The upcoming Finnish-German-Australian sci-fi comedy Iron Sky has been ripped off by Chinese game developers, and is assisted by Apple to profit from it. The fan funded film under the direction of Timo Vuorensola from Finland may get in serious trouble as a result.
Fan funding is a new and internet based way of financing movies, but one of the typical consequences is that accumulated funds are relatively small, and the production therefore becomes fragile. Even before the film has been edited, a Chinese game company has released an iPad app based on the film, completely without authorization.
Here is the official press release from the film’s producers:
Chinese Pirates Attack The Moon Nazis
A game company Ziiso is selling an unauthorized game based on the Moon Nazi sci-fi comedy Iron Sky.
September 9th 2011 – Helsinki/Finland – The creators of the Finnish-German-Australian dark sci-fi comedy Iron Sky were surprised to found out late last week that a game company called Ziiso that’s apparently operating in China is creating an iPad game based on their film. This Thursday the game called Iron Sky: The Last Territory (or IRON SKY for iPad) was published in iTunes App Store. It use some Iron Sky ship designs, some character likenesses, the back story and even the tagline – none of which are authorized.
This is very unfortunate for us. We use crowd funding and merchandise sales to actually fund making this film in a very concrete way, said the director of Iron Sky Timo Vuorensola. Moreover these guys are trying to make the game sound like it’s our official product, even adding it to our Wikipedia page. This means it’s not only an intellectual property grab, but a downright scam. Yes, it makes us angry that these people are riding on the coat tails of our hard work and taking money from unsuspecting fans who might think they are funding the film by buying the game.
We have absolutely nothing against unofficial fan products and fan art, though – we love seeing what kinds of amazing and crazy things people come up with. That’s a completely different thing from taking money from our fans with unauthorized Iron Sky products – money that was meant to be used to fund the film.
The game has been reported to Apple and the team is waiting for the resolution to their complaint.
It will be interesting to see how Apple responds to being part of major copyright infringement. If you want to help the film and complain to Apple, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject being DON’T RIP OFF IRON SKY.
Iron Sky trailer: