Operating System/Penguin Abuse Committee inaugurated by the present Democratically Elected Comittee of the Electronic Frontier Foundation headed by General Richard Stallman (rtd). We are empowered to deligently reviewed, re-appraised, scrutinized and approved feces payments to lunix users who executed *bsd devils under the past operating system regime and our work is almost concluded.

In the course of our work we discovered this fecal matter, which resulted from grossly over used toilets, which were executed for the Gnu is Not Unix Corporation (GNU) by a consortium of several Foreign Companies like
VA SOFTWARE, RED HAT INC SUSE GMBH AND A JOINT VENTURES OF MANDRAKE AND CALDERA GMBH FOR:

(1) THE EXPANSION OF THE FECAL NETWORK WITH LINUX USERS FECES AND DOWNSTREAM PRODUCTS DISTRIBUTION AND SUBSEQUENT EVACUATION.

(2) CONTRACT FOR THE TURN AROUND MAINTENANCE (TAM) OF THE VARIOUS PENGUIN FECES FARMS IN THE COUNTRY.

(3) THE CONSTRUCTION OF STORAGE TANKS FOR LUNIX PRODUCTS (SEMEN).

Amounting to the tune of 100 tons of Fecal matter but was over invoiced to 150 tons of Feces. And we deliberately approved these fecal deposits and all Lunix users have been paid with these penguins executed and since abused, leaving the large amount of Eric S Raymonds maginificent deposit floating in the escrow pool of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) ready to be paid for the sexual services from the products in item number 2 as stated above. Before digressing further I would want you to know that our GNU General Public License forbids us from owning any money or having heretosexual relationships whilst in GNU service hence we are contacting you to be part of this transaction.

We intend to use your anus as a front to get the over invoiced amount of 50 tons of feces out of the BSD Sewers to a designated toilet by you. Not regarding your field of specialization (sphincter expansion) you are going to forward us with any name that we will claim executed the sewaging services in the turn around maintenance of the Penguin fecal abuse farms mentioned above. All logistics are in place and all modalities worked out for the smooth insertion of the feces within ten to fourteen days of commencement after the receipt of a semen deposit from you. You are going to get 25% of the feces by posing as the owner of this feces while my colleagues and I will get 70% to ourselves with which we wish to invest in Agriculture and Farming in conjunction with you and 5% will be set aside for the use of both parties for all excretions incurred locally and internationally during the realisation of this transaction, including toilet paper, as a matter of fact you are expected to take a sincere inventory of your toilet paper.

It is imperative to let you know that I am also a keen scatologist, with qualifications world wide.

Despite researches carried out to verify and ascertain your personality we can only move ahead if you can further assure us of your anal capacity, homosexuality and promise to help and treat this proposal with utmost confidentiality. We are men of proven integrity in our various fields who have put in 22 - 30years of feces in the toilets of our country, we are therefore averse to having our image and anuses widened. That is why we should acknowledge the fact that confidentiality is the key to the smooth insertion of this infection free transaction.

Awaiting your earliest positive response.

Best regards and remain blessed.

DR LUNIX TORVALDS

is a phantom edit post offtopic here? (1, Offtopic)

msouth (10321) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421128)

This isn't the same as people making a "Leia does Tatooine" film on their own, but I really like th idea of the Phantom Edit and I am wondering how hard it would be do thusly--

suppose you don't release the film, just the instructions for making it. So, you say, ok, take this clip from time x to time y, replace the sound from time z to time aa with this sound, etc. It seems like

a) this is technically doable*
b) there wouldn't be much anyone could do about it, as you aren't distributing anyone else's IP.

I think Lucas should fund the development of such a system. Then he oculd even see the Phantom Edit! I'm sure he still wants to. :)

PS: Patent pending

* (by "technically doable" I mean that I think it is possible for this to be done in a way such that viewing it could be done automatically [*waves hand*] somehow. It's obvious that the phantom edit could be done in the way I describe, but it probably wouldn't be watched if all there was was a text file description and some sound clips.

EDL: Edit Decision List (1)

bjq (250686) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421250)

What you're proposing already exists. It's called an Edit Decsionion List.

