video cd's

Chat about collectables, videos
Shane
Posts: 937
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2001 9:10 pm

video cd's

Postby Shane » Thu Nov 21, 2002 7:00 pm

Deep stuff. My opinion for what it's worth.If we were in a position where Star Fleet had no fan community, and therefore no way to tell people how to get hold of copies of the series, then the bootleggers on ebay would have more justification in selling their wares. But we do have a community here, and I was under the impression that Chris, Simon and Daz operated in a "fan taping" capacity, where they cover their costs rather than making a whacking great profit, like some of the ebay auctions I could mention.So you have at least 3 reputable fan contacts for getting copies of the series with a forum full of happy customers posting feedback.To me there seems no reason or justification for anyone else to sell copies on ebay, and definitely not at some of the prices I've seen, purely because of this fanbase.I wouldn't shop anyone with a Star Fleet auction on ebay although I do think a majority of them have no love for the show espesscialy the ones who "borrow" website graphics.Shane.
I like parties, I like fun, I want to live in a hamburger bun!

10TimesMan
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Nov 19, 2002 3:07 am

video cd's

Postby 10TimesMan » Thu Nov 21, 2002 10:08 pm

You talk of "covering costs", and I've broken it down before, but lets do it again. CostsVideo capture card: £60 Gold plated SVHS to Scart cable: £15Original Master Videos: 8x£20 = £160Ripping Software: Freeware avaliable for downloadTotal: £235Income(Minus per set) Labels, Ink, CDRs x 8 (for one set) £2 £23 per set soldTimes that by between 2 sales per week for 18 months (£3276) and 7 sets sold per week for 18 months (£11,466)Obviously I don't know Simons' or anyone elses figures but TEN GRAND! I think that goes a little beyond covering costsAnd the whole point was one of exploitation - you argue it's exploitative for someone on Ebay to buy Simons VCDs then just burn em and flog em because "Ebay-man" hasn't put in the effort (I'm repeating myself here) but surely Simon et al are being equally exploitative of the original shows' producers and copyright holders, who put in a whole heap of effort in creating the show. I'm pretty certain they would put exactly the same arguements to Simon (et al) as you would put to the Ebay sellers. Just because someone is connected to this website and therefore an "out of the closet" fan doesn't mean they have any more or less right to produce and sell bootlegs than anyone else out there. It's hypocritical to to suggest otherwise.You suggest people are trying to "pass the VCDs off as their own work", I don't think they are, and this to me (an assumption a lot of people seem to take fpor granted), It's kind of suggesting that because Simon converted the format that makes it "his work". It is not. I bought "The Life Of Brian" on DVD the other week, it had been converted to DVD from source files by a bunch of technicians in the Paramount pictures workshop. Does this mean that we should credit a bunch of techies with the film? No, of course not, we credit Monty Python et al for making the picture, not the guys who converted it....In short - Neither Simon nor anyone else involved with the VCDs can claim any kind of intellectual rights; yes, hard work went in, but financial rewards act as an offset.
errrrr..........

felice
Posts: 209
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2002 11:14 pm

video cd's

Postby felice » Thu Nov 21, 2002 10:16 pm

> data can be duplicated without diminishing the original> source of that data. However, effort is still required to> produce the original data and so there must be some> incentive for it to be produced in the first place. Tax funded seems like the only reasonable option. Or joint funding by all the potential users, for more specialised data - though that sort of cooperation is awkward under a competition-based system like capitalism.Would anyone object to a tax increase in exchange for unlimited free (well, 50c each or so) DVDs, CDs, software, etc?> I think what we'll see is the rapid growth of Digital > Rights Management software That can never be effective for non-interactive data. No matter how well protected the inert data is, at some point it has to be displayed to the user, and at that point it can be captured by other software or hardware. The most data protection can do is make the initial copying a hassle; it can never prevent it.> so that, as you suggest, listening to an album might> be possible on a "pay per play" basis or as a flat fee> for unlimited play. I'd never advocate "pay per play" for end users; what I want is the exact opposite. The _creators_ should be paid on some kind of "per play" basis, but users should pay a _single_ fee for unlimited access to all data of any kind (as income tax).> But whether that flat fee will be anywhere near> current CD prices I don't know It wouldn't be under a socialist system.> it's the advertising costs and so on that the companies > are mainly trying to recoup... Another of the massive problems with capitalism. Advertising is of no net benefit to society, yet the resources wasted on it are immense. On tv, the ads frequently have bigger budgets than the programs they're palced between. Which makes perverted sense, since the ads are the whole point of commercial tv; the programs are just bait to lure the viewers, who are the product being sold to the advertisers.

