Filmmaker BJ Davis threatens lawsuit over bad review

In case you haven’t heard, director and producer BJ Davis and his wife Julia Davis want to sue me over a negative review I wrote of the mob comedy Forget About It. Seriously. Despite BJ officially serving me “legal notice” through an e-mail, I still don’t know what I’m being sued over. The original e-mail sent to me by Julia Davis said, and I quote, “illegally using artwork to the feature film “Forget About It” and disseminating fraudulent, misleading and materially false information about the film in question.” For one, using artwork in a review would undoubtedly fall under fair use laws. Secondly, Allumination Filmworks likely owns the artwork used to promote Forget About It to U.S. DVD buyers. And third, court papers posted at Big Screen Entertainment’s website cast doubt on whether or not BJ Davis even owns the movie’s copyright at this point. The two claim that I didn’t watch Forget About It. I watched it. It wasn’t funny. It wasn’t horrible, but the script by Ms. Davis was. **SPOILER ALERT** The movie ends with the main character being drugged on a plane. There’s no way I would’ve known this without watching the movie. Additionally, seeing as how my review is the only one I’ve found of the film, I wouldn’t have been able to write the description contained in the review without having watched it.

What reasons do they give for me saying that I didn’t watch the movie? Well, the Incorrect Movie Database had Joanna Pacula listed as being in the movie. As a result I added her to the cast list and said she, along with folks like Richard Grieco and Phyllis Diller, did fine in the movie. Unfortunately she wasn’t in the movie. I listed her as being ‘fine’ because in a movie like Forget About It, if you don’t stick out and make me say, “You’re a bad actor,” then you’ve done fine for yourself. I assumed she had just faded into the background.

Just as I was about to finalize this and post it I received an e-mail from BJ Davis not marked as private to let me know what I was being sued over.

It has NOTHING to do with a “negative review” – all of us couldn’t care less about your opinions. It has EVERYTHING to do with you knowingly disseminating misinformation about the film – stating that it went “straight to video”, falsely claiming that actors “paychecks” had something to do with AZ tax deals, bashing our actors, commenting on “performances” by actors who were not even in the film, posting unpublished court orders, to include vacated court orders, illegally posting copyrighted material, linking to our websites without authorization, etc. You’ve completely misrepresented the facts. Seeing the caliber of “projects” featured on your website, you had no business even mentioning this film. You will be sued for libel, defamation of character, copyright violations and loss of income/profit from the commercial exploitation of the film, to name a few causes of action. Based on your commentary and the content of your websites, you’re obviously one of Paloma’s spammers. Your actions have been referred to authorities for further investigation.

http://www.pennystocksexposed.com/penny_stocks_exposed_067.htm

Remove your ramblings and harassing attacks, or be prepared to face legal consequences. Send me your address and/or contact information for your attorney.

Okay, let me see here.

– I never said the film went straight to video.
– I incorrectly said that Arizona gave the film tax breaks. That mistake was corrected within twelve hours of the review being posted.
– Bashing actors is not illegal, nor does BJ Davis have any right to sue on an actor’s behalf.
– Even if I said that Pauly Shore and Stephen Baldwin had cameos in the movie I would have been breaking no laws in doing that.
– I didn’t publish any court orders. I linked to court orders published on Big Screen Entertainment’s website, which means that they weren’t ‘unpublished.’
– I didn’t illegally post anything.
– Linking to your website without authorization? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH.

As you can see, he also accused me of being in bed with the lead actor of the film. I’ve never spoken to Michael Paloma before in my life. I pointed out in a previous post that he was convicted by the SEC for shady business dealings. Just so it’s clear, let me state on the record that Michael Paloma is a horrible actor.

So we’ve got libel, defamation of character, copyright violations, and loss of income/profit from the commercial exploitation of a movie that he alledgedly does not own the rights to.

What a joke. Please pass this around the blogosphere as much as you possibly can.

UPDATE: January 13th at 6:40 PM Eastern

I’ve been subpoenaed … Through e-mail.

http://www.yourvideostoreshelf.com
DMCA complaint
Copyright violations
Subpoena
Please be advised that on January 14, 2008 a subpoena is being issued in an ongoing federal litigation, requesting information pertaining to the website http://www.yourvideostoreshelf.com and its administrator, Gregory Conley (conley@yourvideostoreshelf.com, xxx xxxxxx Road, xxxxxxx, NJ xxxxx).

