video cd's

Chat about collectables, videos
djdust
Posts: 94
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2001 10:06 am

video cd's

Postby djdust » Wed Sep 04, 2002 4:28 pm

has anyone else noticed the sudden glut of "star fleet" video cd's popping up on Ebay lately? is it anyone on this forum who's auctioning them? dodgeeeeeeee....
F-Zero-One - the Star Fleet / X Bomber site.....http://www.starfleetxbomber.com

AndyThomas
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video cd's

Postby AndyThomas » Wed Sep 04, 2002 9:09 pm

Yes, I'd noticed. There's one doing the "0.01p" routine, another doing "Buy It Now", another one doing an auction going from a £1 start... they're all over the shop. I suppose it's positive in the sense that people appear to be bidding for them, but obviously negative because Simon (and I assume they're Simon's, not the older generation ones which probably aren't VCD class) put a lot of time and effort into creating them in the first place. That's digital piracy for you; I suppose it was inevitable. But they really do seem to be doing the rounds at the moment...
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AndyThomas
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video cd's

Postby AndyThomas » Fri Sep 06, 2002 12:19 am

Hmm.  Just so that people know, I'm going to email eBay about the MassiveAnimeFan auction because it's gotten to £50 which is just ludicrous when you can get them from Simon for half that.  Plus that auction's ripped off the flyer presented on SFXB and needless to say hasn't asked.  I have to say - the bloke selling this appears well informed.  If it is someone who reads this forum, can I suggest that they set a Buy It Now price if they actually want to sell at the £20 stated in the decription, rather than taking some inexperienced eBayer to the cleaners.  
Andy Thomas - SFXB Webmaster and Forum Moderator

djdust
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video cd's

Postby djdust » Fri Sep 06, 2002 12:24 am

I remember the debate that raged for weeks on the old forum about this kinda stuff... I still find it dodgy that people can auction off something that they mass produce for a fraction of the price and I agree they should be stopped. At least Chris, myself and Simon charge a set fee for copies and we're not just out to sell to the highest bidder...
F-Zero-One - the Star Fleet / X Bomber site.....http://www.starfleetxbomber.com

AndyThomas
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video cd's

Postby AndyThomas » Fri Sep 06, 2002 12:50 am

Well, I just did my complaint, and rather interestingly it seems someone has already submitted a complaint. I put mine in anyway. eBay does tend to stop these sort of auctions off its own bat (unless it's always provoked by someone, I don't know for sure) but I thought this one in particular deserved to be sat on because as you say Darren, we all know that you don't need to fork out that much. Although eBay would get fees from the sale, the punter's still getting ripped off at the end of the day in this particular case. And of course the content matter itself is enough for eBay to close it down. Anyway, must get some shut eye now...
Andy Thomas - SFXB Webmaster and Forum Moderator

simoncoverdale
Posts: 101
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2001 2:17 pm

video cd's

Postby simoncoverdale » Fri Sep 06, 2002 12:55 pm

Hello all,Just had a quick look on Ebay and all bar one of the "VCD Entire series" auctions have been cancelled.My guess is the last one won't survive the day.SIMON COVERDALEwww.StarFleetDirect.com

AndyThomas
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video cd's

Postby AndyThomas » Fri Sep 06, 2002 7:14 pm

Well, basically VCDs only hold 60 minutes or so of footage and it's in an older compression format (MPEG-1) than DVDs use. However, the quality in terms of resolution is very similar to VHS. So for an old show like Star Fleet where the original material isn't great quality (i.e. no better than VHS) to begin with there's not a lot in it. Properly encoded VCDs like Simon's should run on compatible DVD players, although I think the Playstation 2 in particular has "issues" with VCDs?
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10TimesMan
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Nov 19, 2002 3:07 am

