William V Aguiar III sues Ashida Kim and Floyd Webb
Aguiar v. Webb et al
Plaintiff: William V. Aguiar, III Defendant: Floyd Webb, Barron Sheppard, Wendy Sheppard and Ashida Kim Case Number: 1:2007cv11673 Filed: September 7, 2007 Court: Massachusetts District Court Office: Boston Office [ Court Info ] County: Bristol Presiding Judge: Chief Judge Mark L. Wolf Nature of Suit: Intellectual Property - Copyrights Cause: 17:101 Copyright Infringement Jurisdiction: Federal Question Jury Demanded By: None Access additional case information on PACER
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The Search for Count Dante will be complete Dec. 2007
My name is Floyd Webb and I am producer of the film, The Search for Count Dante. I state my identity now as Mr. Creeden has been known to use my name to post to other boards and make use of his obsessively gay humour.
He is truly a twisted individual as you have no doubt witnessed during his tenure on Bullshido. He gives new meaning to the whole concept.
I am posting this for clarification of the issue from my point of view and to counter Mr Creedens attempts at creating disorder so he can become part of it.
This matter will not be settled on the internet. It will be resolved in court. Their rights to power of attorney to claim ownership over the estate and intellectual property rights of John Timothy Keehan aka Juan Raphael Dante, will be proven or disproven for once and for all.
It is surprising that they have chosen to go to court instead of just producing their power of attorney to my counsel and been done with it. To the best of my knowledge the images I have are available to use in my film under Fair Use law. Nothing I have has been supplied to me by Aguiar. He has never responded to my request for a visual catalog of images he supposedly owns. I am acquiring images of Keehan from people who knew him personally over 50 years of history of martial arts. I am also using images from the original book by Count Dante that was copyrighted in 1968, no images from the Fall River edition of World's Deadliest Fighting Secrets.
This is the issue, proof of power of attorney in order to indemnify myself against all other claims that others may produce once I have made any financial deal, if any, with the Fall River Black Dragon Fighting Society. I no longer have any interest in doing any business with them at all.
No amount of frivilous lawsuits that have nothing to do with the telling of this story of the life of John Timothy Keehan/Count Dante is going to stop the film from being made. The suit in federal court means nothing to the making of the film.
As I have already said, I requested a visual catalog of images the BDFS from their lawyer for two years and have never received a reply to my request. I offered to pay market value for the use of any archival materials I deemed usuable and the reply was that Aguiar wanted to be paid a fee for an interview and $10,000 to look at his archive. Totally unreasonable. I found this especially tiring as Aguiar III has no first hand knowledge of Dante and claims the legacy solely as an inheritance. The father, Aguiar, Jr, latched onto Dante when he was in a decline after the 1970 Dojo War with the Green Dragon Society in which the death of Jim Konsevic occured.
In my research I have obtained photos from private collections of John Keehan/Dante's contemporaries and students. Few of them have any first hand knowledge of the Fall River crew. Dante was involved with them after his star faded in Chicago. Yet Aguiar III wants to lay claim to all things Dante. He has a history of shutting down one websites, Ashida Kims. He had mine shut down but it was determined, with the assistance of legal counsel, that I was not infringing based upon, fair use copyright law. My site is back up at http://thesearchforcountdante.com
John Creeden, working for Bill Aguiar III, had my trailers for the film removed from YouTube along with other film fooatge he has absolutle nothing to do with, footage shot by a local Chicago filmmaker in 1964. Long before there was any association with Fall River. My footage has been restored to YouTube after my attorney dealt explained the situation to them,
Aguiar III trolls the internet seeking anyone who makes use of images of Count Dante and pounces on them with offcial looking paperwork generated by an attorney who does not answer email and seldom returns phone calls. These are scare tactics to shake a mythological money tree that they think belongs to them.
Aguiar III is attempting to claim ownership over images I am using. I want to verify not his holding of copyrights and trademarks over these images, but his legal power of attorney to do so. Some of these image may have been "work-for-hire" and not photographic buy outs and are most likely still owned by the photographers. Soe of the images may eblong to some of my sources here in Chicago. We will discover this in court now.
His associate John Creeden has sold film footage of John Keehan/Dante to my business associate, recieved $1000.00 with a verbal agreement for all rights (fooolish on the part of both parties) and then charged him with copyright infringement because the footage showed up on YouTube associated with Ashida Kim.
Mr Creeden brags that he scammed my associate rightfully. That will have to be resolved in court. Mr Creeden is not associated with the Aguiar suit and is not a business partner of Mr Aguiar. Creeden is clearly a scamming agitator who seeks to merely create confusion. Mr Creeden attempted to go into business with my associate and then angered him by changing their initial deal after he had recieved a deposit for footage that was being bought sight unseen, footage that he shot off a TV screen from his good buddies DVD. Paying him monies upfront was good-hearted and well intentioned act on the part of my associate, but extremely unwise.
I claim the right to use images of John Keehan/Dante in my film under the laws of Fair Use for Documentary film. I have been engaged as a client of the program.
I am not involved in a martial arts school nor I am involved in starting one.
All the Keehan family members I have located know nothing of the Aguiars or of any circumstances in which they have power of attorney over the intellectual property right and estate of John Keehan.
Mr Creeden is a sad man with way too much time on him hands and who is a very bad advisor for William Aguiar, III. I find it interesting that the Black Dragon Fighting Society of Fall River only comes alive to hate Ashida Kim or to attempt to collect monies on the legacy of John Keehan while they have failed to create a martial arts legacy of their own.
All that being said, the film becomes more interesting with an added element of absurd humor as I roll out the characters of the last days of John Keehan who went from being a martial arts superstar in Chicago in the 1960s, to his fall into Fall River and death in 1975 after masterminding a 4 million dollar vault robbery.
The Search for Count Dante