As we understand, the administrator of this website is acting on behalf of the group of recently-convicted individuals, in order to undermine the commercial potential of the feature film “Forget About It”.

http://www.yourvideostoreshelf.com previously exhibited artwork to the feature film “Forget About It” and disseminated fraudulent, misleading and materially false information about the film in question. In response to being forced to remove copyrighted content at issue, the same website now created a podium for harassment, where additional copyright violations are being committed by the same individual. Furthermore, this website posted “comments” under the name of BJ Davis, which were not authored or posted by BJ Davis. Gregory Conley is obviously engaging in fraud and acting as an imposter, which will result in the most serious legal ramifications for his actions.

This notice serves as a formal DMCA notice, demanding an immediate removal of the website in question, as its owner is engaged in privacy violations, direct and vicarious copyright infringement, harassment, libel, defamation of character and interference with commercial exploitation of the feature film “Forget About It”.

This is a formal DMCA complaint as to the content contained under the following link:

http://www.yourvideostoreshelf.com/index.php/20080113/ohhh-no-lawsuit-threat/#comment-14664

The website is now re-posting copyrighted content from http://www.bigscreenent.com, using unpublished and vacated court orders, re-posting private e-mail communications, linking to other websites without any authorization to do so, engaging in libel, slander and defamation of character – all of which is actionable and subject to injunctive relief, monetary sanctions and liability. Big Screen Entertainment Group and its representatives have been informed of these violations, support this DMCA complaint and will be issuing an independent subpoena to obtain records pertaining to this individual.

Please be advised that these subpoenas will be served on your legal department. We will consider Gregory Conley served with a formal, legal notice of the same, as he is being added to the ongoing litigation as the Defendant, with additional litigation to be commenced shortly. Please ensure that the offending content is immediately removed. This individual is not a “film critic”, his postings contain materially false information, violate copyright laws and will subject everyone affiliated with this website’s operation to strict liability.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
Julia Davis
Screenwriter
“Forget About It”
cc: Big Screen Entertainment Group

First off, Davis is accusing me of acting on the behalf of a “group of recently-convicted individuals, in order to undermine the commercial potential” of Forget About It. Yes, this website, all 850 or so reviews, all the news upates, all the podcasts, it’s all a front. This is all one giant fraud that I began to perpetrate several years before Forget About It went into production just so I could screw with BJ and Julia Davis. They got me.

Upate: January 13th at 10:30 PM

In his “subpoena,” BJ Davis said this – “Furthermore, this website posted “comments” under the name of BJ Davis, which were not authored or posted by BJ Davis.” Whether or not I believe Davis’ claim is unimportant. I’m going to delete the comments that are specifically said to have come from BJ Davis. You can see these comments here and here. Please keep in mind that BJ Davis claims he DID NOT write these posts, and by reposting them I am in no way saying that he did.

BJ and I have continued to exchange e-mails during the past few hours. He has continued to say that my review was some sort of plot between myself and Michael Paloma, the star of the film. Again, I have never talked to Paloma, and he’s a horrible actor. Still BJ contends…

Who else would have this much interest in bashing the film? Only Paloma and his crew.

Imagine how many conspiracy letters BJ would’ve had to send out if Forget About It was released theatrically and the Eberts of the world got a chance to review it.

He soon followed that up with this…

It’s not just about that. Your website specifically states that it contains reviews ONLY for straight-to-video films. Why did FAI end up on that website AT ALL? It was theatrically released and won the Best Picture award. Furthermore, what you’re “critiquing” is not even my cut of the film, so you’re sorely mistaking by thinking I’m taking your “review” personally. I don’t see why – unless you’re connected to Paloma – this film would be given this much attention on the website that handles an entirely different caliber of “projects”. You’re acting as if you’re obsessed with this film. With what you’re doing right now, you’re only confirming my opinion that there’s something more to this than just a “review”. Your actions are clearly malicious and intentional.

Forget About It is not the first film that was released in a few theaters to get reviewed on this site. One look at my review archives will prove that. Again, BJ accuses me of being connected to Paloma. I only gave the film special attention when I was THREATENED WITH A LAWSUIT. I don’t know why this needs to be explained six times.

Update: January 13 at 11:20 PM

The e-mails continue.

