Several days ago, a 14-minute dark and gritty Power/Rangers fan film debuted, which was produced by Adi Shankar and directed by Joseph Kahn. Saban Brands, which owns the rights to the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, wasn't pleased with the R-rated take on their characters and had the video pulled from Vimeo and now they've successfully had it yanked from Youtube as well.
Despite receiving 12 million views in the past few days, Youtube has taken down the fan film, which stars Katee Sackhoff and James Van Der Beek, due to a copyright challenge by owner Saban Brands.
"I think it's a huge blow for fandom," Joseph Kahn told Deadline. "I think they're hurting themselves. I think with this short they've gotten more attention than ever before. How do you break the Internet with the Power Rangers? I think it gave them a lot of publicity and revived its pop culture awareness. Instead of supporting the good will of the fans, they've turned it into a legal issue. It doesn't sound like they're thinking of the fandom at all.
"I hope they come to an awareness of how modern pop culture works. The audience will pay for the franchise, but they want to play with it as well. You can't just dictate that these are the things you are going to watch in the way we want you to watch it. That's not the way society works anymore. If you want the support of the modern fandom, you need to let them participate."
Ashwant Akula Venkatram, the attorney for Power/Rangers producer Adi Shankar, said they will fight the decision. "It's fair use and there are numerous fans films on YouTube. It's a terrible precedent to set," Venkatram stated.