An Angry Open Letter To Paramount

Hey there folks. John here.

I have decided to take down the post and just summarize what has happened up to this point. But first I just wanted to tell you how overwhelmed I have been at the outpouring of support from you guys. Thanks so much, it means a lot.

So for now, here is a summary of everything that has happened up to this point:

1) Last week Paramount contacted me and kindly requested that I take down a Bumblebee picture I had up on the site. I complied and took it down.

2) This morning I woke up to find that in the middle of the night my website was taken down because of a complaint that my hosting company received from Paramount.

3) I discovered that the complaint was over an image I had put up WEEKS ago

4) Paramount had NEVER contacted me in any way to request that particular image be taken down.

5) I wrote a very angry letter to Paramount

6) I published that angry letter here on the site for all to read

7) The article has been posted on hundreds of sites, including over 1800 diggs in just a few hours.

NEW 8) Paramount emailed me asking for my phone number so we could discuss the situation

NEW 9) A representative from Paramount called me and apologized for the situation and claimed they that the whole situation was a horrible mistake and that they never intended for my site to be taken down at all.

NEW 10) I explained to the Paramount representative that I’m not convinced it was an accident or that the apology is a sincere one, but rather damage control because of all the negative publicity this story has generated around the web

NEW 11) When the Paramount representative asked me what she could do for me, I told her I wanted her boss, the director of Interactive Media at Paramount to call me to discuss the situation and how something this outrageously stupid could happen.

NEW 12) The rep told me she would pass this along to her boss and have her call me when she is back from a road trip.

So there you have it. That’s the short version. I seriously don’t know what to think about the "apology" at this point. I decided in good faith to take the angry email down for now. Now we’ll just wait and see if they were serious about this and the boss calls me or not. I’m betting she doesn’t call.

This will probably be the main topic for The Audio Edition tomorrow night. Doug and I already had a meeting about this. I wasn’t sure we should even talk about it… but I’ve never seen Doug so angry or upset… so this topic will be on the plate for tomorrow.

I’m 50/50 on if I believe them or not, and I’m not sure this boss will bother calling me. Doug is 100% convinced they are lying weasels just trying to calm down the shit storm they themselves started. We’ll have to wait and see.

Your thoughts?

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156 thoughts on “An Angry Open Letter To Paramount

  1. Beejag would like to state, that not only has he been outraged, but he has also lost much of his enthusiasm in the new Transformers movie. Congrads John and Co. on showing em whos boss.

  2. WHEN will these people learn that the people have more power than they used to? Screw over enough people trying to cancel AOL, and it will come back to bite you. Abuse someone with a popular blog, and you’re just tying your own blindfold and lighting your own cigarette. If they were serious about making things right, someone could authorize doing something significant. Or, is this uber-person’s cell phone broken? She can’t take 10 minutes to apologize? Ridiculous.

  3. John this is damage control. And I hate to say it, but you probably did exactly what they were hoping you would do, which is leave a ‘we’ll see what happens’ post. If they were SERIOUS about pacifying you, there would be no need to wait for anyone to get back from any road trip. That’s clearly a stalling tactic hoping this story will die.

    The smartest thing Paramount could have done is EMPOWER you to market Transformers for them. I see the success New Line had with embracing bloggers to help them market Snakes on a Plane taught Paramount nothing.

  4. First, John, I’m not out to discredit you, and though Paramount DID take your letter seriously, I still think it was written very poorly. Second, don’t misunderstand, I am not disagreeing with your position. The studio (or someone from the studio) acted harshly and without thoroughly considering the consequences. Something, admittedly, I’ve done myself a time or three. Fair use comes into play from both the studio AND the user. Outside of intellectual properties, let’s say you knowingly accepted or purchased a stolen TV. This act may not hold as much consequence as actually taking the TV from a store, but it’s still illegal.

    John, I’m not making you out to be the bad guy, but I get the feeling you aren’t a saint either. Kudos to getting the studio’s attention, but I point out that you continue to belittle and show doubt that they will follow through in their attempt to make penance. You could learn a lot from HardOCP’s dealings with Infinium Labs and their Phantom game console. As long, dirty and drawn out as their fight got, they never once resorted to anything but complete professionalism.

    In short, I’m not saying you’re wrong. I’m not saying you’re bad either. I am saying that your readers are only getting one side of the story from someone who has a clear bias to the events in question. I’d be pissed too, if a studio shut me down point blank. Who wouldn’t? It’s obvious though that someone thought you did something wrong.

    You still haven’t answered the question… Where’d you get the photos?

  5. “Bottom line – Paramount was protecting what they saw as infringement of their property. That’s what savy corporations do. Good for them.”

    Chark – Corporations see evey form of free speech that conflicts with their interests as a violation of their so-called “property”. The fact that they do it doesn’t make it right – either morally or as a matter of law. Ever hear of “fair use”? No?? Then WTF is all of the following doing on YOUR website:

    Napoleon Dynamite publicity still.

    Superman II still.

    Fox News clip (via YouTube)

    Spiderman III poster

    World Cup Photos (all likely “copyrighted” by the AP)

    Superman III & IV posters

    Nicole Kidman headshot

    Are you suggesting that you went to each and all of the corporations that own this “property” and got their permission for posting it on your site??? Give me a break!

  6. HOLY SHIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Now that is freaky! As soon as I saw the title on this post, I was in total SHOCK! Paramount, MOTHERFUCKING Paramount!

    Hey, if I did something that they didn’t like, I’d be happy to make it up for them. But for having a site (a harmless one) get taken down because they didn’t get the fucking notice that we mean no harm, they’ll expect a war!!!!!!

    DarkKinger said it best (sort of); if this movie becomes a pile of SHIT (and I pray to God not), they’ll lose my faith for them.

    I hope they don’t go into an unnecessary power grab over other sites. Of course, Hollywood can’t be THAT stupid…

    can they?!

  7. The first time I ever heard about this new Transformers movies being made, my immediate reaction was ‘oh give me a break’. Now I watched the show as a kid, I had the toys, but 20 years later, I barely remember anything about the show. I don’t even remember whether the decpatcons or whatever they’re called are the good guys or the bad guys. I was not too excited about it.

    Until, John and The Movie Blog started talking about it almost all the time, reading blog posts from Michael Bay about how he filmed some scenes with the Air Force and stealth fighters on attack runs, teaching me the whole backstory on what the Transformers actually are and where they came from. And something strange happened, I actually became pretty excited about this film.

    At first, I too was like ‘oh enough freakin Transformers already in the podcasts’, then it actually changed to ‘ohhh new transformers news, tell me tell me’.

    My point, is that John and The Movie Blog are the sole reason I became excited about this film, and I’m sure I’m not the only one that can say that. Paramount is in the wrong here for simply not respecting The Movie Blog as a serious movies site, one which they should consider an ally and be grateful to for actually getting people excited about their film. I say not respecting it as a serious site in just that, I kind of doubt they’d have just quickly taken down a site like IMDB or RottenTomatos in the same way, they’d have gone out of their way to correct the problem quietly and friendly with a site like that, but when it comes to The Movie Blog, their attitude seems to have been ah screw them they’re not important.

    Anyway, I know i tend to ramble on, Paramount is in damage control mode now, they know this is getting major coverage around the internet and making them look like idiots, so make them give you more then just an apology, tell them you deserve something from them, like an arranged interview with Michael Bay or something, something that will actually get you excited about the film again as much as you were before. And its in their best interest for you to be excited about it, because when you are, you’re listeners are.

  8. That was a very well written letter. It would have been so much simpler if they had sent you an e-mail. To go straight to the hosting company is stupid.

    Talk about lost publicity!

  9. PARAMOUNT?! PARAMOUNT FUCKIN’ DID THIS?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!?!!!??!?!?

    Okay, I am sorry people, but I’m FUCKING pissed: RANT TIME!!!