To save money on expensive video editing suites, you can capture low resolution dummy footage and use that to create an edit on much less expensive hardware. You then use the software to output and EDL that is used to batch process the orignal footage into the desired edit on the more expensive hardware.

As this applies to your post, releasing the EDL likely wouldn't be a violation of anyone's IP, but the difficulty lies in ensuring that eveyone's edit uses the same source material and starts from the exact same timecode since most consumer hardware doesn't support seeking to an exact timecode (just FF, Rewind controls).

BTW, This might get by the legal restrictions, but it makes such an edit much more difficult to watch, since an EDL isn't going to be watchable in realtime. You'd need to render out the new edit.

Lucas is right - here's what's going on (5, Informative)

ArsSineArtificio (150115) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421129)

Lucas' attitude is the proper one.

Parodies are legally protected speech (subject to a few tweaks, etc.). That's why Spaceballs or Weird Al's "Amish Paradise" don't require the payment of royalties, and don't require the original creator's permission. So all Lucas is doing with regard to parodies is acknowledging that there's nothing he can do about them, and saying that he enjoys watching them and so will assist in their circulation.

Documentaries don't really use copyrighted materials - the story they're telling is not about Luke Skywalker, it's about Lucasfilm (or whomever is the subject of the documentary).

New non-parody works, though (like fanfiction), which utilize the characters to create original fiction, are legally problematic. If Lucas acquiesced in the creation of these, then he would be yielding his copyright into the public domain. This would be a hugely bad idea for him. (Every movie production company would set to work making cheap-ass Star Wars flicks, to start with.) It would mean he was relinquishing his right to royalties from the use of the characters, etc. He would be insane to do this.

Unfortunately, there's not much in the way of middle ground, where he could say "well, fans can make little fanfiction movies, but commercial movie producers can't". IIRC, Mercedes Lackey got into a lot of trouble this way once, trying to turn over a portion of one of her fantasy worlds into the public domain for fans to write fanfiction in -- ended up as a mess.

The best Lucas can do is what he has done here - applaud the parodies and apologetically forbid "Star Wars" fanfiction.

Re:Lucas is right - here's what's going on (2, Informative)

Scudsucker (17617) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421175)

If Lucas acquiesced in the creation of these, then he would be yielding his copyright into the public domain.

No he wouldn't. Its trademarks that you have to defend or lose. All Lucas has to do is not sue the film makers in question, but that doesn't mean that Star Wars goes into the public domain.

Re: Clarification (2)

ArsSineArtificio (150115) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421233)

No he wouldn't. Its trademarks that you have to defend or lose. All Lucas has to do is not sue the film makers in question, but that doesn't mean that Star Wars goes into the public domain.

Yes - you're right. What I meant, and should have said, is that Lucas would be granting an implied license to all fans to use his copyrighted materials in any way they wished. And this would make things very blurry for him legally, down the road.

Re:Lucas is right - here's what's going on (1)

k98sven (324383) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421182)

Actually I belive Wierd Al does pay royalties.

My guess would be that it'd be for the melody,
and not the lyrics though.

Re:What about Weird Al? (2)

ArsSineArtificio (150115) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421205)

There's a distinction:

When Weird Al is making a parody of a song (like "Amish Paradise"), he doesn't have to pay royalties.

When Weird Al is using a tune to write a song about something else entirely (like "The Saga Begins"), he has to pay royalties and get permissions.

"The Saga Begins" for example isn't a parody of "American Pie", it's a song about Star Wars using the melody from "American Pie". Consequently, he has to pay royalties. Make sense?

Re:What about Weird Al? (1)

jmauro (32523) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421295)

The parodies use the orignial tune. He does pay royalities on the tune to the original song maker. Check who is given credit for writing Weird Al's songs. It'll be him and the original song makers as well. Coolio got payed quite a bit in royalites from Amish Paradise. Just because it's a parady that some what close, doesn't mean that the record companies won't take their pound of flesh.

Re:Lucas is right - here's what's going on (2)

56ker (566853) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421188)

Surely fanfiction (eg Star Wars books like the Jedi Academy trilogy etc) only serve to give Star Wars free advertising and should therefore be encouraged! I think what Lucas wants to avoid is more "Phantom Edits" - he can do that by making the next Star Wars films better than The Phantom Menace.

