Unauthorized Starkid Production Brings Wrath


Managing Editor

Uhoh! Looks like someone didn’t read the FAQ on Team Starkid’s website carefully enough…

Fox 40 WICZ is reporting that local students in Binghamton, NY have been putting on an unauthorized version of Starkid’s wildly successful A Very Potter Musical. Worse still, they’re charging admission (even though the proceeds go to charity), which is something that Starkid has never done and is not allowed to do. To top it all off, the production and article make no mention at all to Team Starkid, with only a brief blurb about its ties to Glee megastar Darren Criss.

The problem here is that AVPM is wrapped on a very tricky legal situation. While Starkid have permission from Warner Brothers to have the musical online, to have performed it in the first place, and to own the ‘rights’ to the material (songs, scripts, etc), they do not own Harry Potter, and so the production is only allowed to exist under the condition that they make no money from it and do not sell or give the rights to anyone else. This is why AVPM has never been performed again since, and also why they’ve been extremely zealous in forbidding their large and enthusiastic fanbase from attempting to put on their own versions.

Apparently this group has disregarded the group’s warnings, and as a result Team Starkid could (in a worst-case scenario) face legal action from Warner Brothers. Pat from the StarkidPotter page on Facebook linked to the article and urged fans to condemn the production, but the post has since been removed.

You can view the original article here, though note that it currently is not loading due to heavy traffic from Starkid fans.

  • Nutty

    Whoa, that site was showing several dozen comments on the article before, but now there are none. Were they all deleted, or…?

    Edit: Aaaand now they’re back. I guess StarKids just broke the site.

  • http://twitter.com/mimiheart9 Mimi Heart

    I would think that under fair use/parody laws, StarKid would be safe. This student production would not.

  • http://twitter.com/ponyace Susie

    I really wish I understood why AVPM can’t be performed again but there’s what looks like an awful Potter parody on Broadway (Potted Potter) right now.

    • http://benchpressabear.tumblr.com Joan

      WB doesn’t like when Harry Potter-related stuff get too big and they are not involved. Ultimately, HP is their copyright to give. Thanks to the Potter Wars, Potter fans got a little bit more freedom than other fandoms do. Just look at how strict Lionsgate has been about all fan-related Hunger Games content. All in all, WB is more considerate to fans that other studios, but Potter fans had to EARNED it.

      I guess that as long as Starkid doesn’t perform the musical again, that they make no money from it (online or on stage), that do not sell or give the rights to anyone else, etc., then the musical can still pass as a fan-based production. The moment that changes, it’s no longer fan content, but a business based on someone else’s copyrighted content.

      I think there’s a lot of technicalities involved… which is why is all a sticky situation for all involved: Starkid AND the fandom in general. NOT COOL.

    • 19yearslater

      Yeah, it is confusing that Potted Potter is allowed. I guess the WB doesn’t like that AVPS captured the characters better than their films did.

  • Becca

    We’re going to try to trend #DontMessWithTSK on Twitter! Get the word around!

  • Caitlin

    Wow, just wow. Here’s their website: http://avpmbingo.webs.com/

  • http://twitter.com/StarKidDonut Jayme Keally Richter

    We broke the internet! Great job StarKids,

    But seriously… They’re clearly not StarKids… because if they were, they wouldn’t be doing this!

  • http://twitter.com/vickycara queenvictoriacriss

    NEVER mess with Starkid, we’ll mess you up.

  • StarkidCriss

    Good job Binghamton. Way to firetruck things up again. Although I feel a bit guilty because I went to go see it…….

  • Mrscriss

    Good job binghamton. We firetrucked things up again. Though I fel a bit guilty because I saw the show

  • Jberoukhim22

    I swear if there are legal problems I’m going to.. to… be so MAD at whatever idiot did this!

  • A Deeply Disturbed Fan

    Just posted a comment on the website where the article was about how completely messed up they are. VERY long rant, but I’m proud of it. As a diehard Starkid fan, I am so mad that they could do something like this. If Starkid is sued because of this, and can’t put on any more musicals, let’s all make our…displeasure VERY clear to those at fault. WB might not have a choice but to sue Starkid, but just in case, let’s all try to send a message to WB that it was not Starkid’s fault, hmm?

