Friday, January 25, 2013

Fair Use, The Mouse and the Movie

Walt & Mickey welcoming all - except maybe secret film makers*
Disney is well known for vigorously protecting its intellectual property as well as its image.  But an independent movie maker seems ready to challenge The Mouse over the limits of fair use.

Independent film maker Randy Moore has made a new movie.  "Escape From Tomorrow" is a horror fantasy movie that finds horror rather than happiness in mass entertainment. The black and white movie debuted at Sundance Film Festival.

But Moore's movie might as well have been titled "Escape From Tomorrowland."  It was filmed on location at Disneyland and Disney World -- all without the knowledge or permission of Disney.  Much of the movie was filmed on the iconic "It's a Small World" ride with small hand-held cameras, although it did not use the insipid "Small World song, which clearly would be a copyright violation.

The movie includes such non-Disney-esque scenes as grusome vomiting a taser to the privates, followed by the victim being dragged to a surreal chamber underneath the Epcot Spaceship Sphere.

So how far can film makers, or writers for that matter, utilize real-world people, companies and places in their works?  I'll explore that issue in future posts.

Meanwhile, The Mouse remains mum on "Escape From Tomorrow."  So do The Mouse's lawyers.

*photo credit: <a href="">Olivier Bruchez</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

1 comment:

  1. FYI, it's Spaceship Earth at Epcot, not Spaceship Sphere. (Sorry, we Disney geeks notice little things like that.)