felice
Posts: 209
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2002 11:14 pm

video cd's

Postby felice » Thu Nov 21, 2002 10:27 pm

> I'm pretty certain they would put exactly the same > arguements to Simon (et al) as you would put to the> Ebay sellers. Er, the difference being that the copyright holders _aren't_ making the program available. If they did, I'm sure Simon would stop selling them himself (unless they were doing something stupid like charging &#36100 an episode, which would be ripping off the customer).

10TimesMan
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Nov 19, 2002 3:07 am

video cd's

Postby 10TimesMan » Fri Nov 22, 2002 12:00 am

Felice. You're missing my point, and I'm not exactly sure what your trying to say. I was stating that all the arguements against Ebay bootleggers can be equally applied to Simons bootlegging, and that the fact that he put in some effort doing the conversion does not affect this basic point in any way. Bootlegging is bootleggin is bootlegging - doesn't matter if you're an opertunist or a die hard fan with "Starfleet" tatooed on your balls. And as for the "100 dollar" stuff, where are you people getting this from? I 've searched on ebay and seen that over the past few months some Starfleet auctions went as high as £60 and more, on about 3 occaisions - the guy who was responsible for listing the items has been booted from Ebay, there are now a couple of guys doing £20 buy it nows and one a couple of guyts doing £5 starts (which do not pass the £21 mark as the buy it now guys act as a check on the bid type auctions.As for your other points, and without wishing to be rude, you're talking absolute nonsense - income tax raises to pay for communal DVDs? I mean come on! What you're saying, out of context, just doesn't make any sense at all. Joint funding by potential users of a DVD/CD? What?. Which users? Where? How much? Are you suggesting that we should round up every "potential user" of a Britney album and charge em their percentage in order to subsidise prices? In every country in the world? No, of course you're not, you're talking about a kind of global economic , no other word for it, Communism. On a global scale? RE the entertainment industries????What?Well, you gotta laugh I spose, tax increases to subsidise cheap DVDs? Classic, absolute classic! Bet Tony Blair never thought of that one......Also, advertising is argueably of "net value to society" because it fuels consumption, which in turn fuels productivity, which puts people in jobs, who then have the money for consumption, which in turn fuels productivity......... Sorry, don't mean to be rude
errrrr..........

AndyThomas
Posts: 1657
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2001 12:42 am
Contact:

video cd's

Postby AndyThomas » Fri Nov 22, 2002 1:59 am

Felice, I'm afraid I don't see an "entertainment tax" working. The BBC Licence Fee is pretty unpopular over here as is. Why? Well, say I want a show making. I don't get any say in what happens at the BBC despite helping to fund it. You'd end up with some bizarre system where you'd have a Buffy tax, a Star Trek tax, etc, because no-one could ever agree on precisely what the joint fund should be used for!When you stop and think about it, you can never tell where your general taxation is going to be spent (at least here in the UK) - I suppose national insurance is a little different, but... At the end of the day, taxation is viewed as a way of funding public goods which would not otherwise be provided in a wholly market economy. I imagine the angle you're coming from is that in a communist state, in order to have everyone having equal access to entertainment, everyone should contribute to a fund for its production. But as I think you've mentioned, it's then down to a committee to decide how that fund gets split. Then you're looking at a state-funded media debate.Coming back to the VCD issue. 10Times is correct. Enoki are the right holders in Star Fleet and so they are the only party legally entitled to license others to distribute the show in any format. Any other distribution is unlawful at best, illegal at worst. In a recent trade mark case, the Arsenal football club successfully took action against a local trader who produced officially branded merchandise "for the fans".Mike's mentioned the concept of "fair use for review". Unfortunately, that isn't going to be a valid defence for selling a whole series. It's intended to allow academic reproduction of what would otherwise be copyrighted material. I'd have to say that even SFXB itself probably pushes the envelope somewhat in this regard.Consequently, all the CD sets of Star Fleet that exist are indeed pirated and at law no one set is any more legitimate than any other. At law, it really doesn't matter who set the ball rolling.However, 10Times, you may not be aware that Simon's VCDs did require more effort than you're estimating to put together (aside from some low estimates on capturing hardware). Ironically, despite its popularity over here, Star Fleet was never released in full here in the UK. The States, however, did get a full-ish release. Consequently, the tapes Simon has used are NTSC. Not PAL. Trying to capture from NTSC tapes with a normal VCR is a different kettle of fish altogether. I know, because I've tried it.So, the whole VCD creation process for Star Fleet has been unusual to say the least. Tapes had to be imported, specialist equipment hired and so on. As a result, your average boot-legger couldn't do their own version of these VCDs. Indeed, most probably wouldn't even have the hard-drive space required to do decent captures in the first place.So Simon does have an unusual amount of time and effort invested in creating them. Yes, they're still unlawfully created - but perhaps you can see why those in the know understand why those selling this set on really are profiting from a lot of effort by someone else.As to how much profit Simon may or may not have made - only he can say, and obviously it's up to him to account for that. What I will say is that although we've had our differences over interpretation of eBay's rules I've never seen any negative feedback about his service and his service is transparent.The fact does remain, however, that Simon can't claim copyright in a series which he doesn't own. So in that sense, yes, the people who are copying his VCDs are on an equal footing with him. However, their quality of service and general tactics are frequently questionable.At the end of the day, those who want to watch the series again in full having been reminded of it by the various sites can do so, one way or another. Which is a positive.
Andy Thomas - SFXB Webmaster and Forum Moderator

