Robot 6

‘X-Men: Danger Room Protocols’ shut down after one episode

danger-room-social

“X-Men: Danger Room Protocols,” a fan-made animated tribute to the 1990s cartoon and comics, has ended after just one episode, purportedly due to legal pressure from Marvel.

“When I set out to make this project, I never really thought this was going to be an issue,” creator Joel Furtado said in a video posted this morning. “I didn’t think that Marvel was going to react this way, and this outcome, for me, is a little bit shocking.”

When contacted by ROBOT 6, Marvel declined comment.

Launched last week, the project was planned as a series of 18 episodes, each pairing two X-Men in a Danger Room training exercise (hence the title). Furtado had described “Danger Room Protocols” as “a love letter to Marvel and my childhood, as well as a way to give something back to the fans.”

In the video, Furtado expresses bewilderment that the Internet is littered with so much fan art and unlicensed prints and apparel, yet Marvel decided to crack down on his project. “I never thought this would be treated any differently,” he said.

“The most heartbreaking thing of this entire experience isn’t even that I have to throw out this entire project in the garbage, or that I wasted all my money making this,” explained Furtado, who said he spent his savings producing “Danger Room Protocols.” “The most heartbreaking thing is that this company that I’ve idolized my entire life, and I’m finally meeting for the first time professionally, and this is the experience that we’ve gone through, where now Marvel’s looking at me like I’m an enemy to them. And that’s never what I wanted.”

Comments

61 Comments

So fucked up man, very, very fucked up to do this. The man wasn’t trying to profit from this, but was doing this out of pure love as a fan. This reactions positively reeks of Disney and their lawyers. Hell, Marvel too. Shaking my head.

I feel sorry for the guy, I really do. But, he spent all of this money without checking first with Marvel/Disney to make sure they were ok with this? People are getting harder on TM infrigments,etc… even if there is no profit, so this story does not surprise me at all.

^^I doubt people of DeviantArt do the same. Like he said, this is basically fanart.

Whenever there is a hue-and-cry over a shutdown like this, it’s good to remember how copyright law works: if someone is using characters or stories other people own, even if not for profit, the copyright holder is required under the law to assert their ownership or it can be seen as implied consent. Yes, there is a lot of fan art out there, impossible to shut down them all, so a company the size of Marvel will particularly go after someone that infringes on their intellectual property for purposes of advertisement or if the product is seen as competing and could possibly cause market confusion. Such as a cartoon like this.

It’s easy to knock a corporation when they do something like this, but as a community we get upset when an individual artist has his or her work appropriated. Is this really that different?

Considering Disney will try sue people using properties that don’t even belong to Disney (Snow White, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast etc) this doesn’t surprise me at all.

It amazes me how all these people think it’s okay to take someone’s property and create new content without thinking there would be consequences. “I’m a fan so it’s perfectly okay”.

What’s it competing with? Marvel isn’t producing any X-Men animated content on TV, the internet, or anywhere else.

“Like he said, this is basically fanart.”

He was making epsiodes. It’s nothing like fan art.

Serves him right.

I mean, technically, yes, the guy should have asked permission. That said, he’s absolutely correct that people (and companies!) have made good money on equally or more egregious breeches of copyright with no enforcement from Marvel or Disney at all, so I can certainly see where he thought he’d be able to finish this project with no interference.

I feel bad for the dude. But with his talent, he’s probably got a hell of a career in animation ahead of him.

Real shame! Saw the first like 8 seconds the other day but I waited to sit down and watch the whole video.. Really, really too bad. Loved the concept, loved the characters… It’s just really too bad that we can’t enjoy content created by people who truly love the characters without all these enormous entities getting greedy and ruining it for us who love it as well.

This is an absolute dick move from Marvel. What’s next? Are they going to go after DeviantArt and Fanfiction?

No I more than get the whole copyright infringement thing and how its their legal obligation to monitor shit like this, but it’s still fucked up.

This poor guy probably should’ve just kept what he made to himself, but then that was the whole purpose, to share it with the world.

@Bull: I’ll at least agree with you that he probably should’ve stuck to just non-motion art rather than creating animated episodes.

Let this be a lesson to everyone out there though, if you’re doing shit like this, KEEP TO YOURSELF! You’ll be sued if you don’t.

The irony is always that we give them money and they shit on those who want to show their love for the project. Bah this is disheartening.

The outrage over this is disheartening. So many people have no idea why this was a bad move for Furtado.

