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Homemade 'Hunger Games' back online

Charlotte teens’ video version of popular story had been partly removed from YouTube

By Steven Brown
sbrown@charlotteobserver.com

For a group of Charlotte teenagers who made their own “Hunger Games” movie, the games have resumed.

Their film, which has been on YouTube since last fall, is available in-full again after the site took part of it down over the weekend. The maker of the blockbuster Hollywood version, Alliance Films, had claimed it violated their copyright.

The young filmmakers, students at Charlotte Country Day School, were threatened with banishment from YouTube if they didn’t remove all offending material, said Eddie Mansius, a member of the group. It wasn’t clear to them what the violation was, Mansius said. They wrote YouTube and the filmmakers Sunday, asking “what can we do to fix it?”

They hadn’t received a response by Tuesday afternoon, Mansius said. But a New York Times reporter contacted both the teens and the Lionsgate studio Monday, Mansius said. The reporter told the students that Lionsgate officials said the video was taken down mistakenly, according to Mansius. Lionsgate has not responded to the Observer’s request for comments.

The flap about the student film – whose seven parts have totaled more than 1 million views – was “a learning experience,” Mansius said.

“It taught me that you can’t act too rashly at first” in a dispute, he said.

“You need to just contact them, do the best you can, and leave it at that.”

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