Can Fox Shows Be Licensed Or Not?

Last year, in October, there came a sudden licensing crackdown on theatrical showings of episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. (See here, here, and here for details.) We were, at the time, ultimately told (see the comments) that in fact Fox had suspended such licensing for all of its television properties.

There were many theories at the time (including speculation that perhaps getting a cut from such usage was on the table in the then-looming writers strike, although that does not appear to have been the case), and in the just-linked discussion there’s some suggestion out of the company that handled issuing the licenses that some “third party” in fact had demanded their “fair share” of such licensing.

None of that ever has been confirmed, so far as I know. And no one that I know of has been able to get a firm picture of the specifics and the details from anyone high up enough to know them.

I bring all of this up because now comes news that a charity event has been prohibited from showing any Buffy episodes but is being permitted to screen episodes of its brother series Angel. And that comes on the heels of the recent announcement that Comic-Con has been permitted to license the musical episode of Buffy to screen as the convention’s final Sunday event.

All of which, of course, only further complicates the already complicated issue, and makes it even more unclear than it already is just what the Hell is going on.

On the off-chance that someone actually in the know happens across this post: Please email me and help us all understand the reality of the issues involved and what properties are and are not affected by those issues.

Update: I had completely forgotten all about this MTV article which detailed the various positions, and pegged a large bill the Screen Actors Guild had “sent 20th Century Fox Television a six-figure bill for unpaid actor residuals”.

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