Producer Adi Shankar and director Joseph Kahn’s short fan film POWER/RANGERS, inspired by the 1990’s television series “Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers,” recently took the internet by storm, garnering over 8 million views on YouTube within 48 hours of being released free online. As we detailed in a story yesterday, the gritty reimagining of the beloved television series managed to gain the attention of “Power Rangers” franchise owner Haim Saban, who then sought the removal of the video. As of early today, YouTube has complied with the copyright complaint issued by Saban, and has removed the video from their service.
Representatives of GeekNation then personally reached out to Shankar and his associates. Because of our enjoyment of the film and our overall belief in creative expression, as well as a general distaste by GeekNation of Saban’s efforts to basically get the film censored, we offered Shankar a new avenue to host the film so that fans of the “Power Rangers” franchise and of the creators involved could continue to enjoy it: namely, us.
Shankar and his organization appreciated our enthusiasm and support for his project, but instead accepted an offer by Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg to host the video on the social networking site. Because of Facebook’s immense influence, it will be far easier for Facebook and Zuckerberg to face any new legal challenges that may come from Saban, should he choose to take them.
Shankar has also issued a statement on the matter, which you can read in its entirety below:
To Whom It May Concern:
Today, I was deeply disappointed to learn that Saban Brands decided to attack my Power/Rangers “Bootleg Universe One-Shot” film. To all the viewers that enjoyed this film, I consider this an outright infringement on freedom of expression and individualism. I set out to make this film because I am a childhood fan of the Power Rangers.
As children our retinas are burned with iconic images and as we grow older these images come to represent crucial moments within the trajectories of our own lives. This film is a homage to the original creators of the Power Rangers, and a parody of a television series we all grew up loving. Films like my Power/Rangers “Bootleg” are vital expressions of creativity in our troubled world. If we suppress this creativity and become passive participants in the consumption of the culture we live in, we implicitly allow a dangerous precedent to be set for the future of the internet.
P.S. Thank you Mark Zuckerberg for hosting Power/Rangers and taking a stand.
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