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Author Topic: you know that disclaimer they put at the end of films...  (Read 1170 times)
zombie #1
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« on: June 26, 2011, 09:16:53 AM »

you know the one...at the end credits it will always say something along the lines of:

all characters in this film are ficticious and any resemblance to any actual persons, dead or alive, is entirely unintentional

well...why do thy put it in films where this clearly isn't the case?

last night I was watching Naked Gun 1 1/2

characters in the film: George Bush president of the United States (and wife)...Nelson Mandela and Winnie Mandella...

and yet in the end credits that disclaimer comes up. pretty big coinsidence to "unintentionally" call the president George Bush if you ask me  Question

I'm sure Naked Gun isn't the only film to do this...
« Last Edit: June 26, 2011, 09:19:34 AM by DCA » Logged

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WilliamWeird1313
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« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2011, 10:22:40 AM »


I guess it's there A- to protect their asses, and B- because it's easier to just write that than to write "All characters in this film are fictitious and any resemblance to any actual persons, dead or alive, is entirely unintentional. Except for the character of George Bush, who is, in fact, based on the real George Bush, President of the United States, and no other George Bush who has, does, or will ever exist. This depiction, however, is not intended to resemble any events that the real George Bush may or may not have participated in throughout his factual life, nor is his depiction herein intended to speak to his character as a real person. This George Bush is intended as a parody, and is thus protected by the United States Fair Use Doctrine. In other countries, it is covered by whatever laws they got there that protect parody in the arts. Oh Christ, please don't sue."



PS> For the record, my favorite use of the "any resemblance to actual persons" line is when it appears at the end of the movie that is "based on a true story." So, wait, what? I thought you said this movie was not true. "Yes, it is." But it has no resemblance to any actual persons, living or dead, and any such resemblance gleaned is purely unintentional. "Yes, exactly." My brain hurts.

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zombie #1
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Oookaay...


« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2011, 11:26:06 AM »


I guess it's there A- to protect their asses, and B- because it's easier to just write that than to write "All characters in this film are fictitious and any resemblance to any actual persons, dead or alive, is entirely unintentional. Except for the character of George Bush, who is, in fact, based on the real George Bush, President of the United States, and no other George Bush who has, does, or will ever exist. This depiction, however, is not intended to resemble any events that the real George Bush may or may not have participated in throughout his factual life, nor is his depiction herein intended to speak to his character as a real person. This George Bush is intended as a parody, and is thus protected by the United States Fair Use Doctrine. In other countries, it is covered by whatever laws they got there that protect parody in the arts. Oh Christ, please don't sue."

lol

however, they should state it like that IMO... if they can be bothered to go to the lengths of posting what I presume is a legally binding disclaimer, then they should actually get it right, no matter how wordy...surely that's the point of any 'small print'
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« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2011, 11:31:37 AM »


I guess it's there A- to protect their asses, and B- because it's easier to just write that than to write "All characters in this film are fictitious and any resemblance to any actual persons, dead or alive, is entirely unintentional. Except for the character of George Bush, who is, in fact, based on the real George Bush, President of the United States, and no other George Bush who has, does, or will ever exist. This depiction, however, is not intended to resemble any events that the real George Bush may or may not have participated in throughout his factual life, nor is his depiction herein intended to speak to his character as a real person. This George Bush is intended as a parody, and is thus protected by the United States Fair Use Doctrine. In other countries, it is covered by whatever laws they got there that protect parody in the arts. Oh Christ, please don't sue."

lol

however, they should state it like that IMO... if they can be bothered to go to the lengths of posting what I presume is a legally binding disclaimer, then they should actually get it right, no matter how wordy...surely that's the point of any 'small print'

The disclaimer is "boilerplate." It's standard language the studios add to every credits sequence without thinking about it one bit.  The disclaimer has almost no legal value but it doesn't cost anything to add it. 
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zombie #1
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Oookaay...


« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2011, 11:59:14 AM »

well surely if they're adding it on every film whether it's applicable or not (as in the case of Naked Gun where the characters clearly and obviously *are* based on real life people) then it can have no meaning anyway? obviously they're trying to cover their backs but not paying attention to when it doesn't apply. I just find that strange...

I doubt it's even a big deal, I mean was any film maker ever sued for depicting (or alledgedly depicting) a real person without giving credit?
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« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2011, 12:26:11 PM »

well surely if they're adding it on every film whether it's applicable or not (as in the case of Naked Gun where the characters clearly and obviously *are* based on real life people) then it can have no meaning anyway? obviously they're trying to cover their backs but not paying attention to when it doesn't apply. I just find that strange...

I doubt it's even a big deal, I mean was any film maker ever sued for depicting (or alledgedly depicting) a real person without giving credit?

