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Postby scrapbookdi » Thu Apr 05, 2007 6:49 am

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Yes, I was in Chicago and when we initially got to line up at Navy Pier we were in a protected area. Half an hour before we were to be let into the building, the moved us all around to the other side of the building on the walkway along Lake Michigan. They took us in groups of about 50 to get us in line. Instead of letting us go back where we started, they made us stay out there in the wind and then the rain. I was lucky to be towards the front of the line and I had my inventions in a water-proof nylon case that I made.

Postby Aim4dreams » Sat Apr 07, 2007 2:12 pm

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RSpace - I just wanted to tell you that I thought you had some very good points in regart to the Consent and Release Form.

FYI to all of you out there - I am no longer going to attent the Audition for American Inventor no matter when or where. I obviously had some concerns on the legal side, but when they posted that the date and location for Orlando was "To Be Determined" and as of today, there is still no info on this - What does that tell you about them???? What kind of ethics do they have? As far as I'm concerned, they don't have any. No, I don't believe they are out to steal someones invention, but they obviously don't give a blank about all of us who have spent hours of time getting ready for this, not to mention the money spent for all the travel arrangements. I now believe this was not meant to be for me because I do have to much time and money into my invention to chance the American Inventor Show and I think everyone out there who has a lot invested in there invention should also think twice about it. I am still going to Orlando, but now for a vacation because of the money I spent. I will be out there from 4/8/07 to 4/12/07. Anyone still going to Orlando for the same reason? It would be nice to hook up. Let me know. GOOD LUCK TO All OF YOU THAT ARE STILL GOING TO AUDITION. I am curious to see, down the road, what the press will be writing about on this and what American Inventor"s responses will be.

Postby Road Show » Sat Apr 07, 2007 5:23 pm

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You started this thread because you had some concerns over the legal issues regarding the copious release clauses that protect the show from would-be litigants. I believe that AI is forced to create this lengthy legal document despite their true intentions to help inventors who "fit their criteria" (no, it is NOT about the individual inventions...it is about good TV). No matter how "pure" their intentions, someone will find a way to legally sue them for some alledged transgression or other. So the individual inventor is left to their own valuation of what has been put on the table by AI, and I don't think the risk/reward equation favors the inventor; that is why I will never participate.

Just a couple of comments about the show's ethics: the issue of the Orlando venuen date changes only tells ME that something occured that was beyond their control...nothing more, nothing less. They may have no alternative, and they may end up cancelling the venue. This logistical sort of hiccup happens in EVERY type of business, and all I can assume from your assumption that it paints the show as 'unethical' is that you had such high expectations that were shattered that your bitterness has skewed your thinking. The second comment I'd like to make has to do with Januz, the season 1 winner. I don't recall the show ever saying that his daughter (the one that died in a car accident) was an infant/toddler when she died...it was just phrased in a way that viewers would assume that the 'child' was lost due to an inadequate infant car seat. To me this is WORSE than the lie...it's manipulation. If you communicate a message that you know will likely be misinterpreted, and then expect to 'hide' behind the thin veil of a technicality, then you are taking advantage of a natural human inclination to trust what you believe to be the "truth". This is the lowest form of unethical behavior in my opinion.

That's it for now....good luck pursuing your dreams A4D!


Postby RSpace » Sun Apr 08, 2007 10:24 am

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Dear Aim4dreams: I am going to disagree with our friend Road Show about you exhibiting “bitternessâ€

Postby 5rocks » Sun Apr 08, 2007 11:13 am

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People. I don't know how much more clearer I can make it. I have posted several dozen times and actually was lurking and writing anonymously early last year when this site started as a blog. It is a show, made for t.v. To a point, they(the producers)are "winging-it" as they go. ABC does not want your invention. They want your story! They want your emotion! They want drama! Fremantle knows that the viewing public loves controversy. This is why they continually show bad singers on American Idol year after year. WE WATCH AND IT GIVES THEM RATINGS WHICH MAKES THEIR ADVERTISERS HAPPY! Often times I will write in my messages that I was in the top 24. I am not writing this to brag. I am simply letting people know this so it helps make them at ease with my comments. I speak fact when I write about the show. I am not bitter, although I was while the show aired last year. We went through the audition, the lengthy contracts, traveling to L.A., being away from family and work, being scared as hell meeting Simon Cowell and seeing him off to the side when going in front of the cameras and judges. If you win, you will give up the right to sell your product unless it is through ABC. They have the first right of refusal for making sales deals. If the contract scares you, it should. ABC wants to recoup some of their production costs which is why they wanted to "possibly" sell the top 12 inventions from last year. Everyone was released after 3 months last year, not a year. Why? Because ABC was not interested in the finalists' pruducts. You should have seen some of the other inventions that didn't even make the top 100. There was some truly amazing stuff. Some of those inventors with really neat inventions were not very good in front of the camera. You figure out the rest. Here is my story. My wife and I auditioned in Chicago for last year's show. Daniel Soiseth was who we pitched to. He was the co-executive producer from last year's show. We knew right away that we were "going to Hollywood" They loved us because we work well together. My actual business partner was not at the audition although he had to fill out all of the paperwork in case he wanted to go to L.A. if we made it that far. I mean, who actually makes it that far right? My wife was only with me as an assistant. When I got the call to go to L.A. the casting director that called me said, "We would love for you and your wife to come to Hollywood". I told her that my wife was only listed as an assistant and that my business partner would be coming with me. She sounded puzzled and said, "But you are the husband and wife team we want for the show". I didn't realize what that meant until later. THEY WANTED MY WIFE AND I TO BE THE HUSBAND AND WIFE DEMOGRAPHIC FOR THE SHOW. This was later confirmed by an insider from the production staff. Look at the top 12 finalists. Look at the top 24 finalists. It was a very diverse group. If you want to do the show, go for it. But, remember these things.