    So, the big problem was that a few weeks ago Campea had a pic of Bumblebee from Transformers. And you took it down as soon as you heard a notice. They should’ve been satisfied knowing that the whole thing was taken care of with no problem.

    Not to be.

    I mean, WITFH!!!!!!!!!!!! They just took this site down with no damn notice! Talk about a real bitch-slap!!!

    Are they so protective about their movies that they’ll just crash a web page or blog to give people a message? This wasn’t some fuckin’ bootleg or hostil takeover. It was just a GODDAMN pic that many other sites show these kind for pics (take Spider-Man 3) with on damn problem.

    Okay, hopefully we won’t go to war over this (just in case, Campea: bring a camera for your next Documentry *wink* *wink*).

    I am going to say this LOUD and clear:


    If ‘Transfomers’ sucks, GO TO HELL ASSHOLES!!!

    (Yeah, I’m calm now. I may regret saying these words, but really, don’t fuck the fans, or moviegoers).

  10. I just hope that TMB, when discussing this movie in the future, does so objectively.

    There are many many ordinary things in this movie. Just do some research, and you will find that this movie is far removed from any Transformers series that has come before.

    Do not expect the Autobots and Decepticons to crash on earth, hell, don’t even expect Prime to be a big red truck. Just do a Google search.

    Of course you need to take things with a grain of salt, but still, many things point to a great movie, just not a great Transformers movie.

  11. Good point John.

    While I may not entirely disagree with the fact that Caps Lock and bold makes something seem less professional, much as LOL, they did write and call you back. So obviously it had an effect.

    The audience seems to be hard to please though, most of the movie blog regulars have grown into your various quirks in writing.

  12. John,
    I was upset to hear about what happened to you today but was glad to have read your response to Paramount. And now I see they want to do some damage control which is a fantastic way to give them a wakeup call. Say what you want of fanboys but these studios need to realize that it’s not a good thing to upset your target audience with such actions. If you do get to speak to this PR boss, you should ask for an exclusive interview with Michael Bay along with any AUTHORIZED exclusive press images/material for the film to make up for their transgressions. Keep up the good fight and the fine work John!

  13. Ceekay is determined to make me out to look bad in this no matter what.

    Paramount emails and calls me… and yet he still decides to critsize my writing and say the Studio will never take me seriously… even after they call me.

    Whatever dude. There is obviously no pleaseing you. You’ve got your mind made up… “JOHN IS WRONG… WHATEVER THE FACTS MAY BE”.

    Whatever, you’re entitled to your opinion. Even if it’s a bad one of me. Does it make you warm at night?

  14. and after all the free publicity… these podcasts could save studios tonnes in marketing fees (I think Paramount should be paying you for all of the positive buzz you’ve created for Transformers) IT’s like printing cash for themselves… and then they do this!

    talk about biting the hand that feeds you.

  15. G’day all,

    I have to say that this move comes as no surprize. Don Murph has said that Dreamworks legal have released the hounds.

    To bad its going to bite them on the arse.

    Now people are going to start thinking rationally about the Transformers movie, as opposed to rabid fanboys who will see it no matter what.

    And I am concerned this movie is going to be a stinker, that will reduce Transformers to little more than a joke (like that Thunderbirds movie did).

    With crap like “Mute for entire movie” Bumblebee, 4′ (killed by Megan Fox) Soundwave, dancing ipods and X-boxes, Magic Glasses that find the matrix/Energon Cube, Megatron killed by a human, and Autobots ‘learning’ about being emotional, this film is full of cheese.

    And not the good type of cheese either.

    Perhaps thats what Dreamworks is most concerned about. That all the leaks will reveal this movie is shit, so people will stay away if allowed to make an informed decision.

    But don’t believe me, read for yourself the views of those concerned, more informed than me:

  16. milk that shit john…get them to fly you out to the set to meet with bay…fuck that….demand lunch with speilberg and bay and that they serve sandwiches on bumblebees bonnet…then tell them you read about their open casting call and they have to raise the age limit and give you a part as an angry gym coach at the local catholic girls high school………..

  17. I think the Paramount rep will call, offer an olive branch.
    Do I think it was in error? No.

    Here’s what I think should be the best apology: a full, nice hi res image of Bumblebee on the Transformers Movie site…passes/press kits given out to John, Doug and Darren Connelly, ship them a couple of Transformer hats and/or crew jackets, the teaser posters, and a month’s supply of whatever food stuff they were eating on the last audio edition.

    Too much to ask?
    Okay, me personally? Paramount: release “The Perfect Weapon” on DVD already.
    And one Transformers Movie teaser poster.
    And a month’s supply of whatever John and Doug were eating on the last audio edition.


    -Sealer strikes again

  18. @bullet in the head

    Had you read more than just my criticizing of his writing, you would have seen I had a good amount of relavent things to say in that comment and in previous ones.

    I would invite you to extend your complaint to the rest of the visitors who find it fitting to write “fuck you paramount”, “do you like buttsecks” or “their all queerbags” in their comments. How are those useful to the topic?

  19. Talking about the legality of posting the image is highly relevant when copyright is actually at the very heart of this issue.

    Had copyright violation never taken place, TMB would still be chugging merrily along without Paramount legal contact. In fact, this whole tempest in a teapot wouldn’t even be happening.

    Bottom line- Paramount was protecting what they saw as infringement of their property. That’s what savvy corporations do. Good for them.

    I doubt, in one years time, all 80 of you protesting this thing will be sitting at home on July 4th with middle fingers extended Westward to Hollywood while Transformers opens to mediocre box office.

    With all due respect to those who protest, ease up on the emotion, ratchet up the logic.



  20. This was the site hyping Transformers most; it seems amazing they would kill off that kind of free publicity. A million odd hits a month while not the biggest on the net is a hell of a lot more publicity than paid for ads in print movie magazines.

    You know it amazes me the amount of people who visit sites and the only thing they can do is criticise writing skills, grammar and spelling. If you don’t really have anything useful to say on the topic, why not just close the browser and visit a site that fits your high literary requirements. Or why not use your fantastic writing skills to build a site that gets a million hits a month.

    I would be pretty pissed if a film I was hyping on my site ended up getting me taken offline, especially as many films rely on the net for their hype. Just look at how working with the fan boys and girls has helped Snakes on a plane become one of the most anticipated films of the year. I really did not care much about Transformers in the first place and it’s only my visits to which has kept it in my mind.

    While by the time Transformers come out, this incident will have zero effect on the box office what ever people say in the comments now. It could well have some effect on the amount of free advertising certain studios get for their films with people thinking twice before posting Paramount related stuff out of fear.

  21. Gosh John, I don’t know what I’ll do without your site. I find your antics, rage, and opinions extremely entertaining. As for Paramount, it’s too bad they screwed up. I’ve noticed you were giving extra attention to that movie “Transformer” and quite honestly, I have never heard of it until you started talking about it. As they say good publicity goes a long way, and obviously, powers that be (Paramount) failed to see that. Hmm, I find that unusual.
    I hope you and Paramount come to a closer. They need you and you need them…ah, I think. Good luck and be happy John.

  22. Thanks Chark.

    Here again I find myself defending the big studio, but did it ever occur to you people that this could have been the work of one moron on his own behalf (the request to shut down) rather than directive by paramounts legal department? I think John’s mind is made up, no matter how sincere the company is, which is feeding all these diggs and comments, not to mention his own indignant anger. To paraphrase the Transformers’ motto, there’s “more than meets the eye” here.

    Secondly, I want to point out that if Paramount targeted ONLY those sites with negative comments and this kind of content and not positive comments A) you’d still have a problem on your hands and B) paramount would be accused of censorship. You can’t play favorites. The same thing happened a few years back when fox went on a tirade over Simpsons fan sites. Little to no sites werre negatively portraying the characters, but Fox didn’t want their property getting away from them.

    John, time to come clean. WHERE’D YA GET THE PICS?

