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Cease and desist..from a competitor

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grinner hesterCease and desist..from a competitor
by on Mar 28, 2009 at 9:07:01 pm

lol
Seriously. Been at this for many years and have nevr heard of such a thing.
I recently went with a group of paranormal inverstigators and spent the night in a building well known for paranormal activity. I was doing it as a thrill-seeking vidiot at the time but it was cool enough I now am gonna start a new tv series called Disbeliever. The pilot, if you will, turned out awesome and I sent it to the owner of the hotel via email as a thank you for being so cool to us.
Well yesterday I get this email in legal jargain babbling about ceasing and desisting production and distribution. I called my boy the hotel owner who said he got the same email from "legal" and just wanted to make sure I'm doing nothing with my footage.
I researched the sender of the email, only to find she is a phycic who charges for her services, has a production team that follows her around, is starting a new show, stayed at his haunted hotel last November and was simply claiming, or attempting to claim exlusivity.
whaaaaaat? lol
I think I've seen it all now.








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Mark RaudonisRe: Cease and desist..from a competitor
by on Mar 28, 2009 at 9:12:37 pm

If you want to move forward with your version of this project, it's time to "lawyer up".

Mark

ps... if she's so "psychic", she should have known you were coming!



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grinner hesterRe: Cease and desist..from a competitor
by on Mar 28, 2009 at 9:43:11 pm

lol
I know, right.
Man my lawering up daze are way over with.
Editing episode 2 today...;)



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Mike CohenRe: Cease and desist..from a competitor
by on Mar 29, 2009 at 12:24:30 am

sounds exactly like the plot to an episode of the show Supernatural - a cool show if you have never seen it.


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Mark SuszkoRe: Cease and desist..from a competitor
by on Mar 29, 2009 at 12:47:38 am

Grinner, to make your circle complete, you have to figure out a pitch meeting where the suits look at your hotel footage and decide, yes, they need to make a show about... haunted hot rods.

NAL, but, in IP feuds, everything comes down to "who's on first" and can PROVE it. If she shot first, but hasn't edited and shown it anywhere public and "official" yet, you may have an edge there. In any case, unless she has some kind of contract that shows she had an exclusive deal with the hotel, I don't think you're in too much trouble yet.

I hate these kinds of fake-spooky shows, myself, but if you did yours as a comedy, like a Reno 911 of haunted house and unexplained phenomena, heck yes I would watch it. That would need some cast members who are really excellent at improv and staying in character. The conceit could be that you as the cameraman/producer are in on it from the beginning and setting up fake scary things on these locations, and the cast observe a few props and hear some "testimony", create elaborate but logically flawed "experiments" or tests and make up a whole elaborate "explanation" for it. The "investigators" are mostly wannabees who have little actual background or education in these sorts of investigations, they're mostly riffing off old movies they've seen.

Episode two: they do their whole paranormal investigation on the wrong house, across the street. But still come up with "sightings". Every so often in POV and OTS shots, "real" paranormal stuff is happening in the place across the street, completely missed by the self-absorbed "investigators". Everything is played completely straight and serious, too much so. That's the fun of it.

Episode three: the haunted hot rod. It mysteriously breaks down whenever it gets near a Lovers' Lane.

Episode four: haunted office meeting room. It's said that nobody survived that 4-hour powerpoint presentation, and you can still feel the desperate souls shrieking behind the dry erase board. Who keeps turning the AC down in here?!?!?

Episode five: Haunted ex-disco.






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grinner hesterRe: Cease and desist..from a competitor
by on Mar 29, 2009 at 1:58:07 am

well, I figure if she had an exclusive under contract. the owner would not have had an ad on cragslist welcinging visitors who pay him a niminal fee to bring their cameras. He surely would not have invited us back out that second night to shoot again.
He sent it to her, she was threatened then he saw dollar signs.
Funny thing is...daddy is editing episode two tonight and that dude already miffed me. Never make the editor mad.
lol




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walter biscardiRe: Cease and desist..from a competitor
by on Mar 29, 2009 at 2:12:09 am

Does the Cease and Desist apply just to that location or the show concept in general? If it's in general, then you might need a lawyer. She can very easily issue a cease and desist directly to the station / network that plans to air your show at any point right up until the day it airs.

