‘Power/Rangers’ Bootleg Video Yanked From YouTube

Short film starring James Van Der Beek and Katee Sackhoff pulled “due to a copyright claim”

Last Updated: February 27, 2015 @ 12:54 PM

Updated, Friday 12:49 p.m.: Producer Adi Shankar has responded to the removal of the “Power/Rangers” video from YouTube, calling it “an outright infringement on freedom of expression and individualism.”

Read the full statement 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.

Warm Regards,

Adi Shankar

P.S. Thank you Mark Zuckerberg for hosting Power/Rangers and taking a stand

Previously…

Been meaning to check out that “Power Rangers” takeoff that everyone’s been buzzing about all week? Looks like you’re out of luck.

YouTube has yanked the video, which stars James Van Der Beek and Katee Sackhoff, from its site.

The video, from producer Adi Shankar and director Joseph Kahn, depicted Van Der Beek and Sackhoff as former rangers contending with a bleak future controlled by the machines. But no more. At least on YouTube.

“This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by SCG Power Rangers LLC,” a message on the YouTube page where the video once resided reads.

YouTube is unable to mediate rights copyright disputes. per the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. When the streaming video service receives a complete takedown notice, it is required by the law to remove the content. The company does, however, offer a DMCA counter-notification process, in which it forwards counter-notifications it receives to the party that requested the takedown. Ultimately, however, it is up to the parties involved to resolve the issue in court.

The video had previously been removed from Vimeo. After that removal, Kahn maintained that Haim Saban, who owns the rights to the Power Rangers franchise, was harassing him.

“Saban is trying to shut ‘Power/Rangers’ down,” Kahn tweeted. “If you’d like to keep watching, tell them to stop harassing me.”

He also maintained that there was no copyright issue, as there was no copyrighted footage used in the short film.

“When a copyright holder notifies us of a video that infringes their copyright, we remove the content promptly in accordance with the law,” a YouTube spokesperson told TheWrap on Thursday.

The video was the fourth installment of Shankar’s “Bootleg Universe” project. The very dark take on the “Power Rangers” saga was “not a pitch,” Shankar said. Earlier online shorts included takes on comic-book characters The Punisher, Venom and Judge Dredd.

A spokesperson for Shankar has not yet responded to TheWrap’s request for comment.

Shankar and Kahn aren’t the only ones interested in offering their take on the Power Rangers, which gained popularity in the 1990s as a children’s show. Lionsgate plans to release a big-screen version of the franchise in July 2016.