    Finally, I want to say that I have no intention of berating John’s point behind all this, which was the action with which Paramount took, but I feel like I need to say that his letter was very poorly written, clearly fueled by anger and looks to have been penned by a 15 year old. I’m all for casual writing when it comes to blogs, but if you want to be taken seriously by a major motion picture company, or any company for that matter, you should consider writing classes.

  23. Give ’em hell – that is total bullshit. I am glad that you’ll get tons of hits for the trouble. All this hubub for a movie that will 100% surely suck becuase Michael Bay directed it. So sad.

  24. John,

    I feel pretty bad for you. Thank god they weren’t launching a lawsuit though because then we’d all have to paypal you 10 dollars. But seriously, Paramount needs to realize that everytime someone publishes a photo of bumblebee or the new camaro or some of the actors, it creates a huge buzz! It makes frontpage digg news! I know that it just heightens my interest further in the damn movie. They’re going to suck 10 dollars out of me anyway, why can’t I enjoy a few PICTURES now?

  25. John,

    I believe that their actions were definitely inappropriate and extreme therefore I too will boycott the film (even thought this was high on my list of must sees). Oh well, its only a movie.


  26. Wow I just read your revised post. You got Paramount alarmed enough to do some damage control. Good for you!

    I don’t think it’s an accident that they took down the site. That’s just bullshit. They should have gotten straight with you and apologize for their deliberate actions and not for their “mistake”. Show some backbone!

    I guess they didn’t think that taking down the site would generate so much negative publicity and now they scrambling to fix things and win over the crowd back. But they’re too late. Whatever damage control they try to do, it won’t bring back the good old days where everyone is just happily buzzing about the movie. And to think a simple email request could have prevented all this.

  27. That’s awesome that the bastards actually called you. Good thing you stayed no-nonsense with them.

    Who cares if it’s jsut damage control, you need to get them to apologize and have them explain their reasons in clear terms. Maybe even humiliate them a bit style? ;)

    No seriously, just hear them out and we’ll see.

    The internet fans are in control.

  28. John,

    Keep up the good work! We are behind you all the way.

    It’s sad the way some companies have to bully themselves around thinking that asking kindly will not get a response. I run my own business, and I agree with them filing a complaint, BUT only after initial contacts and requests have gone by without a response after a certain period of time (usually something like 30 or 45 days of initial contact).

    Shame on them for doing what they did…

  29. I don’t think negative publicity against Paramount is enough. I think a lawsuit is the only way to send a clear message to them and the other intelectual property fascist hacks.

  30. I can’t wait till the bootleg copies hit the street. That is the only way i will support paramount for now on.

  31. John, you’re now in control of how much “bad publicity” Paramount gets out of this.

    I’d say that even if Paramount wasn’t sorry before, they are now.

    I’m glad you gave them the benefit of the doubt, and I hope they take it seriously enough to call you back and work it out.

  32. Well I gotta say that for me this is good news. I am SO sick of nearly every episode of the podcast having endless fan boy posturing about The Transformers. I mean, really who cares and listening to endless hypothesising about every little big of minutae is really really tedious! You guys are close to 30, not 12 right?!! Truth is I stopped downloading the podcast for a while it seemed to be just a waste of time listening to it.

    That being said, I can understand your anger. All you can do is laugh at Paramount being so dumb that they try and shut down the best endless free hype and advertising any movie company in the history of movie making could ever have had for an upcoming movie!

    Someone was really lazy, did no research and just did something stupid. Sounds just like Hollywood to me! ;-)

    But to read some of the comments here – sheesh! some people need to get out more. When so-called fans start throwing their toys out of the pram because some numpty at a film company made a bit of a screw up you’ve got to wonder what the average age of such people is!

    And I’ve just realised that this means the next podcast is going to be almost exclusively about the damned Transformers AGAIN (albeit a rant this time). Think I’ll give the next few shows a miss until it all dies down.

  33. It always amazes me how these major media ompanies fail to see the importance of positive publicity. The Movie Blog has been promoting ‘Transformers’ more than anyone, FOR FREE, and having a postive effect on the buzz and excitement around this movie.

    So of course the studio couldn’t let that pass. They had to put a lid on all that happiness and forward momentum.

    What the fuck?

  34. There are three factors :

    1) People think they have the right to post anything the like on the interweb because they’ve gotton away with it for so long even though it’s illegal. Someone points this out it’s not taken seriously. I’m not sticking up for Paramount but technically you shouldnt of posted the image in the first place. You cannot really complain when you were in the wrong to start with. I know that sounds like im on there side, but I’m just pointing out the facts.

    2) Paramount have seriously underestimated how rabid transfans are. Very, very rabid.

    3) Everyone else has seriously underestimated how rabid Paramounst lawyers are. Very, very, VERY rabid.

  35. John has never tried to argue that he should have been allowed to post the image over Paramount’s objections. He has CLEARLY said that he would have removed the image had he simply been asked. Talking about the legality of posting the image in the first place is irrelevant. Copyright laws need to be respected, but John never attempted to circumvent those laws. Images from movies are shown all over the internet without problems. As long as the studio in question is not being harmed in any way, they are generally content to bask in the glow of free publicity. Did Paramount have a right to ask that the image be removed from this site? Absolutely! I don’t think anyone here is seriously suggesting otherwise (and I KNOW John hasn’t). This is really about common courtesy and respect.

    Paramount showed John neither.

  36. Bill Curnow:

    “Next time, calm down and write a well-reasoned argument. That way you don’t come across as a MySpacer.”

    Hmmm, I dunno about that one Bill. Perhaps if the stiffs at Paramount had composed a well reasoned argument instead of (metaphorically speaking) deleting John from their friends list, they might deserve one in return. As it stands, I think John’s reaction is well justified. I sincerely hope this bites Paramount in the ass.

    Good for you John, for refusing to take this crap. Perhaps the rest of us might stop making accusations of Nazi-ism if the studios would stop using Gestapo tactics.

  37. You have my support John.

    I guess i will use my transformer/money to see spiderman 3 twice.
    And like most people said FUCK PARAMOUNT YOU STUPID ASSHOLES!!!
    you ruined my day!!!

  38. Copyright attaches automatically; there is no need for Paramount to add a copyright statement to the image. Having said that, you may have had a decent fair-use argument for use of the image, but you blew that the second you wrote your letter to Paramount. Next time, calm down and write a well-reasoned argument. That way you don’t come across as a MySpacer.

  39. Ahhh Chark Hammis

    John isn’t printing off high-quality res shots of these pics and selling them at “The Movie Blog Store”

    He is operating his own personal blog which we all choose to read because we find it interesting, and he posts low quality images for said entries.

    On a scale of Copyright infringement John is at the bottom end, somwhere around Johnny Depp fansites who have photo galleries that include pictures from Nightmare on Elm Street.

    Its free fucking publicity directed at the movies core audience, what possible negative aspect is their for Paramount? umm how about none, but sure if they want to play “its my ball and Im taking it home” go right ahead because

    ONCE AGAIN !!!!!!!!!!!!1

    this isnt a copyright infringement issue. There are many ways of having handled this issue, ranging from simply asking to have it taken down OR bully the provider by threatening legal action until the site is removed from the world wide web.

    When someone is singing the praises of your project, which road should they have travelled? precisely the point, there was no need to shut The Movie Blog down, a simple request and it would have been gone and everything would have been fine, but the studio decided to be cocksuckers and put the bitch slap on John.

    Its like when your friend reaches over and snags some of your McDonalds french fries, do you

    A) Tell that monkey not to do that again!
    B) Punch him in the face

    The studio choose B and John was rightly upset, he was their friend and deserved better than that.


  40. I’ll have to agree with Chark on this one. I understand you’re frustration, but I also think you’re letter could have been more professional, less emotional and more succinct. Alas, there’s no going back now and I’m sure they’re getting a nice chuckle out of the “nyah!” your letter screams.

