originally posted by pdrago in the ski gabber forum
So as many of you have already heard, yesterday our friend Josh Berman, from Level 1 Productions, was served a Lawsuit from Warren Miller Entertainment, (WME). This was not the "scare the kid with the camera by sending a letter threatening to sue him" letter......this was a 100 page Lawsuit filed in Federal Court for Level 1's use of Warren Miller's voice in their new film. As most of you know, the entire Warren Miller involvement was a secret that was not promoted in anyway, shape, or form. It was a surprise for the audience that allowed Josh to do something special for his 10th film. Josh did not seek out Warren, nor did he advertise his involvement in the film whatsoever.
Well, as some of you also may be aware, Warren has not been in a WME film in like 6 years. He hates the direction their films have gone and he wants nothing to do with them at all. They have been using his pre-recorded voice-over and old audio to make it seem like he is involved when in actuality he really dislikes the current WME company. Plus he wanted to get back at WME reconnect with his audience by working with Josh this year. (That alone makes Warren just that much cooler in my book by the way).
The lawsuit is a really serious one and they are coming after Josh for what they refer to as "irreparable damage" to their brand and they are also claiming that Josh is "misleading their audience" by advertising that he is making a Warren Miller Film. That is not even the tip of the iceberg of the outrageous and asinine claims that they are making in this lawsuit. After reading it you are overcome by both incredible laughter and a burning desire to punch someone right in the face as hard as you possibly can. Not only is the lawsuit absurd, but they actually called the Boulder Theatre and demand that they not play the film at the Premiere on Wednesday night due to the pending lawsuit. WME is already as clueless and as far removed as any company in action sports, but this puts them into far-reaching realm of idiocy in my book.
The best part about this is that they deliver the court papers yesterday and the hearing was this morning. So Josh gets this thing with about 15 hours notice and of course is understandably flustered, frustrated, and concerned (even though he did absolutely nothing wrong), and this morning the judge reprimanded WME for the completely ridiculous rush approach they took to try to catch Level 1 with their pants down, and removed the restraining order that WME tried to put on the Boulder Theatre demanding that they not play the film....yeah, WME actually threatened the Boulder Theatre with a lawsuit if they played the movie tomorrow night.
Now, the question is, do they really think that they know what "irreparable damages" are? The NS community is as strong (and idiotic) as any community of people on planet Earth. I am pushing for some serious pushback on them from us. Forget sanctions, no one here would ever spend a dollar on the current WME offerings (the old flicks were great and had some soul) so boycotting won't hurt them. I am talking about a full fledged, un-lubricated, assfucking of their brand and reputation. I am not going to give any specifics or recommendations for legal purposes, but you guys know how to really get a tidal wave started.
They have had a really difficult time reaching this demographic already, and I hope that word of this absurdity spreads to a larger audience.
update (also by pdrago)
Believe it or not, our voice can be heard!
WME is definitely feeling the pushback on this absurd course of action they initiated. They are quickly trying to resolve this in a cooperative manner with Level 1 in a way that can be spun through the media to end the PR nightmare they created. I cannot get into the specifics for a number of reasons, but just know that what we have been doing is working. In what they are doing, they are basically admitting their moves were a mistake and they are trying to mitigate the damage. Now we really need to release the hounds and push even harder and hope that they just drop the case.
This is further evidence that they had no idea what they were getting into with this. They drastically underestimated the passion, comradery, loyalty, intelligence, character, and overall enthusiasm this group has. They also did not realize that in the age of social networking sites this sort of brand damaging information can spread like wildfire. All of this proves how out of touch with their market WME is. Don't let up, keep on em'....