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More Miramax insanity vs. Asian film fans...


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54 replies to this topic

#1 of 55 Ash Atchison

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Posted December 09 2003 - 03:57 PM

Miramax Vs. YOU

Now it seems they're cracking down on US retailers importing LEGIT overseas releases of asian films they own the rights to here (Shaolin Soccer, Hero, etc).

My head hurts.
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#2 of 55 Dan Rudolph

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Posted December 09 2003 - 04:56 PM

If I were a retailer, I would ignore Miramax here. They don't have any legal standing. Importing DVDs isn't illegal.

Miramax does have a contract for the US distributin rights, but that's with the rights-holder, not retailers. They can't hold retailers to it.
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#3 of 55 Rob Lutter

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Posted December 09 2003 - 05:19 PM

Is there any legal standing for this at all?

EDIT: LOL, I guess there is. Uh, nevermind. Nothing to see here.... I've never imported a DVD in my life I swear!
*runs away*

#4 of 55 Damin J Toell

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Posted December 09 2003 - 05:32 PM

Quote:
If I were a retailer, I would ignore Miramax here. They don't have any legal standing. Importing DVDs isn't illegal.


Sorry, but you're dead wrong. The United States Copyright Act has the following provision:

"Importation into the United States, without the authority of the owner of copyright under this title, of copies or phonorecords of a work that have been acquired outside the United States is an infringement of the exclusive right to distribute copies or phonorecords under section 106, actionable under section 501." - 17 USC § 602(a).

There are three exceptions in § 602(a) (importation by the government, a single copy purchased for private use, and a limited number of copies for non-profit religious/educational use), but none of these apply to the situation of a retailer selling imports (although they do give immunity to anyone who purchases a single copy of an import for their own use, as in Rob Lutter's situation above). When an entity gets an exclusive license to distribute a product, they can stand in the shoes of the original copyright holder for the purposes of infringement (and other) legal actions. For any film that Miramax holds the exclusive US distribution rights, they are "the owner of copyright under this title" for the purposes of § 602(a). In order for a entity to legally import a copy of a film that Miramax owns, that entity would have to get permission from Miramax; without permission, it is copyright infringement. Miramax is well within their legal rights to be doing this, and they have been doing it for quite a while. It is also important to note that it does not matter whether the copies happened to be legit in their country of origin (see, e.g., the notes from the House report on the statute: "The second situation covered by section 602 is that where the copies or phonorecords were lawfully made but their distribution in the United States would infringe the U.S. copyright owner's exclusive rights. As already said, the mere act of importation in this situation would constitute an act of infringement and could be enjoined." Emphasis mine.).

Many companies have been successful in suing unauthorized import distributors, most notably the sale of imported music. See, e.g., BMG Music v. Perez, 952 F.2d 318 (9th Cir. 1991), where BMG was successful in enjoining a record store from the unauthorized selling of imported copies of recorded music to which BMG owned the US distribution right. Again, Miramax would likewise be successful in such an action against a company engaged in the unauthorized sales of imported copies of films to which they own the US distribution rights, even if the copies were legitimately made in their country of origin.

DJ

#5 of 55 David Lawson

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Posted December 10 2003 - 01:11 AM

Quote:
(although they do give immunity to anyone who purchases a single copy of an import for their own use, as in Rob Lutter's situation above)

Hooray! Import the R0 DTS Shaolin Soccer from DDDHouse for $17 shipped with impunity!
He obviously misinterpreted what it means to "be bullish."

#6 of 55 Brian Kidd

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Posted December 10 2003 - 03:36 AM

So the moral of this story is to buy all the imports you want, as long as you purchase them from foreign companies. Posted Image

My argument is that the films that Miramax is releasing aren't the same as the ones that I can purchase as imports as 99% of the time Miramax re-edits them. I know it probably wouldn't stand up in a court of law, but let's be honest here. We wouldn't be importing them if the R1 companies would release the UNALTERED FILMS here in the US. Until they do, screw 'em!
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#7 of 55 TheLongshot

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Posted December 10 2003 - 03:43 AM

Course, if they actually did PROPER releases of these films, in a reasonable amount of time, they wouldn't need to do this.

But, since they continue to want to butcher films and sit on films forever, what choice does the consumer have?

I mean, it is almost a year since Hero was nominated for an Oscar, and we haven't gotten remotly close to a theatrical release, much less a DVD release. As mentioned in the article, Shaolin Soccer has been delayed so many times that I don't think they are going to get much value out of it anymore. Avalon was pretty hot a couple of years ago, but I don't know how much interest they could generate now into it.

Jason
-Happy with my R0 DVD of Hero...

#8 of 55 Bill Williams

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Posted December 10 2003 - 03:47 AM

For that matter, I've seen the specs on the upcoming Returner DVD release, which I've read is like a Japanese-style Matrix. The 2-disc set that I've seen for auction on eBay is apparently packed out to the max with extras on this film, yet all we're getting on the Region 1 U.S. release is the film, a trailer, and four featurettes. Wonder what gives with this kind of decision-making? If the overseas version is indeed a legitimate release, that's one thing. If it's not, then I can avoid it.
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#9 of 55 Ted Lee

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Posted December 10 2003 - 11:55 AM

Quote:
Hooray! Import the R0 DTS Shaolin Soccer from DDDHouse for $17 shipped with impunity!
that's EXACTLY what i did. it came in a brown package with about 20 stamps on it! Posted Image
 

#10 of 55 David Lawson

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Posted December 10 2003 - 12:21 PM

Same here, Ted, well over a year ago. I've placed at least six different orders through DDDHouse, and they all come packaged the same way. Posted Image Check out The God Of Cookery if you haven't already. It's cheap enough to take a chance on. I wasn't disappointed!

