The first thing I thought when I began sitting through the incredibly awesome 14 minute unauthorized Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers short film was how are they getting away with this and that didn’t last long. Saban, the company that owns rights to the Power Rangers, is getting the film taken down due to copyright violations.
To call the Power Rangers short film, fan-fiction does not do it justice. The incredible R-rated version of the G-rated 90’s phenomenon is directed by Joseph Kahn who has a ton of directing creditors and co-stars James Van Der Beek and Katee Kackhoff. You can still find the video up on YouTube. Saban, the production company behind the brand, is not happy about the bootleg version. Back in May, Saban announced that they would be making a new Power Rangersmovie but not much news on the project has leaked out since then. Saban doesn’t seem thrilled about the unauthorized gory version of their story. According to Kahn, the studio started requesting shutdowns of the short film due to copyright violations. Kahn claims that he is being “harassed” by Saban.
Kahn’s film, which was hosted by Vimeo, was removed by the website for copyright issues only a few hours after giving the film a “Staff Pick” award. As seen to the left, Kahn claims he is being “harassed” by Saban. Kahn argues that the film is protected as parody and Fair Use in a series of tweets claiming that he is giving the movie away and not making any money. Kahn really lays into Vimeo saying “if you are going to brand yourself as a place for filmmakers and shorts, then protect. Otherwise, we all go elsewhere. Soon”.
“Harassed” seems like such a strong word especially since he made an unauthorized reproduction of someone else’s copyright work. I really don’t see a great parody argument here but I must say I really enjoyed the film anyway. The video is going strong on YouTube and I don’t see Saban being able to contain the much talked about short film.
The Power Rangers short film has now been pulled by Saban off of YouTube. The director continues his outrage at Saban claiming the film is protected by Fair Use. The film can still be found on Facebook.