  41. I haven’t ever been to your site before but I read about on Needless to say, I will be visiting your site more often in the future. I totally agree with your letter and feel that you did not over react. Sometime we have to call about the public to help us out. This I will be do by sending an email to Paramount. I don’t expect a response but if enough people start send them, maybe they will wake up

  42. holy shit the site will get good publicity out of this…ride that shit john… you really can’t close the movie blog…not after this…..

    fuck em john

  43. I’m in the minority here with CeeKay and some others. I can sympathize with your righteous indignation, but your letter to Paramount was obviously fired off in a rage and really does sound unprofessional and reactionary- beating a dead horse on several points. A tightly written, editorially sound letter with a day or so under the belt would have had more impact and resonance. But, what’s done is done, right?

    As for your grievance, perhaps Paramount could have made another point of contact to have you remove the other offending materials, but seeing as how you had already been contacted, you may have been wise to learn the lesson the first time.

    The fact is, you post a great deal of copyrighted materials on this blog. While it may be hypocritical for me to say this–that’s why I visit. But when you get stung, I find it hard to understand how you’re questioning why? From their perspective, a great deal of time and money are spent to protect copyrighted materials. You may be a fan, but you do not have ownership or control over these properties– the studio does and is justified in pursuing the protection of their interest.

    Ultimately, we all know you didn’t mean any harm, but such are the dicey waters of U.S. copyright law.

  44. You’re creating even more hype about the movie! I didn’t even know there was a movie until some website linked me here! good job moron

  45. I wouldn’t have seen it anyway, but now I’ll try to get in on the torrent sharing when the time comes. Screw Paramount. I hope you’ll not just ignore Transformers but will badmouth, or at least ignore, their other releases. Stick it to ’em the best you can for as long as you can!

  46. BECAUSE of this, I have decided not to go see the movie after all. If this is the way they treat people who support them, I refuse to be the sort of person who supports them. There MUST be repercussions for this sort of heavy-handed tactic.

  47. Anyone bothered to ask where the editor got his images in the first place? The studio may have overreacted, but that doesn’t dismiss obtaining copyrighted images and distributing them without permission.

    Not saying thats what John did, just throwing it out there as a possibility.

  48. good job john. by the way, the movieblog is not nothing. Its, inn my opinion , its one one of the best sites on the web

  49. John, I’m with you on this issue. They could have been straight with you, but they weren’t.

    If it’s any consolation, when I saw the Bumblebee pic, you made me finally WANT to watch the movie.

    Paramount, you’re not making friends right now.

  50. Came to the site this morning to read up on the news and listen to the audio edition as i normally would, but found the site was being dugg to death by what happened over paramount. Gotta tell you that I totally agree with you. Paramount was WAY overstepping their bounds on this one. Countless other movie sites posted and then removed this same image. However, I dont see a SINGLE other one of these sites down. I totally support the fact that you dont want to talk about this movie anymore for a while. Hell this act alone of removing my favorite website to visit on a daily basis, makes me not want to SEE the movie in general. And this is coming from someone who was frothing from the mouth with excitement over this project. I wonder when studios will realize that sites like yours HELP movie publicity they dont HURT it. Im very glad you didnt decide to LEAVE the site down. Im looking forward to many more articles and audio editions to come. Whether they are transformer free or not. Keep up the great work!

  51. No offense John, but you left those pics up on your site for MANY days after every other respectable and professional site on the net had already removed them.

    You no doubt reaped tons of traffic from doing so.

    Then you had to face the consequences.

    Now you’re whining about facing the consequences and will be rewarded for that with more exposure and publicity for your site.

    Congrats on finding a way to be rewarded for your lack of professionalism.

  52. Hey Somewhat relieved, you’re right it was a bad analogy but i couldn’t think of a better one. Don’t take anything i say seriously. I take a tip from these guys – everything i say is off the cuff.

  53. they should have just e-mailed you, its out of order the way they treat there fans and with all the positive stuff u have writen and now this im not sure if i really want to c it now if this is the way the are going to act World War 3 with paramount. Charge !!!!

  54. John, I agree with very few opinions you espouse on The Movie Blog.

    That said, I don’t think you over-reacted at all.

    Go get ’em, tiger.

  55. Grassroots baby Grassroots, lets show these Corporations the true power of the internet.

    We have a full year to start the boycott, and no, I dont mean boycott the movie in its entirety, that would be impossible, but if everyone went on the Sunday of the opening weekend, not the Friday or Saturday, that would scare the living shit out of the Studios.

    This could be bigger than Paramount shutting down a small blog for 8 hours, lets make this about Power of the People. One year is a long LONG time to spread the word, and the word is


    That shouldnt be too hard, 2 extra days, see it with the family on Sunday, Im telling you, BO trackers would be flipping out!!!

    But Im probably just being crazy as usual.


    PS- Good for you John!

  56. Phil Gee said:

    When a studio behaves like the friggin Nazi party, there’s no time for restraint.

    [Banging head against table]

    Jeff — do you now see what I mean? A photo vanishing is now on par with a fanatical political group that systematically wiped out several million people. Peachy.

  57. Hey there somewhat relieved.

    I appreciate what you’re saying… and i don’t really disagree… but do keep this in mind:

    This is a movie site. This is a place where we focus on, get excited about, and sometimes get mad about MOVIES. Government is discussed other places.

    Cheers dude.


  58. You have my support John even if I lament the loss of your feverish TF anticipation. Give them both barrels tm night. I’ll hook up my pod to my car speakers and spread the hatred!

  59. You might consider a bit more of a “less-angry” email to send over to paramount. Shorter and more to the point. There is no way a bloated corporate email reader is gonna sit through all that and send it up the food chain. I understand your anger, but a bit more of a level headed retort will probably get you a bit further.

    It is a shame that paramount did this though. Your guy’s enthusiasm about the Transformers movie only heightened my interest and excitement for the film, not to mention passing that hype on to my friends.

    And Bullshit that some candid pictures of some actors standing around is copyrighted material. Your site provider should have investigated the situation before caving into “the man”. You should hold godaddy to task as well and take your business elsewhere.

    Keep on keeping on john and gang………….

  60. I’m sorry to hear about this, John. Paramount has treaten you badly! They are damn fools!! They ruined Star Trek and had a witch hunt for trekkies (= Star Trek-fans) that created fan fiction. They treat their fans like garbage almost. You have my full support, John. Hope you understand my English (I’m Swedish). Thanks for a really good site!!

  61. Hey Campea

    Your right to be pissed at them tight arsed fuckers. I’d be pissed as well. I’m willing to screw those guys over anytime, just say the word.

    I was shocked when i went onto the site today during my break in work ( i need a dosage of you guys while working)

    Damn them to hell John. You have my support, 110% of it.

  62. Jeff – Much of what you say isn’t incorrect.

    However, what annoys me a bit is the amount of teeth gnashing and chest thumping going on here today. The Bush government tinkers with our freedoms and civil liberties on a daily basis and the public does nothing. (As long as there are films like Superman and Cars, all is good.) Yet a movie studio orders that a picture be taken down and people are off writing letters to fucking CNN and Reuters!!

    Why not write CNN about their biased reporting, their glossing over of facts, and their refusal to actually be journalists and QUESTION the actions of the government? (But wait…look…the first photos of baby Shiloh!)

    But no. Take down a picture of a robot and some C-list celebs and they riot in the streets. Sad, sad, sad.

  63. Good God……i go to work and then come back to find i’m late for the biggest movie blog story ever (damn UK time difference).

    a) I hope you’re feeling better now John. As everybody has probably told you, you did the right thing. When a studio behaves like the friggin Nazi party, there’s no time for restraint.

    b) The next audio edition will be the best ever, i just know it. Don’t hold back John.

    c) What happens if Paramount apologizes (hey, call me naive)?

    d) I have to admit that it’s gonna be weird not hearing you gush about every morsel or Transformers news anymore. It was one of the main things that first got me hooked on the podcast. It was gonna be great having you track the film’s progress right down to release date but i guess it was not to be. Still, what if your prediction about its opening weekend turns out to be true? What if it does turn out to be the greatest film it could possibly be? Won’t you feel a little uncomfortable bottling up all you could say about it? Don’t take this the wrong way but I know i’ll feel a little weird in the knowledge that you’re deliberately avoiding talking about it.