video cd's

Postby 10TimesMan » Tue Nov 19, 2002 3:46 am

Just a quick note about ebay and the people who sell old TV series there (Starfleet, Mysterious Cities Of Gold, Spiderman etc). About 4 years ago I spent nearly a year trawling the web, visited hundreds of forums and pages and emailed hundreds of people hundreds of time trying to get hold of a copy of Mysterious Cities Of Gold. Eventually I paid £45 for some barely watchable copies!Now, thanks to ebay I have good quality full sets of all my old favourites, from Starfleet to Mysterious Cities to Button Moon! And all purchased at a reasonable price (compared say, to a 2 hour DVD from HMV at £20 a time).Yes, letting 8 VCDs go up to £50 is a bit dodgy, especially when it'sthe result of someone elses' hard work, but at least it means that genuine fans of Starfleet (like myself) and other series get a chance to watch them again and even own them. I paid £18 for my Starfleet VCD set on a buy it now, which was a huge bargain as far as I'm concerned, though if at the time I'd have known that all these websites existed I would have paid the extra and bought it from the guy who put in all the work.As for the issue of exploitation though - just stop and think about it for a moment; every time you buy anything commercially (CDs/audiovisual equiment/clothes/home appliances) basically ANYTHING WHATSOEVER, you are giving someone a large chunk of money (their profit) for no other reason than that they own the means of production with which to produce that product. Not wishing to go all Bolshevick but that's just the nature of the game, it's a model of market economy based on profit driven exchange and it's called Capitalism, and yes, it is exploitative, so someone will always be making a profit at the expense of someone else. Personally though, I'm quite happy to see my money going to a hard up student or unemployed bloke or whatever, compared to the alternatives, especially if it means i get to watch all my favourite TV shows from when I was a kid. What I'm trying to say is this; people selling these kind of things on ebay is good, not bad, because it means that I, and eveyone else, gets a chance to easily, quickly and safely buy quality stuff at a (usually) reasonable price that might otherwise have taken years to find.
errrrr..........

AndyThomas
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video cd's

Postby AndyThomas » Tue Nov 19, 2002 4:22 am

There is a lot to be said for being able to get hold of old shows when you want to, certainly. That's demand being supplied. However, when these items are up on eBay to be bid on and when auctions are being rigged to artificially inflate prices, which does happen, then someone's losing out. Buy It Now auctions certainly seem less exploitative in that respect.It's interesting that you seem to feel DVDs are a rip off. I recently purchased the entire first series of Babylon 5, nearly a solid day's worth of viewing, for around £30. I would never have got that quality of product buying a pirated copy from eBay, nor would I have been able to get the associated commentaries/packaging etc.I am sure that B5 VCDs were probably around as the DVD release had been a while coming. But given the popularity of the series and the size of Warner Bros it was pretty likely that the DVDs would eventually emerge. So would VCD creators have been justified in exploiting the series in the meantime? What effort, expenditure etc had they put in to create it? What moral right did they have to distribute it for profit?The reality of the situation, and of course it's quite a new situation, is that IPRs in TV series, movies, etc aren't diminishable in the traditional sense. If I nick your car, it's gone, but if I copy one of your DVDs where's your loss? But you'd be... annoyed if I stole your car and sold it and didn't give you some share of the proceeds, wouldn't you? Just as the author of a DVD would be annoyed if you copied his/her work and sold it without giving them a share of the proceeds. Except that you could stand there and argue that you've stolen nothing in the sense of "permanently depriving".The scenario we're talking about here is something new again, because in these cases (for the most part) the author doesn't seem to be around to complain. That doesn't mean to say no-one has the rights to the IPR of course, as one of our members here found out. Indeed, in other countries the rights to Star Fleet, MCOG, Ulysses 31 are still very much alive. So declaring something to be "Abandonware" without the author's express permission to basically put it in the public domain is risky, and morally dubious.The flip side is - it keeps the show alive. It proves there's a market for it, which might be commercially exploited by the author on their return. The reality is, though, that it's a grey market at best. I'm sure some eBay sellers are genuinely in need of the cash - but the rate at which some of them churn out masses of series is taking the piss and suggests serious investment. If they genuinely wanted to keep a series alive they'd distribute it at minimum cost, which means Buy It Now auctions - and even then they're in breach of eBay rules because they're not licensed seller of the merchandise they're offering.OK. Discuss ;)
Andy Thomas - SFXB Webmaster and Forum Moderator


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