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The writer/director Albert Gonzalez was not pleased to discover that an ad by the gun control advocacy group Sandy Hook Promise copied his student film without attribution or payment. Here’s his statement, posted under his YouTube fisk:

This week I was sent an advertisement online that showcases what seems to me a direct copy of my 2011 short film “The Desk”. A film I wrote and directed while I was attending The Art Institute of Houston. I was not asked to borrow or given consent to the reproduction of my story and some scenes seem to be stolen shot by shot from my film. Watch the video and see for yourself.

This is not something out of ordinary though many filmmakers like me have our content stolen and reproduced all the time. Always take preventive measures to protect your media. Please share and post this video anywhere you see the advertisement on social media. This ad is also playing on cable tv. Reach out to BBDO New York about stealing my idea and The Sandy Hook Promise company.

I’m all for helping people and protecting everyone but my story was never suppose to be apart of their ad. I just want my story to be left as it is. Thank you.

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  1. That case is a little thin. All of the “stolen” scenes are also in basically every crummy melodrama that’s ever taken place in a high school.

  2. Those supposedly stolen scenes are what we in the business call “scenes”.

    Now, maybe the entire plot lines up verbatim, or their were other, more singular scenes that were copied, but if what I just watched is your whole case… dismissed.

    I don’t think you can even DO a film set in high school without shots of kids sadly closing their lockers and working out their angst on the furniture. Pretty sure that’s written in to both the SAG and DGA contracts.

    • Please, watch both “films” in their entirety. The orginal is less than eight minutes long and the SHP PSA is less than three minutes.

      It’s pretty obvious to me that SHP got their creative inspiration from Gonzalez’ film. Whether or not it’s a copyright violation in the legal sense, I don’t know.

  3. It looks like they both copied “Saved By the Bell,” except I didn’t see Mr. Belding. Maybe he was parked behind the school building with Screech (how do you think he got that nickname?).

  4. Next desk I see I’m gonna write “Albert Gonzalez eats his own stool.” Maybe I’ll write it on a stool. You don’t know.

  5. when I found this video on you tube I found it ironic that the comments for the video were closed. But it’s Sandyhook, thou shall not comment under that heading…Still can’t believe from this event guns are still evil; not the failed mental health care system that let that kid and his mom reach the point they did. And Why the hell did that lady think it was a good idea to combine a disturbed kid with guns in the same house? Lets store the black powder on top of the burning wood stove…. the school counselor just said I should spend more time with them…hello people, wake up america…

  6. So the accusation is Plagarism?

    I thought he was going to say they re-edited his video into a political advertisement, which would have been pure copyright violation.


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