Yesterday, a fan-made Power Rangers reboot released on video hosting site Vimeo. The video, which showcased a more dark take on Power Rangers, exploded—tons of people seemed to like it. But not the people who actually make Power Rangers.
Shortly after being up on Vimeo, the Power Rangers film got taken down. Thankfully, people are still able to watch the film on YouTube—but the circumstances around the Vimeo takedown seem dicey. The director of the project, Joseph Kahn, claims that Saban, the makers/owners of Power Rangers, are trying to kill his project:
Today, Vimeo released a statement that sheds some light on what's going on. Apparently, Saban is claiming the fan project is copyright infringement:
You may be aware that an excellent fan video called POWER/RANGERS was posted to Vimeo recently. We loved it so much we gave it a Staff Pick.
However, we later had to remove it due to a claim of copyright infringement by the company that owns Power Rangers (SCG Power Rangers LLC, a division of Saban).
Lots of Vimeo viewers are understandably upset that they can no longer watch the video, but we've noticed that there's a lot of confusion about why the video was removed. Therefore, I want to clear a few things up:
*** (1) This video was NOT removed because it is NSFW. ***
The video did include some mature content, but it was appropriately rated using our Content Ratings system. Therefore, it was not in violation of our guidelines around mature content.
*** (2) This video was NOT removed because Vimeo determined that it constituted copyright infringement. ***
Like all major video platforms, Vimeo complies with the Digital Millenium Copyright Act ("DMCA"). You can see our full DMCA policy here:vimeo.com/dmca
In this case, the company that owns the Power Rangers copyright feels that POWER/RANGERS infringes on their intellectual property.
The video creator feels that the video is covered by Fair Use based on the fact that it is non-commercial and satirical.
We agree that an argument for fair use can be made, but the DMCA law does not give content hosts (like Vimeo) permission to disregard a takedown notice simply because of the presence of one or more fair use factors. This is a legal matter between the copyright holder and the video creator.
Vimeo notes that there's still the possibility that the video can be restored—at the moment, the creator of the Power Rangers reboot has filed a DMCA counter-notification. It's also possible that Saban could back down, allowing Vimeo to restore the video on their service. What happens from here is up in the air, though the creators of the fan film seem adamant about their case:
According to TMZ, one of the producers on the fan project, Ash Venkatram, is going to keep the video on YouTube "until he gets a cease and desist." You can still view it here, if you'd like:
We contacted both Saban as well as the people behind the fan film, and will update this post if we hear back.
Update 3/1 7:15 PM: It looks like things are being settled amicably.