January 15, 2022
New beginnings don’t necessarily have to be rough.
In 2020, we decided to wish you a merry Christmas in the typical C&B way—by posting a brief clip of the famous Christmas party scene from Goodfellas containing the Frosty the Snowman song in the background.
Unfortunately, good old Frosty did us in.
On a ludicrous charge of copyright infringement, Cinephilia & Beyond’s Twitter account was soon suspended on the demand of one Graeme Grant from an organization called IFPI.org that represents the music industry (we believe it’s not even a real person—it’s probably some kind of a robot).
Since the problem with our tweet lies in the song “THE RONETTES – FROSTY THE SNOWMAN – Sony Music Entertainment,” and since the tweet is comprised of a video insert from the great work of art by Martin Scorsese, Goodfellas (Warner Bros.), it makes absolutely no sense that our account was blocked. If the clip from Goodfellas is the issue here, the demand to remove the tweet could have been sent exclusively from Warner Bros., or through their authorized representatives. Does this also imply that Frosty the Snowman was used in Goodfellas without the permission of the owner of the copyright to that song, Sony/Columbia Records?
We tried appealing the decision, explaining in detail what we do and why we do it. We tried apologizing for using a half-minute scene from an iconic film, rightly justifying our tweet with Fair Use, but didn’t even get a reply, much less a positive answer to our plea.
We spent years building a Twitter oasis dedicated to the art and craft of filmmaking, with nearly 100k followers who shared our passion for all things cinema, only for all of it to disappear in an instant based on a charge we find idiotic and completely arbitrary.
When we started Cinephilia & Beyond around ten years ago, we couldn’t even dream of having such support. The complete creative industry, the biggest talents, directors and producers seek inspiration and information from Cinephilia & Beyond and its (now blocked) Twitter account. Cinephilia & Beyond is a non-profit organization. In other words, if we, AMPAS, BAFTA, or someone else on Twitter don’t have the right to tweet a brief clip from Goodfellas under “fair use,” then this is the end of it all.
Now we’re starting over with the new Twitter account: @CloseInitiative
We ask you, dear readers, to help us rebuild our follower base—retweet us, share us, quote us—so we can reconnect with all the film fans Frosty the Snowman disconnected us from. We’ll do our very best to create a new haven for all those people like us, whose everyday lives continue to be enriched and elevated by the wonders of filmmaking.
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