Maybe if we all started referring to fan art as “bootlegging” it would help the reality sink in for more people. At least pirates understand that what they’re doing is illegal, whatever justifications they pull out of their butts for it.

Been looking for a way to slim down my comics pull list. Dropping all of the Marvel titles should easily do it.

Just to keep this in perspective, we are talking about the same company (Disney) that fought to change the way copyright laws work, and killed the public domain.

It’s unfortunate but not unprecedented. Hell Deviantart does panels at conventions about copyright law because of stuff like this.

And James, telling someone to eat a bullet over an opinion they expressed is juvenile, asinine, and if he does it, enough to hit you with a felony, so you really shouldn’t do things like that.

As long as he isn’t making money on it, it should be legal to make and be considered fan art. This is just because it got a lot of attention after it was mentioned by CBR as they thought it was great fan work. Does that make it commercial instead of fan art?

Ok I got to ask WTF is the difference between what he did and what guys like Screwattack and bat in the sun does. Dont tell me its they cant get to everyone they are huge channels with tons of subscribers and pretty much there channels are dependent on using copyrighted characters. Simple fact this is a bunch of bullshit. I feel they want to keep the X-Men brand down ad Marvel has done this with the comics and merch and now there trying to silence the fans who love the X-Men and aren’t buying into there Inhumans crap.

Say it with me…
FAN FILMS, CARTOONS, PRINTS, “IMAGINARY STORIES” ARE ILLEGAL IF THE CHARACTERS ARE NOT IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN.

If you don’t own the copyright and or trademarks to the character(s), don’t be surprised when the owners shut you down.

Jesus, it’s like the episode of Portlandia with Matt Groening suing Spyke for bootleg Simpsons T-Shirts. “Bart Skamp-son”

Bat in the Sun produces content for IGN, which is owned by Ziff Davis, Inc. Ziff Davis get’s permission from the various companies before they do an episode. Do you really think that they could go around Haim Saban and have Jason Frank in an episode without getting Saban’s go ahead?

The similar thing happened recently when Paramount and CBS went after a Star Trek fan film production and sued them for similar reasons.

The dark lord Disney has spoken.

“None shall enjoy more Xmen fun till Fox no longer owens them”

The best response about this was from Larry Houston, who directed the X-Men cartoons in the 90s. His comment is on YouTube as well.

“As the Director of the 90s X-Men:TAS TV series, I want to applaud your efforts, Joel, and I respect the passion you put into your work. Unfortunately, the Marvel I worked with and the Marvel/Disney (M/D) you’ve just experienced are not the same company and they are very litigious. A really smart PR department would’ve found a way to work with you so that their interests are protected and the free publicity you’d generate would be a win-win. But M/D really wants the rights to the X-Men back and your high quality of work and publicity is not what they want to happen at this time. M/D has taken very extreme measures to undercut the franchise, rewriting their comic book mythology to replace the word mutant with Inhuman, in a major power play against Fox. You are now, officially, just part of the collateral damage in the ongoing corporate battle of egos.”

Not surprising, Marvel is well within their right, and everyone needs to chill out about it.

“Considering Disney will try sue people using properties that don’t even belong to Disney (Snow White, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast etc) this doesn’t surprise me at all.”

Only when the infringement is of their versions of the characters. lots of books and movies about Cinderella, Snow White, Sleep Beauty etc are produced each year without any legal challenges being made by Disney.

You can write your own screen play, make your own comics so long as the depiction is original and not referencing someone elses version.

This is really fucking sad. I was so looking forward to this. I know that big companies are practically required to go after stuff like this if they want to protect their properties but even so. It is fucked up that Disney, a company that has made a fortune appropriating public domain stuff like fairy tales, acts like this towards anyone using their stuff even when it’s a simple non-profit fan work.

If he had called it “A XXX satire” he would have been left alone

It’s hard to not think that if this had been an Avengers/GotG/Inhumans/etc centered project then Marvel wouldn’t have acted this way and instead would have just written this off as free publicity and fanfic or contacted him and offered the chance to work with them to sort this out so that it wouldn’t have needed to be taken down completely. But that’s just how it is with Marvel when it comes to X-Men and F4 these days. Nothing to really be done about it.

Marvel Historian

January 25, 2016 at 1:24 pm

No one should be surprised by this. It doesn’t matter if it’s non-profit. It’s material and characters he doesn’t own. This is a step above fan artwork and prints on deviant art. It’s an animated web series.

Not sure why everyone is getting upset and bent out of shape about this.

