A few weeks ago, the Star Trek: Axanar production was hit with a copyright infringement lawsuit from CBS and Paramount Pictures, throwing the fan film community into a whirlwind of back-and-forth over who really gets to do what when it comes to fan productions.
Now, there’s word of another fan production falling to legal issues: Joel Furtado’s X-Men: Danger Room Protocols.
Furtado has been working on the web series for a long while now, with eighteen episodes planned to showcase different pairs of 1990s-era X-Men characters in animated adventures against iconic villains in a Danger Room scenario. Furtado told io9 via email: “I’ve always loved X-men since I was a little kid. It was something I gravitated to, reading the comics at that time even before the animated series,” adding, “When Fox’s cartoon came out that was it, I was hooked. I’ve done a few personal projects over the years, but nothing of this scale or scope. I decided I wanted to take a year off and do this thing for myself, as well as the fans. I knew there were X-men fans out there, wanting more than what the official powers that be were giving them.”
The first episode featured Jean Grey and Wolverine against the Sentinels, but was quickly pulled from YouTube. Furtado released it on Vimeo, but the video was pulled from there as well.
In a video released today, Furtado has announced the project has been cancelled.
Many fans will no doubt be angered at the move, but the concept of copyright doesn’t allow for fan-created material. The fact that any fan fiction, fan art, fan films, or the like can be attributed only to the patience and long-suffering of corporations who generally turn a blind eye to the projects.
However, they are technically a violation of copyright, and when a project gets big enough to be noticed by a large crowd, copyright owners are obliged to act in protection of their intellectual property.
SciFi4Me contacted Marvel, and they have no comment at this time.