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Star Wars fan films for charity

The so called fan films that are made by thousands and are seen in internet, in Youtube etc., made by amateurs but also by professionals that have at least some experience in filmmaking, must be shown without profit. There is netpage fanfilms net that has over 3000 fanfilms, far from complete list because some of the most recent fanfilms seem to be missing there and that list is mostly fanfilms from early 2000s.
Rules are that fanfilm must not make profit for their maker. But how about fanfilms that do not make any profit to fanfilm maker but make profit for charity organization? For example Unicef, Doctors Without Borders etc. charity organizations that work in poorest areas of the globe and bring help to people that have most acute need for help, because they are dying of starvation, they don t have medical treatment etc. If it would be possible to donate all money earned from those fanfilms to charity for people who have most urgent need, that would not violate the rule that fanfilm must not generate profit for fanfilm maker. Another way is that fanfilm maker donates fanfilm to charity organization, so of course then fanfilm maker is not able to make profit.
That would allow distribution of fan films for profit, but that profit goes to charity organization. Fanfilm makers have nothing to lose because they have no profit anyway. What are then the rules for fanfilm distributor? Is distributing company, like movie theatre film distribution company, allowed to have some profit from selling movie tickets to fanfilms whose ticket price percentage of film maker goes to charity organization and film distributor gets its usual share, or there is less profit for distributor also (some of ticket sale percantage profit that goes to distributor goes now to charity), or also distributor is not allowed to have any profit, and 100% of ticket price goes to charity? If at least some part of movie ticket price goes to film distributor that would make fan films easily available in nearest cinema.
Fan films are sometimes crude, but some are made at professional way. Most popular fan films are Star Trek fan films (Star Trek actually started whole fan film thing) and Star Wars fan films.
It is generally accepted that Disney Star Wars films (“new trilogy” films) are just mess, and that Disney spoiled whole Star Wars thing when Disney bought that “franchise” from George Lucas at 5 billion dollars. It has been also reported that Lucas is much disappointed about the way how Disney treated Star Wars.
So Lucas now has 5 billion dollars of money but he cannot make Star Wars the way he used to be, all must go through Disney “development hell” and almost all of Lucas s own ideas and scripts for Star Wars are rejected by Disney staff, it has been reported.
So how about George Lucas making his own Star Wars fan films? He has about 5 billion dollars money which he earned by selling away Star Wars franchise, can he give something back to fans? Those fans that made Star Wars so big thing through the years, and those fans earned Lucas his billions. If Lucas for example invests one billion of his 5 billion fortune for making for example 10 fan films each with 100 million dollar budget, he now can make those films exactly the way he wants them to be made, and such Star Wars films that he wanted them to be, not Disney-spoiled mess. And because profit from those films are donated to charity, he will have tax rebates (money donated to charity means tax rebates) so he actually can have some or most of that 1 billion back, although he then can make 10 Star Wars films of his own with approx. 100 million dollar budget each. If those “fan films” are popular it will generate large sums of money for charity, for example for Unicef, Doctors Without Borders etc., and this money will help millions of people in poor countries enormously, save millions of lives from hunger, starvation, death and sickness.
One aspect of making fan films is that donating money to charity is noticed in taxation, donations for charity are approved in tax rebates. Fan films by nature must make no profit for their filmmaker. So making a fan film and donating profit for charity (or simply donating that whole film to charity) is not perhaps so costly if some or most of that film s expenses are covered with tax rebates.
And then fan films would make lives of millions of people in poor countries better, save their lives from starvation and sickness, perhaps several million deaths could be prevented each year if fan films, there are thousands of them, fan made TV / internet series etc., could make money for charity and that money is directed to those people that need it most in poor countries.
How about distribution of fan films for charity? There are already thousands of fan films made, and perhaps over hundred are made each year. Makers of those films are not allowed to earn money with those films, so they can for example give that film (copyright) to some charity organization, that makes sure that filmmakers themselves do not have profit, which is the rule for fanfilms. Nowdays situation is that fanfilm have neither profit nor distribution, but when donated to charity it will have at least distribution and people would see it more often than in some obscure Youtube netpage where those fanfilms are hidden and they are difficult to find. Or filmmaker keeps copyright to itself and gives all money generated with the film to charity. If distributor is cinema distributor, selling movie tickets, if no profit is allowed then arrangement where distributor s cost of film distribution are covered, but no profit is allowed to fanfilm distributor, it will make no financial loss to fanfilm distributor and no profit. At least then film distributors could distribute fanfilms donated to charity without financial loss. The profit that normally goes to film distributor goes now for charity too. This same goes for DVD distribution and digital distribution too. Or if fanfilm rules are set only for filmmakers, not for distributors, the distributor can have normal ticket sale percentage profit.
