"Fuck you, I got your film for nothing, cumstain."

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vogler
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#126 Post by vogler » Mon Dec 18, 2006 12:17 pm

Ha - who renamed the thread '"Fuck you, I got your film for nothing, cumstain." - that's fucking hilarious!

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Tommaso
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#127 Post by Tommaso » Mon Dec 18, 2006 12:26 pm

vogler wrote:Ha - who renamed the thread '"Fuck you, I got your film for nothing, cumstain." - that's fucking hilarious!
At least now all the topic reply notifications will end up in the spam folder automatically, so it might take longer for some to see them, which may or may not be helpful to cool this whole thing down a little....

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MichaelB
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#128 Post by MichaelB » Mon Dec 18, 2006 12:32 pm

ambrose1am wrote:For the last time, I am not putting MoC or you out of business. I have spent thousands of dollars supporting your business, and I'm not sure I want to anymore.
Sorry - I didn't spot this earlier, but it's given me (i.e. the "you" referred to above) a good excuse to stress that:

1. Everything I have posted in this thread (and of course elsewhere) is my own personal opinion, and in no way should be regarded as representative of the views of any organisations I may work or have worked for (this should be obvious, but I've noticed one or two posts that suggest otherwise).

2. And because I'm not employed by a DVD label except on an occasional flat-fee freelance basis, comments such as the one above have no practical impact on me personally, since I've already been paid in full for my work. As I said right at the start of this thread, the people primarily hurt by pirating the DVDs I produce are the filmmakers themselves - which instantly invalidates any claim the uploaders may have to being genuine fans.

I said 'uploaders' rather than 'downloaders' because of course they're the real problem. If this material wasn't made available in the first place, there wouldn't be anything to download.

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a.khan
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#129 Post by a.khan » Mon Dec 18, 2006 1:21 pm

The new subject line is a mistake.

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GringoTex
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#130 Post by GringoTex » Mon Dec 18, 2006 1:50 pm

vogler wrote:But obviously it isn't - this is why the issue of file sharing has been so widely debated since it's inception in the courts, by the media and elsewhere.
There is zero debate about the legality, morality, or ethics of data stealing in international law. Frankly, I'm flabbergasted that anyone could see any gray areas in these examples of robbing MoC. But I guess people will try to justify anything to excuse their own ethical remisses. Personal responsibility has gone the way of a good Von Trier film.

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#131 Post by yoshimori » Mon Dec 18, 2006 1:51 pm

Complete rubbish. Libraries legally provide discs on a temporary basis. The people illegally making the discs available for download offer the information for infinite use on a permanent basis.
So, are we saying we'd have no objection to someone's downloading the information for a one [or limited] time use, following the library or video rental house model?

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#132 Post by peerpee » Mon Dec 18, 2006 1:58 pm

yoshimori wrote:So, are we saying we'd have no objection to someone's downloading the information for a one time use, following the library or video rental house model?
No, we are not, because a.) We would never authorise anyone to upload it on our behalf, reasons being: b.) the technology does not exist for one-time use; c.) it's unmonitorable; and d.) even if the technology did exist, the "protection" could be cracked. So, a big 'no'.

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vogler
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#133 Post by vogler » Mon Dec 18, 2006 3:01 pm

GringoTex wrote:
vogler wrote:But obviously it isn't - this is why the issue of file sharing has been so widely debated since it's inception in the courts, by the media and elsewhere.
There is zero debate about the legality, morality, or ethics of data stealing in international law. Frankly, I'm flabbergasted that anyone could see any gray areas in these examples of robbing MoC. But I guess people will try to justify anything to excuse their own ethical remisses. Personal responsibility has gone the way of a good Von Trier film.
To suggest that there is 'zero debate' about anything in ethical and moral terms is absolutely nonsensical. Morals and ethics are subjective and everyone has their own beliefs in these areas. I doubt if there are any two people with identical opinions on morals and ethics. The thing about laws is that they are changeable. To me they don't in any way represent a universal ethical or moral code. They may, however, be based to a large extent on discussions regarding ethics and morality and this is where the debate comes in. The law is not written in stone and many laws have changed over time as a result of ethical and moral debate. There are also many people who have the ability to think for themselves and make their own decisions on morals and ethics; I for one believe that there are many laws that are entirely unethical and don't believe that the law is the be-all end-all of universal notions of 'right' and 'wrong'.