    Anyhow, i understand why you did it and am proud of the stance you took. They stamped on you because you’re a smaller site. Would they do this to Latino Review who got the script? Would they try and shut down ‘Ain’t it Cool News’? They wouldn’t dare because the whole fan community would find out. Well they’ll find out about this too if i have a say. An international friend salutes you back Movie Blog. Who says Canadians are pussies?

  64. I can understand your anger and studio is really shooting themselves in the foot with this one. As someone else already posted, I wan’t really on the bandwagon on the said movie but listening to you get excited about it and liking a lot of the other films you discuss, I couldn’t help but get excited about it too. I’m not sure I’ll purposefully look for other news about the movie. I commend you for your actions on this one.

    In all honestly, I’m really looking forward to the explding time bomb that is going to be Friday’s podcast.

  65. GAWL DANG Paramount…

    if I had the kind of FREE PR you had
    I would never have snubbed it… THIS IS HOLLYWOOD
    one minute youre hot and the next you are not.

    SO JOHN, you are totally NOT overreacting, I would
    be so PO’ed… they are saying a little guy is
    inconsiquential…when in this world the little
    guy is the one who creates The Tippping Point!(good book
    by the way) (and youre not so
    little what I would give for a million visitors)

    so….if you are in the mood to pump some of your fabulous PR
    to a REAL little guy (gal) I SWEAR I will never be a Paramount!

    the animal rescue movie.

  66. Dear Somewhat Relieved,

    This has nothing to do with “priorities”, as you ended your post with. This is about Paramount Studios not having the common decentcy or courtesy to take 2 minutes of their time to kindly ask John to take down the image. The basically went behind John’s back directly to his webhost, and ordered them to take down the picture and the site with out John’s knowledge. Very unprofessional. If the Studio had a court order, the webhost COULD NOT say no, as they have been ordered to by the Supeme Justice (or whatever its called in the US). It has absolutely NOTHING to do with John’s hosting company.

    The studios should care, and MUST care about sites like this, because its sites like this one that generate the hype and the buzz around movies. Sure if sites like this didn’t exist the “Movie whose name shall not be mentioned” would make a lot of money, but thanks to sites like THE MOVIE BLOG, the studios are going to be making even that much more, because of the fans dedication.

    Without the fans, the studios, actors, studio lawyers, and bigwigs that run the studios would be absolutely NOTHING. The fans are the ones who make or break movies. If a movie blows major ass (somewhat like your post did), the fans don’t go and see it and the studios probably lose a ton of money. But if fans like a given movie, they pay their hard earned money to see it, often repeatidly, which generates the studios tons of money. If the studios didn’t have the fans, they wouldn’t have the money. If they didn’t have the money they have no power and not a lot of respect.

    Well, I and John, Doug and Dave were all fans of the upcoming “Movie Whose Name Shall Not Be Mentioned”, and with one action the studio has lost the four of us, and a lot more. I for one will not be seeing “Said Movie”, but would rather wait for it to show up in a discount bin in the local dollar store. Paramount fucked the fans, so I say FUCK THEM!!!!

  67. Dear Somewhat Relieved,

    This has nothing to do with “priorities”, as you ended your post with. This is about Paramount Studios not having the common decentcy or courtesy to take 2 minutes of their time to kindly ask John to take down the image. The basically went behind John’s back directly to his webhost, and ordered them to take down the picture and the site with out John’s knowledge. Very unprofessional. If the Studio had a court order, the webhost COULD NOT say no, as they have been ordered to by the Supeme Justice (or whatever its called in the US). It has absolutely NOTHING to do with John’s hosting company.

    The studios should care, and MUST care about sites like this, because its sites like this one that generate the hype and the buzz around movies. Sure if sites like this didn’t exist the “Movie whose name shall not be mentioned” would make a lot of money, but thanks to sites like THE MOVIE BLOG, the studios are going to be making even that much more, because of the fans dedication.

    Without the fans, the studios, actors, studio lawyers, and bigwigs that run the studios would be absolutely NOTHING. The fans are the ones who make or break movies. If a movie blows major ass (somewhat like your post did), the fans don’t go and see it and the studios probably lose a ton of money. But if fans like a given movie, they pay their hard earned money to see it, often repeatidly, which generates the studios tons of money. If the studios didn’t have the fans, they wouldn’t have the money. If they didn’t have the money they have no power and not a lot of respect.

    Well, I and John, Doug and Dave were all fans of the upcoming “Movie Whose Name Shall Not Be Mentioned”, and with one action the studio has lost the four of us, and a lot more. I for one will not be seeing “Said Movie”, but would rather wait for it to show up in a discount bin in the local dollar store. Paramount fucked the fans, so I say FUCK THEM!!!!

  68. Dear Somewhat Relieved,

    This has nothing to do with “priorities”, as you ended your post with. This is about Paramount Studios not having the common decentcy or courtesy to take 2 minutes of their time to kindly ask John to take down the image. The basically went behind John’s back directly to his webhost, and ordered them to take down the picture and the site with out John’s knowledge. Very unprofessional. If the Studio had a court order, the webhost COULD NOT say no, as they have been ordered to by the Supeme Justice (or whatever its called in the US). It has absolutely NOTHING to do with John’s hosting company.

    The studios should care, and MUST care about sites like this, because its sites like this one that generate the hype and the buzz around movies. Sure if sites like this didn’t exist the “Movie whose name shall not be mentioned” would make a lot of money, but thanks to sites like THE MOVIE BLOG, the studios are going to be making even that much more, because of the fans dedication.

    Without the fans, the studios, actors, studio lawyers, and bigwigs that run the studios would be absolutely NOTHING. The fans are the ones who make or break movies. If a movie blows major ass (somewhat like your post did), the fans don’t go and see it and the studios probably lose a ton of money. But if fans like a given movie, they pay their hard earned money to see it, often repeatidly, which generates the studios tons of money. If the studios didn’t have the fans, they wouldn’t have the money. If they didn’t have the money they have no power and not a lot of respect.

    Well, I and John, Doug and Dave were all fans of the upcoming “Movie Whose Name Shall Not Be Mentioned”, and with one action the studio has lost the four of us, and a lot more. I for one will not be seeing “Said Movie”, but would rather wait for it to show up in a discount bin in the local dollar store. Paramount fucked the fans, so I say FUCK THEM!!!!

  69. Yes it is unfortunate you had downtime and it was caused by the studio, but I think you are overreacting and, which has been said before, have not composed yourself in an adult manner in your complaint letter.

    If the photo of the actors in question was taken by the studio/studio employee, then unfortunatly there is an inherit copyright to that image, and I would say when you posted it the studio assumed you did not take there first request seriously (yes you did take down the bumblebee pic, but now you are just going ahead and posting another) so they just went straight to a more direct removal approach. However is the image was shot by a fan and then HE circulated the image in the internet (and it wasn’t a leak) then the studio is at fault. You may want to clear up your source for the image as fair use generally requires attribution. Failure to attribute the work mitigates against arguments for fair use.

    Yes, it sucks, but technically they are not in the wrong, they are just simply acting like any corporate legal team would. Jerks.

  70. I have no idea what to do about it John, other than maybe eat a little less food.

    I’m still going here daily so I guess its hipocritical to bitch about the ads, but it’s truly one of the most annoying ones i have ever experienced.

  71. bravo! i don’t think you over-reacted at all. in fact, it was paramount that over-reacted when they had your whole site taken offline for one image. terrible, TERRIBLE “customer service”.

    i still think the movie looks interesting, and will likely see the movie. but paramount’s stance on this has certainly left a bitter taste in my mouth.

