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An Angry Open Letter To Paramount

VenomXt

Blame me for the RAZR's
#1
What is it about big companies shooting themselves in the foot? This is a copy from the movieblog. Maybe the old people in these companys dont understand how the internet's social constructs work. But i bet the neg publicity this event makes at least shows them a lesson. though some would say any publicity is good publicity.

Last night at around Midnight EST. Paramount filed a complaint with The Movie Blog's hosting company about an alleged copyright violation. This complaint resulted in The Movie Blog being taken down for 7-8 hours this morning.

It should be noted that we at The Movie Blog did not receive a single request from Paramount to remove the image in question.


Following reading Paramount's complaint, I was outraged. I wrote the following letter to them which I share with you now. Needless to say, you'll never see another piece of Transformers the Movie news or talk on this site.


Am I over reacting a little in this matter? Perhaps I am. Fair enough. But this has really pissed me off. Here is the letter I sent them:
Greetings. This is John Campea, Founder and Editor of The Movie Blog - www.themovieblog.com


The Movie Blog is not one of the larger sites on the internet, right now we only have just over a million readers per month. For almost a year on both our site and on our Podcast (which won Podcast of the Year handed out at the SXSW festival this year) we have almost daily been hyping, talking about, and gushing over your Transformers the Movie project.​


We've done nothing but tell the world how we think it's the best movie coming down the pipe. We constantly talk about how we think Michael Bay is the best man for the job. On and on we go crazy about the Transformers.​


That is over. No more.


Last week I received a request from two of your representatives asking that I remove a picture of the character "Bumblebee" from our website. I responded by asking if you were SURE you wanted us to take it down since it seemed to be generating so much positive publicity and buzz for your project. Your representatives both said "yes". So, without delay I took the picture down. I can understand this. The Bumblebee picture gave away a character secret.​


However, this morning I awoke to find that my website had been taken offline because YOU PEOPLE had filed a copyright complaint with my hosting service. The copyright complaint wasn't for any scene of filming. It was a candid picture of 4 actors standing around off camera posing for a picture together. That's all it was. There was no notice of copyright on the image, and being just a posed picture of 4 actors who were all already announced as being in the picture, I had no way of knowing you would have any problem with this image being online. And WHY did I have no idea you would have a problem with it???​


Because not once did you ask me to take it down. Not one easy email to say you didn't want it online. IT WOULD HAVE BEEN 10x EASIER FOR YOU JUST SEND ME A 2 LINE EMAIL LETTING ME KNOW YOU WOULD PREFER THAT IMAGE NOT BE ONLINE than the 4 paragraph legal letter sent to my hosting company.​


This has caused me a world of inconvenience and headache and disappointed me tremendously.​


Is this how you treat your fans? Is this how you treat the people who are out here heaping loads upon loads of free positive fanboyish publicity and hype on your movie?!?! I am nothing short of disgusted by how you have chosen to deal with this.


You shut my site down. A fan who has been trying his best to make Transformers the most talked about film in production. A fan who has been praising your project almost daily. A fan who already once took down an image that you wanted down with just a simple request. And this is how you treat your fans? Shutting them down without so much as a 2 line email request or to at least let us know you were upset with something.​


Fine. If this is how you treat people... then that is how you shall be treated. From now on The Movie Blog will not mention, reference or talk about anything to do with your movie or your project. Heavens forbid that I may say something that you don't like and wake up to find my site taken down again.​


The Movie Blog is nothing. A small tiny site by most standards with only a million readers. I'm sure this won't effect you at all. But seriously folks... just a little common decency is all you needed to show. Just a simple 2 line email to ask "hey, can you take this down". That's all. I already proved I respond to your requests. I had no idea this particular image was a problem for you.​


But instead you decided to "Show me who's boss" and shut my site down.​


Well you did it. You really showed me who's boss. Do you feel all big and tough now? So well done. You lost a fan, and you lost a whole years worth of free positive hype and publicity. I hope it was worth it to you.


As an aside, I'm being quite reserved about my feelings on this. If you are at all interested in the full extent of our anger over this, just have one of your people listen to our Podcast Friday night.​


John Campea​

Editor of The Movie Blog​


Perhaps my letter to Paramount came across a little like a temper tantrum. As I said earlier, perhaps I'm over reacting a little. But I've got to tell ya folks... in the almost 3 years that I've been doing The Movie Blog, nothing has made me this angry. I am very disappointed with Paramount, and disgusted beyond words.

