Ok…so there is this. AMC, one of the biggest, largest, mega huge, (now I’m getting redundant), television networks, is going after the little guy. AMC, who has brought all of us into the world of a zombie apocalypse, AMC, the network that carries The Walking Dead, has presented a group with a Cease and Desist order and threats of a lawsuit! So are we talking ‘censorship’, or ‘freedom of speech’ here? It’s a thin line.
(Disclaimer) Please keep in mind that this is my personal, opinion piece. It in no way reflects the views of Threeifbyspace.com, or it’s owners.
Many of you are aware of a group called, The Spoiling Dead Fans. They have a Facebook page, and their own website. From what I have researched, this group is 400,000 fans strong. Started by a group of diehard fans of The Walking Dead series, this group, investigates, photographs, and gathers any, and all the information they can, regarding the show. They are good at what they do. They have researched everything, to the point of obsession. Their main goal is to provide this information to those fans who want it. And believe me, there are a helluva lot of fans that want this group’s information. Just like many other spoiler groups about TV series, TSDF presents their findings on their FB page, and the web. All a fan has to do, is like their page, or join in to the website. The diehard investigators have silly spy names that are made up. They don’t divulge any of their sources and protect their identities. This group doesn’t want to cause trouble, or any harm to anyone. They don’t charge money for anything. They are a NOT for profit group. They don’t want to see anyone fired and they don’t break any laws getting their information. It’s no big deal really. Many of the fans, like to get this spoiling information, before an episode airs. Some fans, can’t handle the wait, or simply can’t handle the shock of what is in an episode. A certain ratio of them, WANT to see spoilers. And this spoiling group provides that option to many. People who don’t want spoilers, just don’t go there. The majority of the problem here is, AMC, doesn’t want anyone to spoil one of the biggest cliffhangers in TV history. When season six ended, we were left wondering, who it was that villan Negan killed. In the comic, it is Glenn, but because of the major debacle of the “Glenn under the dumpster, is he or isn’t he dead, episdode”, they are trying to keep the reveal of this death secret until the October premiere.
Here is a copy of the post from The Spoiling Dead fans Facebook page, detailing their plight:
“ Well Buttercups, we have some sad news to share today. After two years, AMC finally reached out to us! But it wasn’t a request not to post any info about the Lucille Victim or any type of friendly attempt at compromise, it was a cease and desist and a threat of a lawsuit by AMC Holdings, LLC’s attorney, Dennis Wilson. They say we can’t make any type of prediction about the Lucille Victim. Their stance is that making such a prediction would be considered copyright infringement. AMC tells us that we made some claim somewhere that says we received “copyright protected, trade secret information about the most critical plot information in the unreleased next season of The Walking Dead” and that we announced we were going to disclose this protected information. We still aren’t sure where we supposedly made this claim because they did not identify where it was.
The truth is, we have become victims of our own success. We hold a track record for accuracy and now AMC perceives us as a threat. We can understand why. We were once just a small community, but now we are 400,000 strong among all our outlets. The TSDF Army, originally named in jest, is now very real in this little cottage industry. We are a threat because of our accuracy. However, it was never our intention to cause harm to this show (and we don’t believe we have), only to satisfy the curiosity of thousands of fans who wanted what we offered. Millions of other fans tune in to this show unspoiled and are none the wiser about who we are. We are a dedicated community of enthusiastic, passionate fans that love this show so much we always want to know what’s going to happen and speculate on all those possibilities. Our spoilers are intended only for fans that seek them out to enhance their own viewing experience.
Basically what it all comes down to is if we post our Lucille Victim prediction and we’re right, AMC says they will sue us. Whether there are grounds for it or not is not the issue, it still costs money to defend. That is the way our justice system works. Would we have defenses? Sure. But it also costs money to mount that defense. If someone brings us a potential Lucille spoiler and we confirm it and it turns out accurate we could get sued. That doesn’t mean they’re right and we’re wrong, but like so many other situations in this world, they have the money and power and we do not. So we lose. In the past two years, AMC has filed several wrongful DMCA notices against us with full knowledge that we could not file counter-notices, hired investigators to intimidate our members, and threatened our local members with arrest, among other questionable acts. We’re also pretty sure they had something to do with the DOS attack on our site just before the finale last season. They have exhibited every quality of a bully pounding its chest. That sucks for us. It’s very disappointing to see the network that hosts our favorite show attack one of their biggest fan bases. Especially when they could have taken a more diplomatic approach that could have given them the same results.
