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Darth Lucas Strikes Again!

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http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/brooklyn/forced_flick_nix_R1STAy0HWiY4HJdb5gbHzO

George Lucas may have crossed over to the Dark Side.

In a move worthy of Darth Vader, Lucas' production company plunged a lightsaber through a long-planned "Star Wars" movie marathon at a Brooklyn bar.

Organizers claim Lucasfilm's legal stormtroopers fired off a cease-and-desist order just two days before the event.

Organizers of the 13-hour screening, which had been slated for the Wicked Monk in Bay Ridge on July 3, promptly called it off.

The order cited copyright infringements and added that there was a moratorium on public "Star Wars" screenings.

Mike DeVito, who promoted the event through Facebook, Twitter and a blog, said he was blindsided by the Death Star-like attack -- grousing in true "Star Wars" geek terms that "only a Sith deals in absolutes."

Lucas, he said, "has crossed over" and now gives Vader "a run for his money."

"I've seen the 'Star Wars' movies about 150 times but never in one long run together, and I thought it would be great to put something like this together for like-minded people," DeVito said.

He said more than 200 had been expected to attend the marathon.

"What bothers me most is that they waited until the last minute to notify us, so we couldn't get a chance to try working something out," he groused.

The order said the organizers couldn't show the films because they planned to charge admission. But fliers promoting the event say the only potential cost to patrons was for bar drinks.

Lucas' lawyers also claimed that DeVito and the Wicked Monk hadn't tried to get permission to use "Star Wars" material.

DeVito admitted he'd never thought of it.

"But it wasn't as if we were making money off it," he said.

Lucasfilm did not reply to requests for comment.

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"Lucas breathes oxygen! An evil plot to deny the rest of us breathable air? Film at 11!"

Honest to God, the outrage over this man has reached ridiculous proportions.

There are 10 types of people in this world: those who understand binary, and those who do not.
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Like Lucasfilm would have given permisson anyway.

If there is a "moratorium", it doesn't seem like it would matter if it's free admission to begin with.

So how did that Boston theater get away with it's free screening last year?

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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MJPollard said:

"Lucas breathes oxygen! An evil plot to deny the rest of us breathable air? Film at 11!"

Honest to God, the outrage over this man has reached ridiculous proportions.

I gotta agree here. While I'm sure a big marathon screening would be fun, I'm not sure why Lucas alone among all filmmakers is somehow evil for his company enforcing the rules about pubic screenings of movies.

Sorry to the dude, but the dorm common room at my college had to get special liscened versions of movies to show them. You have to arrange a special deal with the service provider to have a PPV shown in a bar.

Lucas' lawyers also claimed that DeVito and the Wicked Monk hadn't tried to get permission to use "Star Wars" material.

DeVito admitted he'd never thought of it.

This is more a case of someone being dumb that Lucas being evil.

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20th Century Mark said:

If Lucas can't profit from it, he won't allow it.

Yeah, like the Fan-film world, that he actually encourages, or fan-edits that he apparently allows.

I just wonder if someone we didn't have unrelenting geek-hate for, (Joss Whedon? Quentin Tarantino? Alejandro Jadorowsky?) did the same thing, would we somehow begrudge them the right to profit off their property?

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Lucasfilm had every right to stop such a thing, which would've surely brought a lot of money into the bar. It sucks that it was canceled just 2 days before the event, but that's the fault of the organizers for not securing rights beforehand.

I don't think it's fair to claim "if Lucas can't profit, he won't allow it", on a website at least partially dedicated to fanedits and preservations of Star Wars films.

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There was a recent screening of RotJ in the NYC area, that could be why LFL tracked/shut this one down, they might have heard of the other screening and after some quick searching this one came up.

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I wasn't being serious guys. I was mearly going along with the typical Luca$ "bashing" that goes on. Of course he has the right to shut this down. It's a public viewing without permission, duh! What was that guy thinking?

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Exactly. I'm sure if they actually got permission, it'd have been granted, (although probably not for free) because from the sound of it, they'd would have been showing the shitty official versions in 1-6 order. But LFL had every right to stop them from doing it if they didn't ask for permission, because with free admission they would have made shitloads on drinks. The situation with the Boston showing was different as they definitely didn't make any profit from it.

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Well there is a little thing called copyright law...

Without a license, you can't show films to a group of over 5 people-especially in a public place. The only way to get around this is if you have specific permission from the copyright holder. The free screenings could be stopped if people high up really wanted them stopped.

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none said:

There was a recent screening of RotJ in the NYC area, that could be why LFL tracked/shut this one down, they might have heard of the other screening and after some quick searching this one came up.

really?  where?  I never heard anything about that.

