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The Digital Bits should have excluded Wonka from their cover scans

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#1 of 8 OFFLINE   RobertR


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Posted August 16 2001 - 02:25 PM

I saw the cover of the WB (These days, B doesn't stand for "brothers") release on one of the Bits' pages. I don't think they should have included it. Like every other DVD site, TDB should do absolutely NOTHING to promote this butchered version. Prominently displaying it along with GOOD releases from other studios says to me that TDB considers it to be every bit as legitimate as any other release. I don't think it is.

#2 of 8 OFFLINE   Jon Robertson

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Posted August 16 2001 - 03:27 PM

I don't exactly think the cover's going to make people rush out and buy it on a whim (my eyes, my beautiful eyes!), so I think it's not too bad...

#3 of 8 OFFLINE   Geoffrey_A


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Posted August 16 2001 - 06:34 PM

I dunno, it would kind of defeat the purpose of having a section devoted to cover art of upcomming titles if they decided only to showcase the titles they liked. Seems to me that by putting a link to the petition on their page they did enough. ------------------ Geoff Now with Kung-Fu grip and realistic facial hair!
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#4 of 8 OFFLINE   Scott Weinberg

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Posted August 16 2001 - 08:31 PM

Perhaps if the feature was entitled "The Digital Bits All-OAR Cover Art", then I'd agree with you. But even though we are justifiably incensed at the Wonka debacle, Bill Hunt runs a DVD site, not an OAR-exclusive site. As unpleasant as it may seem to many of us (myself included), there are movie fans out there who want this DVD and don't really care what the aspect ratio is. TDB is in business to inform consumers and fans about ALL DVD news and releases, not just the products that appeal most to the digital enthusiasts.

Although I'd certainly never own a copy of this disc, I think Bill is correct in leaving the cover on his site. Censoring the cover art isn't going to make the problem go away.


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#5 of 8 OFFLINE   Kevin Coleman

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Posted August 16 2001 - 08:42 PM

Bill's site and all of the other DVD sites are free advertising for the studios. Just by having the cover up there he is helping sell the title. I don't think he should give it the free publicity. Kevin C.

#6 of 8 OFFLINE   george kaplan

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Posted August 16 2001 - 09:54 PM

He should have the cover there, but modified with the words "Butchered" across the image. Posted Image

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#7 of 8 OFFLINE   David Lambert

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Posted August 17 2001 - 02:28 AM


Bill's site and all of the other DVD sites are free advertising for the studios. Just by having the cover up there he is helping sell the title. I don't think he should give it the free publicity.


I see where that statement is coming from, and from your perspective I agree in a sense.

But...that's like saying The Wall Street Journal advertises for General Motors because they run a story on them and mention an upcoming vehicle. They may show a pic of said vehicle in their paper, and that's a kind of advertising as you say. Even though the article predicts that the design will be a failure, no one will buy it, and that GM will lost money because consumers aren't pleased. But, yes, in the sense you mean, the WSJ is kind of advertising for GM in a way ("any newsprint is good newsprint, as long as they get your name spelled right") by giving them space in their paper...just like Bill is doing for Wonka at Digital Bits.

Bill Hunt, Peter Bracke, Robert Wederquist, Guido Henkle, Jim Taylor, and - yes - Ronald Epstein all run their DVD on-line stuff much less with the thought in mind of assisting the manufacturers to sell than with the thought of helping the potential consumer to buy. Or not buy as the case may be. They are essentially on-line newspapers/magazines for the most part (or maybe in Jim Taylor's case "encyclopedia" is more correct! Posted Image )

Let's face it, these guys do it as a sort-of job. It may be their only job, or it may be only a partial source of income. I don't know...I've never asked any of them. But, like many editors/web-content-producers/webmasters in the online world these days, they are providing content for the surfers of the world (i.e., us), and they get money in return to assist them in buying food, clothes, etc. That money comes from advertising, not from subscriptions or from "bribes" from manufacturers trying to push their stuff in a more-than-advertising way. Just like, say, the WSJ!

Bill's cover scans provide much-requested content for the surfers interested in DVD's. It's a consolidated place to see what the boxes will look like, in case any of us want to look for them in a local store before we buy it. It's broken out by release date, so we know when to look for it.

Taking out one on purpose will defeat the goal. As a user of Bill's site, I'd think he either overlooked it, was denied access to it, or that the title was perhaps already out and I'd missed it or that it wasn't yet announced. I certainly would not think "Oh, that's one Bill doesn't like because it's MAR format"...nor should Bill ever put himself in that position.

In the way of them performing their job, I have never believed for a second that any of them are being biased in favor of the manufacurers. In fact, my opinion is that their bias - if any - is toward self-indulgence (like when Bill expressed his personal opinions regarding Disney films a few weeks again). I don't mind that...it's their site and I haven't paid a penny for it. If I don't like it I can surf somewhere else.

To sum it up, I think that Bill and the others (sorry if I left out anyone important...it's 5 AM guys!) do a fantastic job of being fair in general, and any "bias" that comes into play is based purely on expressing their own opinions instead of trying to help some business somewhere, and I have never for a second thought that they were getting paid for their non-advertising content (which Bill's cover scans fall into). It's just part of the job they do, and I admire them all for it.

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#8 of 8 OFFLINE   Joshua Clinard

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Posted August 17 2001 - 06:14 AM

Well said, David!

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