  72. In regards to Update #3, you just never know how many people are affected by the things that you do and take for granted every day. There are those out there who will scream “Down with the man!” while scarfing down their Starbucks latte’s and those who, like Matlot, are all about the movie, but in doing so you end up supporting a studio that hasn’t shown much creativity in how long?

  73. Reality check people:

    1) All this “not talking about it” talk is simply going to raise interest even more. Do you really believe that a self-imposed ban by The Movie Blog is going to affect the film’s BO returns one bit?

    2) As someone else pointed out, the anger should be directed at the site’s hosting company for caving in like that. THIS is what is scary, not the actions of some overpaid lawyer for Paramount.

    3) Unless you’re Harry Knowles, the studios don’t give a shit about yet another fanboy site.

    4) It’s the fucking Transformers, people. A lame ass cartoon being turned into an even lamer-assed film by one of the worst directors to ever get behind a camera.

    Get over it. Move on. Spend another ten thousand words on why Superman is an America-hating homosexual. (What’s that? North Korea launched missiles? But…but…The Transformers picture was taken down!)

    Priorities people, priorities.

  74. Hey there Henrik,

    I agree that pop-up add is annoying. But right now it’s putting food on my table. I’m open to suggestions on how to replace its income (that’s not a sarcastic statement either… I HONESTLY am open to suggestions)



  75. I have never been a Transformers fan, never read or watched the comics.
    You John was the reason I was exited over this movie. (and a little by the fact that it is about bigass robots :) ). Now I could care less, I’m sure ass hell not giving my money to paramount without and appology from them to you.

    Keep up your good work John.


  76. I think you should follow M.Night Shamalyan’s example and write a book about Paramount ripping them. ;-)

  77. John,
    Although feel like striking them down with furious vengence and righteous anger, you have to remember that this situation has been caused by, what is probably, no more than two or three jobsworth little cunts that have nothing what-so-ever to do with the creative production of the movie.
    We are all totally buzzing about the Transformer movie, and we love hearing you and Dougie creaming over it. Please don’t let a few twats ruin your excitement and our enjoyment. It’s about the movie man – not the stinking studio!!!!!

  78. A couple of the folks who got here from does have one excellent point though.

    That ‘Errorspace’ ad that pops up from time to time is freakin annoying, intrusive and illustrates eveyrything thats wrong with the internet.

  79. I think your letter was well written and to the point.
    If i had written it, it would have container more for letter words.

    I think in a show of solidarity, all the other movie review blogs and sites should never mention the ‘T’ word again.

    Paramount as well as all the other studios need to learn that they have to play nice on the internet, like the rest of us. If they want us to promote their products they can’t turn around and bully us.


  80. You’re not overreacting, John. It’s bullshit. That was a shitty thing for them to do. I’m glad this story is getting so much coverage though! They just lost themselves a shitload of publicity, giving your site a whole tonne of exposure in the process.

    Of course I’m still going to watch the movie, it’s not the cast and crew’s fault that they work for a bunch of Satanic cocksuckers.

  81. …Shouldn’t your complaint be with your service provider for shutting your site down instead of contacting you beforehand? Seems like you’re just throwing a temper tantrum because they didn’t want that photo on your site.

  82. At some point the bad feeling this will generate through the blogosphere will get back to somebody at Paramount with half a brain and they’ll probably contact you and make some effort to smooth things over. I figure something like passes to the movie, maybe some small exclusive. My advice — don’t bend an inch. Continue to completely ignore the film’s release. Frankly I hope other sites follow suit. Not because I expect it to be a bad film, but because these pricks need a lesson in grassroots power.

    Collectively the wired world DOES have the power to make or break a product, a film, or a politician. The sooner these dipshits recognize that the better.

  83. I sent an email to CNN at resived this from my yahoo account.

    Hi. This is the qmail-send program at
    I’m afraid I wasn’t able to deliver your message to the following
    This is a permanent error; I’ve given up. Sorry it didn’t work out.

    Same kinda thing happens on msn for cnn.
    Sent it to the other emails fine.

  84. Sounds like Paramount is the only one overreacting here to me! There’s no excuse for the lack of professionalism here. Good luck with everything. Your readership for this month just got a major shot in the arm being on digg.

  85. p.s. I can’t wait to hear the fricken lambasting that shall be the Friday audio edition! I just know you and Doug are going to go beserker and I’ll probably learn some new cuss words! LOL!

  86. By the way… i said “create a little buzz…” not get them to interupt their broadcast day with ‘breaking news’…

    Hey, any little bit helps. ;-)

  87. John – I think you’re totally justified on this one. I can’t believe that Paramount overreacted so much for 1 inconsequential picture.

    As disgusted as I am at their actions against you, the silver lining for me is that I won’t have to hear any more about the damn movie. You guys have been absolutely creaming about this thing for months on the audio blog & I have to admit I’m not interested in it in the least. Yes, I can appreciate you guys being super excited about something that you’re obviously true fans of, and the cussing tirades coming out of Doug’s mouth when he gets so excited about it make me laughing hysterically just from the pure outrageousness. But now, I’ll get to hear you guys devote that time to interesting news about other more interesting movies. :) Keep up the good fight!

    Piss on Paramount. Long Live The Movie Blog!

  88. Man, that’s pretty depressing….I was hoping to see Transformers on the big screen…

    Looks like I’ll have to acquire it thru digital means (*wink*), so Bay and his Paramount folk’ won’t get a dime of MY money…

  89. Positive or negative, it doesn’t matter. Little thing called free speech. If the photo wasn’t the studio’s to begin with, there really is no precedence for removing it at their behest. Still, I’ve dealt with Paramount in the past, and this is very atypical. The studio has always been very cooperative in our dealings and other sites with webmaster programs and the like.

  90. LOL! Yeah…CNN is going to going to report on this. Breaking news.

    God…fanboydom is alive and well…..

  91. So John posted some copyrighted material and the studio reacted by shutting the site down.

    Is this really such a big surprise in today’s world?

    Sure John didn’t know it was copyrighted, sure it would have been nice for the studio to talk to him instead of crushing his site – but hey, this isn’t a perfect world. The movie studios, like all big american corporations, basically do whatever they please. Do you think they care about ordinary people, fans, fanboys etc? All they care about is MONEY. And then MORE MONEY – ‘coz the profits have to be rising, of course. In their greed they will lose any sense of logic or understanding.

    And do you think this is CNN material, that Reuters or Associated Press will give a damn about it? Come on people, stop dreaming and wake up! I doubt that even Paramount will bother to reply to John’s letter.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m absolutely on John’s side in this, but you will have to realize that except for us, NOBODY WILL CARE about this. John will be lucky if it gets a formal excuse from Paramount or gets to see this mentioned in some obscure corner of the standard media.

  92. John,

    I don’t think you are being a suck. Just because they are Paramount, the divine company that gave us classics as the Indiana Jones films and Star Trek, doesn’t mean they have the right to go all PMS on us. Having blood constantly squirt out their sandy vaginas is no reason for them to pick on the smaller people. For what these arrogant monkeyfucks don’t know is that the general public outnumbers them by millions, and if they continue to shove their cumglazed hands up our asses, their is going to be a heavy outcry from the people shouting ‘FUCK PARAMOUNT, FUCK THEM UP THEIR STUPID ASSES!’ Just because they have probably the hottest movie in their hands, doesn’t mean they have to become the bastards over at Lucasfilm and rape and pillage any fan that is only trying to hype the film by posting flattering and staggering cool images from their movie on the net. Paramount, we don’t have to see your movie! I’m sure all of us could have better things to do next summer, like getting laid! Anti-paramountics will be whoring themselves that night, just so they can see your project fail! Hell, we’ll see Transformer, but we won’t pay for it. We’ll buy it off the hefty folks at the black market, just so they will not recieve a single penny, all just for being the cuntfucking, shitraping, afterbirth licking bastards they are!

