Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Is Breaching an NDA For a Marvel Studios Set Visit Really Worth the Web Traffic and Possible Legal Ramifications?



For those who may not be familiar with how a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) works, it's as simple as signing your name on the dotted line and then not talking about anything you saw afterwards. At least not until the owner of the NDA says you can talk about it. This is how it works in Hollywood when a studio invites the media for a set visit of a movie that is still in production and/or filming.

Marvel Studios is no stranger to this. They invite various members of the media to their movie sets during every film they produce. Currently they are filming Avengers: Age of Ultron in the U.K. and the studio recently had their media set visit tour. Of course every member of the media needs to sign the NDA in order to even gain access to the set otherwise he/she is turned away and there is no set tour for that person.

In today's version of journalism, it seems like nothing is safe or sacred anymore when it comes to movies and the editorial-pressured culture of acquiring as many web hits in order to increase the amount of advertising dollars that can be charged to interested parties. This is normal but the pressure put on writers to write about every single bit of nonsense content is becoming more and more extreme to increase web traffic and page hits. And this isn't going away.

So what happens when someone signs an NDA and then turns his or her back on that contract and publishes some privy info? Well, you can bet the studio will most likely get pissed off and make a call to their lawyers to pursue legal action.

Granted I have not seen or read the details of this particular NDA but a potential breach happened with a piece of info that potentially spoils the ending of Avengers: Age of Ultron. I did not want to link to this info nor do I want to talk about it out of respect for Marvel and fans who don't want to know. Movie endings shouldn't be spoiled while still in production. EVER. I don't care what any editor says against my strong journalistic opinion on this topic.

Whether or not Disney or Marvel will act on this blatant leak of potential spoiler info remains to be seen, since it just happened last night. And maybe nothing happens with the removal of this leaked info which could mean it's false and not true. If this is the case, then why publish it at all? Especially if it means you'll never get a set visit invite again and possible legal action could be coming too.

Credibility is lacking in today's version of journalism. Not many will show the transparency needed in this online world of scoops and reports that were right and wrong. I do because I'm not one of the Big 3 trade websites like Deadline or Variety or TheWrap. So I need to keep things transparent with my accuracy to gain reader confidence. (Hence my Scoop Tracker here.)

No one is perfect when it comes to scoops and reports because sometimes things in a script change even the day before a scene is filmed. But to post a report spoiling the possible ending of Avengers: Age of Ultron is just plain stupid and a clear sign that today's journalism is not about credibility and integrity... it's about being a whore for web traffic.

Cue all the content farm websites who post anything and everything. You know who you are. I'm not here to tell other websites, editors or writers how to do their jobs and I have respect for the majority of the movie media outlets and their writers.

But what about the moviegoers and fans? Movies are supposed to be escapism and allow a person to step away from real life to enjoy a fantasy world for (give or take) two hours. When you post what could be the ending to one of 2015's biggest blockbusters, then you're not doing anyone a favor except for whomever owns the website and their wallet.

That's selfish and exactly why The Daily SuperHero is here to weed out all the nonsense and only give fans the updates you need to know. I'm not here to force feed you every spoilery bit of info to ruin movies for you. Some fans eat that up but that is only a small portion of the fan base population.

'Nuf said.






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