Joseph Kahn is not putting up with bullying no matter who it’s from.
The music video director who posted a 14-minute Power Rangers take-off — his fourth “Bootleg Universe” project — on Monday night, claims that he is being harassed by Haim Saban, who owns the rights to the franchise.
The film remains posted on YouTube, however, but Vimeo took it down after buckling to pressure from Saban Brands.
“Saban is trying to shut Power/Rangers down,” Kahn tweeted. “If you’d like to keep watching, tell them to stop harassing me.”
Vimeo reportedly told Kahn in an email Tuesday that it “is the host for your videos and as a host for user-generated content we are fully compliant with the notice and takedown provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. It looks like your video was removed due to a copyright infringement claim by: Tim Quinlan, SCG Power Rangers LLC.”
The outraged director played out the dispute on Twitter and went on to explain his legal rights in a string of tweets, writing: “Every image in Power/Rangers is original footage. Nothing was pre-existing. There is no copyrighted footage in the short. I am not making any money on it and I refuse to accept any from anyone.
“It was not even Kickstarted, I paid for it myself. This was made to be given away for free. It is just as if I drew a pic of Power Rangers on a napkin and I gave it to my friend. Is it illegal to give pic I drew of a character on a napkin to someone for free? No.”
As TheWrap previously reported, the Power/Rangers project stars James Van Der Beek (Dawson’s Creek) and Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica) as former rangers at odds in a bleak future controlled by the machines.
Lionsgate is currently hard at work making a big screen adaptation of Power Rangers, but producer Adi Shankar and Kahn beat them to it with their dark vision of the popular children’s TV show that launched in the 1990s.
While the film is not currently available on Vimeo, its YouTube hits are mounting by the minute. “Download ‘POWER/RANGERS’ if you can. It’s free. Take it. Hurry up,” tweeted Kahn Tuesday night, before announcing that it had surpassed 3 million views.