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Vader Episode 1: Shards of the Past has been saved by Lucasfilm. Outrage amongst hardcore Star Wars fans started to spread earlier this week when it was revealed that Warner/ Chappel Publishing, who handles Walt Disney Music’s publishing, put a copyright claim on the excellent Darth Vader fan film after the creator had reached out to Lucasfilm and asked for permission. Fans were so hurt by the decision and the way that it was handled, that they planned a Star Wars 9 boycott.
The Star Wars Theory YouTube channel created Vader Episode 1: Shards of the Past and released it on December 20th. In the short amount of time that it has been up, it has been watched nearly 7 million times. The channel creator, Toos received a copyright strike from Disney for music that reportedly sounded too close to John Williams’ “Imperial March” theme. However, Toos had hired a composer to make original music that was inspired by Williams’ work and had already talked to Lucasfilm about making the movie.
Thankfully, a representative from Lucasfilm spoke to someone at either Warner/Chappel or Disney and had the copyright strike lifted from Vader Episode 1: Shards of the Past. When the copyright infringement was issued, Disney monetized the video, which Lucasfilm told Toos was not allowed. The studio was reportedly able to earn $80,000 from monetizing the fan-made movie on their own. However, the ads have also been taken from the video, meaning that nobody is profiting from the project, which is the way that it was supposed to be in the first place.
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