Site News - TV-DVD Piracy

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Tom_mkfty, Jun 28, 2005.

  1. Tom_mkfty

    Tom_mkfty Stunt Coordinator

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    Is that why we have been seeing crappy public domain DVDs?

    Such as the PD Beverly Hillbillies?
     
  2. ElijahS

    ElijahS Supporting Actor

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    Piracy isn't exactly what PD DVDs are. That is more like when you see "All 88 Episodes of Lois & Clark" on DVD. Legally, public domain DVDs are not pirated, though I'm 100% sure studios hate them.

    If the PD DVDs were illegal, then Walmart and other corporations wouldn't sell them (more than likely).
     
  3. Dane Marvin

    Dane Marvin Screenwriter

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    Public domain means that they are up for grabs. You, Tom, could produce and sell your own Beverly Hillbillies DVDs -- so long as you included only the episodes that are in the public domain on those releases. I wonder if the theme song is PD though. If it wasn't, you'd have to clear the cost of that or edit out the opening theme from every episode. I know there are PD of certain Andy Griffith show episodes that do not have the theme due to copyright laws.

    Anyway, these releases have little to do with piracy and a lot to do with small DVD studios trying to make a quick buck on low overhead.
     
  4. Gord Lacey

    Gord Lacey Cinematographer

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    If you're wondering what Tom is talking about...

    http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/newsitem.cfm?NewsID=3608

    Tom, you may want to....hmm.....put more content in your posts so people know what you're talking about. TVShowsOnDVD.com and HomeTheaterForum.com aren't the same site, though we're all friends. Not everyone that comes here also goes to TSoD, so it's best if you direct them to the material you're commenting on.

    Gord
     
  5. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Screenwriter

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    The public domain releases are only as good as the source material. In most instances, companies specializing in public domain releases don't have access to the original negatives or master prints so, in the case of older television shows, they're typically using syndication prints (or video tapes thereof) with lesser audio/visual quality for their releases.

    I have mixed feelings about public domain releases. The downside is that the audio visual presentation almost always suffers in comparison to official studio releases. On the plus side, public domain releases are sometimes the only way that you can see some of the older television shows. For example, Alpha Video has released 40 (of 52) "Ramar of the Jungle" episodes and Platinum Disc Corporation has released the entire run (39 episodes) of "Stories of the Century," an Emmy award winning Western from the mid-1950s. I'd love to see better prints of both of these series but the market for both of these shows is probably relatively small, and so I don't think that any of the major studios would put the time, effort and money into any sort of restoration for these shows. Unrestored as they may be, the public domain releases at least allow us to see certain shows that we may not otherwise be able to see.

    By the way, save your money on the public domain "Beverly Hillbillies" releases, an official release is on its way from MPI in the near future. See:

    http://tvshowsondvd.com/newsitem.cfm?NewsID=3418
     
  6. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    With many of the PD shows, I imagine they do not know where the negatives are.
     
  7. JeffWld

    JeffWld Stunt Coordinator

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    In certain cases, the original production company went out of business decades ago and defaulted on their storage/warehouse contracts. Negatives and distribution prints were scattered to the four winds. Some were destroyed since they were essentially orphans that had no one representing them to deal with preservation issues.
     
  8. Juan Books

    Juan Books Stunt Coordinator

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    If the studios are not willing to put out certain shows and seasons, or release them all cut to pieces, I think going through other channels to obtain them is a legitimate option, since the studio isn't interested in making them available anyway.
     
  9. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

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    It's hard to find fault with this one. I know this is a "politically-explosive" topic, but if a particular studio will not release a series that's very special to someone...well...no need to say more. Also, if the "official" release contains cut eps, that's also a consideration in this issue.

    Now, I guess I'm ignorant, but I don't completely understand the legality's of this issue. Perhaps if it's allowed here, someone can explain it. I'm a little confused since I see series sold on the 'net on sites that have been in operation for years. If it's illegal, how are those sites able to continue operating? I'm mainly referring to an individual that sells series that are unreleased to private customers.