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captainsolo said:

Well there is a little thing called copyright law...

Without a license, you can't show films to a group of over 5 people-especially in a public place. The only way to get around this is if you have specific permission from the copyright holder. The free screenings could be stopped if people high up really wanted them stopped.

Yeah, I know. I didn't say it was perfectly legal, I just said it was a different situation.

  • www.facebook.com/despecialized
  • IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THE DESPECIALIZED EDITIONS, PLEASE READ THE FIRST POSTS OF THESE THREADS, WHICH HAVE UP-TO-DATE INFORMATION: SW, ESB, ROTJ, 97SE RE-ED
    IF YOU DON’T FIND WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR THERE, TRY ASKING IN THE APPROPRIATE THREADS - MOST REGULAR POSTERS KNOW ALL THE ANSWERS AND SOMEONE WILL LIKELY BE ABLE TO HELP YOU.
    IF I GET A PM WITH A QUESTION, WHICH COULD HAVE BEEN ANSWERED THROUGH THESE MEANS, IT WILL BE IGNORED. SORRY BUT I AM NOT THE LOCAL INFO BOOTH. THANK YOU.
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digitalfreaknyc wrote:

none said:

There was a recent screening of RotJ in the NYC area, that could be why LFL tracked/shut this one down, they might have heard of the other screening and after some quick searching this one came up.

really?  where?  I never heard anything about that.

Yeah, I missed it too, found out about it a week after it happened.

http://www.carrollparkbrooklyn.org/?p=1564

Return of the Jedi Movie Screening in the Park
Jun
24
8:00 pm

One of our longtime supporters will be hosting a screening of “Return of the Jedi” in front of the Robert Acito Park House at 8pm on Friday, 6/24. There’s no charge, but donations to Friends of Carroll Park will be accepted. Grab some snacks and bring your Ewoks for some Star Wars under the stars!

They also showed the film last Halloween, so cross your fingers for another one this fall.  I wrote them to ask what version they were showing or if it was film or just the DVDs, but haven't heard back.  zombie saw an under the radar screening of a RotJ, later that same week, wondering if it's the same print.

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That's really weird.  I heard nothing about this.   Thanks for the info.  Very interesting.

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I've read an article yesterday comparing Lucas and Darth Vader. And after seeing this topic, it seems that such a comparison has been something common for months or years already. It strange, I haven't thought about this myself cause it makes sense to a degree.

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Deja vu!

In the mid-90's, I used to regularly attend midnight movie marathons at my local cineplex here in Western Australia. They were always held the night before a public holiday and would involve a screening of 3 current movies, back-to-back, starting at midnight (giving us plenty of pre-drinking time) and finishing at dawn. There would usually be a choice of 3 different programs, too, so we used to screen-hop if we didn't like any particular line-up.

Anyway, it was 1997 and I guess the 'Special Editions' had all come out and done their thing. Sometime after there was a public holiday and yet another movie marathon. One of the programs was to be the Star Wars trilogy! The ads were in that weekend's papers and we were all quite keen to go (me especially, since a trilogy screening in '83 or '84 was how I first got to see EMPIRE). However, when we got to the cinema shortly before midnight on the night, we discovered that the trilogy screening had been cancelled. Why?

George Lucas.

Lucasfilm had found out about the marathon and put the kebosh on it. Needless to say, alotta folk were pretty bummed about the whole thing.

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The Griff said:

Deja vu!

Anyway, it was 1997 and I guess the 'Special Editions' had all come out and done their thing. Sometime after there was a public holiday and yet another movie marathon. One of the programs was to be the Star Wars trilogy! The ads were in that weekend's papers and we were all quite keen to go (me especially, since a trilogy screening in '83 or '84 was how I first got to see EMPIRE). However, when we got to the cinema shortly before midnight on the night, we discovered that the trilogy screening had been cancelled. Why?

George Lucas.

Lucasfilm had found out about the marathon and put the kebosh on it. Needless to say, alotta folk were pretty bummed about the whole thing.

How does a theater not know you need legal permission to show a movie?

If they were showing James Bond films, and it got cancelled because the theater owner was too stupid/crooked to get/pay for the rights to show them, would you personally blame the owner of MGM or Albert Brocolli, or would you be annoyed at the theater owner for being stupid/crooked?

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TheBoost said:

How does a theater not know you need legal permission to show a movie?

I dunno!

They did - and still do - these marathons several times a year, playing only movies in current release (since cinemas do not own prints and must return them after their run) and they never had a problem nor reason, I suppose, to suspect there would be one.

