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A "The Fugitive DVD" Law Suit Plea


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46 replies to this topic

#1 of 47 OFFLINE   joho

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Posted June 28 2008 - 04:35 AM

Anybody interested in starting a class action law suit against CBS for the butchering of The Fugitive? I am not a lawyer, but is there one out there who is a fan of this show and is just as upset as anyone over what has happened with the music.

A law suit is important for several reasons. It's not just that consumers were misled when purchasing the dvds. It's that an industry wide PRECEDENT needs to be established in cases like these.

Media companies need to learn that you television programs and films are just as valid an art form as painting and sculpture. You wouldn't remove an image from a Rembrandt because you thought it might violate the rights of the person who posed for him, would you?

It shouldn't matter how many different elements were put together to create an episode of The Fugitive. Once the work is finished it should be able to stand alone as an INDEPENDENT WORK OF ART.

Media companies need to learn that they are in the ART BUSINESS and certain legal tenets should be established giving them guidelines.

For example: it should be established that unless the media company is willing to pay the costs for the use of questionable "rights" that comprised elements of certain works they should NOT HAVE A LEGAL RIGHT to produce or reproduce or distribute those works. Or they should be PROTECTED by a law that allows them to distribute the original work because it stands alone as an INDEPENDENT work of art.

My feeling is that the only way to make a serious change in the media distribution industry is by going to court and establishing ground breaking precedents. This is the only way to protect beloved cultural works such as The Fugitive and other film and television works as we move forward.

#2 of 47 OFFLINE   MarcoBiscotti

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Posted June 28 2008 - 06:18 AM

I think it would be funny and fitting if in an ironic twist of fate the studio were sued by the Rugolo estate for copyright infringement on the new cues they attempted reproduce from his scores. You cannot sue a company for something like this however, it's their property and they can ruin it in anyways they like.

#3 of 47 OFFLINE   TravisR

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Posted June 28 2008 - 07:22 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcoBiscotti
You cannot sue a company for something like this however, it's their property and they can ruin it in anyways they like.
Exactly. Plus, the packaging says that the music may be changed so there's no chance at a successful lawsuit for this.

#4 of 47 OFFLINE   Carabimero

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Posted June 28 2008 - 08:18 AM

joho, what CBS/Paramount did, however misguided, was motivated (uneedlessly in my opinion) by the desire to avoid the very thing you advocate--a lawsuit. Would that we could sue them for this--that possibility might have compeled them to include the underscore needlessly removed!

But I like your spirit!

#5 of 47 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

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Posted June 28 2008 - 09:20 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by joho
Anybody interested in starting a class action law suit against CBS for the butchering of The Fugitive? I am not a lawyer, but is there one out there who is a fan of this show and is just as upset as anyone over what has happened with the music.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carabimero
But I like your spirit!
Thank you both for illustrating a point I've often tried to make -- namely, that the glut of frivolous lawsuits isn't entirely the fault of lawyers. It also results from non-lawyers who somehow think that anything can be solved by a court case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joho
Media companies need to learn that they are in the ART BUSINESS and certain legal tenets should be established giving them guidelines.
I'm an attorney and a Fugitive fan. The principle you're trying to argue here is known as "droit morale", and U.S. law doesn't recognize it. Even if it did, the person who has the right to make the claim is the artist, not the public. The Monty Python members once tried to use it to stop ABC from airing edited episodes of their series. The judge was a Python fan, but they still lost.

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#6 of 47 OFFLINE   Carabimero

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Posted June 28 2008 - 09:59 AM

My humor was certainly not intended to advocate frivolous lawsuits and if my post gave that impression, I'd like to clarify it.

#7 of 47 OFFLINE   Steve...O

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Posted June 28 2008 - 01:42 PM

Carab, I don't think your post implied that; I know what you were saying.

Agree that a lawsuit is not warranted or justified here. In my opinion, the better route to go is to publicize these edits and for consumers to voice their displeasure via written letters.

By the way, I've seen references in this thread and others to the "Rugolo Estate"....Mr. Rugolo is still alive. He may be elderly (past 90) but let's not prematurely bury him.
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#8 of 47 OFFLINE   Elena S

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Posted June 28 2008 - 04:31 PM

I'd rather see a class action lawsuit filed against the recording industry for setting such outrageous fees for song clearance that studios cannot make a profit if they include the original music on their DVDs, thereby causing a bastardization of releases. This is the kind of lawsuit the public should file.

#9 of 47 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

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Posted June 28 2008 - 04:44 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elena S
I'd rather see a class action lawsuit filed against the recording industry for setting such outrageous fees for song clearance that studios cannot make a profit if they include the original music on their DVDs, thereby causing a bastardization of releases.
Of course, this has nothing to do with the problems afflicting The Fugitive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elena S
This is the kind of lawsuit the public should file.
And the public would have a right to file such a lawsuit because . . . ?

(Thanks for continuing to illustrate my point about the litigiousness of non-lawyers.)

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#10 of 47 OFFLINE   Douglas Monce

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Posted June 28 2008 - 07:29 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Reuben
Of course, this has nothing to do with the problems afflicting The Fugitive.



Michael, I'm not up to speed on this one. What exactly are the problems with the music in The Fugitive?