Re:Lucas is right - here's what's going on (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3421201)

Lucas sells Star Wars toys. He can go to hell if he expected me to only reinact Star Wars with the toys or if he thinks he can forbid my playing with Star Wars and Star Trek figurines together.

Re:Lucas is right - here's what's going on (5, Informative)

Phanatic1a (413374) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421292)

New non-parody works, though (like fanfiction), which utilize the characters to create original fiction, are legally problematic. If Lucas acquiesced in the creation of these, then he would be yielding his copyright into the public domain.

That is completely and utterly untrue.

Copyright gives the rightholder the power to determine who does or does not get to create derivative works. Lucas would be acting completely within his powers as rightsholder to say "Okay, you can make these works, that's fine. You other people, you can't make these other works." Being able to exercise control and selectivity is part of the entire point of copyright in the first place; suggesting that actually exercising that control requires the rightsholder to surrender his copyright is just stoopit.

What you might be thinking of is trademark law, where if you don't actively defend your trademarks, you lose them. Copyright law is entirely different; the only way your work can end up in the public domain prior to the natural expiration of the copyright is for the rightsholder to expressly declare "I surrender my copyright and place this work in the public domain."

Lucas can do whaever he wants (1)

roberto0 (242247) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421132)

I think it's fair to say that Lucas is trying to protect his own creative vision by not allowing new "stories" in his universe.

Lucas created it, and if he wants to have a limited contest, then he can. I don't see what the big deal is.
How many novels set in places like Middle-Earth weren't sanctioned by Lord of the Rings author JRR Tolkien?

I'm sure Harlan Ellison [harlanellison.com] would have a few things to say about this. Get him to post here!

I Agree with George (-1)

tealover (187148) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421136)

It's his product, he makes the rules. End of story. None of you people bitching and crying ever produce anything of worth but are quick to make demands on him.

I say fuck you all.

I Submit Episode One! (5, Funny)

EReidJ (551124) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421137)

Student works, documentaries and pariodies, huh? OK.

Why I hope someone submits the complete Episode I in this contest:

1) It's a great documentary about filmmakers after they lose their talent and get greedy.

2) It'a a terrific parody of the Star Wars series. If a student filmmaker had made this, Jar Jar Binks would have been hysterical, not insulting.

3) The quality of directing was that of a student parody. After all, no one's done those cheesy side-to-side wipe-away scene changes since... well, since Star Wars.

4) The acting was so bad, it was obvious that the actors weren't being paid anything. Not to mention I'm sure Anakin was the casting agent's grandkid or something.

5) You walked out of the theater thinking, "Man, that sucked, but the guy's got potential. Maybe someone will give him a chance someday."

The only explanation... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3421139)

The only logical explanation.....

Lucas has joined........ the Dark Side

Poorly Written (-1)

beee (98582) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421140)

"A great piece at the Houston Chronicle discusses how the community of fan made Star Wars films received a boon in December when Lucasfilm loaned their sponsorship to the event"

"the" event? Which event is that? You don't mention a specific event in the story. Imagine if Slashdot had something like 'editors' to correct stories before they were posted... damn... that'd almost be something worth paying for.

like it or not ... (2, Insightful)

rapid prototype (551089) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421145)

... lucas owns the right to decide how his characters are used. i can't go out and write a sequel to the "wheel of time" using the same characters without jordan's permission. it's not about being controlling or greedy, it's not wanting a million 'leia and luke as incestual lovers' crap, or 'han and chewie as gay lovers' crap.

personally, i think it's about damn time lucas did this, publicly give permission to do these parodies, etc, which mostly are crap, but a few are quite funny. this helps people understand where the line is drawn, and go forth and create.

-rp

Re:like it or not ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3421215)

But Lucas does sell his characters as toys.
Are you saying that he doesn't expect children to PLAY WITH THEM?

The way its going..... (1)

cOdEgUru (181536) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421146)

By the next episode, Lucas himself could don the role of Darth Vader.

Another media clamp down (2, Interesting)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421147)



Limit this, limit that; Can't do this, shouldn't do that ...

