Netflix vs USA: Space Race to copyright

George Bell updates us on the recent legal developments of Netflix's Space Force

George Bell
11th June 2020
Credit: Netflix, Youtube
One of the more recent and widely anticipated Netflix original series, Space Force, recently became available to stream but to a mostly lukewarm reception. Safe to say the show didn’t go down as well as many were expecting.

But what did more or less go down as expected is the response from the US government on the new Steven Carrel led show. They aren’t fans, to say the least. The US government might be trying to take Netflix to court over the copyright for Space Force. And what’s better? It is looking like Netflix might actually win.

Credit: Youtube, ABC News

President Donald Trump first announced the new branch of the US military on December 20th, 2019, and not even a few months after, Netflix announced a new comedy show, Space Force. So, with one of these coming before the other you would expect the US government to hold the rights, right? Apparently not, as Netflix has been a lot more proactive than the US at securing the Space Force trademark internationally (from the US) in places like Europe and Mexico. Within America, the air force doesn’t even own the rights as of yet, as all they have is a pending application for registration within the US.

Outside of the United States, it seems the law is on the side of the streaming service

However, it should be noted that copyright does tend to work differently in America than it does elsewhere, like in the UK. For us, it is important whoever filed the intent to trademark first, whereas in the US it is based more on whoever was the first to actually use the trademark in commerce. Outside of the United States, it seems the law is on the side of the streaming service, whereas within America it appears that the law is on the side of the government (shocking, I know).

Credit: Netflix, Youtube

Thus far however it does not seem like the US government holds ill will towards Netflix and its new show. They also went as far as to wish Netflix good fortune in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, where they said that “We Wish Netflix and the show’s producers the best in their creative depiction of our nation’s newest branch of military”. Who knows what the future of the Space Force show will hold, as it could be forced to cancel or change its name for whatever legal issues if they ever arise. I for one, have no clue.

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AUTHOR: George Bell
One half film addict, one part computer nerd. All parts Croc lover

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