“The similar thing happened recently when Paramount and CBS went after a Star Trek fan film production and sued them for similar reasons.”

Not entirely similar.

Axanar Productions used the Star Trek brand to raise $600,000, which financed the creation of their own professional studio, which presumably they would continue to use in a professional capacity once they were done with their “fan-film.”

These guy though… he just wanted to make some cool X-Men cartoons. He wasn’t raising capital nor was he wasn’t selling/monetizing the videos. As near as I can tell, this guy doesn’t even have a Patreon.

Sigh just sad marvel

Retool the concept and make the show with your own characters!

There are OTHER ways to share this with the world. Wink

It doesn’t matter whether this was making money or not. The law is really clear on this, and if if can be confused with the actual licensed brand, the creator has all rights. Presumably that was why Marvel had this taken down.

A big reminder to both Marvel and DC zombies – the companies are faceless corporations wanting only one thing: your money. You may think they care about fans due to their advertising campaigns but at the end of the day they don’t.
Keep this in mind the next time some of you start up with the DC vs Marvel rubbish both companies encourage as part of their marketing/ indoctrination strategies.

I was sure something like this would happen when I saw that he was selling videos and prints on his website. https://gumroad.com/joelyface

Schnitzy Pretzelpants

January 25, 2016 at 3:55 pm

I am no corporate shill here, but the fact remains that corporations – or more specifically COPYRIGHT HOLDERS – have to do things like this.

What’s ‘this’?

They have to challenge infringements on their copyrights, because if they do not challenge them, they could later on be shown to have not sufficiently protected their copyright in a far more serious case/battle. Judges will look for evidence (as will lawyers defending those being prosecuted) as to whether a copyright holder has striven to protect their copyright, and if they haven’t then they could lose the case.

I also have to add that we do have to consider too that the fellow is likely making money off this – his YouTube channel might pay him for views. Not out-and-out monetization, but still he may have been able to make a profit off of views.

feel bad for the guy for he was just showing his love for the x-men but he should have realized that disney legal is really crazy when it comes to protecting their trademark plus given how marvels head honcho ike perlmuter feels about the x-men right now did he really think ike was not going to come after him .

There is literally porn with Spider-Man out yet Marvel hasn’t shut that down. Marvel only did this because of the X-Men Fox bull crap.

“But they’re doing it and getting away with it!” is essentially admission that they weren’t doing it as a fan, but to profit off it in some way. If they were really a fan, they would not even be crying over this.

Look, this is generally how things work when it comes to corporate copyright:
1) If you do not own the character, you do not put your own money on the line to produce something that you were not paid by the corporation to do. This is the difference between “I spent an hour on this doodle” fanart and “buy this print for 20$”
2) If you do, you will get a cease-and-desist and DMCA requests to make it disappear from the internet. Guaranteed. Many people “getting away with it” are not in fact getting away with it, and are in fact on a hit-list being looked at by legal teams. These legal teams decide if something is fair use. Conventions selling these unlicensed mass-produced products know some people are selling these “under the table” but in plain sight.
3) Fair use tests are basically “if you remove/replace this character from the production, does it still work” If no, it’s copyright infringement, because the production relies on it being THAT character. If you can replace say Storm from X-men with your own “Flying Witch” character then yes maybe you could get away with it. Transformative tests are usually met by not using source artwork. That just leaves trademark dilution (which DMCA does not apply, but is often invoked for) which is what happens when you call an X-men fanwork “X-men” instead of something more vague like “Mutant Academy”

Companies send DMCA and Cease+Desist letters mainly because such items are not in fact flying under the radar at all, and are bumping off licensed products from search engines.

I don’t think people seem to understand that this guy got bad end of the stick. You have shows on youtube completely dedicated Marvel fan stuff, fan webcomics, fan everything. He made everything from scratch and he still got screwed over. And people are just too much of a fan to realize that Marvel doesn’t really give a shit about it’s fans. It’s just about the money. This guy was a huge fan, and he learned the hard way.

This is a terrible blow to the creator and fans, but I’m not sure why there is any surprise. Actually I was expecting this. When you have a project of this quality and awareness, regardless of whether you are profiting or not, it will most likely get shut down. It doesn’t matter if Disney or Marvel has no competing product at this point, or if you have a disclaimer showing that it’s only a work of the creator and not endorsed by Marvel in any way. It also doesn’t help that Disney seems to be a some kind of pitch battle to kill any and all promotions of the X-Men just to spite Fox.

