Page 2 of 7
Posted: Tue Nov 19, 2002 10:16 am
I remmember something like this happened about 2 years back with a batch of MMPR VCDs. One site had been given permission by Saban too put each weekly episode on-line as long as they got royalties. They did and all was fine until some thieving gits decided too nab every episode, charge for them on site and on ebay.Lets just say that all parties but saban got a heifty fine the next morning.The Ebay seller was charged with piracy, and both the the site was granted permission and the site that did not were closed for violating saban's rights or something.i can't see the curent rights holders of Star fleet doing anything as drastic. but you all saw what happened with simon and Terrahawks earler this year. At least poor old simon didn't end up out of pocket.
Posted: Tue Nov 19, 2002 4:22 pm
Well, obviously there're a lot of issues regarding copyright to be dealt with but they are a little beside my original point, and I don't think many of them come into play with regards to the kind os shows I'm talking about in the same way they would with Babylon 5 or Star Trek or Buffy or whatever, basically becasue all of these shows (ad their ilk) have structured release schedules, so a VHS and DVD release is planned down to the date, with targeted sale base and income projections and all the associated marketing bunk. On the other hand. with, for example Mysterious Cities Of Gold, despite thousands upon thousands of signatures on a petition stating explicitly that users would buy DVD sets if and when released, still there are no plans for such a release. Implicit in my original point was a swipe at all those people on this site and others like it who criticise people on ebay for doing exactly what they themselves are doing (selling bootleg, unlicensed copies), and, not just stopping there, but actually contacting ebay to "tell tales" on the perpetrators. It just isn't on. Why is it OK for "us over here" to make and sell the VCDs but not for "them over there", who are incidentally, making the items avaliable to a much large fan base and often at a educed rice (I paid £18 for my Starfleet VCDs and currently they’re going for £20 on buy it now, less than people on this site charge). If we take your comments on copyright issues on board then really no-one should do it, which of course would mean no-one gets a chance to watch shows again unless they spend months trawling the web and eventually send a wad of cash to a stranger.So, criticising these people and worse still reporting them to Ebay is hypocritical, it's also damaging because as a result auctions are being closed down, which makes it that much harder to get hold of hard-to-find old shows (I noticed this was happening a lot recently and now I know why. Thanks guys!) Furthermore, it's potentially damaging to everyone involved; I don't know what actual steps Ebay takes and if this includes such measures as contacting copyright holders to inform them of breaches, but I do know 2 things. One, that on my Starfleet VCDs there's a stark warning from the FBI at the start of some episodes, reminding viewers of copyright restrictions which, just in owning a copy, we are all violating. And two, that the Inland Revenue just loves to hear about things like this. I don't know if Simon Coverdale and others are licensed distributors but I doubt it, and if they aren't if they've, say, sold 200 sets at £20 each, that would make them liable for damages up to about £6000 for lost revenue to the copyright holder and probably about £10,000 in legal fees. They would owe the Inland Revenue about £1600 in taxes plus the same again in fines and a potential custodial sentance. If you lot are exposing sellers on Ebay to these kinds of risks then are they not gonna respond in kind? (I'm betting whoever started the whole Ebay thing is someone who reads these boards otherwise how did the things get on Ebay in the first place, they weren't there 3 months ago!)To summarise:Why is it OK for the people on this site to flog bootlegs for profit but not for people on Ebay to do it?And...Shouldn't we all just kep our mouths shut, keep buying and enjoying the classics, and no-one gets hurt?PSAgain, with regards to Mysterious Cities Of Gold, most of the sets out there are the result of a lot of hard work by a guy called Tim Skutt, who spent a long time digitally remastering every scrap of MCOG media in any language (when the technology to do this was not cheap) he could get his hands on and overdubbing it in English. He then put his collected work on an ftp for free download so everyone could watch it again for free (Simon Coverdale if you're reading this...........)
Posted: Tue Nov 19, 2002 4:53 pm
I liked the idea of hosting on an FTP service for free, and indeed I do this with episode from the simpsons / startrek / Sex and the City / Transformers / Friends / Will and Grace and a few other bits and bobs. It allows people to watch what they forgot about and / or have a digital backup of the fav things.Without things like this older / rarer TV programs like startfleet would die off and remain lost for ever. I think people should cover matirials and time costs to reproduce for people as you rightly say it takes time to produce videos / cd / files, ie it took me 2 hours per episode to make the office into divx and then a futher 2 hours to convert them all in to VCD - and that was time I could have spend doing other stuff, but as usual they are available for free. These (except for transformers) are bad examples as these shows are still in wide circulation, but for older shows like starfleet , this is invaluable to keeping the program alive. Remember its 20 years old, do you see the likes ot Teenage Turtles having such a following and that is what 8 / 10 years old ?