If you think that I personally am 'justify anything to excuse (my) own ethical remisses' then I think you should read the thread more clearly and think about it in a bit more depth. I am not speaking in favour of downloading MOC dvds and that is clear from my posts. What I am saying is that many of the people who do download MOC dvds are also paying customers, therefore overly abusive and hostile tactics, such as spamming their forum, asking for informers, and sending threatening personal messages are going to alienate these people and actually do more harm than good. This can easily be seen from the reactions of the people at asian dvd club. I think we can be sure that Criterion and The BFI would not behave like this. There should be lawyers to handle these issues and notices sent to those running the torrent sites should be polite but firmly state the case. The first request should be that all relevant links are removed and then there should be a wait to see if they comply. MichaelB spoke of some cases such as this earlier - he asked the individuals in question to remove the files and in most cases they did. I'm no expert on law but I believe Nick may well have seriously hurt his case on a legal basis with some of his actions.

I am calling for logic and common sense to be used in this debate (and I mean on a larger scale than this thread). With a calm and intellectually considered debate the different sides of the issue become a lot more clear and possible solutions may be found. Spontaneous Knee jerk reactions with a lack of considered thought achieve nothing for anyone. This applies to all debate situations. Again I stress the importance of diplomacy.

Again I will state that these people are customers of MOC and alienating them will not increase sales, and there are a very great number of them. Just think about it. Attacking these people personally will make them turn against MOC and they will no longer want to buy the dvds. The tactic for a dvd label should be to try and stop the torrent site, not to personally attack the members (incidentally, this is why one person responded to Nick with the line that is now this threads title).

Lastly there are grey areas legally. In this case the main one would be, as I (and others) have stated before, that the torrent sites do not contain any copyright infringing data. They only contain links to allow people to download all these fillms from each other. So the question is whether it is illegal to host a site containing links that help you to download this data.

Again and again people insist on engaging in this empty moralising with no actual thought for the logic of the issue and the facts. Oversimplifying matters in this way is in no ones interest and leads to all sorts of actions that benefit no one and achieve none of the goals that are desired. Thinking is important, debate is important, logic is important - Ill considered knee jerk reactions are not.

Oh yeah - did I say that I'm not supporting the downloading of MOC dvds yet.
Last edited by vogler on Mon Dec 18, 2006 4:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Darth Lavender
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#134 Post by Darth Lavender » Mon Dec 18, 2006 3:05 pm

Just had a very quick look at this thread (so, apologies if I'm repeating myself)

This is one of those things which everyone has their firm opinions on, and I'll just take the opportunity to express some of mine, in point form; about the practical and moral implications of this sort of thing (not going to comment very much on the legal implications because (a) I'm not a lawyer and (b) laws change, especially in how they relate to the internet with things like the DRM being constantly updated, etc.)

So, a few thoughts...

- My gut reaction is to come down on the side of the pirates, just because of the childish amount of profanity and egotism of the anti-pirate posts on this thread (example, a few posts earlier someone was talking about there being absolutely no room for debate morally, legally, etc. Just about everything is debatable, especially intellectual-property laws (were we get into all kinds of interesting issues like parody, etc.)) Generally speaking, I tend to look down on people who shout and/or use profanity.
Also, just the fact that my first experience of Masters Of Cinema was the NTSC>PAL 'Faust' DVD (I've read, elsewere, the thread about the reasons for this, and since I don't know enough about the economics of a new film-DVD transfer, I shan't actually say "I think this is right" or "I think this is wrong," but I will certainly say that I was immensely disappointed with the Faust transfer and that fits in to my, above-mentioned, gut-reaction.
Anyway, that just sums up my 'feelings' on this issue. On to actual opinions...