I feel bad for the guy, but he still made a professionally polished product using the X-Men logo and Marvel characters, which was being in-part financed by the sale of merch also featuring said characters, none of which came within spitting distance of being protected by parody. Not to mention he appears to have dedicated a year of his time and most of his savings to this project without very deeply investigating whether or not he’d have a leg to stand on if the IP holders came knocking. Sad situation, but I can’t see where the outcome is surprising.

It is indeed true that yes, every time you do fanart or fanfiction or any other derivative fanwork, your work doesn’t belong to you, and you give yourself to the mercy of a very strict yet blurry copyright law (How is style implemented? Is a painting of a realistic lion & cub fanart to The Lion King just because the color of the characters’ eyes? What about different styles drawn by people who design their own period clothing, like with many Disney princesses? One thing dividing you from a lawsuit with an impenetrable wall may literally be nomenclature and clever tongue, and that’s never good with a law.)

Yes, what mr. Furtado did caused a response Marvel was fully entitled to within the boundaries of the law, and by the law, Marvel/Disney merely used the power that is legally theirs.

However, as many wise, centuries-dead men have said, one’s is not measured by the power they hold, but the power they *withhold*.

Larry Houston’s comment further cements what I’ve been told by an alarming number of former or oldschool Marvel writers and employees – that the creatively fueled company running on a solid heart is gone, replaced by corporate sterility. It’s a complaint as sad as it is common, as I’ve had several people outright tell me “Don’t do it.” when I told them I’d like to work for Marvel. “Work on your own ideas,” they said. “They’ll be yours and yours alone.”

And indeed, smart manager sees outstanding works in the fandom as the way to reach out to its fanbase, because fanbase is what feeds you in the end, and what forgives you if you blunder. Hence why many companies actually even promote fanworks, cosplay and fanart, even though they’re aware the artists are selling prints of them. or otherwise earn revenue. And even if the fan outgrows the fan-phase of honorable homage and starts making a business out of it, some kind of an accord can be and is struck so both sides can profit, akin to a child being taught there are boundaries that should be tread with caution (as, let’s face it, many of these people are very young).

What M/D did here is akin to beating said child with a stick and then beating it some more for good measure. Yes, they are lawfully allowed to. Lawful and morally good, and lawful and humanly decent, however, are often two very different things.

Okay, those finks are toast! I say we rally against Disney and make them pay.

Greed is out of hand in this country.

I felt bad for him too. I was excited to see this and I am a fan but then I came across a couple of links someone posted where he was trying to profit. My sympathy went out the window after seeing this and remembering hour he claimed that he wasn’t trying to profit. Additionally, it seemed more like a gimmick approach to a résumé. I’m not calling for blood on either side, but I cannot blame Disney in this case.

https://gumroad.com/joelyface
https://www.patreon.com/joelyface

“t is indeed true that yes, every time you do fanart or fanfiction or any other derivative fanwork, your work doesn’t belong to you, and you give yourself to the mercy of a very strict yet blurry copyright law”

This is not accurate. If I make a drawing of Wolverine, I own it. If I try to monetize that drawing of Wolverine, Disney will sue the pants of me. Despite now owning my pants, Disney does not own my drawing of Wolverine.

@Majorjoe23

I admit I’m not all that familiar about Stateside politics, but according to what I’ve been told numerous times and what google via quick search seems to agree on:

“A copyright owner can stop someone else from (1) copying, (2) distributing, (3) performing, or (4) displaying the characters without the permission of the owner. The owner also can stop someone from (5) creating “derivative works”.”

Said copyright owner can also distribute their derivative work on their own terms and profit from it.

If that is correct, then no, you do not own your drawing of Wolverine, no matter if you make money from it, since a third party (in this case, Marvel) can enforce their use on it, be it forbidding it (see the author Robin Hobb, who doesn’t wish any fanwork of their books), stop it in distribution (this case) or public performance (say you make theatre adaptation of X-Men and you and your band tour the States with it, Marvel would step in).

So many scrooges. And I’m not talking about just Marvel; I’m also talking about most of the commentators here. This is why we can’t have mediocre things!

I feel sympathetic for him despite the obvious legality of it. He seems to be a genuine fan of Marvel. He could have made a spoof or a parody and he would have been okay, or created his own characters.

Luckily, I’m sure that everyone here has written their Senators and Representatives about reforming the Copyright laws they find so egregious, rather than just complain in a comment section?

* crickets *

No? Just bitching to bitch, then?

