EXCLUSIVE: The Power Rangers fan film dispute has been settled. Following an agreement late Friday, the fan video is back on YouTube and Vimeo after a legal chest bumping between lawyers for franchise copyright holder Haim Saban and film fan producer Adi Shankar. Both hosting sites had pulled the video due to copyright concerns. Vimeo came down first on its own, and then Saban;s lawyers notified YouTube that director Joseph Kahn’s bloody take on the children’s show was in violation of their copyright and did not fall under “fair use.”
It is now back up with an age restriction on the video on YouTube. There is also a disclaimer on Vimeo from producer Shankar that reads: “Deboot of the Power Rangers. My take on the FAN FILM. Not a pilot, not a series, not for profit, strictly for exhibition. This is a bootleg experiment not affiliated or endorsed by Saban Entertainment or Lionsgate nor is it selling any product. I claim no rights to any of the characters (don’t send me any money, not kickstarted, this film is free). This is the NSFW version. An alternate safe version is on youtube.”
Kahn told Deadline tonight: “They put these disclaimers on so kids so don’t confuse our super-violent film with their Power Rangers brand. There are no hard feelings. We signed contracts. We can play it anywhere we want on all platforms. I think they realized that people just want to see it.”
The Power Rangers Bootleg on YouTube now has 12.5M views and, given the viral history, is expected to climb. (Watch it above.) Lionsgate and Saban are planning a feature based on the popular Saturday morning kids show.