You're right, the phrase basically has no meaning. But like I say, it costs $0 to add and it's kind of a tradition.   

People sue over invasion of privacy all the time, they usually settle out of court.  There was a case called COSTANZA v. SEINFELD where a man named George Costanza sued the TV show claiming the character was based on him (his case got thrown out).   
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« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2011, 10:47:55 PM »

  There was a case called COSTANZA v. SEINFELD

It makes me so happy knowing that somewhere out there is a filing cabinet containing court documents with this label on them.

 TeddyR

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zombie #1
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Oookaay...


« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2011, 07:21:40 AM »

thanks by the way Rev, I can now add the word "boilerplate" to my vocabulary  Smile

- who said this baord wasn't edukashunal?
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« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2011, 05:57:15 PM »

  There was a case called COSTANZA v. SEINFELD

It makes me so happy knowing that somewhere out there is a filing cabinet containing court documents with this label on them.

 TeddyR



My thoughts exactly!  Good think it wasn't Kramer v Seinfeld, or Jackie Chiles would have had to get involved... (who told you to put the balm on?)
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« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2011, 07:59:14 AM »

I think it applies only to fictitious characters. George Bush technically isn't a character, but a parody of a real person. If you want to openly parody a real person, the laws are fairly clear on how far you can go. On the other hand, if you have a fictitious character, you should be able to make them do anything you want without being accused of libel or using someone without their consent. Unless, of course, the character happens to strongly resemble a real person, in which case they might accuse you of trying to avoid giving them their due or trying to libel them with impunity. They might try to seek damages to their reputation caused by the resemblance.

Basically, real people are protected by laws governing how you can use them in a work of fiction. They don't need a disclaimer. It's there as an assurance that the filmmakers aren't deliberately trying to get around those laws by using a thinly-veiled imitation.
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« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2011, 08:27:48 AM »

Quote
People sue over invasion of privacy all the time, they usually settle out of court.  There was a case called COSTANZA v. SEINFELD where a man named George Costanza sued the TV show claiming the character was based on him (his case got thrown out).   


Wasn't there also a guy who sued (or maybe just complained) that Kramer was based on his life. He started his own "Kramer Reality Tour" which inspired the whole 'TheReall Kramer Tour' subplot on the show.
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« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2011, 11:58:33 AM »

Quote
People sue over invasion of privacy all the time, they usually settle out of court.  There was a case called COSTANZA v. SEINFELD where a man named George Costanza sued the TV show claiming the character was based on him (his case got thrown out).   


Wasn't there also a guy who sued (or maybe just complained) that Kramer was based on his life. He started his own "Kramer Reality Tour" which inspired the whole 'TheReall Kramer Tour' subplot on the show.

Yeah, the Kramer guy embraced it (I think he also got a small financial arrangement out of the deal, besides the tour business).  Larry David really did base the character on a guy he knew.  But he based George Costanza on himself.
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« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2011, 12:13:56 PM »

I think it applies only to fictitious characters. George Bush technically isn't a character, but a parody of a real person. If you want to openly parody a real person, the laws are fairly clear on how far you can go. On the other hand, if you have a fictitious character, you should be able to make them do anything you want without being accused of libel or using someone without their consent. Unless, of course, the character happens to strongly resemble a real person, in which case they might accuse you of trying to avoid giving them their due or trying to libel them with impunity. They might try to seek damages to their reputation caused by the resemblance.

Basically, real people are protected by laws governing how you can use them in a work of fiction. They don't need a disclaimer. It's there as an assurance that the filmmakers aren't deliberately trying to get around those laws by using a thinly-veiled imitation.

That's true. Public figures have less expectation of privacy than private citizens, and the more famous you are, the less privacy you can expect. 

It's true whether you have a disclaimer or not, though.  The disclaimer itself is fairly meaningless now, it's just added out of tradition.  It may have some legal utility a long time ago, when motion pictures were new, before there was a lot of settled case law.  Still, I think publishers may still put that disclaimer on novels even today.  It doesn't hurt anything, and it could convince a small number of people not to sue. 
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Pilgermann
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« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2011, 12:19:47 PM »

The end of Bad Taste has a nice variation on it:

"Any similarity with persons living or dead is an accident, sorry."
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« Reply #14 on: July 08, 2011, 12:33:14 PM »

Here's a couple more ditzy disclaimers:

"Any references to any religious organization is entirely coincidental, and no actual Mormons were used or abused in the filming of this picture."--ORGAZMO

"Any resemblance to any person living, dead or reincarnated is purely coincidental."--WHAT DREAMS MAY COME

I'm sure there are plenty more examples of people having fun with the boilerplate.
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