Buying credits to download DVD covers- what's wrong with this picture?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Christopher Carr, Jan 21, 2003.

  1. Christopher Carr

    Christopher Carr Stunt Coordinator

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    Sorry if this topic has been up before- I tried Searching, but the feature was down and I got to about the 4th page going back but I couldn't find it:

    Does anyone else find that DVDCOVERART.COM is making a whole lot of money by making people BUY downloading credits for art work that is made by other people? Isn't the whole thing of creating the box cover art so that people who do not like their own box covers can look for one and potentially find one that they would like to replace it with? Well yeah I can see how if one wanted a Professionally done one, they could pay DVDCOVERART for the printing of one professionally, but why should someone be forced to pay money to download cover art after you have reached your 10 download limit?! This is the exact same problem I had when I was obsessed with THE SIMS, THESIMSRESOURCE webpage offered tons of downloads until they decided that you had to pay to download...

    I don't know but somehow it seems wrong to me that other people are offering time and energy to create so many wonderful covers in order for some people to be happy about their collection's look- and then the storage of them make money off of other people downloading these images someone made in the name of DVD replacement covers...9.95 for 100 extra downloads- give me a break...
     
  2. Anders Englund

    Anders Englund Second Unit

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    Not that I ever replace the cover art on my DVDs, but I kinda understand this. Hi-res cover art is huge, and uses a lot of bandwith. They have to make up for that somehow.

    --Anders
     
  3. GlennH

    GlennH Cinematographer

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    I have no knowledge about this at all, but how do you know they are "making a whole lot of money" by charging this?

    Maybe they are, but could it be that they have to charge to pay for bandwidth and website expenses? Ask the owners here if it's cheap to run a website.

    If they are making money it would seem to raise or highlight some potential legal/copyright issues. Even the freelance custom covers probably are using copyrighted images and trademarks.
     
  4. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    When you consider the fact that the artwork in 99% of the cases is stolen to begin with (the images do not belong to the new artists), there is a pretty big question of legality here. Making it a pay service is not much better than selling bootlegs, regardless of what it costs them to serve the files.
     
  5. Tony Whalen

    Tony Whalen Producer

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    Sorry.. I disagree. Matt (who created DVDCOVERART.COM) was shut down by various providers on at least three occassions that I know of for consuming excessive amounts of bandwidth. He simply couldn't find a provider that was willing to let him use that much bandwidth for cheap.

    He tried to come up with better solutions, and this is what had to happen. He was going through GIGS and GIGS of bandwidth, and I think it's pretty unreasonable to expect that he should have to pay for that himself.

    Personally, I find it to be a fantastic resource, and 10 bucks for 100 downloads is really not too much to ask. (Pretty damned reasonable if you ask me...But that's just me.) I can't see where that will even cover their bandwidth... as I suspect it's STILL huge. No one is forcing you to use it.. there are lots of discussion threads on DVDTALK that list other sites for covers. But I'll continue to support DVDCOVERART. [​IMG]
     
  6. Tony Whalen

    Tony Whalen Producer

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    PS - The whole 'legality' issue has been beaten to death on DVDTalk. It's a grey area, I agree. But technically they are charging to limit bandwidth consumption.
     
  7. David Rogers

    David Rogers Supporting Actor

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    Charging for the bandwidth is okay, since we should all understand by now bandwidth is not cheap. The Internet literally does cost you money to be popular.

    Whether what they're doing is legal is another thing.
     
  8. Patrick Larkin

    Patrick Larkin Screenwriter

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    that site has to charge. if you can't make money off of advertising, you have to come up with some other revenue.

    the original poster is under the impression that its just getting a host and placing the files up there. most web hosting companies limit bandwidth. for instance, some might give you 1GB/month of downloads. So, if each cover is 1MB, 1000 downloads maxes him out and he has to pay more for each MB over his quote. since he probably gets hammered by leeches all over the internet, he proably hits that quota in one day.

    Web hosters need to limit bandwidth usage or their business will suffer. If you need the bandwidth, you've got to pay for it.

    Unless of course, you are willing to do it out of the kindness of your heart...
     
  9. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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  10. Michael St. Clair

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    I'm not familiar with all of the images in question. But making a collage incorporating portions of copyrighted images could possibly fall under fair use, just like using excerpts of books or movies in documentaries, magazines, 'unofficial guides', and so on.