  93. Coming up to almost a year and a bit of reading the site daily I am shocked by the actions of paramount.

    I feel that letter shares the sentiment of every reader that comes to this site and listens to the podcast.

    Thank you John, you have my full support,

  94. It is amazing to me how companies can avoid expensive law bills with a simple phone call and some common sense. Evidently their legal team has nothing better to do than harass some sincere fan with this nonsense.



  95. Um….

    That letter goes on a tad too long. Nobody at Paramount is going to work their way through that whole thing. You should have kept it short, sharp, and to the point.

    While I hate corporate bullying, I am somewhat relieved. Between your site and Cinematical, there was a SERIOUS overdose on Transformers news. A film that will no doubt be a tremendous piece of shit. Two words – Michael Bay.

  96. Wow! You know I really really really wanted to see this movie, and when my son is born i wanted to take him too, but after this, having a site shutdown for a pic? Shame on you paramount…you got enough money! Screw you guys and screw this movie I’ll see it when it’s remade in 10 years cause movie company’s can’t think of any new material lately to make a decent fricken film! So good luck to you John, and I hope that getting shut down isn’t gonna hurt your site!

  97. You didn’t overreact at all, and I hope the producers of the movie know how the distributors are making them look. You did your best to give free publicity to an artistic project but their distributors blew you off with a kneejerk reaction. When companies sue their advertisers it is a sign that the business is outdated. I hope you at least feel rewarded that Paramount likely paid their lawyer more to write that letter than you lost in revenue during those 8 hours.

    I already boycott the movie industry due to their high prices, the fact that they show ads before films, and they have terrible service, so I guess now I’ll have to double-boycott Paramount. Too bad because I love the Transformers (this is the first I’ve heard of the movie). Maybe I’ll buy a widescreen monitor so I can watch the inevitably leaked DVD screener on my computer in style.

  98. Kudus John, although I’m a bit concerned that they’ll take no note of your letter – seeing as it was written in hatred and haste, they’ll think you’re a ten year old throwing a hissy fit and be equally quick to dismiss it.

    I hope not though.

    Awesome blog btw.

  99. I definitely agree with you, this copyright violation crap is really getting out of hand. The lawyers for these companies seem to want to sue everyone for every tiny infraction, regardless of how good or bad it is for their parent company. This is a major disconnect with the management of the company and hopefully will be fixed.

  100. Well done John.

    I would be surprised if there is any single site out there that has reached more people with Transformers hype! If the moron who took this decision had made even the tinest bit of research, he/she would have thought twice before pulling a stunt like this.

    They owe you a BIG FAT APOLOGY! (And probably some money too)


  101. Fuck Paramount, that’s what I say. Not only should you boycott Transformers news, but ALL Paramount projects. That’s just a case of being too big for their boots, and as you said “showing who’s boss”. I say fuck them, EVERYBODY should boycott their poxy projects.

  102. I grew up with the Transformers, I used to run home from school like a madman just to make it in time to not miss a second of the show. After all these years I was so excited a live-action movie was being made, and everything I had seen about it made me want to see it even more. But I am also a man of conscience, and I do not support the strongarm tactics used by many corporations in the United Police State of America, and this is just another one.

    As it seems Paramount has no respect for the fan base, I shall show no respect to them. I will exercise the only form of protest recognized in this country anymore, refusing to give them my money. Not only will I not be going to see this movie, I will not be attending any Paramount movies, purchasing any Paramount DVDs, or attending Paramount’s theme park. My wife and I had planned to visit King’s Island this summer, my favorite theme park from childhood, which is also owned by Paramount. It looks like I will just go to Universal Studios instead. I will also make sure I pass this information on to everyone I know so they can make a decision on whether or not they would like to give money to such curmudgeons.

    If Paramount issues a formal public apology and reimburses John for the hosting service that was paid for, but stopped due to their knee jerk reaction, I will retract my position.

  103. Hello John.

    I’m the owner and editor of the Michael Bay fansite, And I was digusted to read what Paramount did. It only proves that these corporates doesn’t give a shit about the fans. They piss all over us. But to cross the line and make your hosting company shut down this site is outrageous, to say the least. It’s unacceptable. If they want ANY good publicity about Transformers, they should support the fans, not run us over with a bulldozer.

    I will be posting this on my forum tonight, and I hope the fans over there support you, as I do.

    Andreas Furumo
    Owner and editor // a michael bay fansite

  104. I don’t think you are out of line.

    I think Paramount and the Transformers folks are. While I’m not a huge Transformers fan, I said a week or so ago that they either let fans see Bumblebee – even if it is not the final product, it gives some hype, something to get folks over to say “It’s ON!” or, ask the photo to be taken down so they can have it on thier own website. In any case, what “images” have we seen on Movie Blog? Aside from a few sketches, Bumblebee, those posing actors…? The advance poster—and that’s it!

    Has the script been leaked? No. Are there other pix out there not seen by the general public? Of course. And no one gets the little freebie, the little taste. Many studios don’t give away the farm, but they will release a photo or two to keep hype going, for people to talk a few months…keep folks in good spirits. What is the harm?

    But to take down The Movie Blog in the middle of the night?

    They ask you to take down the Bumblebee image, you did it. There is no reason for them not to ask you to do so again and ask you to refrain from using other ‘leaked’ pix that come out. In fact…just ask if there is a pic (other than the one sheet) that you can use.
    No…it can’t be worked out.

    Maybe they took a strong stand after that Transformers fan film came oout a few months back. I don’t know. What I do know is they haven’t put out a thing yet to get the fanbase riled up. Don’t want to give the masses Bumblebee, Paramount? Fine. Just officially release a photo. Any photo. Michael Bay directing an extra. A behind the scene pryotech shot.
    Something. Anything. Give up an official BB shot.

    Just for this, the studio who goes up against you next summer will most likely supply John and/or Doug with boatloads of hype, interviews, access…just to wipe your nose in it.

    Yes, I am not a fan, but actions like these won’t win new ones.

    -Sealer has spoken.
    Oh, and Trek is dead.

  105. that is bullshit! I can’t believe they did that. I completely agree with you not wanting to mention the film anymore.
    Its a damn shame though i love transformers and your comments and stories, and i really hate the fact that i have to go else where for my transformers fix, but good on ya john!
    I can’t wait to hear what you have to say about those weasels on the audio edition.

  106. Yeah I would be mad too, but I guess it’s not really that surprising that they would react in this way. A lot of these big companies just want to set an example so they overreact and shut the whole site down.

    It happens with MP3 blogs all the time. 99% of bloggers will gladly comply if you only e-mail them directly and ask nicely to take stuff down. Instead they’d rather not have to deal with the “little people”.

    It is kind of a dumb move for Paramount though. A movie like Transformers needs to the support of its rabid fanbase, so you’d think they’d work a little more closely with the blogs and fansites around the net instead of treating them like garbage.

    But hey maybe if this story gets out there it will bring The Movie Blog more publicity, so I say run with it John.

    — Sean

  107. I ammend my comment to second Hap’s suggestion for the search engines and the publicity this story will generate once it gets out. It’s said that free publicity is invaluable and priceless. Let’s see how much Paramount has to pay to recover from this bad press. *snort*

  108. Add me to the list of people reading your site who had little to no interest in Transformers before reading a few of your articles. Without this site, I couldn’t have cared less about the movie.

    The letter was a bit over the top but understandable and ultimately justifiable. A much stronger letter should be directed to your web hosting provider for their part in this.

    Others have said to take down your past posts. I say no…keep the content in place and add a notice to the top about this incident. That way searches will still turn up to your site for information, and you can publicize the studio’s behavior.

  109. Great to see you back up again.

    You sure love to get worked up about how great a movie is going to be or how shit a movie was, most of the time I totally disagree with your opinion but enjoy your enthusiasm. Taking that into consideration I think that email you sent to Paramount was in no way an over reaction and, for you, a very calm response.

