Summit Entertainment Shuts Down Twilight Fanzine For Infringement

from the journalism-or-business dept

Rose M. Welch points us to the news that Summit Entertainment has won an injunction against the makers of a Twilight fanzine, claiming that the zine was not for journalistic purposes. A journalist would have a strong free speech claim on the right to make use of these photos (which were found on the “press” page for the movie itself), but Summit claims that the zine is not journalism, but a business. To be fair, it is true that the creators of the zine is a company that sells trading cards, but does that mean that a fanzine is suddenly no longer protected by the First Amendment? In an age when who is and who is not a journalist has become a lot more complicated, it seems like a pretty questionable decision to put an injunction on a publisher just because they have a good business model. Separately, it’s worth pointing out that Summit is being pretty ridiculous here in shutting down a zine for fans. Stop trying to punish fans and focus on giving them what they want.

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Companies: summit entertainment

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Comments on “Summit Entertainment Shuts Down Twilight Fanzine For Infringement”

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30 Comments
Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I thought the exact same thing. It reminded me of an argument I had gotten into with my Sunday School teacher when I was younger, when at one point she exclaimed, “You keep talking as if the Church was trying to make money. The Catholic Church is a religion, not a business.”

It’s been a long time since I’ve laughed quite as hard as I did that day….

Free Capitalist (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Well it isn’t like the Murdoch empire actually practices journalism….

Precisely! And not practicing journalism is precisely the kind of journalism business partners and marketeers prefer.

If Summit thought someone was going to include their “work” in an article researched and written for *fans, they would not have put those pictures on the press page.

A. Bnormal says:

So...

How does that make ANY sense whatsoever? And how do these judges get their jobs? By donating half their brain?

There is not a major paper in the entire WORLD that is NOT a business. Because if they WEREN’T a business, they wouldn’t be IN BUSINESS.

Any modern “news” outlet IS a business. The whole idiotic Murdoch issue about not linking to content is because he IS a business.

I hope this gets appealed to the Supreme Court and is reversed on First Amendment rights, either that, or have EVERY newspaper stripped of its First Amendment rights and we can just hand over all control of the country to corporations.

Sure, they run it now… but it’s thru shady deals, campaign contributions and they at last TRY to hide it.

We can just alter it so that a PERSON doesn’t run for president anymore, a COMPANY does.

All hail President Walmart, and Vice President Microsoft.

Overcast (profile) says:

Re: Re: So...

If Wal-Mart ran the country, our budget would be in better shape.

And no – if Wal-Mart ran the country, it’s customer’s would all be outsourced to China.

Funny, how people’s memories seem to be so short. Wal-Mart’s whole claim to fame and what made them a success was the concept of hiring US workers and providing US goods, it gave people a reason that Wal-Mart was ‘different’ and there was a good reason to shop – not anymore: Now they give US Workers as little as possible and provide Chinese goods. They can keep them.

Rose M. Welch (profile) says:

Re: So...

And how do these judges get their jobs? By donating half their brain?

A temporary injunction means that the judge wants time to use his brain and study the issues in this case, including written law and precedent cases. If he had simply ruled in favor of Summit, you could probably make fun, but it doesn’t make sense to make fun because the judge wants to take time to study the issue. It’s still very possible that he’ll come back with the ruling that we want to see.

The people you should be making fun of here are the great minds at Summit Entertainment, who want to punish fans for loving Twilight.

Tracy says:

Twilight fanzines

Such simple minds on this board. Apparently, you’ve never heard of trademark rights? Let me make it simple for you. Suppose YOU created Twilight and it became a HUGE hit. Then you started making shirts and posters, etc. and making more money. Then, say you walked into a store and saw a t-shirt that you never said could be printed, and that store owner is making $25 off of YOUR product. I have a hard time believing you all can’t understand the concept of trademark rights. This has nothing to do with first amendment rights – good grief. Did ANYONE on here graduate from high school?

Rose M. Welch (profile) says:

Re: Twilight fanzines

Ahh, such a simple mind in this post…

First, it’s silly to ask the commentors questions, because it’s been three months since anyone else has commented.

Second, your feelings don’t legally matter. The laws aren’t based on your feelings, which is a damned good thing, because feeling are generally irrational.

Third, we didn’t say that the suit was illegal, we said it was stupid. We mocked Summit because punishing your fans in the middle of your franchise is stupid. If they punish these fans, do you think that they’re going to want to see the next movie, or buy a Summit-funded T-shirt? Nope. So what they’re doing is legal but stupid.

Fourth, yes, this is absolutely about your right to free speech. These people created a journalistic product, like any other magazine, with the intention of making money, like any other magazine. They used the media kits that Summit made available to magazines, with permission, and then were slapped with a suit. Summit’s argument seems to be that if you’re making money, it doesn’t count as journalism, which s entirely nonsensical, much like your post.

Fifth, there isn’t a trademark issue here. Summit hasn’t mentioned trademarks, and neither has anyone else.

Sixth, trademarks aren’t given so the owner can make money. Trademarks are granted for the protection of the consumer. This mgazine wasn’t attempting to make people think that they were Summit, so no trademark involved. God, did you even graduate from high school and why don’t you understand the basic concepts that drive trademark laws?

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