Huh. Who would have thought?

If Fox shut this down like this everyone would be up in arms but Marvel does it and there’s a floodgate of people coming to defend their actions. Oy vey. Let’s not forget they are trying to blackball the X-Files to spite Fox and not promote the series so hoping it will hurt the movies in some way. Marvel is not the beacon of hope everyone makes them out to be for fans. They serve their own self intrests.

Why is it so hard for people to just BE ORIGINAL………….you could have easily made a kickass series with your own characters but you were too unimaginative and/or too lazy to put in the work to build your own characters and your own world, so now you want to blow whistle on people who do fan art because YOU personally got caught in the crosshairs. Please.

@Me163

And to butt in to the discussion one last time: you not only missed the point by a country mile, but possibly by a state or two.

What you say would indeed be true if mr. Furtado went the way of… some authors we shan’t name for the sake of avoiding a flamewar and just ripped off old work to make cheap profit. His intention was mostly fueled (according to him, and frankly, he sounds sincere in that belief) by one intention – to celebrate a piece of fiction he loves.

Fan creator like that is a strange creature. Usually following a similar model: a young boy or girl reads comic books (insert any piece of popular culture) and loves them, and the books inspire them to tell stories of their own, to try their hand at picking up a pencil or writing a short script. If they get better at it and their skill starts to border on professional, some feel like they should pay hommage to the thing that started it all in the first place, to, in a little way, pay back the original artists and give them credit for, so long ago, creating a work our inner child loves to this very day.

And for the record of originality… We live in day and age where people flock to see giant franchises and many do not give a single toss to anything that doesn’t have a history tied to it. We want to know more of the heroes of our childhood, we want to know more of how their stories go. And if the franchise is big and strong enough, people are willing to handwave problems with script, (voice)acting and/or artistic qualities for which they would rip a smaller/unknown author to shreds. Just don’t get on a high horse here and tell me it doesn’t work that way. I concur it shouldn’t, in an ideal world, but that’s how it is.

Quite frankly, had he made a kickass original series, would you ever heard of it? His followers would maybe count in hundreds in a few months, possibly over 1k in a few years, not in millions and millions who flock to see the latest Star Wars or Marvel summer blockbusters or who buy games like Assassin’s Creed despite ill reviews.

We want more of the same. That’s how we are. So, speaking as an author who does their original work, yes. “BE ORIGINAL” is bloody hard.

(And it’s a wee bit hypocritical to say that in defense of Marvel, since quite the great deal of Marvel’s writing staff has been recruited ascended fans back in the yonder days. And to this day, many video game artists, game designers, or even comic artists, ARE recruited from by their fanart.)

Joely would you like to sell the danger room protocols episodes you already made. I saw part 1 and I am impressed. Contact me. I would like to purchase the rest of your series.

Honestly, I doubt this was in any part Disney’s decision. Disney gave Marvel free editorial and creative reign over all their intellectual properties.

The thing is that (and there’s a Forbes magazine that can back me up) Marvel is blocking quality talents from contributing to characters 21st Century Fox earns cinematic profits from. Fantastic Four got run into the ground by a series of bad teams assembled by Axel Alonso. The only big X-Men products lately were Liefeld contracts and alternate covers milking Deapool’s fame, and some limited series last summer irrelevant to the 616, and basically just pandering to fans nostalgic longing for Jim Lee, Chris Claremont, and an often poorly written Saban TV series.

Since this is Marvel, an entertainment department that would sooner sue a fanfic tribute animator than stop unauthorized X-Men merchandise, what I do to support the struggling X-line is through blogging about some great and little known stories.

The Morlock Massacre,
the Phalanx Covenant,
The Generation X story where a young Arkady Rossovich asks Sean Cassidy to kill him before the USSR turns him into a Omega Red.
Dream’s End,
Messiah Complex,
Cable and X-Force by Dennis Hopless and Larocca.
Joe Casey’s Uncanny X-Men run.
Any X-books by the Kyle & Yost team or Marjorie Liu
or the X-books by Nunzio Defilippis and Christina Weir,

bdc from crusadercast

April 7, 2016 at 9:19 pm

if anything was posted about mugen before, it was a lie by me because i like to lie about stuff in mugen. all i care about is drama and lying. will even hack people’s accounts for the sake of drama.

Screw the fans that celebrate the material = Marvels policy

Paramount allows the fans to celebrate Trek = Marvel and Disney suck

Leave a Comment

 


Browse the Robot 6 Archives