Practically; it depends on how many of these people are prepared to just watch a movie once and buy it if they like it. In that regard, I do consider this to be a good thing (especially if the downloads are sub-DVD quality) most especially for smaller labels. Since most of the DVDs they sell are of the kind that one can't usually rent or see on television, I for one tend to be very reluctant to pay $45 (Australian) for a movie which I may not even enjoy watching once. Although I used to rent DVDs constantly (seen every one, now,) and I often buy cheap DVDs that look interesting and even expensive DVDs of movie I already love, I have spent very little money on expensive DVDs of movies I haven't seen before.
But I can say, from experience, that on a number of occasions I have managed to rent or catch on television some obscure art-house film (or something else by the same director) and enjoyed it so much that I've decided to buy an expensive DVD of the film, and I'd assume the same to be true of downloaded movies.
Also, there's the issue of overpriced DVDs (I'm thinking of Criterion's older releases here) there's a few DVDs which I have no intention of buying, just because I think the price is ridiculously high (and, in a lot of cases, I'm talking about movies so rare that I probably couldn't download them even if I wanted to.)

Morally, I am of the opinion that pirating, like drinking during the prohibition era, or working on the underground railroad :wink: *could* be considered wrong *purely* because it is against the law. I do not hold that it is actually stealing, otherwise why make the distinction at 50 year old films? (Or is it 70 years old? I know Sonny Bono managed to get the term extended at some point)
Stealing is stealing, so in purely moral terms (forgetting the legal for a moment) it should be just as wrong to copy Dickens without paying the fellow's decendents as it is to copy Nabokov.
The copyright is what I categorise as a 'Practical' law. While there are a small number of 'Moral' laws (eg. laws against euthenasia, even if the person wants to die and the doctor wants to help, exist entirely because euthenasia is deemed by the lawmaker to be *morally* wrong (I'm talking about the lawmaker's reasoning here; I have no intention of getting into a euthenasia debate or even expressing my own views on the matter)
Practical laws, however, are what I call those laws which prohibit actions that aren't necessarily immoral in themselves, but which must be prohibited all the same, so that bad things won't happen. (An obvious example would be jay-walking; there's nothing morally wrong with crossing the street were there isn't a zebra crossing (especially if there's no cars around) but the law has it's practical uses in (theoretically) reducing the number of car crashes, etc. Gun-ownership restrictions might be another example of a practical law.
Similarly, my view on copyright law is that it isn't *morally* wrong to 'steal' intellectual property, it's simply something that, in some cases, should be banned anyway so that starving artists can continue to eat, aging films can be restored, etc.

I realise most people here are going to strongly disagree with me (probably using the same kind of profanity and self-righteousness that I mentioned earlier,) but that's ok. Perhaps some of your responses will even make an interesting observation or two.

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nyasa
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#135 Post by nyasa » Mon Dec 18, 2006 3:19 pm

While I don't condone the illegal upload of DVDs, the existence of such sites fulfills a demand not so much for downloadable films as for near-unlimited access to films.

Sadly, in all probability the repsonse will be to do what the music industry did - to unveil official download sites in which inferior product is offered without manufacturing, packaging and transport costs but at premium rates. (It's already happening: Lovefilm, the online rental company, is offering film downloads for £19.99 - almost $40!)

But there's an alternative vision for the future of movie retail. Lots of films available so cheaply that every cine-nut can afford to have a personal collection of thousands of films. Profits - to the rightful owners of the copyright - would come from sheer volume of sales.

That's the kind of future I'd like to see. In the meantime, catch the upload pirates and cut their balls off.

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#136 Post by tryavna » Mon Dec 18, 2006 3:23 pm

adnankhan wrote:The new subject line is a mistake.
I agree. Clearly, it should be:

"You smell of poo, I downloaded all your films for free."

