Common sense is obviously absent in the courtroom these days. For that matter its absent in much of every day life. Regardless, my buddy Joe Stevens, who holds the unofficial, yet very productive title of "Mouth of the South, Southeast and Mid Atlantic for all things ski and snowboard related" sent me some news that I just had to research and share. The first was a news story that relates to the recent legal battles that Warren Miller has been going through. In case some of you guys don’t know who Warren Miller is – he’s the "Mouth of the World" in terms of promoting skiing and snowboarding, particularly via video on all of the sports stations of the world. If you’ve ever watched a film that is showing some crazy, death-defying skiing or boarding off the side of a mountain, with guys and gals flipping 37 times and landing on their feet while dodging jutting rocks on the side of a mountain – it was probably one of Warren Miller’s films.
Recently Warren Miller released statements addressing the recently completed legal action that his former company, Warren Miller Entertainment took against him, according to published reports. He also announced the re-launch of the Warren Miller Company, an organization representing his professional and philanthropic interests initially established two decades ago.
An arbitration panel based in Colorado has now denied WME’s claim for breach of contract against Miller, as WME could not prove that Miller’s appearance in the Level 1 Productions film, "Refresh", caused any harm to WME. The panel reaffirmed that WME owns the rights to Miller’s name as it pertains to ski films and magazines, but nothing else.
Miller was recently quoted, “As most of you can imagine, I greatly prefer spending time on a snowy mountain to being stuck defending myself in arbitration, but it was worth standing up for what is right and I am glad the panel found that I did not breach any contract,” said Warren Miller. “For WME to say or imply that they have exclusive rights to my name, personal endorsement, voice, and likeness for all endeavors is both legally false and totally absurd. I have not been involved with my old company’s films in any capacity for many years now and I will not work with WME again.”
So if we’re reading all this correctly – Warren Miller will never work with Warren Miller Entertainment again. That said I guess its safe to say that he’ll still entertain us but through the re-launch of Warren Miller Company that was around twenty years ago, but kind of went away when Warren Miller Entertainment was handling things. However Warren Miller hasn’t worked with Warren Miller Entertainment in a few years and will now be doing his own thing – which is pretty much the SAME thing that he’s always been doing but with Warren Miller Company.
Whew! If that’s not confusing, here’s more…
“Now that the arbitration panel has reiterated that Warren is free to use his own name, likeness, voice, and brand in anything outside of ski movies, we are renewing and accelerating development of several ground-breaking projects within the ski industry and beyond,” said Colin Kaufmann, Warren Miller Company CEO. “While it is unfortunate for Warren and for his fans that he will be unable to participate in ski films for the foreseeable future, we are excited to move forward with Warren to re-connect with many generations of friends and fans to foster his genuine legacy.”
Okay, so maybe Warren Miller ISN’T actually going to be IN the films or "participate" with them, his company is…and get this – by publicly launching "An Evening WITH Warren Miller".
Are you guys getting this? Anyone else confused?
It seems that now that the arbitration process is complete, one of the projects soon to be publicly launched is ‘An Evening with Warren Miller,’ a touring event in which Warren will personally re-connect with audiences in select US cities through an open discussion about his uniquely entertaining life experiences followed by Q&A.
Okay. I think I’ve got it now. He’s not going to be doing films but actually going around talking about his films and experiences and answering questions. Anyone ready to pay for that?
On the flip side, Warren Miller Entertainment is promoting the release of their 61st film, "Wintervention" which from what we all just read isn’t something that Warren Miller had anything to do with…kind of. By the way Warren Miller’s website which Warren Miller Company promotes as THE OFFICIAL Warren Miller website is www.WarrenMiller.net which weirdly enough only has a photo of him from about 112 years ago when he was a 20-something. Evidently he can’t even show himself on his own website or so it appears. That said, I was going to research and pop a photo of him on this story, but HECK I don’t any trouble from EITHER ONE of the Warren Miller’s – whichever one is actually Warren Miller. Of course NOW we know that they both are, kind of.
“I am reinvigorated and flattered by the outpouring of support from skiers and friends all over the world and can’t wait to see everyone again,” said Miller. “I am excited about the future, especially now that ski season is just around the corner.”
Okay – on THAT we can agree.