AMC is willing to go as far as it takes to protect The Walking Dead's biggest spoiler in its six seasons to date. A group of fans notorious for nabbing accurate spoilers and sharing them prior to episodes airing has been threatened with a potential lawsuit should they publicly reveal their take on who it was that Negan killed in the closing moments of season six.
In a letter to their fans, The Spoiling Dead Fans group addressed the issue and let followers know that they can no longer speculate on the issue, though they will continue to share photos from the sets and other potential spoilers as they have for years now.
Well Buttercups, we have some sad news to share today. After two years, AMC finally reached out to us! But it wasn't a request not to post any info about the Lucille Victim or any type of friendly attempt at compromise, it was a cease and desist and a threat of a lawsuit by AMC Holdings, LLC's attorney, Dennis Wilson. They say we can't make any type of prediction about the Lucille Victim. Their stance is that making such a prediction would be considered copyright infringement. AMC tells us that we made some claim somewhere that says we received "copyright protected, trade secret information about the most critical plot information in the unreleased next season of The Walking Dead" and that we announced we were going to disclose this protected information. We still aren't sure where we supposedly made this claim because they did not identify where it was.
The truth is, we have become victims of our own success. We hold a track record for accuracy and now AMC perceives us as a threat. We can understand why. We were once just a small community, but now we are 400,000 strong among all our outlets. The TSDF Army, originally named in jest, is now very real in this little cottage industry. We are a threat because of our accuracy. However, it was never our intention to cause harm to this show (and we don't believe we have), only to satisfy the curiosity of thousands of fans who wanted what we offered. Millions of other fans tune in to this show unspoiled and are none the wiser about who we are. We are a dedicated community of enthusiastic, passionate fans that love this show so much we always want to know what's going to happen and speculate on all those possibilities. Our spoilers are intended only for fans that seek them out to enhance their own viewing experience.
Basically what it all comes down to is if we post our Lucille Victim prediction and we're right, AMC says they will sue us. Whether there are grounds for it or not is not the issue, it still costs money to defend. That is the way our justice system works. Would we have defenses? Sure. But it also costs money to mount that defense. If someone brings us a potential Lucille spoiler and we confirm it and it turns out accurate we could get sued. That doesn't mean they're right and we're wrong, but like so many other situations in this world, they have the money and power and we do not. So we lose. In the past two years, AMC has filed several wrongful DMCA notices against us with full knowledge that we could not file counter-notices, hired investigators to intimidate our members, and threatened our local members with arrest, among other questionable acts. We're also pretty sure they had something to do with the DOS attack on our site just before the finale last season. They have exhibited every quality of a bully pounding its chest. That sucks for us. It's very disappointing to see the network that hosts our favorite show attack one of their biggest fan bases. Especially when they could have taken a more diplomatic approach that could have given them the same results.
Please respect our decision not to put our livelihoods at risk. AMC has been harassing us for four days now by contacting our homes, our family members and our employers; even posting on this page and personal social media accounts. We are fans of this show just like you and aren't a commercial operation that makes profit. We have families and careers to think about. No spoiler will ever be worth compromising those things. If you think this makes us pussies that are bowing down to AMC then so be it.
After consultation with our legal counsel, we have responded to AMC that the TSDF staff will not be posting our prediction on who gets Lucilled on any of our outlets. We will also not be answering any questions about who we think it is. If you hear a potential spoiler elsewhere and bring it to us for confirmation, we will not confirm or deny it. If you message us privately and ask who we think gets Lucilled, we will not respond. The info may find another outlet on its own, but an official prediction will not come from the TSDF staff.
But let's be real here. It's unreasonable to think for a moment that the Lucille spoiler won't come out before the air date. Our 2% of the viewership knows better. First, we aren't the only spoiler business in the game. Also, simple observation and deduction can't be prohibited. With much help, we have become very good at watching, listening, waiting, researching and separating the truth from the lies and being savvy when it comes to this show's filming process. That typically reaches our goals. We are the reporters of this information. So while we will continue to post set reports, it will be up to you guys to take that information and make your own assumptions about who it is. We cannot assist by giving our speculation.
Just to clarify, we will continue to post all of our filming updates, eyewitness reports and all photos taken legally throughout the filming season just like we always have. We are by no means getting shut down. It's still business as usual here, we just won't be spoiling the biggest moment so far. Yes, we have taken a bit of a fall. But why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves back up again. (Thanks, Alfred!)
Very truly yours - The TSDF Staff
While the chances of Lucille's victim's identity slipping through the cracks between now and October remain, The Spoiling Dead Fans have taken their dog out of the fight to make the reveal.
Just last week, rumors surfaced regarding Negan's victim. Given the spoilery nature of such a thing, we'll just link to that story right here, rather than potentially spoil it for those who want a surprise.
The Walking Dead will return for its seventh season in October. Expect a trailer with possible clues to spawn from San Diego Comic Con in July.