    Before anyone thinks that I'm not a supporter of official studio TV/DVD sets, guess again. I will always buy any official TV/DVD set vs an alternate-source. However, I'm waiting for many series to be released but it seems that the era that I'm interested in just isn't being given the attention that the more current series are with regards to release schedules. I guess we all have a "wish" about the TV/DVD industry. Here's my #1 wish:
    If the studios had some sort of a communication site that posts updates regarding their TV/DVD releases, I think this would help us out considerably. What I'm wanting is a place to read "status" updates about possible upcoming releases or series in production/preparation for release. I don't completely understand the need for "secrecy" in this industry. I guess there are good reasons for it but it sure makes it harder for us playing the waiting game. In other words, if we knew that a particular series was not going to be released for legal/rights issues, then it would be nice to know that so we can forget about that series getting released. Conversly, if we are waiting for a series that's on the runway, it's nice to know that it's coming in the future. Just my 2 cents on this subject.
     
  10. Dane Marvin

    Dane Marvin Screenwriter

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    This site exists. It's called tvshowsondvd.com. Gord & Dave work hard to update with everything that's being rumored or officially announced. They have contact with all the major studios. In fact, between TVShowsOnDVD.com, Home Theater Forum Chats with Warner/Fox, other sites like The Digital Bits, publications like USA Today and Variety, and things like the TV on DVD Conference, it doesn't seem to me like people are really being kept in the dark as far as these things are concerned. There are some things like continuing series (Sony's TV products like "Barney Miller" come to mind) that do tend to get annoying once
    a year has passed without any news about whether or not a series will be continued. On the whole, I've felt pretty informed about nearly every show I've been collecting or would like to see come out on DVD.

    RE: pirated product. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. But statements in support of pirated products of any kind are, in my recollection, not allowed on this site. Caveat emptor. I'm pretty OCD about official stuff with fancy packages & disc art & neat menus & high-quality transfers, and I wouldn't touch any of that pirated crap with a 10-foot-pole.
     
  11. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    There's really no place to find uncut episodes unless you...

    A.) Recorded them off the air during the original run (impossible before the 1970s) or know someone who did

    B.) Had network 16mm or 35mm prints (too expensive)

    C.) Had permission from the Library of Congress to duplicate their episodes (forget it, you need permission from the copyright holder, money to duplicate the materials, and be a researcher).
     
  12. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

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    Dane, 10-4 [​IMG] I agree 100% about TSoD and HTF. I visit these 2 daily. I guess I was trying to say (not very well [​IMG] ) that I would like to see a site where there's extra info, the kind that's usually not available through normal channels. Examples would be a series that's currently in production (before the usual pre-release announcements are available), and, particularly, a series that the studio know that they won't/can't release due to issues beyond their control, ie rights/legal issues, etc. I guess I was trying to say that without this info available, it's a hard wait for some of us regarding a favorite series that we're wanting to see released.

    Also, one more clarification for me: I don't support any "pirated" DVD's but I have questions about what's actually legal and illegal about the issue. HTF's most likely not the forum to discuss the issue. "Ok by me....it's a [​IMG] site" [​IMG]
     
  13. Gord Lacey

    Gord Lacey Cinematographer

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    Jeff, it would be great if there was a site with that info, but companies don't like talking about things they can't release; it's bad PR for them.

    Gord
     
  14. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    A general response to this oft-heard phrase. (I.e., the points that follow do not necessarily relate to any specific posts or comments found earlier in this thread.)

    The statement is true within important limits. Two caveats:

    1) As the late, great Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan put it, "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion. Everyone is not entitled to his own facts." And the facts, as a matter of law, say that if you're distributing material covered by a valid copyright without the permission of the copyright holder you are committing a crime. And anyone who deals with you is helping you profit from your illegal act.