(Sorry, that one just cracks me up.)

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GringoTex
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#137 Post by GringoTex » Mon Dec 18, 2006 3:34 pm

vogler wrote:If you think that I personally am 'justify anything to excuse (my) own ethical remisses' then I think you should read the thread more clearly and think about it in a bit more depth.
I'll save my deep thinking for Eisenstein's influence on Pabst (yes Herr Schreck, I still need to get to it). The last time I deeply pondered the moral ambiguity of theft was when I was in high school, broke, and jonesing for a dip of snuff.

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vogler
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#138 Post by vogler » Mon Dec 18, 2006 3:48 pm

GringoTex wrote:
vogler wrote:If you think that I personally am 'justify anything to excuse (my) own ethical remisses' then I think you should read the thread more clearly and think about it in a bit more depth.
I'll save my deep thinking for Eisenstein's influence on Pabst (yes Herr Schreck, I still need to get to it). The last time I deeply pondered the moral ambiguity of theft was when I was in high school, broke, and jonesing for a dip of snuff.
Yes, I've been waiting for you to shed some light on that one. I'm not quite seeing the comparison either but that's another debate.

The fact that you posted that quote followed by that comment shows that you obviously didn't get to the end of my post (and why would you?). But just once more for you 'did I say that I'm not supporting the downloading of MOC dvds.'

Unfortunately your debating and perceptive skills have proved to be just about as good as your ability to recongnise Eisensteinian montage (incidentally I will be most interested if you do find some examples of that to back up your claims).

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#139 Post by ambrose1am » Mon Dec 18, 2006 5:00 pm

MichaelB wrote:
ambrose1am wrote:You know, after all that I wrote, it's weird that you would respond to only that comment. I just wrote that I respect artists who don't support file sharing, and wouldn't download their work because of that.
And then signed off by calling Nick a liar. Since I know Nick and respect what he does, why is it remotely strange that I would respond to that? Surely it would be far stranger if I didn't?

And why should I take the rest of your post seriously when you sign it off with a totally unsupported accusation - which you won't back up even when challenged?
For the last time, I am not putting MoC or you out of business. I have spent thousands of dollars supporting your business, and I'm not sure I want to anymore. I see you're trying to provoke me,
No, you are the one being provocative. I've spent my time in this thread trying to sift fact from fantasy and applying the various mostly hypothetical situations being raised to the real world that some of us actually work in.
so I'm done posting in this thread. It seems we're doomed to talk past each other w/r/t this issue.
That's because your modus operandi is to make sweeping assertions with no evidence, refusing to produce any when challenged, usually preferring to drop the subject altogether when someone more knowledgeable than you takes you to task (for an excellent example, see Davidhare's response to your wildly inaccurate impression of French intellectual property law).

So why should anyone who cares about this issue - indeed, who may have a professional interest in it - take you seriously when you argue in such demonstrably bad faith?
This is such an obnoxious post I don't know where to begin. MichaelB, I'm sorry things turned so sour because I enjoyed and indeed, learned something, from your posts, but the ad hominem arguments are out of line.

For the record, I didn't respond to Davidhare because, first, he resorted to name calling, and second, because what should I say? I'm not “dropping subjectsâ€

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#140 Post by toiletduck! » Mon Dec 18, 2006 5:58 pm

vogler, your wear and tear is showing...

Seriously though, you have my deepest admiration for having the patience of a saint and being one of the few consistent voices of reason in this thread. Between this and the avant-garde thread, I'm tempted to make a last minute alteration to my Member of the Year vote (no offense if you're reading this, zedz).

