Sunday, March 01, 2009

From the ashes...

So, it's been a while. A long while.

Not that there hasn't been anything to write about, or the desire to do so... I'll own up to being lazy. We'll just leave it at that, shall we?

A lame thing happened to me on Friday. Actually, in an odd way, it was a good thing. Good enough to bring me out of my writer's block, at least.

Typical Friday morning when I'm not working, I check my e-mail and login to my various "communication sites". Off I went to YouTube. I was pleased to be greeted by another of AustrailianRoadshow's private video offerings in my inbox. I clicked on it, left the room for a bit while it was loading, came back and my YouTube account was closed. Gone forever or "suspended permanently" in YT terms.

What happened? Well, during this same time that I'm on there, an account created that same day, seemingly for that exact purpose, filed claim of copyright infringement over one of my videos. The video in question was titled "Winkles Cereal," a commercial parody excerpt from the 1977 film, PRIME TIME. The company filing the claim was Taurus Entertainment. Taurus claimed ownership of the film's copyright, which I seriously question because, to my knowledge, the film's rights were never renewed and have since fallen into the public domain.

A little back history on PRIME TIME...
PRIME TIME was another in the string of sketch comedy films of the 1970s, an era that truly began with Ken Shapiro's remarkable THE GROOVE TUBE. I loved this genre. Anyhow, each of these films were independent and never financed by a major studio, yet PRIME TIME was the exception. Warner Bros. produced PRIME TIME and held the initial copyright, yet got cold feet about distributing it due to it's raucious nature. Cannon Film Distributors (pre-Golan-Globus) released the film briefly in theaters and licensed it's home video usage (along with many other Cannon titles) to Paragon Video Productions in 1982. Of course, Paragon is long gone, but some of the films on that label, particularly the Cannon titles, have seen a resurgence with other companies, yet PRIME TIME never did. I believe it's last printing was circa '84-'85.

So, nothing happened with the film and, presumably, since it wasn't a Cannon production in the first place, rights were never renewed and the film began resurfacing over 20 years later in DVD movie collections chock full of public domain material. Not to mention that some PD sites have listed it, along with other sketch comedy films like TUNNEL VISION and LOOSE SHOES, as being in the public domain.

Which brings me to Taurus Entertainment...

Where do you guys get off?! As a corporation, I dug you back in the day. Waaaayyyyy back in the day, like late '80s, maybe early '90s. We're talkin' BEST OF THE BEST era, those TWO EVIL EYES days. And, yeah, I know you hold copyright on George A. Romero's epic DAY OF THE DEAD, even though you didn't make it. So, that's where my interest ends with you. Your acquisition of those rights has poisoned your blood stream with ideas of bank-off possibilities. Like soiling the legacy of the great Romero with... dun-dun-dun... DAY OF THE DEAD 2: CONTAGION. Newsflash! DAY OF THE DEAD is already a sequel to two other films, so, you can't make a PART TWO to something that's already a PART THREE. Who in the hell do you think you are? NATIONAL LAMPOON'S CHRISTMAS VACATION 2?! If that weren't enough, you had to then spoil the hopes and dreams of Romero's fan base with CREEPSHOW III. For years, we've been begging for a third CREEPSHOW, only, we wanted a quality film from Romero and co., or at least, one with his blessing. Instead, we got your so-called sequel. That film receives the "Whuh the fuh?" award for when I stumbled upon it at the new release wall. Have I seen it? Nope. Should I see it? Nope. Same with DAY OF THE DEAD 2: CONTAGION? Yep.

Then, we have the "time to make the donuts" award for the DAY OF THE DEAD remake. The remake that came one year after you decided to make a sequel to the original?! That's right. What's up, Taurus Ent? CONTAGION didn't bring in the big bucks you wanted? Too bad. Have I seen your remake of DAY OF THE DEAD? Nope. Why not? Because, I'm on to your game, and much like an old girlfriend, after a while, you just don't care anymore. I'm so over you piss cats and Friday's seizure of my nearly 4-year-old account has sealed it with a most deadly kiss. You guys suck, for good. And, I still don't believe that you own PRIME TIME. In fact, I'm pretty damn sure of it.

At any rate, that's said and done.
There's no going back, unfortunately.

In loving memory...
(2006 - 2009)


Just for kicks...
Here's Taurus' account, which, as mentioned before, was ironically created the day of my channel's demise.

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