Chop & Steele Legal Defense Fund

$25,805 of $80,000 goal

Raised by 689 people in 21 months
Hi, we're Joe and Nick from the Found Footage Festival and we need your help.  Last November and again in January, we appeared on local morning news shows as a strongman duo called Chop & Steele . We lifted cinder blocks, chopped sticks in half with our bare hands, and crushed baskets with our feet. And in March, we posted short snippets from some of these segments online, hoping to entertain and make a point about how easy it is to get on certain news programs who aren't doing basic fact checking. Then on April 13th, we found out in the New York Post that the parent company of one of the news stations, Gray Television, had filed a lawsuit against us in federal court, claiming copyright infringement, fraud, and conspiracy.

These claims are totally baseless and we've secured a great lawyer, Anderson Duff (that's his real name!), who's working well below his rate to take on these corporate bullies who are trying to suppress our criticism of the news. But even at discount rates, our legal bills are piling up and are expected to reach $100,000 by the end of the trial. We are confident we will win this important First Amendment case but we are suddenly faced with a very real possibility that we'll bankrupt ourselves in the process. In order to continue doing what we do and secure the future of the Found Footage Festival, we need to raise $80,000.

If you've enjoyed our live show or our news pranks or even How to Have Cybersex on the Internet , please chip in what you can. If we meet our goal, we promise to continue serving up the most unintentionally funny videos ever committed to VHS and calling out lazy news stations whenever possible. Maybe in the form of incompetent cat trainers, we'll see.

While you're getting out your pocketbooks, check out some of our previous pranks, like our friend Mark Proksch as troubled yo-yo expert Kenny "K-Strass" Strasser and culinary expert Chef Keith sprucing up holiday leftovers. At various stages of this fundraising campaign, we'll be posting never-before-seen clips from these and other pranks, so please share them and send friends to this page for more.

We never thought we'd say this, but watch this clip from The Talk. All of the women talk about how ridiculous the actions of the news corporation are and Sara Gilbert says we're out of shape. Must-see TV!

Thanks in advance for helping us at this critical stage in the future of the Found Footage Festival. If you have any questions,  feel free to hit us up at info@foundfootagefest.com. Otherwise, keep working those plaps and give thanks for strenths!

-Joe "Chop" Pickett & Nick "Steele" Prueher
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Vice News posted an in-depth story on the Chop & Steele lawsuit today. Nick is happy that his dog is in it. https://youtu.be/TzGDwSMcA_o
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Friends, the lawsuit is officially over. After almost a full year of Gray TV aggressively pursuing their losing cause, they finally wised up and settled. This is a big win for us. Gray TV was asking us to cover all of their legal fees, for us to make a public apology, and all sorts of other preposterous things and, because of your generous donations, we were able to hire a lawyer and stand up to
them. Every single dollar you donated went to pay our legal bills and keep us afloat over the past year. The lawsuit was dismissed "with prejudice," meaning it cannot be retried, and this sets an important precedent for others who want to point out the absurdity of the news, whether they're wearing Zubaz workout pants or not.

Joe and I cannot thank you enough for all your support over the past year. The Found Footage Festival would not have been able to continue if it weren't for your contributions, so from the bottom of our hearts, thanks. We talk about some of the highlights/lowlights from the lawsuit in the video but we are happy to answer any questions over info@foundfootagefest.com or Facebook as well. Vice News is also doing a piece on the whole thing this week, so stay tuned for an update on where to find that.

We are reinvigorated and will redouble our efforts to put news stations to the test in the dumbest way possible. Will a particularly incompetent cat trainer make the rounds on local stations later this year? Time will tell. In the meantime, thanks again and, as always, give thanks for strengths!

-Nick & Joe
Chop & Steele lawsuit update
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Just wanted to chime in with this article from Techdirt that gives a legal opinion about why the Chop & Steele lawsuit is patently ridiculous. We are more confident than ever we'll win the case and we're fighting it every step of the way. Thanks again for all your support!
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We continue to be amazed by your support. You'll be happy to know you're officially part of "The Dumbest First Amendment Battle of 2017" https://www.fastcompany.com/40442364/inside-the-dumbest-first-amendment-battle-of-2017
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$25,805 of $80,000 goal

Raised by 689 people in 21 months
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