    But I'm not a lawyer (and neither is Jeff).

    I'm sure the studios are aware of this site by now. If they feel wronged and they have a case, you can bet their lawyers will shut the site down.

    If the designs in question do violate copyright, there are likely ways to make covers that do contain appropriate film and actor images. Like, use presskit photos that have been released to the media. [​IMG]
     
  11. Chris Farmer

    Chris Farmer Screenwriter

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    I'd have a hard time saying creating cover art is illegal because it would probably fall under fair use. Most of the art used are stills from the movie or off hte original box. Since the person is downloading cover art for that movie, and they own the movie already, it's no different then printing screenshots off a DVD, or ripping MP3s from a CD you bought to store on your iPod. In both cases, there's a shift in medium, but the Home Recording Act makes a media shift on material you own perfectly legal.

    As for DVD CoverArt, since people submit their work there, and it's work the people downloading presumably have a legal right to download, DVD Coverart is probably not guilty of theft. If they don't make money off their site but instead are only charging to meet bandwidth needs, this goes double.
     
  12. Robert Spalding

    Robert Spalding Second Unit

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    how about people that print covers for DVD-R copies of movies they don't own?
     
  13. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    I may not be a lawyer, but I do deal with licensing images (stock photography) on a regular basis, and even the so-called "royalty-free" work (which runs $50/image to $250+ depending on resolution) is subject to pretty strict restrictions on distribution. I can guarantee that utilising company logos would be an issue, as would using photographs that aren't specifically licensed for public domain use.

    However, the studios (assuming they hold the rights) may not feel it is worthwhile going after the artists (who are the ones violation IP laws), or the site itself. AFAIK images do not fall under the AHRA, and fair use may be a consideration, but the benefits (ie it becomes a commercial use even when offered at no charge) derived from downloading fall under the same material gains arguments that have been successfully argued in MP3 cases.
     
  14. Will_B

    Will_B Producer

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    I was surprised that they offer many covers which are simply scans of the official covers. If that isn't a service to bootleggers, what is?

    But there's a case to be made (no pun intended) for their selection of custom covers. At least that is an artistic expression. Not that THAT counts for anything.
     
  15. Chris Farmer

    Chris Farmer Screenwriter

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    Nah, even scans of official covers have their place. Replacing snappers with a keepcase, or if your original cover art gets torn up are both completely legitimate reasons to download official cover art.

    As for if the HRA covers images, I would say so. Let's say you buy a movie, and it has truly awful cover art. Now then, you could scan the cover into your PC, then put the movie into your PC's DVD-ROM drive and take a few screenshots, then you use PhotoShop to remove the elements you want. All of this is done using your media. Now then, what if you're like me and have no visual artistic skill at all? Well, you could get instructions from someone who had created their own cover art and exactly recreate their work. Again, you're using your own media to create the image, so nothing has been stolen. Or, if you want to save the time, you download the exact same work off DVD CoverArt. If using your media to create your own art is legal, then downloading the work of others for media you own is also legal, because you have a legal license to the material in question. Who does the work is irrelevant, the question is if you can legally use the art.

    It's not theft to download MP3s of songs you own off Napster, nor is it theft to download cover art for movies you own off DVD CoverArt either.
     
  16. Tony Whalen

    Tony Whalen Producer

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  17. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

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    Chris I bet when the site pays all it's bandwith Bills its not making much money. Just a hunch.
     
  18. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

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    I think eventually as DVD Recorders become standard, DVD Blanks drop in price, the MPAA will eventually come after all these sites and make them pull the covers much as the RIAA has forced the closing of many CD Audio cover sites. It'll happen in time. I have dreams of replacing all my snappers with Keep cases, realistically it'll probably never happen thou.
     
  19. nolesrule

    nolesrule Producer

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    It also should be pointed out that those who contribute can get free credits. Heck, you get credits just for signing up (which is free). I have 42 credits in my account and haven't paid a dime.

    Also, if you use DVD-Depot's printing service (which they don't make money on either), then you don't have to use download credits. I used their service in the past and I highly recommend it for those that don't have good color printers.
     
  20. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    Bottom line: None of this would have been necessary if the studios would just make available to the general public the keepcase covers they make for video stores (and make reversible covers featuring original non-noggin artwork)
     

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