As for me, this is swerving back in the ethical void that I'm particularly interested in, so I've taken my Prozac and swear to play nice...
peerpee wrote:
yoshimori wrote:So, are we saying we'd have no objection to someone's downloading the information for a one time use, following the library or video rental house model?
No, we are not, because a.) We would never authorise anyone to upload it on our behalf, reasons being: b.) the technology does not exist for one-time use; c.) it's unmonitorable; and d.) even if the technology did exist, the "protection" could be cracked. So, a big 'no'.
Nick, I don't know if this is was yoshimori was intending or not, but I am genuinely curious as to your feelings towards the theoretical situation of someone downloading an unfamiliar film from a torrent for a one time use. I realize there are still issues of (il)legality, however, does a downloader who uses the resources simply as a "preview" system garner the same reaction as one who uses them as a substitute for a purchase?
Darth Lavender wrote:Similarly, my view on copyright law is that it isn't *morally* wrong to 'steal' intellectual property, it's simply something that, in some cases, should be banned anyway so that starving artists can continue to eat, aging films can be restored, etc.
This is an interesting statement (and rife with further debates -- the importance of distribution of art vs. the protection of the distributors; the topic of art distribution as a business model in itself could stir up a few pages), but I believe (hope) that the 'anti-pirates', especially those with a connection to a production house, would argue that the real problem is not 'stealing' of the intellectual property -- the idealist in me likes to think these guys would give copies of the films they hold the rights to away for free were it feasible -- but rather the work that they have put into the DVD (primarily restoration and supplements, he said presumptively). I don't think that Nick & co. are terribly offended that a film that his company holds the rights to is being downloaded. The time and money they have pumped into the release, on the other hand...

Also, vogler's lengthy post above about subjective ethical and moral codes -- I'd like to second that pretty much word for word. That's what I was attempting to breach way back on page, what, two? He's just much better at it.

-Toilet Dcuk

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vogler
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#141 Post by vogler » Mon Dec 18, 2006 6:26 pm

toiletduck! wrote:vogler, your wear and tear is showing...

Seriously though, you have my deepest admiration for having the patience of a saint and being one of the few consistent voices of reason in this thread. Between this and the avant-garde thread, I'm tempted to make a last minute alteration to my Member of the Year vote (no offense if you're reading this, zedz).
Thanks for the compliment, although it was you that had the balls to step into this thread some time before me preparing the way for my later contributions. With regards to the member of the year vote I have a feeling that, in the eyes of the majority of the forum, I may be headed more towards the Richard Cranium. :lol:

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zedz
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#142 Post by zedz » Mon Dec 18, 2006 8:41 pm

ambrose1am wrote: And finally:
MichaelB wrote:As I said right at the start of this thread, the people primarily hurt by pirating the DVDs I produce are the filmmakers themselves - which instantly invalidates any claim the uploaders may have to being genuine fans.
Talk about making “sweeping assertionsâ€

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#143 Post by ambrose1am » Mon Dec 18, 2006 8:49 pm

zedz wrote:
ambrose1am wrote: And finally:
MichaelB wrote:As I said right at the start of this thread, the people primarily hurt by pirating the DVDs I produce are the filmmakers themselves - which instantly invalidates any claim the uploaders may have to being genuine fans.
Talk about making “sweeping assertionsâ€

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#144 Post by Jun-Dai » Tue Dec 19, 2006 1:31 am

peerpee wrote:Complete rubbish. Libraries legally provide discs on a temporary basis. The people illegally making the discs available for download offer the information for infinite use on a permanent basis. Using the example of secondhand sales in your argument is akin condoning the forgery of banknotes -- you're basically arguing that used banknotes don't have any value.
That's true, but that really plays into the ratio more than anything else. If you want to watch the film once on Thursday and once next March, provided they are in stock, you can, through a library. But you do bring up the main difference between a library and a downloading the film (which I suspect most people only do so they can watch the film once), which is the level of convenience involved. Downloads are more convenient that libraries or rental services because you don't have to leave your house when you want to watch the film and you don't have to pay for them.