There is whole segment of film industry, “fan films”, that are not allowed to make money. Still there is interest among people to see fanfilms, but they lack distribution. Some of those are no-budget turkeys but some are quite good. If donated to charity (or profit from them donated to charity), those films could be the way to earn money for charity organizations, save lives of people, and those fanfilm filmmakers have nothing to loose because they can not make money of their productions anyway, but their products could save millions of lives, if all fanfilms worth watching would have proper distribution.

Another aspect of making fanfilm is that they are totally free of economical constrains of other films. Because fan films are not allowed to make profit, (not profit for their makers), they are completely free of usual compromises that plague commercial films. Because commercial films must sell there is many artistic restrictions what the end product must be. However fan films offer complete artistic freedom for their makers, although not much of a budget. But for that small amount of money they can make such kind of film what they want. For example film length, in IMDb The longest films of all time is list of longest films. Commercial films are often edited down from much longer material. Sergio Leone s “Once upon a time in America” had 8 hours of possible length that was edited to 5 hours 35 minutes or something like that? If that was the “almost 6 hour version” length, but released version was much shorter. In fanfilm there is no limits for film runtime, and some small budget Star Wars fanfilms have over 2 hour length and are longer than official Star Wars films. There are no artistic restrictions whatsoever (except small budget) in fan films. Violence and pornography is forbidden but the same goes for all films that have unrated distribution. Director of fan film can make film just the way he/she likes, and edit it just the way he/she likes. Sam Peckinpah was going to make small, couple thousand budget film after he was ousted out of Hollywood, but died before that. If there is way to donate fan film to charity, and fan films can then earn money for some charity organization, fan films could then actually save lives of people, in Africa etc. That means fan films need some kind of distribution where money generated by films donated to charity goes to charity organization. Same for any film that is donated to charity, not just fan film of some franchise like Star Wars or Star Trek. If film, any film, not just fanfilm, is donated to charity, director has complete freedom to make own artistic decisions because film is not gonna make profit for their makers. But it can perhaps make money for charity organization.

Fan films is class of media that is not allowed to make profit for their makers. Another form of media that make no profit for their makers is free music software, like free softsynths (VSTs and “standalone”) and free DAWs (digital audio workstations). Unlike fanfilms that are forbidden to make money for their makers, free music software is voluntarily given without cost (although that is copyrighted material, owner of copyright / maker of music software allows “selling” his/hers stuff without cost).
Distribution channel is internet. But in countries in Africa internet is usually very costly. So in continent where poorest people live has also most costly internet connection. So although free music software has no cost, internet line price is often costly, and low quality, and large files cannot be perhaps not be send at all through bad connection. Therefore distribution using cheap DVD ROM discs is more suitable in those areas. Then those discs must have some price. Selling this software at some cheap price, several dozen free VSTs in one DVD ROM in low price, one dollar or few dollars. Distributor perhaps needs some percentage of sale price, but most of price can be donated to charity organizations that work in Africa. Not only Africa, poor countries in Asia and South America can use this way of music software distribution. And while music software is sold it also collects money for charity organizations working in same country where music software is sold. DAWs / audio editors and audio effect VSTs can be sold also, not just softsynths. Both “standalone” software and VST / VSTi standards. Although several music software programs can be grouped to one DVD ROM, large programs like Csound with some “wrapper” like Csound Blue can be sold in DVD ROM without other programs, so then DVD ROM has only Csound and its “wrapper”.
There is also lots of abandonware software, like old computer (PC, Apple, Commodore, Atari etc.) games and other old computer software. Those can be used with (free) emulator. That abandonware material can also be sold putting different collections of it in DVD ROM discs and then sold in development countries at low price.