Is that the only thing Media Giants know ?

I thank God that the Media Giants weren't present when paper was first being made, or else, the Media Giants will purchase the RIGHTS to make paper, and dictate what people can and cannot do with their baby - paper.

What can we, the people do ?

Why are we tolerating so much nonsense ?

We can't copy songs, we shouldn't do e-books, they say it's all piracy.

What's next ?

We can't utter the word "Coke" or "Mickey Mouse" just because those words are "copyrighted" or "trademarked" ?

Should I say :

"I just finished that black, sugarly liquid, which came from a white and red can"

instead of :

"I just finished my Coke" ?

That'll be a new dimension of "Political Correctness".

Re:Another media clamp down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3421220)

Limit this, limit that; Can't do this, shouldn't do that ...

You maroon. Copying songs is unethical if you're not just copying them for your own personal use. I don't know why all the slashdotters think they have the right to distribute a copyrighted work to thousands or millions over the Internet. I know some distributors who specialize in rare electronic music who are really hurting since MP3s became popular.

You wouldn't think it's right to photocopy the latest best-seller and hand it out on the street corner to people who haven't paid for it. How does the Internet make this any different?

This political fight seems to be based on selfishness.

Fandom thoughts.... (1)

HokieSeas (560745) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421149)

I just kind of think it makes sense to a point for Lucas and Co to want to restrict fandom movies that deal with characters from the movies. I mean geez, he created an entire universe and mythology, go play in it, but leave the movie characters alone. Isnt this the entire concept behind role playing games? I wouldnt want to go into a game trying to be Luke Skywalker or Han Solo, cus I am not. I want to be me, in that universe, that environment. On the other side, I cant understand why he would restrict the fan made movies that dont fall under the "parody or documentary" format. Going through theforce.net and their fan films, there are some pretty good movies told in the Star Wars universe using original characters that is a shame they wont get the same recoginition as a parody.

In the words of the dark one.... (5, Funny)

pjdepasq (214609) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421150)

I am altering the deal. Pray I don't alter it any further.

Blame the lawyers (5, Insightful)

jpmorgan (517966) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421151)

Given Lucas' reaction to most fan stuff (for example, the Phantom Edit), I think he would honestly like to see the fan stuff ... but his legal advice thinks it's a very bad idea, and he's willing to go along with their judgement. His lawyers are probably right, too.

Beyond simple trademark dilution, Lucas puts himself at risk for copyright infringement suits since he is actively producing more movies in the same series. If Lucas sees one of these movies, then he risks the creator of the movie suing him for copyright infringement when he releases Episode 3, a long and possibly quite costly lawsuit. A lawsuit with base and no purpose other than to extort money from Lucas.

Does this happen? Well, I haven't heard of it happening in the movie biz, but most filmmakers are rarely in a position like this. In the music industry it does happen, quite a lot, to the point where one of the first things any professional musician (particularly successfull ones) learns is if someone hands you a demo tape, you hand it right back to them on the spot! It means nothing about the musician's opinion of you, or your music if he or she does this to you - it is simply an important legal defence in this age where you find unscrupulous people who will abuse the courts for their own personal gain, at the expense of others.

Just another situation where our litigous culture and the unscruplous few(?) screw things over for everybody.

C'est la vie.

Re:Blame the lawyers (1)

elchulopadre (466393) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421242)

I agree with you on this one. The fact that Lucas is actively producing more Star Wars opens him up to a very risky situation.

As you said, there's the copyright risk. Even if he had already scripted a part of the story which bears resemblance to anything produced by fans, the fact that the fans' work came into the eye of the public first allows for a potentially costly lawsuit. IANAL, however, so I may be wrong.

At the same time, while storylines produced by fans can serve as inspiration, they can also close down on Lucas' creativity for two reasons.

The first is the risk of copyright and steering far from fan films to avoid the slightest resemblance.

The second is the fact that he doesn't want any speculation of what happens in Episode III. I presume he already has a vision of where the story goes, but, supposing a fan writes something dangerously similar, he'll have to change things. So, to some extent, he's making sure the story ends up the way he wants it to. He (presumably) wants to leave as many options open for Episode III, which I consider will be the toughest of the 6 to make (that's another story, however).

