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Who owns the rights to what?

Discussion in 'Muppet Headlines' started by GelflingWaldo, Jan 29, 2005.

  1. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I don't have them. Somebody else bought the documents online and started a blog which currently only has scans from those documents.

    Looking at some of the documents in the second post, it's interesting to see the lawsuit information Henson had before selling. Among some of the lawsuits included fan sites. I wonder what the big deal was, since many unofficial websites have stayed online over the years with no apparrent problems. One of those sites was an Electric Mayhem site. I think I know what that site (there's only one Electric Mayhem site I know of) was but don't remember the web address offhand. Too bad, that was a good website.

    It was interesting looking at the list of productions with "synchronized licensing rights", which I guess refers to cleared music rights. There's a note that basically says that they "only apply to exploitation on video formats, except VHS/DVD". I thought video rights apply to all video formats. Also interesting how most of the productions with cleared music have their status as "expired" or "unable to confirm". I wonder if that's why so much hasn't been released or rebroadcast since Disney got the Muppets, though it seems none of the productions where the clearance status was "not applicable" (which seems to refer to productions that only have original music) have been released since.

    Also interesting how with some of the video releases Henson had left the clearance documents with Buena Vista. Also interesting to see the music rights regarding the 1985 compilation videos to be "expired". I guess that explains why Gonzo Presents Muppet Weird Stuff has numbers that were later cut on DVD.
  2. mupcollector1

    mupcollector1 Well-Known Member

    I didn't see much of the lawsuit info except for the websites which I'm guessing couple be someone putting up illegal downloads of seasons or something like that or graphic fan fiction to but it cleanly. But it all seems perfectly understandable for the most part. Though JHC I've always felt always cared about their fans and fandom sites like this one and Tough Pigs, stuff like that. Unlike some companies who'd sue anyone they could get their hands on, even a small town person making a fan shirt or something like that. There's not many companies that care about their fans like the Jim Henson Company. Though I'm happy that Disney recognizes us Muppet fans and allows us to have our fandom on the net still. :)
    On a different note, I recently wrote to Sesame Workshop thanking them for caring about the fans that grew up watching Classic Sesame and releasing the classic episodes on DVD, iTunes and downloadable albums and such.
  3. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Currently the blog that contains all these scans has two posts concerning those legal forms/whatever. The second blog post has pages involving lawsuits. The person who started that blog said on the toughpigs forum that he hasn't posted everything from those documents, and is unsure whether he'll post more.

    I assume that some of the more racier Muppet website domains were created so that fans would NOT be able to start websites with those names. Of course there are some clean-sounding domain titles that I do not remember being official websites.
  4. mupcollector1

    mupcollector1 Well-Known Member

    Interesting, so to avoid a inappropriate sounding fan site, one needs to be created to stop it. lol Well you got to do what you gotta to in order to prevent such. Though on a serious note, in a way, it's kind of a cleaver path of going about it actually.
    Muppetboy09 likes this.
  5. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I was recently surfing through Henson.com, looking at the various production pages. Back when it listed the Muppet productions, noting that Disney owns the Muppets now, I thought it was just referring to what Disney got, which included some things that the distribution rights are owned by other companies... Now I think I realize that it was merely providing info on various Muppet productions that The Jim Henson Company worked on, not necessarily saying that Disney got the full rights (or any rights, though I think Disney has some sort of rights). In fact Henson.com even has a page for The Muppets' Wizard of Oz, which came after the sale but the Henson Company had a hand in production.

    Maybe this goes somewhere else, but it seems like Henson.com has changed a bit regarding the pages on productions. When it started it seemed to have info on every Henson series, movie, and special (I think Little Muppet Monsters was the only thing not listed). The Great Santa Claus Switch had a page but was eventually taken down before the sale. Before the 2004 sale, The Jim Henson Hour had a page but none of the specials had seperate pages, and now JHH no longer has a page at Henson.com but Song of the Cloud Forest, Dog City, Monster Maker, Living with Dinosaurs, and I think Miss Piggy's Hollywood do. It seems the Dog City special has a page but the series no longer does (though it is noted on that specials page). I recall a few additional productions no longer having pages at Henson.com, but can't remember what (well, Mr. Willoby's Christmas Tree is one).
  6. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    After looking at scans from the documents so many times, I'd like to see the documents regarding Disney's purchase of Marvel, Lucasfilm, and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Sesame Workshop's purchase of the Sesame Street characters, and The Jim Henson Company's video deals regarding Jim Henson Video and Jim Henson Home Entertainment. I know we'd have to be lucky if anybody online obtained those, and the info probably isn't as impressive as the Henson-Disney deal paperwork, but it'd still be cool to see.
  7. Mo Frackle

