What is this page about?
is a FAQ (Frequestly Asked Questions) page posted by this site
and many other Simpsons sites around the web. It was part of
a "blackout" campaign
started by a Simpsons fan who was tired of seeing great Simpsons
sites shut down. This campaign was held between February 21st
to the 27th in 2000, and was used to raise awareness to the
practices of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation's lawyers
who send out harsh, threatening letters to the webmasters of
Simpsons sites. However, as one of the victims of Fox, I feel
the need to continue to create awareness of the situation which
still affects many Simpsons websites today.
What is your goal?
To stop the shutting
down of websites devoted to Fox's program, "The Simpsons." For
years webmasters have been trying to create websites which Simpson
fanatics could enjoy, with literally thousands of multimedia
files and interactive features to bring Springfield, and its
inhabitants, a little closer to home. For a while, it seemed
FOX was beginning to listen to its fans when they stopped sending
Cease & Desist orders. Now, they're back, this site, and
many others included.
What is the situation at hand?
the web is home to over 1000 Simpsons sites, most of which
contain multimedia, including sound clips, pictures, framegrabs,
or even full length episodes. Each website is created in an
effort to spread Simpsonmania further than it has already gone,
and is certainly not intended to hurt, change or take away
from anything the show has accomplished over the last 16 years.
We, as a web community, have devoted hundreds of hours of our
free time to carefully creating websites of quality, in a kind
of "by the fans, for the fans" relaxed
environment. FOX, in the meantime, has sought to stop webmasters
from posting things like sounds, wallpaper, movies and framegrabs.
But aren't people making money off FOX's product?
Our campaign is not
to aid webmasters in making money off of what they do not own.
We are here to represent the people who create sites for fun,
not solely for the profits. Even these people get letters from
FOX demanding an immediate removal of content. It is simply not
fair to force a site to shut down for giving a TV show FREE publicity.
How does FOX shut down your sites?
e-mails called "Cease & Desist Orders". These are basically
letters that are threatening legal action if certain material
is considered "illegal." In other words, it's a fancy way for
FOX to bring down its wrath on teenage webmasters who are simply
appreciating a work of brilliance. The sites aren't forced
to close their doors but many of these site owners panic and
see no other solution, or their butchered sites are left with
nothing to offer.
I want to make a Simpsons site but now I'm afraid!
Your site isn't likely to be hit unless it's one of the most popular on the net. If you think your site may eventuate into this, try not to use masses of multimedia content and they will probably leave you alone. Definitely stray away from full-length episodes because even we firmly believe that is illegal. If you're creating a site for your own fun and don't expect many people to visit it, content such as sounds, movies, and pictures will be fairly safe to put up. Last of all, go ahead and make your page. Don't let this situation get to your head. Have fun, and make a great dedication to the show you love ever so much.
Can I do anything to help?
Write a letter to FOX, either by hand or via email through their website. Let them know how disgusted you are about it. Better yet, email your local newspaper and get them to do a report on the situation. The New York Times has published an article on this matter before.. if the word spreads, we can help the hundreds of sites which have fallen victim to FOX, and those that will be hit in the future.
You can contact FOX's lawfirm, KMWLAW via their website at www.kmwlaw.com