Sheesh (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3421154)

As a Lucas rep says, 'if in fact somebody is using our characters to create a story unto itself, that's not in the spirit of what we think fandom is about. Fandom is about celebrating the story the way it is.

I think that's stretching the meaning of fandom. Here's what the dictionary has to say about it:

fandom

All the fans of a sport, an activity, or a famous person.


Nothing in there about having to follow any sort of guidlines set by the fanee. Now, there is a word that kind of means "a fan who does everything the fanee dictates. From the dictionary:

flunky also flunkey

A person of slavish or unquestioning obedience; a lackey.
One who does menial or trivial work; a drudge.
A liveried manservant.

Now if he wants a lackey or a flunky, why can't he just come right out and say it. All this talk of "fandom" seems kind of deceptive.

Lucas (1)

Small Danny (576478) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421162)

I have personally not got much comment upon this apart from im a major Star Wars and Star Wars spin off film fan. Troops was excellent and if this was not aloud to enter just because people might see it and like it Lucas is an as-s

FanFic? (2, Interesting)

CamelTrader (311519) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421165)

These guys have obviously never heard of Fan Fiction. I wonder what they'd do if we mentioned lemon fan fics?

Seriously though, some of the best Star Wars videos I've seen have followed these lines. Ever see TROOPS? It was excellent.

I agree that its just one more neon sign flashing "sell-out" to tack onto George Lucas' Motel of Movies. And I'm still going to go see all the rest of the star wars movies, because who can't??. Star Wars is burned into my brain along with Indiana Jones. George Lucas knows he owns us, and there's little we (or at least I) can do about it.

Whose characters are they, anyway? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3421171)

Go rent 'The Hidden Fortress' sometime.


If its director did as Lucas does, 'Star Wars' could never have happened in the first place.


Feh.

George Lucas, former director (3, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421176)

Realistically, George Lucas is someone who used to be a director, then stopped making films for twenty years and went into the effects and support technology business. His businesses included Pixar, ILM, Sprocket Systems, Skywalker Studios, and THX. All successfully provided production services for the films of others.

After twenty successful years with those businesses, he tried to make a movie. And it was, unsuprisingly, overproduced crap.

Lucas needs to accept his destiny, which is to be a suit.

Re:George Lucas, former director (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3421211)

No his destiny is to wear the Vadar Mask at all times when he's at home.

Lucas: *wooosh-shhhh* Commander, I suspect you will have dinner ready immediatly. *wooosh-shhhh*

Lucas's wife: *rolls eyes* Yes, my lord.

Lucas:*woosh-shhh* I will be in my quarters. *woosh-shhhh*

Re:George Lucas, former director (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3421260)

Wait, Lucas has a wife ?
I though he hated women.

Re:George Lucas, former director (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3421289)

Maybe you mean: "George Lucas, former director, found dead" :)

Yoda voice: (3, Funny)

A_Non_Moose (413034) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421181)

Begun this parody has.

And put it at the beginning of the phantom edit.

Yeah, Star Wars is so original (1)

kvn299 (472563) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421185)

This is hypocritical coming from a man who who admits the derivative nature of his films.

I remember reading that in one of the original studio screenings for Star Wars, Lucas had cut in footage from a lot of war movies because the space battles/special fx shots weren't finished yet.

Of course, I have to admit that I'm completely amazed the film festival even has his formal blessing.

Quit whining (2)

EnglishTim (9662) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421200)

He can't put his backing behind any new Star Wars movies that other people decide to make, because then that would is some way legitimise that story arc into the Star Wars Galaxy. He'd lose control, and it is his creation.

Anyway, these are simply the rules of the competition. It's not like you can't go off and make your own little Star Wars-based video if you like (although you probably can't sell it...)

Oh No! Somebody's done something I don't like! GREED! GREED!

fandom menace (5, Funny)

IAmATuringMachine! (62994) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421204)

Fandom is about celebrating the story the way it is.

It sounds like Lucas is trying to avoid the fandom menace.

Sometime's I just kill me.

