Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Marineland Animal Defense Leader Dylan Powell Called "Scum" for Video Theft

It is unfortunate when you become almost as bad as the force you are opposing. Case in point - Marineland Animal Defense, or rather the leadership of M.A.D. continues to choose to act in completely unethical ways. Recently questions have been raised regarding M.A.D.'s sketchy fundraising, misrepresenting legal directives and the unauthorized co-opting of celebrity's names and brands. You can now also add the illegal use of photos and videos belonging to other people to Marineland Animal Defense's repertoire.

On Monday M.A.D. unveiled a much ballyhooed announcement which was a video in what they called the first in their series of ending wild capture "commercials". The video featured kayakers out at sea encountering wild orcas. The video prominently featured M.A.D.'s logo, branding and website URL and an anti captivity message. Problem was M.A.D. did not own the video, did not credit the owner and then passed it off as their own production.

The original video (shown here) was uploaded to YouTube by Michael Kundu and shot by his wife. Kundu who is a supporter of Project Seawolf, a real non profit organization that protects whales in the wild, caught wind of M.A.D.'s unauthorized use of the video and was none too pleased. He posted this on the Marineland Animal Defense Facebook page,  directed at leader Dylan Powell:

"Hello Dylan - as you know, this is my video, filmed by my wife, which you have stolen and which you are violating and claiming as your footage in this PSA. You are being unethical, and frankly, acting like the kind of scum who steals other's work for their own benefit. Hopefully some of your friends will see this message before you take it down. Our footage is designed to promote - an actual non-profit group that does non-salaried work to protect whales in the wild. Thanks for giving us a benchmark to compare ourselves to.

Michael Kundu - Project SeaWolf Coastal Protection"

Shortly thereafter the video was removed by Marineland Animal Defense AND Kundu's comments were also deleted from the Facebook page as often any dissenting or critical comments are.

Recently M.A.D. leader Dylan Powell submitted an article on Greenpeace's blog discussing Marineland's move to use SLAPP suits against their critics. This photo of Powell was submitted by M.A.D. and claimed it as theirs without holding the copyright or permission to use the image. Greenpeace removed the photo and replaced it with a graphic. Powell continues to use the image without permission on his own personal website, the M.A.D. website and others.

Seems Marineland Animal Defense is becoming a lot like the park they swore to oppose. Lying, stealing, cheating & smearing is not how to run an effective campaign. Many former supporters are beginning to speak out against what seems to be emerging as a cult like atmosphere amongst M.A.D.'s leadership which has driven the campaign into a wall. One former donor to M.A.D. called it "one man's desire for a stage rather than an ethical, smart and effective campaign to oppose marine mammal captivity at Marineland."

As closing day approaches for Marineland it does seem that Marineland Animal Defense is more interested in making waves for their own attention and benefit rather than making actual progress.  Is it time for a change?

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