Filmmaker Chris Moukarbel, currently getting sued by Paramount for his visual treatment of a scene from Oliver Stone’s upcoming “World Trade Center” has issued the following statement in response:
“Chris Moukarbel is a visual artist and a recent MFA graduate. The piece about which Paramount has sued Mr. Moukarbel was made as part of a student art project and constituted a portion of Mr. Moukarbel’s masters thesis at school. In a broad sense, Mr. Moukarbel’s art deals with how events are memorialized, and this artwork was created as a commentary on the memorialization of a particularly historic moment: The tragic day of September 11, 2001.
Mr. Moukarbel never intended to profit from this artwork, and never has profited from it.
Mr. Moukarbel is not a filmmaker living in Washington, DC, as stated in Paramount’s legal papers. He is an artist, currently resident in New York.
Mr. Moukarbel cannot comment further at this time, given the pending litigation.”
This brings up a number of questions: is copyright infringement okay if it is under the umbrella of a non-profit scholastic endeavor? Does the positive reaction by people who have seen Moukarbel’s piece have a negative or positive impact for Oliver Stone’s film? Had Moukarbel waited until after “World Trade Center” was released in theaters, would he be getting sued right now?
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