Corporate Copyright Scofflaws 0002

The largest copyright pirates are the large corporations, particularly in the content distribution business. Yes, those companies who scream the loudest that their customers are ‘pirating’ movies, songs, books, etc. In this series, we are going to look at cases where these companies have engaged in large scare copyright infringement.

In all cases I will be working with published information. It is possible that this information may not be up to date, or may not accurately reflect the current status of the copyright infringement. If I am supplied documentary evidence which shows a different status, I will publish an update. In cases where a lawsuit ensued, and the settlement was sealed, I will not update the published information, unless I am provided with:

1) A copy of the settlement
2) Permission to publish the settlement

While I realize this may cause problems for one or more of the parties involved, I believe in only publishing things I can reference.

Note that the above text will appear in every article, if you’ve read it once, feel free to skip down to the divider.

*****

Mike Jittlov is a film maker. His movie, The Wizard of Speed and Time is considered a cult classic. Unfortunately Mike doesn’t own his own movie. Somehow during the making of it, Mike lost control of his movie. I first heard about this nearly 25 years ago, and at the time didn’t believe what I was hearing, even though the person who told me about was someone I knew fairly well. It just sounded so bizarre. I’m a lot more cynical now.

Since I’d heard about this so long ago, and I didn’t remember all the details, I went online to look things up, and what I found matched my memories.It appears that Mike was totally ripped off. He invested a lot of his own money in the project, and according to various sources worked a wide variety of jobs on the project, including acting in the starring role.

What he got in return, was the theft of his intellectual property.

The movie was originally available on VHS (we have a copy) it has never been released on DVD. It appears that Mike was never paid any money for the VHS sales. He got legal advice at one point about trying to take back his creation, but the costs were more than he could afford – and he might not have won. Of course at this point an ethical person would wonder why Mike would have to fight to retain control of his own creation.

And the worst thing is that Mike hasn’t done anything major since. Just think, the talent who could produce one of the greatest live action stop motion animation movies ever, and he hasn’t produced another major work. Now I didn’t talk to Mike, and I don’t know for certain that his experiences in having his work ripped off are the reason why, but I have my suspicions.

Wayne Borean

Wednesday January 27, 2010

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