There are also lots of feature films that are shown in youtube, for example thousands of Bollywood films, and hundreds of russian film classics that Mosfilm has put to youtube. They have very small amount of profit when using youtube as distribution channel. And in Africa etc. internet is costly, so although youtube may be free internet cost of watching two hour film can be expensive, compared to small amount of money that people have in those poor countries. So also feature films that are shown in youtube can be collected to one DVD, using large amount of video compression so several hours of material fits in one DVD, dual side DVD for example. Film copyright holders can be paid same amount of money that is paid in youtube viewing per film. Most of one or two dollar cost goes however to charity organization, although DVD has several films, and some percentage of cost goes to DVD distributor also. Even in western countries DVD films are sold at 1 or 2 dollar cost in supermarkets in cheap cardboard sleeves, in third world countries DVD distribution would be even cheaper. Cost of manufacturing DVD discs (and Bluray discs also) is almost nonexistent in bulk factory order from China or India etc. So most of DVD price can go to charity, although in DVD has several films, and DVD selling cost is only one or two dollars. Also there is thousands public domain films, that for example Mill Creek Entertainment sell in 50 film or 100 film packs in video compressed DVDs. Instead of normal DVD video compression movie file can be in DVD ROM disc and some more effective and modern (free) video compression can be used, so more films fit in one DVD.
So charity organizations in third world could collect money in third world selling computer software and films, and it would have no negative effect to owner of that copyrighted material. Fanfilms are not allowed to make profit, public domain films are free, feature films put to youtube can be put to DVD also and paid same amount of money that is paid per youtube viewing, and computer software that is either freeware (or copyrighted but distributed for free) or abandonware that will not make profit anyway. But all this material can make money for charity organizations in third world countries.
Memory cards and USB sticks are another method of distribution, but then software / movie piracy is a problem, so cheap DVD discs in cardboard sleeves are then best solution for distribution? Actually Bluray disc manufacturing is almost as cheap as DVD discs, but BD-ROM is not used anymore in computers, not in large scale. So cheap BD-ROM stations in computers are needed? Or simply use DVD ROMs and DVD discs, they are everywhere. Perhaps DVD ROM discs can be coated with “Durabis” coating of Blurays or similar coating to prevent disc damage. There are methods like “iLok” to prevent software / digital material copying.

There are films that are practically abandoned by their producers. One example is “Total eclipse” 1995, that was shown once in some film festival (or film festivals) only, and not released in cinemas at all (?), and finally released in DVD 1999 four years later. Even before film is released producers of some film sometimes decide that film is not worth of distributing. In music business is used term “flyer” which means music album that is not supported by record company any way, it won t get any promotion or not even distribution sometimes. Prime example perhaps Kate Bush s album “The Dreaming” 1982 that had perhaps world s highest recording costs (then), or at least more studio time spend that has ever spend in any album. Despite those facts record company completely abandoned the LP and it sold only 17 000 copies in UK in 1982, despite being one of world s most expensive albums. In film business is sometimes films that are simply discarded before they even arrive to cinemas, that is similar to “flyer” of music business.
So if film s producers agree that film is gonna be flop and not worth of distribution, and agree to take financial loss of film even before it arrives to cinemas (if it is arrives in cinemas at all, or it has only limited run in only few film theatres). Nowdays is quite typical that films have only limited theatrical run, although they may be good and expensive films. Bad films have even less chance to have theatrical run. Even profits from DVD or Netflix sale can be small if films have IMDb score “Worst film I have ever seen” etc. in critics section.
If producers decide they will make the film “flyer” and simply take financial loss, one way that this film will get distribution, is that film is donated to some charity organization, or charity organizations (profit from the film, if it ever comes, is then shared between many charity organizations). That film can then collect money for charity, can perhaps have theatrical run, and collect money for charity in other ways too like DVD / Bluray and Netflix sales. In this way those abandoned films can save lives of people, save people from hunger, starvation and diseases, and those films do not have to remain in filmatic trash can forever, they will have fame and gain recognition for their directors and actors, and for their producers too.
Another case is when films are not distributed when there is ownership / copyright quarrel that sometimes goes on forever, and even lengthy legal proceedings do not bring solution. Sometimes ownership / copyright status of some film is so difficult that even court cannot solve the problem, and film stays in “limbo” forever, never to be shown again, not in cinemas or TV. Film simply stays in some archive indefinitely, or forever. Ownership / copyright problems are common with old films. Last Orson Welles film “The other side of the wind” had infinite ownership quarrel, filming began around 1971, and 1979 film was locked in a vault because french court could not solve right of ownership, and it became one of those films that have no clear ownership, so film is locked down forever. Only in 2018 film was shown first time. It was finished over 30 years after Welles death when (finally) ownership problem had solution.
