Rip Off, fake movies on Netflix and other places

I’m amazed Hollywood allows this to happen. You rent Puss in Boots and get a fake, knock off instead.

Some of these rip off titles are nearly impossible to tell from the real thing.

If I worked at Dreamworks then I’d be furious. Imagine spending 4 years making something creative & special. Then, have it confused with a knockoff made in a few days time.

Reminds me of the ninth grade. I spent my entire 2 weeks allowance on 3 8-tracks of popular hits. Got home and discovered they were sung by fake, knockoff groups. :frowning: Thirty years later I still recall the pain of being taken as a sucker. Getting ripped off hurts.

I see they already have a ripoff Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter title ready to rent.

You can’t copyright a title. I guess it is incumbent on the renter or purchaser to check the details of any listing of a film they are interested in before renting or buying. Or, as the kids says, “Caveat emptor”.

What gets me is that Redbox is adding these now. They recently started renting the Kiara the Brave and Abraham Lincoln Vs Zombies knockoffs.

It’s not like Netflix where there is an expectation of being comprehensive and such. Redbox can only carry a small number of movies at a time. They presumably got the discs for a song and are charging the same as “real” movies. They know for a fact they are ripping people off.

With ebooks, Amazon is being flooded with knockoffs of every bestseller out there as well.

No, but you can trademark it. And stopping this sort of bullshit is exactly why trademark law exists.

Ah, yes. Welcome to the Asylum.

Lamest mockbuster ever (IMO): The Day The Earth Stopped

Disney learned this - and it took years. Rapunzel is named “Tangled” because Rapunzel is public domain and has been since the idea of public domain came into being. Want to use public domain material, if you are Disney, someone is going to go along for the ride on your marketing dollars. Puss in Boots is public domain. Dreamworks really doesn’t have much reason to whine, since the reason they used the character was to piggy back off someone else’s creative efforts for free (granted, someone who died a long time ago).

I’m surprised I’m the first person to post who doesn’t have a problem with this. I find the knock-off titles often humorously “subtly” changed if they come up against copyright. “Trans Mogrifiers” instead of “Transformers.” That sort of thing. If I want to see a movie, I make it my job to know the exact, actual title, and at least a tiny bit about it, so I don’t accidentally rent “Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies” like a moron.


The Netflix description usually starts off with something like 'Not to be confused with the recent big-budget release ''Schindler’s List", “Shindler’s Listing” stars Carrot Top as Oskar Schindler in this low budget feature directed by C. Thomas Howell". So be sure to read those descriptions.

There’s a HUGE difference between Battle: L.A. and Battle of L.A.

Just so you know.

I kind of respect the chutzpah of these efforts. There’s a kind of endearing, Barnum hucksterism to it.

I’m sorry people are stupid?
I’m not sure what other explanation there is for people being fooled by this. “Hey that movie ‘Brave’ just came out in the theater…but this Redbox thingy has a movie called ‘Kiara the Brave.’ Must be the same thing!”

My favorite has to be Snakes on a Train. I’m shocked that anyone is ever misled. 30,000 Leagues Under the Sea? The Da Vinci Treasure? Nazis at the Center of the Earth? Sunday School Musical? The Terminators? This really confuses people? I guess they probably watch these films on their Sorny televisions and Panaphonics DVD players.

My favorite recent one is “Grimm’s Snow White”. It manages to piggyback off of TWO big budget Hollywood pictures!

How about War of the Worlds(2005) and War of the Worlds(2005)?

Anyone watching a film starring Tom Cruise gets what they deserve.

I assumed it was more because they wanted to put a “cool” twist on a tired idea. If they called it “Rapunzel” it would look like a straightforward fairytale that no one wants to see.


Except for the “Joe” at the end.

Tom Cruise is in plenty of decent films, including War of the Worlds.

No, actually you cannot copyright the title of a movie or book except under certain circumstances. The US Patent and Trademark Office will not register the title of a single (not part of a series) book or movie. Even if they did, plenty of titles consist solely of personal names, geographic place names, or disparaging/offensive terms, and these cannot normally be trademarked either. (See page four of the USPTO’s Basic Facts About Trademarks PDF.)

This is outside my area of expertise, but distinctiveness and likelihood of confusion with existing trademarks are a consideration when it comes to registering a trademark, and I suspect these would also be issues for many of the movie titles mentioned in this thread. “Brave” is a common English word that could fairly describe the protagonists of many movies. “Puss in Boots” and “Snow White” are the titles of famous public domain works that have been adapted many, many times over hundreds of years.

Eh, I’ve never fallen for it, but I don’t think you have to be a moron to do so. Lots of people easily “fill in the blanks” and see the title they’re thinking of instead of the one actually written. Especially if your in a rush or tired. And some of the titles that are in public domain (like War of the Worlds) are exact copies. Or sometimes your renting a movie a spouse or child wanted to see and don’t know the exact name.

And I can see where people would be pissed if they did fall for it.

I can’t really see a way to make it illegal, so long as they don’t violate anyones trademark. But I wish places like Redbox would crack down on it. I doubt the money they make selling knock-offs is really worth the damage to their brand from ripping people off.

Using Puss 'n Boots as an example, well, Netflix makes it perfectly clear it’s not the DreamWorks version, plus the cover art is only mistakable as that of the DreamWorks character if you’re completely blind. Unless Redbox is using the DreamWorks cover art for the “:A Furry Tale” version, I agree with those who think you gotta be pretty dumb to be duped. If they are using the cover art for the wrong movie, then that’s something they should be held accountable for.

The target of these isn’t informed customers. They’re instead to screw over people who are either taking a recommendation off a friend or renting a movie at the somebody else’s request.

Not every kid’s grandmother can be expected to know exactly which Puss in Boots movie is the REAL Puss in Boots movie.

I don’t think they’re doing anything particularly evil, but it’s clearly a crappy business plan based entirely on accidentally deceiving millions of people. I’d be less bothered if these movies had ANY artistic merit of their own, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.