HHN 28: Academy of Villains - Cyberpunk

SeventyOne

V.I.P.
Jul 1, 2010
2,724
Orlando
Why would Legal have issues with a comedy show?
Main issue is IP infringement. However you slice it, you're doing a theme park show with another company's characters. This was a huge issue in 2006 when B&Ts Jack Sparrow was basically just a better version of the Disney version. It's a more minor thing, but even music licensing is a challenge when doing a show--you may have heard the law is any band can perform any song live, which is true, except in a theatrical production. I know a second Moana parody was cut last year, I assume for fears stemming from that.

As for the real people parodied, still have to worry about defamation--tough to prove in this day and age, but not impossible--as well as bad press. Think the blow-up over the Mitt Romney sketch in 2012. One joke in poor taste about Bill Cosby or Trump could get the company lit up on social media and TV.

Partly it's the hypersensitive era we seem to live in. But a lot of it is also HHN is an international event now, not a goofy after-hours thing put on for a couple thousand hard-core local fans. You can get away with a lot more when no one's paying attention to you.
 

Mad Dog

Premium Member
Jan 30, 2013
18,173
Pittsburgh area
Main issue is IP infringement. However you slice it, you're doing a theme park show with another company's characters. This was a huge issue in 2006 when B&Ts Jack Sparrow was basically just a better version of the Disney version. It's a more minor thing, but even music licensing is a challenge when doing a show--you may have heard the law is any band can perform any song live, which is true, except in a theatrical production. I know a second Moana parody was cut last year, I assume for fears stemming from that.

As for the real people parodied, still have to worry about defamation--tough to prove in this day and age, but not impossible--as well as bad press. Think the blow-up over the Mitt Romney sketch in 2012. One joke in poor taste about Bill Cosby or Trump could get the company lit up on social media and TV.

Partly it's the hypersensitive era we seem to live in. But a lot of it is also HHN is an international event now, not a goofy after-hours thing put on for a couple thousand hard-core local fans. You can get away with a lot more when no one's paying attention to you.
Good legal perspective points, all. :thumbsup:
 
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v0latilebear

Newcomer
Apr 18, 2015
28
Main issue is IP infringement. However you slice it, you're doing a theme park show with another company's characters. This was a huge issue in 2006 when B&Ts Jack Sparrow was basically just a better version of the Disney version. It's a more minor thing, but even music licensing is a challenge when doing a show--you may have heard the law is any band can perform any song live, which is true, except in a theatrical production. I know a second Moana parody was cut last year, I assume for fears stemming from that.

As for the real people parodied, still have to worry about defamation--tough to prove in this day and age, but not impossible--as well as bad press. Think the blow-up over the Mitt Romney sketch in 2012. One joke in poor taste about Bill Cosby or Trump could get the company lit up on social media and TV.

Partly it's the hypersensitive era we seem to live in. But a lot of it is also HHN is an international event now, not a goofy after-hours thing put on for a couple thousand hard-core local fans. You can get away with a lot more when no one's paying attention to you.
Not to derail too much, but isn’t parody protected free speech? SNL gets away with it
 

s8film40

Veteran Member
Apr 18, 2013
3,458
Not to derail too much, but isn’t parody protected free speech? SNL gets away with it
My guess is even if they may ultimately come out on top they don't want to go to court and also want to avoid issues that potentially create bad PR. I think the fact that B&T was a tradition and was hard for them to let go probably kept this type of show around well past it's time for the current state of Universal. I think shows like AoV and Jabbawockeez are what we can expect from now on. I could see them doing something with a little more comedy, but the issue with that for now and the next few years is it would be immediately compared to B&T and without the edgy content would get poor reviews.
 
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Joe

aka TestTrack321
Staff member
Moderator
Feb 15, 2012
11,950
Pittsburgh, PA
Main issue is IP infringement. However you slice it, you're doing a theme park show with another company's characters. This was a huge issue in 2006 when B&Ts Jack Sparrow was basically just a better version of the Disney version. It's a more minor thing, but even music licensing is a challenge when doing a show--you may have heard the law is any band can perform any song live, which is true, except in a theatrical production. I know a second Moana parody was cut last year, I assume for fears stemming from that.

As for the real people parodied, still have to worry about defamation--tough to prove in this day and age, but not impossible--as well as bad press. Think the blow-up over the Mitt Romney sketch in 2012. One joke in poor taste about Bill Cosby or Trump could get the company lit up on social media and TV.

Partly it's the hypersensitive era we seem to live in. But a lot of it is also HHN is an international event now, not a goofy after-hours thing put on for a couple thousand hard-core local fans. You can get away with a lot more when no one's paying attention to you.
Sean stole my words but it's a small miracle B&T lasted as long as it did. And with FFL still standing I think the "they wanted to put MoM there" as the only reason for its closure to bed (also the fact they had back up locations scoped out if FFL did close).

Sounds more like it's a combination of the new movie and Paramount wanting more control, legal, FFL closure, and a changing of the guard who are looking for change.

Not to derail too much, but isn’t parody protected free speech? SNL gets away with it
It's complicated. Look at something like the National Enquirer who falls back on "parody and rumor" yet lost a famous legal battle with Carol Burnett. But where is the parody line when you have a literal character named Jack Sparrow in a theme park show down the road from WDW?
 

SeventyOne

V.I.P.
Jul 1, 2010
2,724
Orlando
Not to derail too much, but isn’t parody protected free speech? SNL gets away with it
It is, but the line is very blurry (and very expensive to litigate, particularly against the best IP lawyers in the business on Team Rodent). I don't think Universal Legal is looking to go to the wall for (in their eyes) a silly show that plays 6 weeks out of the year without generating any real revenue.
 

SukaVayne73

Rookie
May 12, 2018
226
Orlando, FL
How I would love to see AoV do the "BLOOD GOD--DRACULA" show from Vibrancy in 2016. Especially since on the FFL stage with the blackout part. One of my favorites, although not really 80's style. So with 80's style show for AoV, like to see some BEAT STREET, BREAKDANCING. Lots of Moonwalking, the Running Man, Cabbage Patch, & The Worm. Hey add in some 80's Ballroom Scene Vogue.