    • 19yearslater

      The WB will know, and won’t care. The only thing they care about is making a few bucks.

  • Lucci

    To quote Snape, “That’s absurddd!”

    Seriously, how can they think this is okay? The VERY FIRST THING on TSK’s faq page says “WB will crush us” if anyone performs AVPM/S. Did these people really just not do any research? Have they not seen the We Don’t Wanna Be Sued video on TSK’s YouTube channel?!?

    I’m in a rage. Ugh.

  • A Verry Potter Fan

    Starkid AVPM/S is a parody work, they could potentially take this to court and win and that would make the putting on of this production legal. I don’t condone the actions of the people who did this against the group’s appeal to their fans, but this could set the standards for the community.

    • Ridingteach

      That might help Starkid out, but it doesn’t change the fact that these “fans” have stolen copyrighted material from Nick, Matt, Darren, & everyone else involved with the original production, more than once according to the article. You can’t just copy out the book & learn the songs & put on a show–you PAY for that stuff!

      • AcePPO

        Starkid didn’t.

        • Kitty264

          That’s because they wrote it…

          Of course they didn’t pay for the script and songs they wrote themselves! If you wrote a song, would you pay yourself for performing it? 0.o

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002345578268 Renee Hampton

    Dammit, Binghamton!

  • 19yearslater

    It’s not right that the group is doing the show . . . but this is another situation of the evil WB. Siriusly, this is not Team Starkid’s fault and it sucks that they have to be so limited in the first place.

    • critterfur

      Ugh, WB is not “evil”. It’s a company, which was actually quite gracious after spending a LOT of money to acquire the film rights to Potter, going by Jo Rowlings wishes (follow the books as relatively closely as you can, cast only British actors, film in Britain) when they didn’t have to. You can make your opinionated case that the films didn’t live up to your vision of the books (those who are still endlessly complaining of changes that were made between the mediums, which has been going on since adaptations began), but WB have actually been quite fair about a lot of things. This amateur production really isn’t something to rally behind; they are wrong-footing Starkid as much as they are WB (as was said, very little credit given to Starkid by the amateur group, only mentioning Darren Criss name and trying to piggyback off his Glee fame, plus Starkid knew the rules, were perfectly fine with them, all the way down to changing the original name of the production and putting up a slightly edited version on YouTube, taking out some of the more adult bits…they obviously weren’t encouraging people to go out and break the rules in this particular matter). I hope that nothing bad comes of this for the Starkids’ sake, but I’m not going to vilify WB in the process.

  • AcePPO

    There’s a thin line between “parody” and “adaptation”, and Starkid’s original AVPM skates that line dangerously. Frankly, I’m amazed WB and Scholastic didn’t take their rightful legal action and demand it be taken down. They were extremely nice to Starkid in that way.

    That said, I find it ironic that Starkid is now moaning and complaining about other people doing their show that was very likely not legally theirs to do, anyway. The shoe’s on the other foot and it’s not so fun now, huh, Starkid?

    It’s like the kid in “Harry: A History” who wrote to JKR’s agents asking if he could take legal action against the people who were ripping off his “Harry Potter” fanfiction. It’s like, “Technically, you probably shouldn’t have done that in the first place and we’ve been super nice about it, so… let’s leave it alone, shall we?”

    I appreciate the talent behind Starkid, but they only get the attention they get because they plunder other people’s famous properties. I have very little pity for them in this. Frankly, it makes me chuckle. Good.

    • Kitty264

      Someone didn’t read carefully…

      WB allowed Starkid to put it on under certain conditions. Starkid met those conditions, therefore it was all fineand dandy legally. WB trusted Starkid to meet those conditions. Now those people putting on the show in NY are essentially breaking the deal Starkid had before. The issue here is that the people in NY putting on the show can cause Starkid to face a legal battle. The situation was fine before, without any big legal issues. Now there could potentially be one.

      That’s a far stretch from that fanfiction, whose writer didn’t get permission from WB to post it.

  • Kikilee

    This makes me really really mad!

  • http://www.facebook.com/emma.roberts94 Emma C Roberts

    Why would they want to, it’s not even that good?