Kiwi filmmaker takes on US company over footage


Geoff Mackley makes his living as a filmmaker - and while the internet's a great source of income for him, recently it's been an increasing source of frustration when his footage is stolen.

The latest saga? An internet parody on Pokémon Go.

"About 20 people had contacted me and said, 'Look at this'. I've seen the video on Facebook, which had 5 million views in one day," Mr Mackley said.

Mackley's vision was taken from YouTube and used by the website IGN as part of the parody on Pokémon Go.

When he hit them up about it, the response did not make him happy.

"They said that yep, they'd used it and they were happy to give me a video credit, and that would help me promote my work," he said.

They offered Mr Mackley a measly $250, claiming they can use it under 'Fair Use'.

"It still amazes me that large international companies will steal it, and it's just rampant and they come up with amazing ideas as to why they did it," he said.

Intellectual property lawyer Jenni Rutter says there's nothing fair about it - and the problem lies with our copyright laws, which are different to that of the United States.

"In the US you can get away with taking copyright works without permission sometimes if it's a true parody situation - and we don't recognise that in the same way in New Zealand," Ms Rutter said.

But she doesn't think it allows the IGN website to get away with it.

"I don't really think it's fair or that's any excuse for taking Geoff's work and putting that footage into something that is parodying something else."

Mr Mackley's hired lawyers in the United States to deal with it - but if one thing's certain, he's not backing down.