“Forget About It” should have never been mentioned on your website, that by its own description handles only straight-to-video films. None of the substandard homemade movies on your website come close to FAI. You are continuing to show an unhealthy interest in the film that is far beyond anything you’ve “reviewed” on your website – and as close as you’ll ever get to real film stars. Your review didn’t just have a “couple of mistakes” – it does not contain anything other than complete misrepresentations. Demonstrating the real source of your interest, Paloma was listed in front of real stars of the film, you referred to him as “the actual star of the film” and wondered why his photograph was not used in the artwork. There is not one sane person in this world who, after seeing the film, would make these comments. Your phony “review” is nothing but fraud. You falsely claim that all three retirees are “ex-military”. That’s completely wrong. You claim the mobster is being “hunted down” by “several people” to “collect HE bounty” – that’s wrong. You didn’t even know how to spell the name of an Academy Award nominee Charles Durning – and you claim to have something to do with the entertainment industry? You state that Raquel Welch’s character could have been written out of the script, when her part is central to the plot of the movie. Could the REAL reason behind your comment be the fact that she would not talk to Paloma on the set? You mentioned Joanna Pacula – who is not in the movie at all, as well as the number of Producers, which does not correspond with actual film credits. You claimed that the production company “scored some breaks courtesy of the Arizona government”, which was a lie. You claimed that BSEG principals “gave themselves roles in the film” – while in reality BSEG did not exist until AFTER the film was completed. It’s blatantly obvious that you never watched “Forget About It” and your information comes from http://www.imdb.com and Paloma. If you’re looking for some publicity at our expense, you won’t like it when it comes your way. We’ll make sure to expose your phony “reviews” for what they REALLY are. First Amendment protects the freedom of speech – it doesn’t give you the right to lie. Whether you’re 20, 24 or 104, broke or filthy rich does not make any difference – you are still liable for your actions, fraud, misrepresentations and copyright violations. You only think it’s a joke. It’s not. This is not the first time Paloma had someone write a phony review. Join the club. I would strongly advise you to get an attorney. Everything you have done after receiving our legal notices (which you acknowledge in writing on your website) is actionable.

Yes, apparently Forget About It was budgeted higher than movies like the American Pie sequels and the various Steven Seagal movies that have been sent to the video market.

Again, my “unhealthy interest” in the movie stems directly from being threatened with a lawsuit. BJ continues to say that I am in cahoots with Michael Paloma. I have never met, spoken to, or communicated through sign language with Mr. Paloma.

The rest of the e-mail is barely worth responding to. There’s a scene outside a strip club where some bikers back off the retirees because one of them realizes that they (or at least Reynolds) is a military man. Paloma’s character in the movie is no doubt being hunted down by at least four people; two mobsters and two FBI agents. I’ll admit that I’m guilty of spelling some words wrong, which is apparently a sueable offense now. The crack about the tax breaks from the Arizona government was removed about 12 hours or so after being informed I was incorrect. Same with Pacula’s name being on the cast list. Nothing I did was malicious and BJ is continuing to show his immaturity in this whole matter.

I would absolutely love it if BJ would go through all the reviews in the archives and tell me which films I did and did not watch. He can also point out any grammatical errors I may have made. It would be a big help to me.

Update: January 14 at 3:10 PM

This story has erupted in the blogosphere thanks to a posting on Digg. Nearly ten thousand people have read about this, with many sending along happy comments. Of course, there have also been, as BJ called me, the spammers (posting from an IP address that is very, very familiar). There is some great genius with the username “Conley Sucks” who tried to post the same angry comment four or five times. He’s doing it again as I type this under two different names. Just so you know, whoever you are, all comments get approved by me to prevent actual spam from coming through, so good luck making extra posts.

BJ and I continued to trade blows last night. After pointing out again that I have nothing to do with Michael Paloa I specifically asked him this…

Also, and please answer this question directly.

Would I have an “unhealthy interest” in the movie if I wasn’t being threatened with a lawsuit? You seem to have an unhealthy interest in me.

He didn’t answer the question, but he did say this (only including the end of this e-mail)

Quit bothering me with this nonsense. Keep “reviewing” the shlock you usually handle. From what I hear, spamming is what you actually do for living. We’ll get to talk about all of this in a proper legal venue.

I reply back (partial e-mail)…

I love schlock. At least it’s better than FORGET ABOUT IT.

His reply…

Only ONE of them is ex-military – your phony “review” said ALL THREE of them were. You didn’t realize what Raquel’s part was, other than “drugging” the mobster? What are you smoking? As I said before, I’m not interested in your opinions, as you are not a film professional, not a professional journalist and not a writer, either. I’ve been told you’re just a spammer – nothing else. I couldn’t care less what you think about the film – but since you chose to lie and publicly disseminate your misrepresentations, your actions WILL be addressed.

Now, buzz off.

My reply…

The mere fact that I knew one of the was ex-military, and the situation in which it is addressed, would suggest that I did watch the movie. I didn’t watch the movie while I furiously scribbled notes, but I watched the movie.