What I'm really trying to get at is that there's a spectrum--from one viewer : one purchaser to 6 billion viewers : one purchaser--and that all of these services have two kinds of impacts on this spectrum: a theoretical one and a practical one. For libraries, used DVD stores, and rental services the theoretical impact is somewhat limited (though I'd also suggest that the main reason you don't feel the hit from rental services is that you don't know what it would be like without them), say 10:1. The potential ratio of owners to purchasers is pretty much the same, since there's nothing stopping a remotely computer-savvy person from copying the disc after they rent it (and if they buy it used, returning it to the store for almost as much as they paid for it). For downloads the theoretical limit is sky-high.

Then there's the practical limit. In the case of libraries, it's likely to be small, since the service is under-utilized (as we've seen in another thread here). In the case of rentals it's probably pretty high, and if you considered all of the DVD rental income for MoC as potential purchases (which, given the number of people that copy DVDs when they rent them, brings the service closer to downloading in the terms you define), it would probably be significantly higher that you get in sales--certainly it would be more mainstream films. But a big part of the difference is that the rental market is an established part of the way of doing business. Another factor is that each rental house that wants to rent the disc has to purchase it first, and if there is a certain amount of demand for that disc, they must purchase more copies.

Illegal downloading is a newer player, and people are struggling to figure out how to deal with it. The music industry has been dealing with for 10 years what the DVD industry has only been dealing with for 1 or 2 mostly (though everyone knew it was coming). You can't fight it effectively with threats and lawsuits, and nothing short of serious police-state controls will curb it. The best you can hope for is that the ratio doesn't get too out of control, and that being a small company with a reputation for caring about its product, people will want to support you.
If someone chooses to illegally copy a DVD they have rented from the library, then only then does their illegal action equate to filesharing. Trying to compare renting with filesharing in the way that you have is completely disingenuous.
In what way is it disingenuous? The comparison is valid, but the difference is in scale and severity.
One could say the same for shoplifting, but police and shop staff combat shoplifting every day. It would be foolish not to.
Not exactly. To begin with, shoplifting is categorically not a victimless crime. There are three costs associated with shoplifting: the first is the cost of putting the disc on the shelf (i.e., the packaging and materials, the shipping, the stocking, etc.), the second is the opportunity cost of not having the disc available for purchase until you are able to replace it, and the third is the opportunity cost of the person who stole it no longer having a need to purchase it. The third is somewhat incalculable, and I don't see it being used much (although this is the "loss" usually associated with illegal downloads); the second is fairly frequently calculated and while the calculation is usually somewhat questionable, it's hard to argue that the impact is there; and the first is a direct, calculable, visible hit to the bottom line.