felice
Posts: 209
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2002 11:14 pm

video cd's

Postby felice » Fri Nov 22, 2002 2:34 am

> Felice. You're missing my point, and I'm not exactly> sure what your trying to say. I was stating that all> the arguements against Ebay bootleggers can be > equally applied to Simons bootleggingNo they can't; Simon is loosing sales to the Ebay bootleggers; the copyright holders are _not_ loosing sales to Simon, because they aren't trying to sell the series. _If_ they were, then the same argument would apply, but they're not.And auctioning bootlegs doesn't make any sense, since there is an unlimited supply; doing so is clearly an attempt to rip off people who don't realise this.> And as for the "100 dollar" stuff, where are you people> getting this from?It was a hypothetical example - if the copyright holders realsed official DVDs at &#36100 an episode, I think it would be morally justified to continue selling unofficial copies, since the copyright holders would be trying to rip us off.> As for your other points, and without wishing to be> rude, you're talking absolute nonsense Debateable. It makes sense to me.> income tax raises to pay for communal DVDs? I mean> come on! What you're saying, out of context, just> doesn't make any sense at all.Yes it does. We have tax-funded communal books (you've heard of libraries?); why not DVDs?> Joint funding by potential users of a DVD/CD? What?.> Which users? Where? How much?I was thinking more of software here, though it could apply to video too (eg training videos). For highly specialised data with limited numbers of potential users, it might make sense for the users to pay directly. An example would be for the world's airports to get together to fund development of better software for their control towers.> Are you suggesting that we should round up every > "potential user" of a Britney album and charge em> their percentage in order to subsidise prices?No. I'm suggesting that Britney albums should be available at cost (50c or so, I believe) from your local record store, the record stores would tell the government how many copies were sold, and the government would pay Britney and her colleagues an appropriate proportion of the entertainment fund (preferably capped at a reasonable hourly rate for the work they put in).> No, of course you're not, you're talking about a kind of> global economic , no other word for it, Communism. Well, there are other words for it, such as Socialism, but you're essentially correct.> On a global scale?Possibly, but not necessarily.> RE the entertainment industries?Entertainment, software, anything where the per-unit cost is negligible but the original requires significant investment.> Well, you gotta laugh I spose, tax increases to > subsidise cheap DVDs? Classic, absolute classic! Bet> Tony Blair never thought of that one......Exactly the same thing used to happen with the BBC (maybe still does - I'm not sure). Programs were paid for by taxes, and broadcast on commercial-free television, generating no revenue. Allowing free copying of DVDs is no different, it's simply using an alternative means distribution (physical discs rather than broadcasting).> Also, advertising is argueably of "net value to society"> because it fuels consumption, which in turn fuels> productivity, which puts people in jobs, who then have> the money for consumption, which in turn fuels> productivity.........Under capitalism, perhaps, but it's a crazy system. Objectively, consumption and production should be _minimised_, to get as many people out of jobs as possible (or more precisely, have everyone in jobs, but minimise the number of hours a week they need to work). People generally don't _want_ jobs, they want reliable income.