Trust me, I have learned about how useful cease and desists are and how powerful they can be. Fortunately I'm on the right side of it in my current situation and will use it to do what is right.

But if she wants to, she can make your life difficult even after you sell the show to someone. They will most likely back away if they receive a threatening letter notifying the station / network that this woman had the show / concept first and the station / network must cease and desist. At the very least, they'll pull the show while the lawyers figure everything out.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Biscardi Creative Media
HD and SD Production for Broadcast and Independent Productions.

Read my Blog!

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grinner hesterRe: Cease and desist..from a competitor
by on Mar 29, 2009 at 1:57:27 pm

naa it was just a shake down from that location. She and the hotel owner are buds and they simply saw dolalr signs after I have him the pilot episode. In a nutshell, she's just bent because my company turns around a show in 4 days where hers can't in 4 months. They wanted my footage for her project.
No thanks to that.
I am finishing up episode 2 today and have had nibbles from TruTV with a treatment heading to A&E.
The project will certainly continue. We just won't go back to the hotel that haunts weeks after the fact.



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Ronnie WhittingRe: Cease and desist..from a competitor
by on Apr 1, 2009 at 7:22:54 am

You hang in there, stick to your guns. Every one has a hand out these days. Go ahead with the
third and fourth, and fifth episode. She is just money hungry and wants something for nothing.
You have the right to do what you want. The last time I checked, this is still for now a free America. You go for it dude.

Ron Tyler/ Executive Producer
A.F. Productions



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grinner hesterRe: Cease and desist..from a competitor
by on Apr 2, 2009 at 2:45:31 pm

thanks man. Inspired by them, I polished this one into a fine sizzle reel. Episode 2 begins at 20 minutes in, if ya wanna skip to it:
http://grinnerhester.com/disbeliever.html
This one has legs, as they say. I dare say it will sell before Moddin' Art, a show I have more than 20 years in now.



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Ronnie WhittingRe: Cease and desist..from a competitor
by on Feb 20, 2010 at 8:05:14 pm

She can't do anything since he already has the Pilot edited and ready, that means he owns the copyright, I just went trhu this on protecting my own show, in Federal Court. The one with the Pilot ready first owns the copyright, and that is a fact.

Ron Whitting Executive producer-Owner
A.F. Productions / AFP-HD
Tyler, Texas


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Bob BonniolRe: Cease and desist..from a competitor
by on Mar 29, 2009 at 2:59:26 am

Been down this road...

What's she claiming exclusivity on ? The location ? If she doesn't have paper with the hotel owner, then she's got nothing. If she's claiming exclusivity on the concept she is WAY SOL... Only thing people really have grounds on is trademarks, or prior relationship/agreement crap with distributors...

Our standard response to C&D's is a letter from our lawyers saying "bring it"... we never hear from 9 out of 10 (and we get it ALOT... Everybody likes to try to pry revenue out of anything music related, which 90% of our thing is)...

For the one in ten that has a legit beef we have our people talk to their people and in only one case have we actually had to change course.

Having your attorney send a ltter costs almost nothing, but it will reveal tons about the will and way of this adversary.

I guess I gotta say it (as if you don't know exactly how I am Grin ! LOL!)... But... I'M NOT A LAWYER.

Have your friendly attorney tell her to buzz off...

Bob Bonniol




MODE Studios
http://www.modestudios.com
Contributing Editor, Entertainment Design Magazine
Contributing Editor, Creative COW Magazine
Art of the Edit Forum Leader
Live & Stage Event Forum Leader
HD Forum Leader


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grinner hesterRe: Cease and desist..from a competitor
by on Mar 29, 2009 at 2:01:21 pm

She's been told. ;)
I won't hear from here again but I could see that hotel owner calling me again one drunken night.
I imagine she now has a written contract with him on excuisive rights but I dare say that has been drawn up since this. Dudes initial ad on craigslist welcomed video cameras in writing, he let us in night one with at least 7 different cameras, carrying some of them in the hotel for us, and a week later when we had something on tape, he met us up there again and let us in for free to further investigate and document. That was the night i gave him a DVD of episode 1 and it was the next morning this all began. He simply watched it and saw it huge.
I take it as a compliment.