What does it mean in your head to be a spammer? I’m kind of curious.

And again, you never addressed the question of whether or not I’d have an “unhealthy obsession”: with the movie if I wasn’t threatened with a lawsuit.

Now, buzz off.

Greg

His FINAL reply…

I don’t have any more time for your nonsense – your communications are being deleted without being read. We’ll talk about all of your fraud in court.

I thought it was over for the time being. But look at who e-mail me this morning …. MICHAEL PALOMA! Or at least someone pretending to be Michael Pamola.

Let me again say that I do not know if this is the real Michael Paloma or not. I would ask BJ Davis to confirm his e-mail address for me, but that bridge in the industry may be burned to the ground at this point.

Bash B.J. – bash him, pal. No one knows this is not his cut – ruin his career, buddy! Good job! Loving every minute of it! You’re awesome! Luv ya, palzy walzy!

Do a more detailed review and really bash B.J. in – no one needs to know this is not his cut. LMAO – this is osom! Just really finish him off. They’re all ungrateful bunch of H’wood weirdoes, run them into the ground. Good job, pal! Go get em! Loving it and laughing all the way.

Paloma, of course, was convicted in August by the SEC for participating in a stock manipulation scheme. He was supposed to be sentenced by now. Can any investigators find out if Paloma is actually in jail right now? He was sentenced under the name Michael Saquella.

Update: January 14 at 4:10 PM

I sent Michael Paloma this e-mail…

Mike,

Nice to hear from the man I’ve been in cahoots with for the past several years.

Have you been sentenced yet?

He replied back…

I love this industry.

Update: January 14 at 5:30 PM

Stephen Eckelberry, the President of Production at Big Screen Entertainment, has agreed to go on the record with the following comments about the ordeal. It explains some of BJ Davis’ behavior over the past 24 hours. It’s important that I note that the current administration at Big Screen is NOT connected to BJ Davis, so aside from having a funny name, they have done nothing wrong in this ordeal.

To BJ and Julia’s defense (which is amazing all in itself) Michael Paloma did indeed have a fake reviewer awhile back give the film a “review” after realizing he had been voiced over. The reviewer called himself “Chuck Banks” and created an elaborate website pretending to be a legit reviewer. Including having all sorts of reviews of other movies on the site. We found out through obtaining records and credit card receipts, it was all fake and we now know the guy who Paloma hired to set it all up.

When BJ, Julia and a few of us here saw similar patterns in your review such as “Joanna Pacula was good in the film,” who as it is wasn’t in movie, and a few other glaring mistakes, particularly asking that Michael Paloma be put on the box art. Back story on that — Paloma had made his own poster for the film putting himself in front of the stars. It was up on IMDB and a few other places, we had to get it removed.

So questioning your connection to Mr. Paloma was not out of left field as it at first may seem. Particularly with listing him first, above the stars, in the review.

Michael Paloma, just as he did in the movie, absconded with all the post production investor’s money ($900,000) for finishing the film. We all had to scramble to come up with post and pick up shot funding. It’s been tough as any filmmaker can tell you that’s ever had all their monies ripped off by someone on the production. That we were finally able to complete this film has been a feat unto itself.

Unfortunately, Michael Paloma not only attempted to ruin our company with his theft of shareholder money, but he compromised this film by not giving us as filmmakers the opportunity to finish the film as it properly should have been. He instead made his own movie with the post funds called “Blue Lake Massacre” which he stars in, as well as buying a flower shop “Run Florist Run,” a restaurant and getting plastic surgery to boot. That is where our investors money ended up. Good times.

The whole experience has been surreal. I would say, cut the Davis’ some slack. They have a right to be a wee bit sensitive.

As a footnote: Michael Paloma will be sentenced February 1, 2008 in Virginia for his involvement in Securities Fraud. We are listed as one of his victims. He’s looking at 10 years. We’re hoping on filming it –

While I take issue with my call for the main character of the movie to be on the film’s box art being called a “glaring mistake,” I appreciate the information. This doesn’t excuse 1/10 of what I’ve recorded on this page, but it explains the motives behind the threats.

read more | digg story

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One response to “Filmmaker BJ Davis threatens lawsuit over bad review

  1. Such BS. There’s no lawsuit threat, nor was there ever one. Stupid Gregory Conley doesn’t know the difference between getting Summons vs. Subpoena. He should quit lying in those phony ass homemade “reviews” of his and trying to get traffic to his lousy website at the expense of real filmmakers. He’s such a pitiful joke.

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