Sorry for the NSFW headline folks, but as Lewis Black likes to say, words like that allow “adults to express anger and frustration”.
Yesterday the tech, entertainment and business news was all agog over NBC’s announcement that the Steven Spielberg helmed reboot of Amazing Stories was close to signing a deal with Apple Corp to produce the show. (To the tune of 50 million plus.)
Unfortunately for them, NBC does not own, nor have a licence, nor even an option to license, the Amazing Stories name.
They LOST that right in May of this year when their corporate legal offices were formally and properly informed of a breach of contract and termination of the same for non-payment.
NBC then threatened me with suit if I did not sign the licensing agreement. (This is another indication of how incompetent NBC has been: the contract they are trying to get me to sign has an “arbitration” clause…so they most they could do was threaten to take me to arbitration…presuming the contract still has any effect. This is on top of NBC corporate obviously NEVER informing the production crew of the notice of breach and loss of rights – the people who called to get me to sign were flabbergasted and mortified that they would have to inform Steven Spielberg that they did not have the rights…yes -NBC is beating me up because they are too afraid to face the Spielberg music…)
I offered to discuss this with NBC; if they met certain demands, I might be willing to sign.
However and once again, instead of dealing with me above-board and honestly (they have a history of not doing so, like misrepresenting Spielberg’s involvement), they held me off, stating – three weeks ago – that they were consulting with lots of people and this was the reason for the delay in getting back to me on my proposals.
I reluctantly signed the initial agreement. I reluctantly didn’t protest (too much) over non-payment (I was care-giving for my now deceased wife during much of this) and I reluctantly agreed to maybe sign the licensing agreement if certain things were changed.
I am now of the considered and justified opinion that doing anything with NBC would be a huge mistake. Why I allowed myself to be convinced that we could work things out, in the face of everything that had gone before…well…shit happens, I guess. But you know, there’s that old expression about fooling me twice….
It’s not gonna happen. I want nothing to do with NBC and I want them to have nothing to do with Amazing Stories.
This is a blatant rip-off by a major media company that apparently believes they can pretty much do anything they want to do, rights or no rights, and they should not ever be allowed to get away with this. If they can trample on trademarks, they can trample on copyright. Every single person that relies on intellectual property to make their living ought to be up in arms over this blatant rights grab. But then this is how they make their billions, right? By taking advantage of people who don’t have billions to defend themselves, using their undue influence and media connections to keep things like this quiet.
If this sounds like another entertainment story making headlines right now, that’s because Weinstein and NBC are basically doing to same thing – using power, money and influence to get away with doing things the rest of us would never even think of doing, let alone expect to get away with doing.