Please respect our decision not to put our livelihoods at risk. AMC has been harassing us for four days now by contacting our homes, our family members and our employers; even posting on this page and personal social media accounts. We are fans of this show just like you and aren’t a commercial operation that makes profit. We have families and careers to think about. No spoiler will ever be worth compromising those things. If you think this makes us pussies that are bowing down to AMC then so be it.
After consultation with our legal counsel, we have responded to AMC that the TSDF staff will not be posting our prediction on who gets Lucilled on any of our outlets. We will also not be answering any questions about who we think it is. If you hear a potential spoiler elsewhere and bring it to us for confirmation, we will not confirm or deny it. If you message us privately and ask who we think gets Lucilled, we will not respond. The info may find another outlet on its own, but an official prediction will not come from the TSDF staff.
But let’s be real here. It’s unreasonable to think for a moment that the Lucille spoiler won’t come out before the air date. Our 2% of the viewership knows better. First, we aren’t the only spoiler business in the game. Also, simple observation and deduction can’t be prohibited. With much help, we have become very good at watching, listening, waiting, researching and separating the truth from the lies and being savvy when it comes to this show’s filming process. That typically reaches our goals. We are the reporters of this information. So while we will continue to post set reports, it will be up to you guys to take that information and make your own assumptions about who it is. We cannot assist by giving our speculation.
Just to clarify, we will continue to post all of our filming updates, eyewitness reports and all photos taken legally throughout the filming season just like we always have. We are by no means getting shut down. It’s still business as usual here, we just won’t be spoiling the biggest moment so far. Yes, we have taken a bit of a fall. But why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves back up again. (Thanks, Alfred!)
Very truly yours – The TSDF Staff ”
The Spoiling Dead Fans are a really proud, and extremely nice group of people. I have been to their FB page and website. I have spoken with a few of them myself. Yes, even I like to look at some spoilers, as sometimes, I hate not knowing. From what reactions I have seen over the internet, the fans are rooting for the little guy this time. Most of them stand behind TSDF 100%. There is an uproar right now, in other groups, about the ability and reasons, AMC, has decided to do this. There are many groups catering to The Walking Dead fans on Facebook. Maybe as many as a couple of hundred. For a group of fans, not even being able to speculate openly about a major cliffhanger moment, on a TV series, is ludicrous, ridiculous and even crazy to me! Excuse me, but when did we actually get “Thought Police“, or “Speculation Police“? Is this a violation of their right to free speech? Does the group have a valid claim, for civil rights infringement on the part of AMC, and its attempt to impede their ability to free speech, as set forth in the US Constitution? I can’t say for sure, as I am not a lawyer. But it appears to me, to be nothing more than an attempt at censorship!
I will let you know if anything comes of the threat of a lawsuit. I will be very interested to know. As for myself, I support the group’s right to speculate on the death of a TV series character! After all, it is just a television show. Now don’t get me wrong, I respect AMC for trying to protect the show from a spoiler. The cast and crew work very hard to bring us this amazing story. But on the the other hand, the writers and creator, sort of ‘apologized’ for the cliffhanger. Kirkman mentioned that they wanted the fans to “talk” about it. Well guess what? That is all we have been doing since the finale! There are hundreds of theories, and speculations all over YouTube, and the Web. So why pick on this group? Because they are trying to set an example. They know how good the group is at deducing what will happen, in any given episode.
I personally have my own thoughts, as to whom Negan killed. You see, I am one of those obsessed fans. I have been watching Walking Dead since day one. I watch it, intently! I rewatch it! Over and over again, and I have come to a conclusion. Do you want to know what I speculate? Any ardent fan of the show, already knows who the victim(s) is(are)! I better not tell you though, because I don’t want to get sued. And finally, I have a quote from one member of the TSDF team:
“We want to convey that we aren’t unreasonable people. If AMC would have reached out to us in a good faith manner, they likely would have achieved the same result. We want success for the show too. People who seek spoilers still watch the show and those who don’t still watch the show. And we think it should be up to the audience to choose for themselves HOW they best enjoy it.”….Team TSDF
What do all you fans think? Let me know. Leave comments below.
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