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Pickstarter: Help the “COPS: Skyrim” Folks Make A Skyrim Machinima Drama

Would you like to see what Bryan Basham and the team behind the Nerdist Channel’s COPS: Skyrim could do with a dramatic series using Skyrim machinima? You can help make that happen.

The Dark Brotherhood — yes, there’ll be some assassinatin’ goin’ on — is intended as the “first dramatic Skyrim machinima series ever,” five episodes of dark and creepy storytelling, and Bryan is looking to raise $20,000 via Kickstarter to help make it. Here’s what Bryan says about the reasoning behind doing a Kickstarter:

Although machinima is cheaper than traditional animation, it still takes a lot of effort and machinery to produce. In the big picture it’s a bargain for the amount of work that goes into each episode, but it’s twice as much as any channel, no matter if millions tune in, can recoup in ad revenue. So, it’s up to you to help us make The Dark Brotherhood, and take this newly discovered process of machinima to a higher level.

Among the premiums are an exclusive digital download of the “missing episode” of COPS: Skyrim — ten bucks will get you that — or a COPS: Skyrim t-shirt for a $100 pledge, or a week’s head-start in seeing each episode plus a custom voice mail from The Nooch and a COPS: Skyrim t–shirt for $200 (same package except a hoodie and Jenkins does the voice mail for $500) or walk-on voiceover parts — is “walk-on” the right term? — for a thousand smackeroos or a producer’s credit for two grand.

The Kickstarter runs through Wednesday, June 5th. If you’re ready to pledge or have questions, click here to go to the project Kickstarter page. And subscribe to the Nerdist Channel, because there’s more COPS: Skyrim on the way and you’re not going to want to miss it. You don’t even have to talk to Aventus Aretino to make that happen.

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3 comments

  • Uhhhhh… not to piss on anyone’s parade, but is this legal? You did not create the assets, animations, or engine you are using to create the product you intend to sell; the intellectual property belongs to Bethesda. That is why the Oblivion and Skyrim modding communities through the Nexus and Steam are not allowed to sell their creations, but must share them freely. I understand asking for donations is considered okay, but asking for the money before a product is provided would be like the modders asking for money to make a mod, which is… not legal.

    Again, I’m not trying to be a dick, as I’m sure your intentions are good, but this seems a little too much in a grey area. Have you looked into the project’s legality?

  • It’s not, and that is the issue. Machinima’s legality is in debate. There’s no way around the fact that this is Bethesda’s intellectual property and is bound by copyright law. Hell, even Rooster Teeth thought they were going to get shut down after Bungie contacted them about RvB. They lucked out in that Bungie liked it and wanted to support it further.

    Fan art is one thing… an artist who draws a picture of his favorite character has created his own interpretation of an existing intellectual property. Machinima is digital assets owned by that property. It is completely different, and bound by copyright law and fair use.

    Now you bring Kickstarter into the equation, where the creator is asking for money to create something with digital assets he does not own. He could be legally culpable if the campaign is successful and BGS decides to step in.

    Like I said; this is a gray area. Machinima can be cause for litigation if the owners of the IP want to take it that far, though usually it never goes past a ‘cease and desist’. This particular creator was probably safe when he was creating the work for free (though, technically, the “COPS” IP is owned by Fox), but when money becomes involved, it can cause a world of shit. Just sayin’…