The second problem with your statement is that shoplifting is something that increases in a limited way. If shoplifting increased by 20% from one year to the next, that would be an enormous increase, but if illegal downloading increased by 20%, that would be shockingly low. I'm sure you've heard that BitTorrent makes up a third of all Internet traffic. Even if 10% is for legal, legitimate purposes, you still arrive at an amount of illegal downloads that dwarfs all shoplifting and bootleg copies. What's more, the costs of chasing down these things is increasing, and the benefits are highly questionable. How much bad PR has the RIAA received, and has Sony received in combatting this, and how effective have they been? (answers: "a lot" and "not very"). The RIAA has opened tens of thousands of lawsuits against illegal music uploaders, the costs of which must be tremendous (and I doubt they will ever see much return). Do they really think that this will reign in the forces? So far there's very little evidence to support that idea. What return on investment do you see for MoC in combatting this stuff? It's a calculation that you should really try to make.
Downloading the discs, on the other hand, is pretty clearly a victimless crime--
There's lots of evidence in this thread to suggest otherwise, I don't know what logic you're using here, but illegally uploading and illegally downloading are both illegal.
I'm not talking about illegality, I'm talking about victims, and there is no evidence in this thread to suggest that there is a victim when a person downloads a DVD. We know there are victims when you make a DVD available for download (i.e., you are taking away the DVD distributor's and retailer's monopoly on the product), but who is the victim when you actually download a copy for yourself that someone else has made available? You aren't supporting the infrastructure in any meaningful way (even if you are using bitTorrent, where you are also providing some of the bandwidth for others to download, you're not going to be providing more than 5% of the file unless you choose to make it available for some time after you've finished downloading), and you are not directly causing any sort of loss on the part of the DVD distributor.
Is this some kind of justification for Mike illegally downloading films for free? Because of his "inability to see the film otherwise"? There's a pretty wide-open flaw in your argument if so, and that's "Mike's unwillingness to part with cash and use a website to order the film legally".
Er, you misunderstood. It's not a justification for anything, I was pointing out that the only loss you have sustained by Mike downloading a film is by Mike not buying the film. Given that Mike is still capable of buying the film after having downloaded it, the only situation in which have sustained a loss is when Mike would have bought the DVD if and only if he were unable to get it without buying it. Incidentally, you sustain the same effective loss if Mike neither buys nor downloads the DVD. The movie theater analogy holds quite well here. If I bring my own popcorn, the movie theater does not necessarily sustain a loss. If I don't buy popcorn, on the other hand, the movie theater sustains a loss, regardless of whether or not I bring my own.
You're not really bringing much to the table though are you? I foresee a lot more "talking past one another" based around your flawed points.
I guess it's the nature of these conversations that you suppose your points aren't flawed? But in any case, you're definitely right about one thing: I should probably have avoided talking about the ethical issues at all, since that's where the bulk of the "talking past one another" comes from, and it really is beside the point. What I was trying to address with it is that if you don't see any grey area in these issues then you are ignoring the perspective that a good number of your customers and certainly your downloaders (and if you don't see them as potential customers then they don't pose any sort of threat to you, either) share.

The more pertinent point I was trying to make is that with the advent of adequate bandwidth for downloading DVDs--a problem that is only going to increase--MoC is going to be more and more dependent on it's reputation rather than simply the desirability of the product. If people have no respect for MoC, then they will feel no need to pay for the discs. If, on the other hand, they do have respect for MoC, then they will pay for them whether or not they download them first. For most of the world, MoC discs are not available in any form of rental, and the only way to see them without paying out the whopping retail price, is through illegal channels. I'm not sure who you think these people are that are downloading the discs, but I suspect many of them are downloading the discs to their hard drives, watching them, and then deleting them. If they really like the film, probably some percentage will make the purchase. If they are capable of renting them and are not the sort to buy MoC discs if they don't have to, then they probably would simply copy them from the rental DVD--something that has been quite feasible for the last 5 years.

I would be curious to know if you think that anything you've said on this matter here, or in the other two forums, has had any positive effect in dealing with this problem. One thing you might consider is that, like it or not, MoC discs are now becoming more widely known to people that didn't know of them before. You are losing an opportunity to convince those people they should purchase the films because MoC is a company worthy of their respect and because MoC depends on sales to continue to be able to do what they do.

Do you really think that you can solve the problem with threats, regardless of what you have to back them up with? Don't you think the RIAA would have solved the problem of illegal music sharing if they could? Their resources are vast, their expenditures on this stuff are tremendous, and yet the problem has multiplied year after year. With a few clicks you can download Michael Jackson's entire discography. In five years it will be possible to download a single .rar file with the entire MoC collection (or the Criterion Collection), and store it several times over on a single hard drive (you may have seen that one optimistic Google exec predicts that a single iPod will be capable of holding all of the TV in the world). I have no sympathy for the RIAA, but I do for MoC, and I feel like you are digging yourself into a hole by taking no care for MoC's reputation in your struggles. Regardless of what you may think of the people downloading MoC discs, there are among them a number of potential customers. Also, they will be the carriers of your films to other people, and the regard that they hold for MoC will have an impact on whether their friends or family choose to purchase the discs. You can dispute the significance of that (certainly the arguments that it would have a net positive effect on sales seem optimistic at best), but it's definitely there, and how you choose to act has an effect on it.