Such films that are locked in some film vault forever, perhaps hundreds of years to come, because they have copyright and ownership problems, can be released if they are donated to charity. The owners of those films will not gain any money anyway because film is locked away, hundreds of years. When donated to charity they can save people s lives, and those films can be seen at last, after decades hiding in film vault. It is not only Welles film, there are among old films many cases when for reason or another (mostly legal reasons) film cannot be shown anymore, although it is known to exist. Those problems can be avoided if those films are donated to charity, having limited theatrical run again and going for DVD, Bluray and Netflix. When film is forever locked in some vault it will not generate any money anyway, so simply donating those films to charity is simple way to make those films available again and people could see them.
Nothing to do with above, but if software, like Android software that is used in phones, is distributed in third world countries, that have expensive internet / cellphone connections, Android software can be distributed if there is some sort of “Android player” type device, it is simply Android phone without cell phone / wireless internet connection. The device can have DVD / DVD ROM drive that is used in cheap portable CD/DVD players. This Android player can be used as standalone device or connected to tabletop PC. (Cheap) Android software can then be used in normal PC without emulator. Android software that is cheap or free, that may then be used in third world countries, without internet connection. USB connection or memory card is then the way to distribute software. That software that is normally free in Android can have very small price, bundled in packs that are sold in memory cards, USB sticks or DVD ROM discs. No internet connection is needed. Already 2015 cheapest quad core Android SoC cost 4 dollars, and in 2016/2017 cheapest octacore SoC cost 8 or 7 dollars or so. Nowdays similar should be cheaper. So cheap Android player can be made very cheaply.
Not only films, but literary works like novels, short stories, poems or theatrical plays sometimes can have similar ownership problems like films (copyright etc.). Other artforms, photograps, art paintings, compositions etc. can have ownership and copyright problems. If those problematic works are donated to charity there is no need to quarrel anymore and those works of art can be put to good use (charity), saving lives of people. Lengthy legal proceedings do not make good for anyone, donating those disputed art works to charity is a solution to problem and no one does not have to suffer costs of lengthy trial.

Googling “song plagiat” brings many cases where composition or words of some song is accused of plagiarism. Wikipedia “Music plagiarism” and “List of songs subject to plagiarism”. Instead of going to lengthy trial that cost money, two parties of trial can instead decide that either copyright of the song, or profit generated by disputed song, goes to charity organization (or organizations). So lengthy and costly legal proceedings are avoided.
This method to avoid copyright / ownership disputes can be put to use in other art forms also, like compositions (without words), song lyrics / poetry / written text (fiction and non-fiction works), films, visual / audiovisual art etc.
One way is that charity organization (or organizations) pay some sum of money to those parties that quarrel over some song or other material whose copyright/ownership is disputed. Same can be used in films etc. whose copyright is unclear. After paying some sum to those who are beginning trial or are already began trial to gain rights of some work of art, those two parties does not have to proceed lengthy trial (that costs money) and they will also be paid some money for transferring copyright to charity organization (or at least profit from that work of art). Although charity organization pays some money to have some artwork it will have profit that is more than that sum that was paid, and that profit will go to charity.
David Bowie had “Bowie bond” where he leased copyright of his songs for limited time to other people, and then copyright returned back to him. Similar deals have since been made with other rock / pop stars. If instead of leasing those songs to investors (businessmen) artist could lease songs for a limited time to some charity organization (or charity organizations, profit is then shared between them). During time when songs are leased they generate money for charity. If their copyright is not leased at least profit from those songs can be given to charity using similar deal like Bowie bond and other similar deals (giving profit from these songs during limited time - years to charity organizations).
Also other works of art like art paintings, films, written works (of fiction and non-fiction) etc. could be leased for a limited time to charity.
Artists can also donate in their testament their works to charity, Andrei Tarkovski and Luis Bunuel wanted their works to be free (of monetary payments) after their death. Donating works to charity instead of let them go for free, is a way to make sure that those artworks will help other people, when money generated by them goes to charity. So those artworks donated to charity will save people from death, from starvation etc.
Charity organization can also buy some artwork from artist, at cheaper price that is its selling price in free market, and then use that work of art to collect money for charity. This same principle can be used in art paintings, songs, films, written text, all forms of audiovisual art etc.