Doug

Edit: Never mind I found the Fugitive thread. Thanks.
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#11 of 47 OFFLINE   Carabimero

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Posted June 28 2008 - 08:29 PM

Never mind.

#12 of 47 OFFLINE   Mark Talmadge

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Posted June 29 2008 - 02:59 AM

What are you going to sue them for? Because they didn't include the original music? SO what? The only thing you might be able to do is get back your original purchase price ...

There's no way that a lawsuit of this kind would even have enough merit to even make it into the courtroom. Any attorney would just laugh at you for wanting to go forward with this ...

#13 of 47 OFFLINE   Chris Lockwood

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Posted June 29 2008 - 09:15 AM

> Michael, I'm not up to speed on this one. What exactly are the problems with the music in The Fugitive?

I'd like to know, too. Is this the 1960s series you're talking about? I've only seen that on DVD so if something's missing, I don't know what it is.

#14 of 47 OFFLINE   TravisR

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Posted June 29 2008 - 09:29 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Lockwood
I'd like to know, too. Is this the 1960s series you're talking about? I've only seen that on DVD so if something's missing, I don't know what it is.
They dropped the entire music score (not the music coming from a band in a nightclub or a jukebox but the score) for the S2 V1 release and replaced it with a new score.

EDIT: Here's the long thread on the subject: http://www.hometheat....1-reviews.html

#15 of 47 OFFLINE   Corey3rd

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Posted June 29 2008 - 10:42 AM

semi-duplicated from the other thread:

CBS DVD can be sued for consumer fraud by promising "transferred from the original negative with restored audio."

"Restored" is the keyword since that means they were working with the original audio elements and not creating new elements that were foreign to the original soundtrack. They could have gotten away with a "restored" word if they had gone into the studio with an orchestra to create the score using the original charts. But there is no such thing as a restoration that uses elements that have nothing to do with the original design. You can't "restore" the Mona Lisa by pasting macaroni around her smile.

Maybe Robert Harris needs to get in on this since by CBS DVD using this to mean "Restored," they've ruined the public perception of what he does to a film when he "restores" it.
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#16 of 47 OFFLINE   Douglas Monce

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Posted June 29 2008 - 12:25 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corey3rd
semi-duplicated from the other thread:

CBS DVD can be sued for consumer fraud by promising "transferred from the original negative with restored audio."

"Restored" is the keyword since that means they were working with the original audio elements and not creating new elements that were foreign to the original soundtrack. They could have gotten away with a "restored" word if they had gone into the studio with an orchestra to create the score using the original charts. But there is no such thing as a restoration that uses elements that have nothing to do with the original design. You can't "restore" the Mona Lisa by pasting macaroni around her smile.

Maybe Robert Harris needs to get in on this since by CBS DVD using this to mean "Restored," they've ruined the public perception of what he does to a film when he "restores" it.

Again this is wrong. There are many so called restored sound tracks in movies that use newly recorded sounds for one reason or another. Vertigo, a film Mr. Harris worked on is one of them. My understanding in that case is that the original sound elements were not available or had been destroyed and new elements had to be used.

Doug
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#17 of 47 OFFLINE   Carabimero

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Posted June 29 2008 - 03:13 PM

The sound (dialogue, bg sounds, etc.) was restored, as I said in the other thread. That disclaimer, though slightly non-specific, is 100% accurate.

Even the word "Some" regarding the music change is accurate, since the opening and closing titles remain intact.

Those disclaimers are insidious and give the wrong impression but they are not actionable.

#18 of 47 OFFLINE   Corey3rd

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Posted June 29 2008 - 03:54 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas Monce
Again this is wrong. There are many so called restored sound tracks in movies that use newly recorded sounds for one reason or another. Vertigo, a film Mr. Harris worked on is one of them. My understanding in that case is that the original sound elements were not available or had been destroyed and new elements had to be used.

Doug

The restoration work on Vertigo duplicated as closely as possible the original audio - whether it be effects or score. Bob Harris did not have the sound of a cellphone going off while Jimmy Stewart's in the bar. Harris didn't try to jazz up the score by giving it a funky beat. On Spartacus, he had them read the script for the bathing scene instead of faking it to the lips. There is a matter of trust when "Restored" is used as a selling point on packaging. The first two volumes also promoted the "restored soundtrack." CBS DVD has set a standard. They have created a contract with the consumer about expectations when they declare a "restored audio."

There are rules about packaging.
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#19 of 47 OFFLINE   TravisR

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Posted June 30 2008 - 02:20 AM

Not to be a jerk but if you think you think this is a winning lawsuit, stop talking about it on a message board and get a lawyer.

#20 of 47 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

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Posted June 30 2008 - 02:32 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corey3rd
CBS DVD has set a standard. They have created a contract with the consumer about expectations when they declare a "restored audio."
Quote:
Originally Posted by TravisR
Not to be a jerk but if you think you think this is a winning lawsuit, stop talking about it on a message board and get a lawyer.
Assuming you can find a lawyer who accepts your theories about contract. I suppose there must be one somewhere.

(And thanks for continuing to illustrate my point about the litigious nature of non-lawyers.)

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