Star Wars Uncut

Taking fan-fic/fan-film to a new level, the creative minds behind the Emmy Award winning Star Wars Uncut have created a crowd-sourced film-making project that has recreated the first Star Wars movie (ie Episode IV:  A New Hope) in 15 second clips contributed by different amateur film-makers.   The project was the brainchild of Casey Pugh who describes himself as a “creative technologist”.  He opened the project to anyone who wanted to claim a 15 second segment of the film and submit their own version of the scene.  There are a number of interesting copyright questions here.  In an interview with Pugh, he said that he had been in “indirect contact” with Lucasfilm and that they were “cool with the project”.  Lucasfilm generally likes fanmade content (as Pugh notes in this interview), but they also have tended to like to have control of fanmade content in the past.  It is possible that Lucasfilm could (threaten to) sue for copyright infringement.  If they did, would this project qualify as fair use?  And could anyone claim copyright in the fan-film itself?  Pugh and his team edited it together from clips contributed by individual film enthusiasts.    So this raises a compilation/collective works issue potentially.  Food for thought…