Archive for the ‘Legal’ Category

Wall*E and copyright infringement

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008

We have received several e-mails discussing the possibility that Pixar’s latest star, WALL*E is a proponent of copyright infringement. And it’s not just our readers who see the problem.

According to reporters at Unsubstantiated Rumor Magazine, former Disney CEO and Pixar unaficionado Michael Eisner has accused WALL*E of fostering music piracy by recording the soundtrack of a video tape. Noting that by making a copy of the music for himself WALL*E has “duplicated copyrighted content and distributed it to every sentient being left on the planet.” Eisner says he is willing to testify before the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee that, “the movie suggests to people that they can create theft if they buy WALL*E robots.”

Disney legal analyst and unofficial spokesperson Bill Manyhours responds to these allegations. “In the context of the film,” says Manyhours, “Hello, Dolly! would have been out of copyright for more than 700 years. Under these very specific, rigidly defined conditions, Disney does not see a legal problem with a user making a single copy of the soundtrack of the film for personal use, so long as no copyright protection schemes are circumvented. For the same reason, we do not see Wall*E’s attempt to hold Eve’s hand as theft of intellectual property even though he is clearly doing so in an attempt to recreate the action depicted in the film and this might, in another context, be considered an illegal digital-to-analog conversion.”

Manyhours added that, although he stands by his statements at this time, they may be impacted by pending Disney-sponsored legislation which would extend corporate copyright protection “into the foreseeable future.” He also asks us to remind our readers that making a copy of the portion of theWALL*E soundtrack that includes only the sounds of the portion of Hello, Dolly! that were copied by Wall*E is curently a violation of copyrights held by both Disney and 20th Century Fox, “so don’t even think about it.”

Prius Lawsuit Dismissed

Thursday, February 28th, 2008

Last week, a judge dismissed a lawsuit against the Walt Disney Company regarding the use of Toyota Prius hybrid vehicles at Walt Disney World. Said Disney law aficionado Eubanks Q. Ambchaser, “The suit claimed that Disney discriminates against those with environmental sensibilities by requiring them to leave their fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles behind when they enter Walt Disney World theme parks. The plaintiffs asserted that these vehicles were far more efficient than many of the vehicles in use within the parks — such as steam engines, horses, and churro carts — and therefore could not be reasonably excluded. Disney countered that most walkways and attraction queues were not Prius compatible. District court judge Bob C. Payola laughed so hard at the charges that he had to change his robe, but dismissed the case before doing so.”

Legal Ramifications of Character Interaction

Monday, December 17th, 2007

Apparently Disney lawyers suddenly realized that whenever guests interact with characters, they are taking part in a performance of sorts. For that reason, the following text now appears on signs near key character-greeting locations:

“By interacting with a Disney character, you fully and irrevocably authorize Disney Enterprises, Inc. and any of its affiliated entities (collectively, “Disney”) to publish or use your performance in whole or in part in any manner, to distribute the performance in any medium and through any media formats, technologies, and channels now known or hereafter devised. Further, you represent and warrant that your own or have the necessary rights, without the need for any permission from, or payment to, any other person or entity to use, and to authorize Disney to use, the content of your performance. You acknowledge that you will not be provided with any payment or other consideration for any use of your performance including the viewing of your performance by any guests present at the time of the performance, and you acknowledge that you have no expectation to be compensated or provided any credit for any use of your performance.”

And on the flip side of this coin, Disney is now keeping a watchful eye out for those who use Disney intellectual property during “performances” — including those without interaction with Disney characters — within the park. Just yesterday, a guests complained that he was presented with a “cease and desist” order for singing the Tiki Room song on an Adventureland walkway without legal permission.

Disney Copyright Infringement Crackdown!

Wednesday, December 5th, 2007

In an open letter to musicians and fans alike, Disney said that it will no longer tolerate the illegal use of its musical intellectual property. No illegal CDs. No unauthorized remakes. No “fannish” musical productions. “Any violations will be met with immediate, intense, delightfully magical legal force,” said corporate counsel Gareth Bloodslobber.

Taking the whole action a step further, Disney will be prosecuting those who make music that steals even minor parts of Disney-copyrighted music. Says Bloodslobber,” We served papers on the band Joy Division this morning. There is a beat running through their song ‘Disorder’ that is definitely reminiscent to the beat of the chorus of the Tiki Room song. Some Internet moron said the whole thing was just a coincidence, but there’s no way. ‘My Country, ‘Tis of Thee’ sounding kind of like ‘God Save the King’ is a coincidence. But this? This is wholesale intellectual theft. We want assets seized. We want jail time.”

Said a representative for Edison Square, a well known Disney fan band, “We are so screwed.”