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Aaron CadieuxRe: Cease and desist..from a competitor
by on Mar 30, 2009 at 6:19:29 pm

You're fine. Don't lawyer up. Don't worry about it. People are morons. I had a lady threaten me with legal action if I continued with the production of a documentary on the history of King Philip's War (an event that took place over 300 years ago). She said she was "writing a script" for a feature film and "owned the rights" to the story of King Philip's War. Obviously, you can't own the rights to an historical event.

There are 100 ways to skin a cat. There are dozens of shows out there on paranormal activity. You have every right in the world to produce your show. As long as you employ your own formula for the show, you're all set. Don't listen to anyone telling you to "lawyer up", and save your hard-earned money.

Ken Burns can't sue every other person from now on that wants to make a WWII documentary.

-Aaron



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Mark RaudonisRe: Cease and desist..from a competitor
by on Mar 31, 2009 at 2:19:19 am

[Aaron Cadieux] "You have every right in the world to produce your show. As long as you employ your own formula for the show, you're all set. Don't listen to anyone telling you to "lawyer up", and save your hard-earned money. "

Aaron,

True. He has every right in the world... but anyone can sue anyone for anything. If the opposing party goes beyond just a "threat" to sue, and actually obtains a restraining order, then yes, it's time to "lawyer up" and defend his rights to produce the show.

Mark



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grinner hesterRe: Cease and desist..from a competitor
by on Mar 31, 2009 at 2:59:55 pm

I'd stil not lawyer up for this one. Sometimes old school really is best. Part of what is wrong with our system is our drone behavior getting in line to waiste more money with stuff like this. When told we have to do something, we often sigh and do it... we learned it from mom and dad. In this case, I'd drive back out to Morse Mill and take a certain drunk marine to dinner, spend 40 bucks and leave having had a pretty good time and warm conversation. That beats the hell out of wearing a tie standing in an ugly expensive building with old white guys watching adults waiste tax payer money so they can squabble over footage shot for fun.
It's no wonder we adults make no sense to kids, man. We freakin make no sense.



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Dave FelderRe: Cease and desist..from a competitor
by on Apr 1, 2009 at 1:46:29 am

Why not send her a Cease and Desist letter of your own? There are dozens of them on the web you can copy.

Ryan Video Productions Inc. Rockaway, NJ


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Philip ImbrendaRe: Cease and desist..from a competitor
by on Apr 1, 2009 at 11:37:53 am

This is the problem with To many Ghost hunters with Lawyers & Video Gear! You still should consult with a Lawyer, This person can sue you,also make sure you speak to the right type of Lawyer (not the slip & fall type) a little money now can save you a lot later
Philip
Tv One Productions

Tv One Productions


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walter biscardiRe: Cease and desist..from a competitor
by on Apr 1, 2009 at 11:48:29 am

[Philip Imbrenda] "You still should consult with a Lawyer, This person can sue you,also make sure you speak to the right type of Lawyer (not the slip & fall type) a little money now can save you a lot later "

And I've got a really really good one here in Atlanta, actually the whole firm. I'm going through an I.P. legal situation right now and these folks are definitely the type of people I want on my side.



Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Biscardi Creative Media
HD and SD Production for Broadcast and Independent Productions.

Read my Blog!

STOP STARING AND START GRADING WITH APPLE COLOR Apple Color Training DVD available now!


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grinner hesterRe: Cease and desist..from a competitor
by on Apr 1, 2009 at 2:56:13 pm

Thanks, all. I really don't anticipate hearing from either of them again.
It's starting to look like after spending so much time in there, that first crew just was not able to make anything of the footage. I think they have been spending time making things perhaps not as real as what my footage shows and were afraid my footage would make theirs less valuable in some way.
Whatever the case, I produced 2 episodes in a month where they could not make one episode in 4 months time. That's no legal issue. That's envy.
They should have just called and asked if I freelance.



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Ronnie WhittingRe: Cease and desist..from a competitor
by on Feb 20, 2010 at 7:59:06 pm

Hey Grinner Hester,
The woman is a blundering idiot, she is way off her rocker. She can't claim squat. She needs to grow up before we Pro's in this business like yourself included eat her lunch and feed it back to her. She has not got the money to claim the claims she is trying to make. Hollywood would spit out after using her for chewing gum. You just keep up the good work.

Ron Whitting Executive producer-Owner
A.F. Productions / AFP-HD
Tyler, Texas


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