Funny Bill should mention Returner, since their $60HK R3 DTS version will be part of my next order.
He obviously misinterpreted what it means to "be bullish."

#11 of 55 Chris_Morris

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Posted December 10 2003 - 12:21 PM

Quote:
Happy with my R0 DVD of Hero...


Me too Posted Image


Quote:


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hooray! Import the R0 DTS Shaolin Soccer from DDDHouse for $17 shipped with impunity!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

that's EXACTLY what i did. it came in a brown package with about 20 stamps on it!

Yep, the guys over at Haus Unlimited are great.

Like the sig says, import them yourself. It's usually cheaper that way. Case in point, Stormriders DTS- ~$14-16 from a US importer, ~$8 from the Haus.

Chris

PS: Screw you Harvey W. you fat pig....

#12 of 55 ChrisBEA

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Posted December 10 2003 - 12:49 PM

Love my copies of Hero, Infernal Affairs, JSA, Returner.
Must .... get.... Shaolin Soccer......Posted Image

PS: Never ordered from dddhouse. Are they reliable?

#13 of 55 Ted Lee

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Posted December 10 2003 - 01:26 PM

Quote:
PS: Never ordered from dddhouse. Are they reliable?
shaolin soccer is the only thing i ordered from them, but it came in no time, nicely packed. i would definitely order from then again...
 

#14 of 55 Chris_Morris

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Posted December 10 2003 - 01:38 PM

Quote:
shaolin soccer is the only thing i ordered from them, but it came in no time, nicely packed. i would definitely order from then again...


Very reliable, but realize that delivery to the East Coast is much slower than to the West Coast. My shipments normally take 10-14 days. However, I have never had any trouble with them. Also remember that they are 12 hours ahead of the East Coast, so if you order during the day, it won't be acknowledge till later that night.


Chris

#15 of 55 ChrisBEA

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Posted December 10 2003 - 01:43 PM

So they are a HK based company?
Therefore making it legal to import a copy for my own personal use! Hooray!
There prices appear to be very good. Waiting a couple of weeks isn't much of an issue as long as I get it!
Saw they have Infernal Affairs II, may need to grab that too. The first is incredible.

Anyword on the MTV bastardization of Volcano High(Whasango)? I saw a commercial the other day but didn't catch if it was a TV airing or if it would go to theaters(I doubt that) I was too busy cringing at the hip hop voice dubbing cast. I have an import 2 disk version of it, wonder if MTV will tighten their reigns like Miramxe?

#16 of 55 Chris_Morris

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Posted December 10 2003 - 01:57 PM

Quote:
So they are a HK based company?


Yep, on Yee Woo street, I think there are some members here who have gone there on trips to HK.

Quote:
There prices appear to be very good.


Very good once you do the conversion. Check out the weekly cheap sales too some good movies for ~$3-4 a piece.


Chris

#17 of 55 ChrisBEA

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Posted December 10 2003 - 02:06 PM

Sounding better and better all the time, gonna have to try them out!

#18 of 55 Matthew Brown

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Posted December 10 2003 - 04:11 PM

The funny thing is that Miramax is holding several movies hostage. The classic Chow Yun Fat film, GOD OF GAMBLERS is one of them. Get it from DDDHOUSE.com because it's worth it. Here's a review, http://www.loveandbullets.com/gog.htm .

For a full list of movies, go here, http://alliance.hellninjacommando.net . I heard that part of what Miramax was doing years ago was buying up as many titles as possible to lessen the product on the shelves as well as build up an eventual demand and increase the value of their catalog.

A few years ago when Miramax started this, they also claimed that they were going to pressure the HK based distributors to not let stores who sell to the US carry their movies. Luckily, that hasn't happened. If you think that's an idle threat, some of you may remember how Tai Seng got hivizone.com (hk based retailer) to stop selling the imports of their movies and instead charge about three times the price for the Tai Seng version. The pictures for movies like A BETTER TOMORROW even had the stupid Tai Seng stickers on them on the hivizone website.

Since not everybody is internet savy and I would bet that there are lots of people who care about this issue who don't use the internet, I am attempting to put together something in a newsletter type form that I can leave at places where people will read it. Theaters, book stores, dvd stores, buses, etc. I have at least one conrtibutor and things are finally rolling on it.

I've spoken to people who run dvd sites to well known Hong Kong movies critics about this issue. Of course, none will go on record but the sentiment is always the same. Miramax doesn't care what hk film fans want. The only alternative is to educate people on what they are doing and point them to where they can purchase the uncut movies.

Matt
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#19 of 55 Dome Vongvises

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Posted December 10 2003 - 04:40 PM

I've been reading this thread with interest.

Does anybody know why Miramax does this? It's clearly not to make money nor respect artistic integrity.

#20 of 55 Chris_Morris

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Posted December 10 2003 - 09:35 PM

Quote:
Does anybody know why Miramax does this?


1. Like Matthew said, to try and increase the value of their catalog of Asian films.
2. Harvey Weinstein has gone on record as saying the Asian films don't matter and has gone on to curse them.

Look at the alliance site in my sig or Matthew's post, and read the petition in my sig. They both explain alot.


Chris


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