Some will think I'm just being a suck. Fair enough. But to quote the immortal Boby Brown: That's my prerogative.

**UPDATE** Someone already posted this to Digg. You can go Digg the story here

**UPDATE #2** Wow, I've been overwhelmed by the response this post has got. About 4 differnt news services have already contacted me about it. All I wanted to do was vent a little. Thanks for the amazing support guys. It's much appreciated

**UPDATE #3** HOLY CRAP my whole day has been spent responding to email about this issue.! :) Look, let me clear some things up: 1) My hosting company is faultless in this. The acted totaly in complaiance with their TOS. I have no problem with them. 2) I am not, nor have I ever disputed Paramounts right to have an image taken down. All I said is that all they had to do was ask instead of shutting my whole fricken site down without a word of warning. Just be nice and ask.... instead they attacked a fan. Well... an ex-fan.
 

kcnychief

█▄█ ▀█▄ █
Political User
#2
Good for him, but he's already bringing it publicity by writing and posting that letter :)

If he gets interviewed on TV/Radio/Newspaper it's only going to hype the movie more, al be it probably negatively.
 
#3
Too many hosting companies panic and pull whole sites offline.

When we ask our clients to remove content, thats all they get removed. The only sites we force offline at work are sites we're presented with court orders to close down or phishing sites... and we're just a small to medium sized datacentre... It makes me wonder how jittery folks are.
 

kcnychief

█▄█ ▀█▄ █
Political User
#4
Don't know the details of the request though, maybe Paramount wanted the whole site taken down for the offense.
 

VenomXt

Blame me for the RAZR's
#5
He certainly needs to clarify the situation around the site being shut down. But like lord said I imagine it was the safe move for the host against someone with deep pockets.

And as I said in my first post sometimes any publicity negative or positive can be viewed as “good”. But this whole attitude really does foreshadow something’s to come on the internet with intellectual property in the forms of content copyrights.
 
#6
Did you guys read what's going on now? Pretty interesting stuff...

I would be furious if someone shut down one of my sites by force before even contacting ME about it.
 

VenomXt

Blame me for the RAZR's
#7
Intresting development indeed.

Hey there folks. John here.

I have decided to take down the post and just summarize what has happened up to this point. But first I just wanted to tell you how overwhelmed I have been at the outpouring of support from you guys. Thanks so much, it means a lot.

So for now, here is a summary of everything that has happened up to this point:

1) Last week Paramount contacted me and kindly requested that I take down a Bumblebee picture I had up on the site. I complied and took it down.

2) This morning I woke up to find that in the middle of the night my website was taken down because of a complaint that my hosting company received from Paramount.

3) I discovered that the complaint was over an image I had put up WEEKS ago

4) Paramount had NEVER contacted me in any way to request that particular image be taken down.

5) I wrote a very angry letter to Paramount

6) I published that angry letter here on the site for all to read

7) The article has been posted on hundreds of sites, including over 1800 diggs in just a few hours.

NEW 8) Paramount emailed me asking for my phone number so we could discuss the situation

NEW 9) A representative from Paramount called me and apologized for the situation and claimed they that the whole situation was a horrible mistake and that they never intended for my site to be taken down at all.

NEW 10) I explained to the Paramount representative that I'm not convinced it was an accident or that the apology is a sincere one, but rather damage control because of all the negative publicity this story has generated around the web

NEW 11) When the Paramount representative asked me what she could do for me, I told her I wanted her boss, the director of Interactive Media at Paramount to call me to discuss the situation and how something this outrageously stupid could happen.

NEW 12) The rep told me she would pass this along to her boss and have her call me when she is back from a road trip.


So there you have it. That's the short version. I seriously don't know what to think about the "apology" at this point. I decided in good faith to take the angry email down for now. Now we'll just wait and see if they were serious about this and the boss calls me or not. I'm betting she doesn't call.

This will probably be the main topic for The Audio Edition tomorrow night. Doug and I already had a meeting about this. I wasn't sure we should even talk about it... but I've never seen Doug so angry or upset... so this topic will be on the plate for tomorrow.

I'm 50/50 on if I believe them or not, and I'm not sure this boss will bother calling me. Doug is 100% convinced they are lying weasels just trying to calm down the **** storm they themselves started. We'll have to wait and see.

Your thoughts?
 

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