-You are not guaranteed to be shown on t.v. no matter how far you advance

-A contract is a contract. If you make the finals you may lose the right to sell your product by yourself

-This is public disclosure like no other. Protect your interests.

-You may be embarassed on national television for the sake of a laugh

-You may get just enough exposure to get your product on shelves all across America which is why we are all doing this in the first place.

-As far as Orlando goes, who know. You may recall that last year Austin was totally dropped from the audition schedule. Maybe they don't need Orlando?

Pat Rock


Postby DaddyMathis » Sun Apr 08, 2007 11:32 am

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I'm not really sure where the debate about A.I.'s intentions started, but I don't think they misrepresented themselves. The show never claimed to be an avenue for all inventors to get their products to the market. It's about making one inventors' dream come true by winning a million dollars...and maybe highlighting some aspects of the process along the way. If you're only interested in the "real life" struggles and process of inventing, you go to Everyday Edisons or How It's Made. If you want a shot at $1Million, you try out for American Inventor. One isn't better than the other, they're just different. Sure, the contract may be more favorable for an inventor on another show, but does that make the show better?

Let's face it, the general public will not be interested in a more realistic show enough to make it a primetime hit. A.I. can afford to offer the $1Million dollar prize (advance) because they know how to make people watch the show. It's all about the money. Everyone's bashing the show because it's not realistic, or it's not fair, or because they didn't make it!!!

This is from the A.I. page:
An embodiment of the ultimate American dream, the show will uncover the hottest new retail product and make a struggling inventor’s dream come true.

If it were up to some people, I think it would read:
An embodiment of politically correct realistic goals, the show will let every so-called inventor with half an idea get free media exposure in a non-dramatic exhaustive look at the process of inventing.

Come on, who would watch that? That version would probably come on at 8:30am on Saturdays. Meaning the top prize would be something like a 30 second commercial and a weekend in Palm Springs...the revenue just wouldn't be there.

I was irritated when they cancelled the Orlando auditions too. I lost money on that one. But the producers of this show don't owe us anything. Just say the terms may not be favorable if you don't win, and leave it at that.

It's a big risk...we get it.

Postby Boom Man » Tue Apr 17, 2007 11:39 pm

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Actually, I am going to make the challenge that the contract signed is null and void on several grounds including but not limited to the fact that this operation "American Inventor" is brought about with deceptive and misleading business practices. For one thing, the advertisements consistently imply that the inventor that has the invention most likely to sell the most, in the most kind of retail outlets has the best chance of winning.... "Most importantly, the invention must be something that can be mass produced and sold in retail outlets."
But most of the inventors here note that they look at you personally, and very little at your invention. Furthermore, they don't seem to want anything that is too far developed, which is what manufactures actually want in order to know how well it works, costs to make, looks and will sell in order to know it can be mass produced and sold in retail outlets.

Anyways, in the State of Texas, and probably other states as well, you have 72 hours after you sign a contract to retract any such agreements. I signed on April 15th, and sent a cease and desist letter to Freemantle media voiding the contract. And with the way that AI staff was pressuring me to fill out and sign the release form with a crowd of people around me, I was in fact pressured.

I know the law, and yes this big shot powerhouse organization with their fancy high priced attorneys can be beaten, as I've related they already have been in another post by a small time producer.

Release forms actually don't mean much. That's why when you take an arobic class, karate class, or dance class, you will sign a waiver. But they still have insurance in case somebody gets hurt... Know why? Because attorneys bash the release forms and still manage to sue instructors, schools, shareholders, and owners of such even as the release forms are drawn up by fancy high priced attorneys at insurance companies.

Furthermore, there is inacted the Jimmy Carter Layman Law, which stipulates that a contract can not be enforced when an average reasonable and prudent person can not understand such contract, and a contract can not be made that is intentionally confusing, contradicting, or intimidating. That pretty much just described the AI contract.

Postby Contextion » Wed Apr 18, 2007 4:11 am

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Jimmy Carter is my hero now!

Postby Average Inventor » Wed Apr 18, 2007 8:39 am

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When they say no they no longer have the option for your idea. Don't sweat it.

Postby AmericanCynic » Thu Jun 14, 2007 2:59 pm

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Road Show wrote:Call it what you want...a "spending allowance", a "voucher", "cash value of services rendered"...the final 12 were given services for the further development of their inventions/ideas that had value; the value of services rendered is a subjective matter regardless of how and by whom they are paid.

So what you're saying is if you have very specific ideas about the design and tooling for the product, you'll have virtually no control over the development process if you're one of the finalists, other than to say whether or not you like what the design firm Fremantle hired is doing. For instance, I know exactly what processes to use to rapid prototype, tool for and later manufacture every part of what I design, and it can't all be done by any single design company. And in fact, I'd like for the prototype to be made with the actual production processes as much as possible, just to validate the pricing and structural design of the end product. If I needed the $50k to just get the prototype made, they wouldn't let me choose the companies I would have chosen to make the production parts? Fremantle would hire their company, which would then have to subcontract out the different prototype parts to other companies, even if their quality and final cost wouldn't be up to my standards? Seems like a very inefficient way to do things.