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The “Catfish” Lawsuit

The “Catfish” Lawsuit (photo)

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Just how true is “Catfish”? The film, directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman and centered on Schulman’s brother Nev and his internet relationship with someone in the Midwest, has raised questions as to how nonfiction it actually is since its Sundance premiere.

And now Eriq Gardner at the Hollywood Reporter notes that the filmmakers and producers, along with distributors Universal and Relativity Media, are the subjects of a lawsuit that could give some insight into how much staging, acting and fiction went into the film.

And naturally, it’s all thanks to a licensing issue. (Spoilers follow).

Threshold Media is behind the lawsuit — that’s the company that owns the rights to Amy Kuney’s “All Downhill From Here,” a live YouTube version of which Angela, the woman on the other end of many Facebook sockpuppets, tries to pass off as her own. The song also plays over the closing credits. Gardner writes:

For some time now, Threshold has been attempting to get filmmakers to pay licensing fees for the song. According to the new copyright infringement lawsuit, the producers have rejected doing so. According to Threshold’s LA lawyer, Neville Johnson, the producers claimed that since the song was part of a real-life documentary, it was a “fair use” of the copyright.

But what if those were staged scenes – and filmmakers knowingly exploited a copyrighted song? Wouldn’t the “fair use” defense crumble?

He also points out that “the film’s producers may stick to their story that the whole thing was authentic, but they will have to do so under oath, and Threshold will enjoy a discovery proceeding to ferret out the truth.”

The stickier question is what happens if, as I’d suspect, the film is a mix of staged scenes and true ones — how much concoction does it take for a film to no longer be considered a documentary and therefore no longer fall under the protection of fair use? Now there’s a real 21st century dilemma.

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Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.


Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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