    Two things really annoy me about their actions; the first is by closing your website they are showing contempt for film fans who enjoy reading and discussing upcoming movies, the second is by filling a copyright complaint against your provider instead of you they show a lack of common decency to everyone.

    Paramount should be worried about upsetting its consumer base, it may have the law on its side but that does not make its behavior right. Studios acting this way is why so many people feel it is morally fine to pirate … “Why should I not steal from a big evil corporation who shits on its consumers”.

    The fact that they can just send an email to your provider and close you down even when you have not done anything wrong means that they can do it anytime they like to just about anyone. There is no more risk of you being closed down as talking about the Transformers as not, so perhaps sometime in the future when it feels right talking about the new transformers movie might not be that bad and idea.

    At the moment paramount has just lost everyone respect, don’t let them win anything by taking away your love for movies.

  110. I think you’re reaction is perfectly understandable. I’m glad you got your site back up and you took a stand for yourself in the letter. Sadly, Paramount will probably just hit the delete button, but you had your say – what more can you do? Looking forward to the podcast. ;)

  111. A coupla questions:
    1) Is Paramount claiming that they own the copyright to all photographs involving the actors who are going to appear in the Movie That Shall No Longer Be Mentioned?
    2) Did your hosting company take your site offline before contacting you? If so, I’d seriously think about finding a new host.

  112. It is CRAP John. Plain and simple. I sent an email to CNN, Reuters, and the AP about your unfair treatment. Maybe we can start a little buzz…

    ‘F’ Paramount. As someone stated, they ruined Star Trek and other properties. It is obvious that they are simply a idiot corporation with no understanding of what make them their money. Asses.

  113. Hey John,

    Good for you!!!! Paramount is a sucky studio anyway from what I hear from my people in the industry. So stick it to them all you want!!!!

    If they don’t want free promotion so be it! Makes me less want to see there movie now!

    To bad too. I was never into the whole Michael Bay thing, since I am not a fan of his work, but it was kind of cool getting info on the project from your site.

    I’m still not sure what all the fuss was about though…what a bunch of fools…Hollywood nevers continues to surprise me with there studpidity.

    I remember you and Dave mentioning how there are so many smart people who actually run hollywood. And yes there are plenty there who have degrees from some of the top colleges in America, unfortunately that doesn’t mean squat in the real world. My experience, I’ve meet many Ivy league graduates, and let me tell you they did not live up to the hype.

    Hope your letter sent them a message John! Let us know if you get a response!!

  114. I can understand your disgust. I would have felt the same way. But as Cyclops once told Iceman when they were being pelted by a mob, “They are not worth it.”

  115. This is the kind of thing that makes fans question the intelligence of movie studios. As you’ve often said, John, the studios are full of smart people who want their films to succeed. But then they make a move like this, one that would seem completely counter-productive to their purposes, one that does nothing but trample on the goodwill and enthusiasm of the fans, and you have to wonder what the #@$% these people are thinking.

    Kudos to you for your letter, and bringing this issue to light. Regardless of The Movie Blog’s size, this is Paramount’s loss, and an inexplicably short-sighted action.

  116. This smacks of some gossipy story, the reason why the photo was taken down and why they took the site down. There is something in the photo you’re not seeing that they don’t want you to notice. It sounds like an all-out shutdown attack for all sites who posted that picture. I got a few hits on my site tracking back to my comment on that photo. I didn’t think much of it at the time a few days ago and didn’t check the referring ISP to see where it was coming from, but it’s too late to go back to it now. That was over 50 hits ago and my stat counter clears out after 50. I bet it was the studio, too.

    As for the letter, yeah it was over the top a bit, but you were pissed. And a little guy has to be able to rant all he want to a nameless, faceless lawyer monkey. It’s his right! That’s what free speech is for, John. And I say while you’re on a roll of deleting shit, you should delete all the posts giving The Transformers any mention and free publicity. Fuck ’em. Paramount can afford to pay you to hype their shit. Make them pay you to talk about any of their films ever again. You don’t have to. You’re not being paid to pimp their movies. If they want free publicity from TMG, let them kiss your ass for it.

  117. This is very dissapointing news. Like you said John it’s only 4 actors posing it’s not a big deal. The should have emailed you. Taking down your site was childish and unprofessoinal. By doing what they did was not just disrespectful towards you but all us fans of the movieblog who come on here everyday supporting this site. And I can guarantee there are other sites with pictures of sets too.

    I suggest Paramount apolgise to you because lets be fair and honest here you’ve said nothing but great things about Transformers. I didn’t give a crap about this movie until you, Doug and Darren started hyping it up. By not talking about this movie is not overeacting, it’s just fair game, they screwed you by taking down the site.

  118. Does sound like Paramount were acting like a pack of bitches and I don‚Äôt think you‚Äôre overreacting but honestly, I don’t believe you’ll be able to suppress your giddy enthusiasm for the Transformers movie for anything more then a couple of months‚Ķ

    Who knows, I’m probably wrong but it’ll be a real shame if this unfortunate incident stops your entertaining commentary on the production…

    Looking forward to hearing the angry rant on Friday’s podcast!

  119. Sadly just another example of the fact that those running the film business do not have a clue why some films become hits and some tank. You can’t buy good word of mouth but you certainly can stop it dead…

    Just an aside but personally the whole idea of a Transformers film just seemed DuHHHHHDumb but as I have found in the past that Movie Blog has good taste and generally steers me to good films so if it wound up with a positive review here I would have gone and seen it…Apparently won’t be happening will it?

  120. fantastic letter john,very well written.
    if thats all the thanks you get for hyping their movie ,fuckem all the prissy crybaby fucks.

  121. It’s the lawyers at Paramount, and Michael Bay and Steven Spielberg should give them a good beating. This site has nothing but good things to say about the Tranformers movie…I want to keep writing but I’m just too angry and frustrated.

  122. Sorry, John. It really sucks that they did that. Looks like they had your site taken down to “teach you a lesson.” You should also have a talk with your hosting company for giving in so quickly. I honestly don’t think you should be the whipping boy here.

  123. Damn this blows, I’m not shocked in the slightest at all, people have been jumping on the copyright train like crazy for the past few years.

    The worst part is I’m going to have to go elsewhere for my Transformers news, as much as I love you guys there’s no way I can’t see this movie.

  124. I fully support you in this John. What a crock.

    I don’t think you are blowing things out of proportion here either.

    What I do hope is that Paramount will come to their senses and realize their error.

    If they do apologize, are you willing to accept? Will you speak of Transformers again if they do? (Mind you, it might be tough to maintain the positive feelings that you shared about this movie so many times in the past…)

    I say, sick Nagy on them.

  125. Good for you! Paramount getting upset over free publicity is ludicris. Movie studios are so out of touch with their audiences today, it is astounding! When will studios learn to USE the internet instead of fighting it? Keep up the good work. I, for one, will not go see what looks to be a very fun movie.

  126. I enjoyed the letter. It’s a great way to take a stand, and the letter is excellent in its “no-nonsense”-way of describing the situation.

    Fuck Paramount anyway. They have all the potential but none of the balls. They have South Park, but they don’t support it. They have Star Trek but ruin it. And now they’re just acting the wrong way.

    This is something that a comedian would make a joke about, and people would go “yeah, haha cheap joke. Corporate assholes. Nobody’s that retarded”… It’s ridiculous.

    Kudos for the way you handled this though. Seriously.

  127. I don’t think you’re overreacting at all. I am shocked at reading this. As you said all they had to do was ask, one simple email, but they just go over your head, pound their chests, and get the site shut down. This is utterly ridiculous.

    And this really is their loss because you have been extremely, insanely, excited about this movie. Such a shame I won’t get to hear you talk about it anymore too. Maybe the studio will make an apology, and throw one hell of an exclusive your way too, they freakin better and damn well should.

    I can’t wait to hear the Audio Edition tomorrow, ohh boy I can’t wait.

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