    Mo Frackle Well-Known Member

    For those wondering if the Bobby McFarrin episode of JHH was really the "First Show", Mike Quinn confirmed that this was indeed shot as the series' pilot.
  8. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Wow, I didn't even know that he performed on The Jim Henson Hour (and the Muppet Wiki page for him doesn't list the show in his filmography).

    You know, the early posts of this thread said that the rights to The Secrets of the Muppets were split by Henson and Disney, I assume Gelfling Waldo learned from a source, but those documents don't say anything about both companies owning different parts of the special (it's listed as being owned by Disney, with no notes of Henson retaining anything besides characters or footage). But the Henson Company's YouTube channel has uploaded two clips from the special, one on the making of Waldo (I would assume Disney owns that character, considering they sold a Waldo vinylmation toy last year), and today the National Organazation of Muppet Dogs scene was uploaded. In fact they even left in the part with Rowlf, which I expected to see cut (the official YouTube channel has also uploaded a Dog City clip that had Rowlf, but his scenes from that clip were cut).
  9. Mo Frackle

    Mo Frackle Well-Known Member

    Yes, it's one of those little-known facts (something not even the Muppet Wiki crew knows about) that Mike actually mentioned on his Facebook wall earlier today. He performed Jojo in part of the Organization of Muppet Dogs scene in "Secrets of the Muppets", as that scene was shot in the London Creature Shop. Camille looped Jojo's voice for that scene later on. He also visited the set of the "First Show" in Toronto.
  10. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    One thing I wonder, since these documents were sold online, I wonder if Disney has multiple copies. Or if Disney scanned the info on a computer file. It'd be a shame if somebody at Disney just carelessly sold all legal documents on what they have and what Henson still has.

    I've read some conflicting gossip on the Tough Pigs forum recently, where one fan contacted Disney and learned that Henson still has all physical Muppet material (master tapes, scripts, documents, etc.) that Disney was not originally part of (if true I hope that's not what's keeping season 4 and other productions from DVD), and another fan learned from Karen Falk that all physical Muppet stuff were sent to Disney's vaults (though if that's true it's amazing that Henson was able to put so many rare Muppet photos on the Red Book).
  11. Oscarfan

    Oscarfan Well-Known Member

    I doubt a big company like Disney would have only one copy of those documents.
  12. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    So glad I still have all my nice Jim Henson Hour and Muppets Tonight VHS recordings from back in the day. Doubt they will ever get a dvd release. For shame. (the quality of the youtube uploads are attrocious)
  13. Muppetfan44

    Muppetfan44 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for doing all of this work and research, Gelfingwaldo! I'm curious as to where you went to find all of this information, what was your sources? I'm just very curious about this academically and would love to hear about the process you went through to get this ownership information on so many different productions, some of which that you clearly point out, feature multiple character sets owned by different groups. The only thing I would add is that even is Disney owns specials like "A Celebration of 30 years"- they might still not be able to air it uncut- if there is a song or musical number that references a song that has a current copyright owned by someone else ( I don't think it does but just as an example)- they would have to get the rights to include that song in any version they would wish to sell or broadcast- that's why it took so long to release the Muppet Show DVDs that were released (all the legal battles over production numbers containing songs and all the copyrights that came with them).

    I will say that I'm pretty sure whoever owns that book and posting that content online- that is probably illegal. I'm pretty sure that book was private Disney property and was not meant for public sale or consumption/release, meaning that it's proprietary Disney info and whoever has it and is posting pictures does not have the permission to do so. My advice to anyone on here is to not re-post any of that information on your own sites or use that information professionally without referencing the source of where it came from- sometimes people get into a lot of trouble with this type of stuff. The likelihood of that with this type of information is not a whole lot, but it's still a risk. I'm a lawyer and although this isn't a professional legal opinion it's an informed one, better safe than sorry

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