"They" being Greater Union - arguably the biggest theatre chain in the southern hemisphere at the time. I would assume they weren't amateurs and generally aware of their rights and obligations. I'd hesitate to call them stupid and/or crooked. There were 3 or 4 programs to choose from that night and only one was the SW spec. ed. trilogy so its not like they were outright exploiting the situation. Admission, as I recall, was little more than the regular ticket price for one movie. I seriously doubt it would have even sold out - based on the late/long hours and the lack of people at the ESB and ROTJ '97 premiere screenings at the same cinema (I recall them being largely empty).

Perhaps the objection was to playing all 3 films back-to-back, thereby creating an unsanctioned 'event' of sorts that violated Lucasfilm's terms? Maybe Lucasfilm didn't really have a leg to stand on but the threat of legal action or other consequences were enough to frighten Greater Union off?

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It's not really a matter of them seeking permission. The fact is, Lucasfilm doesn't permit screenings. Period. So, it's not like there was every any chance of them doing it legitimately, if you want to show the films, ever, you have to do so illicitly.

The only exceptions they make are to institutions like AFI, they get granted special permission, but it's exceptional and only done in the case of award ceremonies, tributes, etc.

The Secret History of Star Wars -- now available on Amazon.com!

"When George went back and put new creatures into the original Star Wars, I find that disturbing. It’s a revision of history. That bothers me."

--James Cameron, Entertainment Weekly, April 2010

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I didn't know there was even a "moratorium" on OT Star Wars in the public eye....weird, although not surprising.

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They withhold screenings so that they can inflate the value of a strategic re-release. 1997, 3D, etc. It becomes a special, limited-time event, with a publicity and merchandise campaign behind it.

The Secret History of Star Wars -- now available on Amazon.com!

"When George went back and put new creatures into the original Star Wars, I find that disturbing. It’s a revision of history. That bothers me."

--James Cameron, Entertainment Weekly, April 2010

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So, if George decided not include the OT on this Blu-ray release how would it interfere with it?  I mean, it's just fans wanting to share the experience together....who cares if it's not an open bar....most folks I know who love the OT would gladly pay for their drinks while watching such epic classics that their own creator seems to want wiped from historical reference every chance he gets.  It's still weird as it's hardly competition against all those fans who don't know any better.

Thanks for the explanation.

:)

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MJPollard said:

"Lucas breathes oxygen! An evil plot to deny the rest of us breathable air? Film at 11!"

Honest to God, the outrage over this man has reached ridiculous proportions.

 

I'm kind of inclined to agree in the sense that, let's face it, there's a big disclaimer on the front of all DVDs about how public display is illegal, so he's hardly outside his rights, or indeed any other filmmaker.

“What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one.”

Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death

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The thing that kinda bugs me is that this was a bar, and they weren't charging admission. As far as I know, you don't need permission for such a thing. If I walk into a video store, there is always a movie playing there, and movie stores, whether big chains like Blockbuster or your local indie, don't seek permission. Bars show television shows, news, sports, and sometimes order pay-per-view events (and sometimes charge cover too) in order to attract business. Restaurants play music sometimes for their customer's convenience. So do coffee shops. Dance clubs base their entire business off playing copyrighted material for free for the pleasure of their patrons, and make big bucks off the drinks and cover that come with it.

Is this really so much different? Stores like HMV even play movies while you shop. When I was a kid, there was a restaurant-store called Sci-Fi World that was basically a comic book, novel, magazine, collectible and RPG store with a sci-fi theme, and they had a hamburger restaurant with a big, giant projector screen that would show movies. The first time I was there, Star Wars was playing, and other times it was Star Trek or Superman and the like. Stores will play shows in their display windows, dentists sometimes have television and videos to entertain the kids.

In a way, stuff like this is industry norms. I've been to bars where they screen movies while you sit and talk and drink, and you can watch the movie or sit further away from the area its playing and have your own space. It's really nothing illegal. You shouldn't need permission every time you display something that is copyrighted.

Technically speaking, it would therefore be illegal for me to bring my Blu-ray over to your house and show you the new Star Wars set. Playing your DVDs at a house party would be illegal public display. But of course it's not, but when you start charging money for it then maybe it would become as such. But is this different from the entire dance club industry, or bars with cover? I'm not sure.

I'm not sure if I comfortable with the idea in society that you have to pay money or get permission every time you want to freely display something that's owned by a company. It didn't use to be that way, and it's still largely not, but I feel like more and more there is this acceptance of it.

The Secret History of Star Wars -- now available on Amazon.com!

"When George went back and put new creatures into the original Star Wars, I find that disturbing. It’s a revision of history. That bothers me."

--James Cameron, Entertainment Weekly, April 2010