To Play Devil's Advocate... (1)

TWX_the_Linux_Zealot (227666) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421208)

... I don't see how this is a huge problem. I am a science fiction fan, to the point of being a member of a local club (that actually has been meeting regularly for 25+ years), and I don't see how people making serious "part of the universe" Star Wars videos will really help. Honestly, this falls into the "Get a Life!" section of fandom. At least parodies and documentaries show that people have had to put some thought into what they want to present, and especially in parody, working to actually add something different and off base. These people generally show that they're intelligent enough take Lucas' work and twist it around to something very much in the spirit of Star Wars, but at the same time, completely their own. Troops was a perfect example, where they made an almost perfect satire of both Star Wars and Cops, and it's one of the best fan made videos that I've ever seen.

"There's a whole world out there! When I was your age, I didn't watch television! I LIVED! So... move out of your parent's basements! And get your own apartments and GROW THE HELL UP! I mean, it's just a TV show dammit, IT'S JUST A TV SHOW!" --William Shatner, Saturday Night Live, 1987

Maybe people are missing this... (2, Insightful)

19Buck (517176) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421212)

They are limiting entries into the CONTEST to documentaries and parodies

I'm sure good ol' George is fully aware that there is plenty O' FanFic out there, and he's not looking to stamp that out, he simply doesn't want any of it being entered into this contest because It likely WOULD conflict with the official canon.

And as someone else said, it's about control. It's his property, he can do with it whatever he wants, and obviously he doesn't want to allow any fan created universe fiction into an official function. That might be contruded as him sanctioning the material.

I don't know if any of you have watched the "Making of" [starwars.com] videos on the official Star wars site, but in one of them, (Wedgie Em' Out) A stunt Coordinater starts talking a little bit about the droid in Obi Wan's Starfighter.

"The R4 is really an R2 painted Red.."

George interupts him saying "Be careful.. what you say about the R4. Because you'll get bopped on the head real quick."

Then then the next clip shows George mockingly "beating up" the guy.

It was already well known that George is very possessive about Star Wars and related information being released, and as we said, it's his property, he can do with it what he wants.

bitter (2)

_ph1ux_ (216706) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421226)

lucas has the right and should defend his trademark - otherwise he can lose it if it is shown that they are complacent about it. however, I think he is an idiot personally - and I think that he is just bitter about the fact that leo's movie made more money than his [imdb.com]

For crying out loud.. (1)

ilumits (556634) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421228)

You knuckleheads act as if Lucas is supposed to be Jesus. He's a filmmaker, people. Films are his business. Get off his ass.

Propaganda (2)

YouAreFatMan (470882) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421234)

"Fandom is about celebrating the story the way it is."

Oh, I'm sure that Gangsta Rap versions, puppet characters, and slapstick comedy are just "celebrating the story the way it is." Parody and satire distort the story -- deliberately - for comic effect. True fan fiction is going to be a lot closer to the real story. But parody cannot be outlawed, so they are stuck with it.

And Lucas has used elements from plenty other stories in star wars -- he must have decided that he wasn't going to celebrate those as they were, but take the ideas and reshape them into a new story.

That comment is just propaganda from someone trying to put a spin on the notion that "We created this franchise, millions of you love it and want to add your own ideas, but we still want complete control." The only reason they are allowing parody and documentary is because they have to. So they make up something that sounds like all the spin you hear from corporations, politicians, and anyone else who wants to keep their true motives from being exposed.

And the original "endorsement" by Lucas was just another piece of propaganda to mollify fans when they realized that they had started to alienate their customers, ala RIAA. There's nothing behind it but some lame PR.

Respectful fanfiction not wanted? (1)

tuxedokamen (464248) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421236)

So....I guess this means that anyone who wants to creatively show their respect for the SW series is out of luck. All we get to do is discuss and or make fun of what's already there? Kind of sad. I think a lot of young writers, especially in the internet generation get a lot of important practice working with established characters that they love. Its Lucas' decision of course, but unless it's some kind of story that just shows no respect for anything (ie.: stories written purely for the sake of graphic, unlikely sex or to bash a certain character), he should let it ride and see what kind of images he's provoked in the minds of his fans over the last 30 years.