Posted: Tue Nov 19, 2002 5:36 pm
My referencing Babylon 5 was just a "for example" - a more relevant scenario here is what happened with Terrahawks, when everyone had assumed it was dead and then it sprang back to life with the VCD purveyor getting "clobbered". That's obviously a risk.I should point out that to my knowledge only one person here actually uses eBay and... other means to sell Star Fleet. They're all, however, selling at fixed prices. How much profit there is for them, I don't know. It was, to my way of thinking anyway, inevitable that once Star Fleet was out on VCD it would in effect become public domain because whilst Simon has put effort into making that set, he can't claim any more copyright in the series itself than any other bootlegger who chooses to copy those discs.However, I understand that Simon has put a lot of effort into hiring specialist equipment, buying good quality tapes of the series from the US and subsequently producing CD sets. Just like your MCOG example. The eBay sellers who buy a CD set from him, and then reproduce it, haven't had those overheads. So yes, now you can buy them cheaper - but as you said originally, if you'd known Simon had put the effort in you'd have wanted to buy from him. Whether he's making too much profit is something only Simon can say.Coming back to the eBay point. There was recently a spate of auctions for old shows claiming that the material being sold was "officially licensed". Very professionally done pages. One of the threads here was querying that auction. Now, that's out and out fraud. Thay eBay seller knew exactly what they were doing in putting those pages together. Can you honestly say they shouldn't face action from eBay for that sort of auction? We might know better, but someone looking for a present for a boyfriend might not. You've been lucky with eBay; you could quite easily end up with a VCD set that's unwatchable.Also. These guys are not fans of the shows they're merrily selling to the highest bidder. If you look at their other auctions they're also selling series of Angel, Buffy and the like on VCD. They're simply exploiting someone else's hard work because they happened to get hold of the VCDs and have a CD burner to hand. So they get suspended from eBay not because of their auctions of old cartoons, but because they're greedy.I would prefer to see a fansub scenario. If you're unfamiliar, this is a reference to anime fans creating English subtitled versions of commercially unreleased Japanese shows and distributing them on a cost-covering basis. eBay has simply provided a one-stop shop for a more black market approach to this sort of thing which has much looser rules. This is the reality of course - you looked at eBay first and bought from there rather than finding my site which would also have given you a fixed-price way of getting the series, as it happens, from people who actually know something about it.So yes, from time to time some of us take action when we see bidding wars on the VCD sets because we know someone's about to get ripped off. I will complain about an auction if it rips material off my site without permission because that's an infringement of my copyright. The odds are the seller will get suspended from eBay for a little while but will probably make a new ID the next day and be back.Finally, your point about putting material on a FTP site. I'm sorry, but do you have any idea at all how much it would cost to host a server capable of serving 8 hours of high quality video to multiple individuals at the same time? Thousands of pounds. A year. You'd chew up a month's bandwidth for a normal ISP account if just 2 people downloaded one episode each. Enoki, the right holders, suggested some sort of pay-per-view option to me a couple of years back but it just won't work over here.At the end of the day, there's no "right" answer to all this. It's down to individuals to make choices about what they want to do, as with anything else, and be prepared to take the consequences.
Posted: Tue Nov 19, 2002 5:40 pm
Erm, Matt, the Transformers series is now widely available on DVD as well y'know...http://www.sfxb.co.uk/other80sstuff/80smerchandise.html
Posted: Tue Nov 19, 2002 7:20 pm
ahh yes but when I started hosting them ages ago they where not, I had mates from back home take my old videos into work and "rip" them and sourced other episodes over the net
Posted: Tue Nov 19, 2002 8:16 pm
OK, well I'm gonna stop banging on about it, except to make a few last points.Firstly, you're right about the FTP thing - v expensive, but with the rise of broadband and P2P stuff like this can be distributed for everyone to enjoy easily (and free). I wonder if any of the people on here who object so strongly to profiteering on enjoyment would be willing to put their digital episodes on Kazaa and put their money where their mouth is so to speak....?Secondly, yes, I agree that selling this kind of thing as originals is a fraudulent description, but when people recieve the VCDs/videos they will realise this, complain to Ebay, and the seller will face action anyway, regardless of what anyone here says or does. Which, incidentally, is why I prefer Ebay, not just because of the choice, avaliability and scope, but also because all my purchases (made with creditcard) are triple-protected. If threatened negative feedback doesn't work, Ebay offers full insurance, and if this is inelligible then my credit card company covers my losses.Anyway.....What happened with the Terrahawks thing by the way? Someone get in trouble?PS I know the guys you're on about, there's at least 2, one calls himself cartooncrazy/cartooncrazy4U/cartooncapers and various variations, another calls himself VCDsupersellerNo1/VCDs4U/VCDseller etc etc. They sell the whole range of bootlegs and are exactly the kind of people you're on about. I boughta Vissionaries VCD set of one of them and it took 6 weeks to arrive, they'd been barred from from ebay after 2 weeks or so and in the end I had to threaten to go to their house if they didn't send the VCDs. I'd advise anyone resading this to avoid these and other sellers with neagative feedback.
Posted: Tue Nov 19, 2002 11:58 pm
Well don't look at me - I'm on a 56K connection and that's unlikely to change in the near future! Interesting that you pay by credit card, I don't tend to for eBay auctions and I'm seldom involved in ones of a value where I'd feel it was worth trying to get money back. But I agree, eBay does provide a certain amount of comfort although the same effect can be achieved by referring someone to your eBay profile to demonstrate good dealing in the past of course.As for the Terrahawks thing, as detailed elsewhere on this forum, our Mr Coverdale was doing VCDs of the old Terrahawks releases that came out years back when Revelation sprang out from behind an IPR bush and threw their lawyers at him. Mr Coverdale escaped unscathed but his TerrahawksDirect site did not...
Posted: Wed Nov 20, 2002 1:40 am
Why interesting that I pay by card? Is the easiest way - Two clicks and item bought and paid for and on the way....
Posted: Wed Nov 20, 2002 4:19 am
PayPal wasn't as common when I was heavily into auctions - they've streamlined it a lot in the past year or so. But in the past people used to try and surcharge you for paying with PayPal because of PayPal's charges. It's a historical thing for me I suppose.