    2) As Harlan Ellison is fond of saying: "You are not 'entitled to your opinion.' You are entitled to your informed opinion. If you don't know what you're talking about, your opinion is not just as valid as everybody else's and is not entitled to equal respect." There is room for reasonable men to disagree as to whether or not Ulysses S. Grant deserved the label of "butcher" that some contemporaries (and historians) hung on him, but if you start out by saying that the number of casualties at Gettysburg is evidence one way or the other, you'll be laughed out of the discussion and deservedly so. (For the non-Civil War buffs: Grant wasn't at Gettysburg. He wouldn't assume command of the Union Armies in the East until a bit later.)

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  15. Gord Lacey

    Gord Lacey Cinematographer

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    Joseph, good post (as always).

    Gord
     
  16. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

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    Joe, I agree with Gord.....very well written. However, I guess since I'm a little "dense" [​IMG] about this issue and need help from you "vets" out there [​IMG] , here's some info in which I'd like your feedback. This is not saying that I agree with the following info that I've read elsewhere on the 'net regarding this subject. I'm just curious and have been for some time about this issue. What do you and Gord think about this info?

    ************************************************** ********

    My series are offered to other collectors ONLY! I make no profit from the sales of these series and I comply with the following laws:

    Video Home Recording Act P.L 102 - 563, 106 Stat 4237 Codified at 17 U.S.C. 1001 - 1010 in October 1992. This states that no action may be brought under this title alleging infringement of copyright based on manufacture, importation, or distribution of a digital or analog recording medium or based on the noncommercial use of such device or medium, no rights are intended, expressed, or implied.

    Supreme Court Case: Sony Corp VS Universal City Studios in 1984.

    It is only illegal when mass producing 'sales' (thousands) not counting trade or credit. I am far from mass produce sales, even when counting all the series together.

    Online auctions, conventions (especially comic conventions) and other stores and vendors (online or not) allow such DVD sets to be sold.

    All funds made on these sets is only use for:
    Maintaining my equipment
    My time and effort to create the DVD(s)
    Package the DVD(s)
    Travel to the post office
    Time and cost of creating related websites
    Hosting Cost
    Trading Cost
    Computer Backup
    Electricity cost for TV, VCR(s), computers...
    Paper, Labels, DVD-R, Blank Tapes, Cases...
    Ink Cost and much more...
    ***** No profits are made on the DVD content *****

    Master copies being sold / traded are based upon the value of making it and in no way related to the content.

    ************************************************** *******
    [end of copy]

    What do you all think about this info? I value your feedback and particularly Gord/Dave's , and other HTF'ers on this issue.
     
  17. FrancisP

    FrancisP Screenwriter

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    I have bought titles on dvd from other collectors as well. If the copyright holders ever want to release the title on dvd then I would buy those as well. If the movies that I have on videotape start deteriorating or vcrs start disappearing I have no qualms about transferring them to dvd. If a studio objects then release them and take my money. I have no sympathy for studios who whine about piracy on titles they refuse to release.
     
  18. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

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    Gord, thanks for the info. Can't argue with that one [​IMG]

    "If only I was a late 90's/2000 TV/DVD fan....much more releases available...." But, there must be hope for us old-timers. I see Superman 50's is coming!
     
  19. Linda Thompson

    Linda Thompson Supporting Actor

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  20. Gord Lacey

    Gord Lacey Cinematographer

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    Jeff,
    I'm not sure about those things he's citing, but I have noticed the new FBI warning that states something to the effect of duplication being against the law, even if there isn't money exchanging hands.

    When it comes down to it the person you quoted above isn't the real problem. The real problem comes from the sites that ARE mass producing these sets, selling them for hundreds of dollars, are deceiving potential customers that ask about the sets, advertise these releases using Google AdWords, and try to pass them off as being legit releases. THOSE are the people I have issues with, and those are the ones I want to see locked up. It's fine and dandy to have warnings about fines and jail time, but how about you shut some of these people down, fine them and toss them in jail? I've done a lot of research on these pirate sites, and I've traced about 6 or 7 sites back to 3 people operating in Ontario, and I can connect all three people to each other. I have home phone numbers and addresses for some of them, but they're still operating, even though I shared the information with the RCMP. Why?

    Gord
     

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