Sponser-less film festival? (1)

J3zmund (301962) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421238)

How 'bout the creative, non-fans (by their definition) submit their films to a separate festival not sponsored by the dark side? Seems like there's plenty of talk about the event as it is. A little bad publicity like this right before the Episode II release could make for an interesting event. Perhaps we'd see LucasFilm step in and shut down the event for IP theft related reasons.

Fuck George and his definition of true fan-dom. If people weren't so rabid about the original films, he'd never have been where he is today.

IANAL (2)

PenguinX (18932) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421261)

But legally speaking many companies believe that a parody doesn't have to be funny - it just has to imitate. As an example some may recall the slashdot story [slashdot.org] on Tierra - who is re-creating old Sierra games in a new engine. They have this sort of view on parodies [qknowledge.net] .

I think that the point is that Lucas does not get to decide what a parody is if it came to legal action.

His Universe to do with as he sees fit (2, Insightful)

rblancarte (213492) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421263)

So what if he says only certain things are allowed in his contest. That is his prerogative.

You seem to forget 1 thing - this is a series of movies that Lucas made for YOUR entertainment. So what if they were so good they spawned off this whole pseudo-culture that we see today. These movies were made for your enjoyment, and Lucas has no obligation to make them or more importantly make them to YOUR specifications.

Look, I like the whole Star Wars franchise, but I also realize that if Lucas screws it up, so be it, his loss, not mine (there are a hell of a lot better movies out to see than Eps 1-3).

RonB

Come again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3421269)

>> if in fact somebody is using our characters to create a story unto itself, that's not in the spirit of what we think fandom is about. Fandom is about celebrating the story the way it is.'

Yep, he's right. Fandom is about consuming whatever is handed down from the corporate deities on high, and not using one's own imagination to improve or create something new. He's got to discourage innovation, or our fan-made films might compete with him and steal the food off his table!

Ludicrous. I hope his next overproduced, overhyped movie bombs just as much as the last one.

Shame Kurosawa didn't take this attitude... (1)

Simon Brooke (45012) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421281)

Given that 'The Phantom Menace' is a public and unashamed rip-off of Kurosawa's Hidden Fortress [canoe.ca] , I can't help finding this richly ironic.

Quick! We're inside, now! Pull up the drawbridge...

Can anyone spell hypocrisy, or is that too long a word for Hollywood?

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead! (2)

ToastyKen (10169) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421283)

In other news, making Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead [imdb.com] obviously means that Tom Stoppard doesn't appreciate the original story!

Episode III Title (4, Funny)

The Ape With No Name (213531) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421290)

Star Wars Episode III: "I wipe my ass with your money"

Uh, Mr. Lucas, does this apply to you, too? (2)

Sinistar2k (225578) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421296)

As a Lucas rep says, 'if in fact somebody is using our characters to create a story unto itself, that's not in the spirit of what we think fandom is about. Fandom is about celebrating the story the way it is.'
So remember, if you take the story the way it is and, say, change it so that Greedo shoots first, or Luke screams like a cartoon character, or suddenly increase the size of the Rebel fleet 10 fold, then that is not in the spirit of what we think fandom is about!

Mr. Lucas, it's tough to celebrate the story the way it is if you keep changing it.

So... (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421297)


...was Star Wars a documentary about Hidden Fortress, or a parody of it?

I wish Lucasfilm had been more upfront. (1)

DevNull Ogre (256715) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421304)

A lot of posters have made the excellent point that intellectual property laws tie Lucas's hands--he has to always protect his trademarks or he will begin losing the right to ever protect them. I just wish Lucasfilm would come out and say so instead of trying to hide behind this nonsense about what they "think" fandom is and isn't.

By the Fans, For the Fans. (1)

huntdwumpus (534558) | more than 12 years ago | (#3421318)

Any Lucas stupidity is barely worth comment, but I can't help myself.

I'm sorry God, but first of all, you are not God. Second, Fans themselves determine what Fandom is about, they don't wait to get handed down stone tablets from the mountaintop. Third, these are your paying customers, your livelyhood, and they are using their own time and money to give you free publicity, so you can sell more JarJar Happy Meals.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?