felice
Posts: 209
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2002 11:14 pm

video cd's

Postby felice » Fri Nov 22, 2002 2:53 am

> Felice, I'm afraid I don't see an "entertainment tax"> working. The BBC Licence Fee is pretty unpopular over> here as is. Why? Well, say I want a show making. I> don't get any say in what happens at the BBC despite> helping to fund it. Yes, that's a problem. But the solution is giving you a say, not abandoning the license fee.> You'd end up with some bizarre system where you'd> have a Buffy tax, a Star Trek tax, etc, because no-one> could ever agree on precisely what the joint fund> should be used for!What's bizarre about that? It wouldn't be difficult to allow people to specify what they want their share of the tax to be spent on each season, from the available options. Each show's budget would be directly dependent on the number of people who want to see it. And people could of course donate to their favourite shows directly if they weren't popular enough to survive purely on the entertainment fund.> When you stop and think about it, you can never tell> where your general taxation is going to be spentYou should be able to. A democratic socialist system would allow everyone control over how their taxation would be spent.> But as I think you've mentioned, it's then down to a> committee to decide how that fund gets split. Then> you're looking at a state-funded media debate. Not necessarily. With today's technology, there's no reason that the general public can't directly influence decisions. And the market economy doesn't have a great track record; look at Babylon 5, Crusade, Farscape... the creative teams wanted to keep making them, a sufficient audience wanted to watch them, but they were cancelled or damaged by the expectation of cancellation at the whim of the capital owners.

10TimesMan
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Nov 19, 2002 3:07 am

video cd's

Postby 10TimesMan » Fri Nov 22, 2002 4:11 pm

Felice:OK, for starters I think you've gotta stop taking apart others comments and criticising them piecemeal (very easy to do), and put forward (and defend) a coherant codified statement of your own views (not quite so easy to do).Briefly though in response., and firstly I should say that I'm a leftie, have always been a liberal, and for a few years was an active member of the Socialist workers Party. Anyway.....Firstly.The arguement that Ebay sellers are bootleggers is equally valid for Simon - he is bootlegging, therefore he is a bootlegger. True. Therefore any arguement criticising Ebay bootleggers FOR BOOTLEGGING can also be applied to Simon . True. Have I made that clear enough?Incidentally, the copyright holders may well be loosing FUTURE sales to Simon (if a DVD/VHS release does ever come about ... as in the case of Terrahawks!!), so that arguement isn't valid either.Secondly, As for your comments relating to public libraries, you've changed tack here a little, in fact my public library does RENT out DVDs, along with music CDs, VHS tapes and even some Playstation games, however, you were originally talking about ownership, not renting. A big difference. I don't see any reason why public libraries shouldn't increase their range of audio-visual material in keeping with, current trends. However, renting on a 1 week basis, like I said, is very different to state sponsered individual ownership.ThirdlyYes, we do pay a TV license in Britain of around £150 though this varies according to circumstances, and yes, we could as you suggest, in theory, extend this to include subsidisation of other mediums such as DVD or CD, however, the costs involved ON A NATIONAL SCALE in Britain would be phenomenal. I couldn;'t even begin to do the sums accurately, but I estimate that to include the whole range of DVD VHS CD and other media, we'd be looking at an "entertainment tax" of a minimum of £20,000 per head(probably much more when you consider the billions of individual copyright - held medias), roughly equivalent to the average household after tax income. Are you starting to see my point? Even under a different system of government subsidy we'd still have the problem of low capita users subsidising high capita users, this is acceptable in the essentail public services such as the NHS but would not be in relation to non-essential/luxury items) So on a national scale its completely unfeasible, on a global scale in theory it might just work, but its so unlikely to ever happen that there's not much point even debating it, which brings me to my next point...My general problem with a lot of your views doesn't involve the particulars; it's that your ideas are so, I dunno, "leftfield"?, "radical"? "absurd"? that there really is no chance of ever implementing them, or even of considering their implementation, in todays advanced global-economic society/ies. Which makes them a bit pointless, I kind of feel you're flogging a damp squib. May be a nice idea in theory, but then again so is free gin and tonics to all miners whos surname has the letter "p" in it. Like I say, nice idea but utterly ridiculous in the real world.Good to see there're still some idealists out there though, thought they all died in 1979 along with Social Democracy and the national industries..........
errrrr..........


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