As far as I can tell, you have just significantly increased the number of illegal MoC DVDs being downloaded. At this point my advice would be to either make the best of the situation and try to patch up MoC's reputation in those quarters, or to simply back away. I'm not suggesting that you should stop trying to involve Interpol or the FBI if you are, but I am suggesting that your threats do you much more harm than good.

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HerrSchreck
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2005 11:46 am

#145 Post by HerrSchreck » Tue Dec 19, 2006 2:49 am

ONE GENERAL--SECOND (FINAL)-- ALL PURPOSE REPLY:

Calmly reasoned, carefully measured and structured, vastly patient and timetaking arguments over black and white legal issues are not always The Better Way... even when a broke college student decides

"I can manufacture apparent shades of intellectual grey with my frontloaded rhetoric of self serving, customized metaphor,"

I will not be seduced to wallow into the secondary minutiae of transactional detail, because (since the style of transaction is in the embryonic phase of regulation by the observing authorities and courts) one team has opted to invoke the vaguery of programming-in-law. The source disc says on it "unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws" yadda yadda. You don't like it, become a lawyer and change the law. Sharing with an uploader is your participation in a crime with a criminal. Any further discussion on the LEGAL ASPECTS OF THIS SITUATION with someone who Doesn't Get It is my equivelant of taking off my shoes and socks and shirt and shorts and diving into a fishbowl and expecting a seasoned argument with a fantail bubble-eye on Artificial Limb Plastics. I will not do that kind of disservice to my already low-tolerance head. I already sniff a burning smell.

Do I have dupe discs or fileshared? Yeah, uh, perhaps I mean(Fidget) That's not important I mean the point here.. I'm not gonna come on here & croon about my opportunism in Nick's face like his right's securing fees, paying lawyers their shit-tons to follow the law was all for nothing.

Good night and good luck.
"Listen, son.. ](*,) .

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Jun-Dai
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#146 Post by Jun-Dai » Tue Dec 19, 2006 3:11 am

Any further discussion on the LEGAL ASPECTS OF THIS SITUATION with someone who Doesn't Get It is my equivelant of taking off my shoes and socks and shirt and shorts and diving into a fishbowl and expecting a seasoned argument with a fantail bubble-eye on Artificial Limb Plastics.
Sure, if you want to limit yourself to the legal aspects of the situation. There are a lot of interesting discussions to be had on the legal aspects of the situation, though we haven't really been having any of them (i.e., the discussions we've had so far on the legal aspects of the situation have been anything but interesting). Nor are the legal aspects of the situation as black and white as you suggest (for one thing, there are exceptions to that "unauthorized duplication" clause--just because a company puts some legal wording on something doesn't mean it's true), even though compared to the murky ethical discussion we've been wading through they are black and white in comparison.

Marijuana is about as black and white legally as DVD uploading and downloading. Similarly, if you arrest everyone that has ever smoked marijuana or downloaded an mp3, you will find a sizable percentage of your population in handcuffs.

A particularly disgusting episode in this was when someone asked the CEO of Warner Music whether his kids had ever shared music illegally, his response was "I'm fairly certain that they have, and I'm fairly certain that they've suffered the consequences," and yet by consequences he is surely just talking about the normal consequences a parent dishes out to their children. If an arrest, imprisonment, or lawsuit been involved, we would have heard about it. Here we see that while these people are willing to dish out serious consequences to people all over the world for this, they will not hold their own to the same standards (not that those "same" standards would be equivalent anyways, since they have all the money). How's that for ethical behavior?

What would you do if you found your son had downloaded a copy of each disc in the Criterion collection and had them in a stack of DVD-Rs under his bed? Would you involve Interpol? Filesharing is so widespread that I bet you don't have to go very far out into your family tree or circle of friends before you find people downloading copyrighted music and films. The reason is obvious: it's easy, and you can amass a collection that you would have to be fabulously wealthy to own otherwise, and you don't harm anyone else in the process, provided you spend money the same way you did before you amassed your collection. After all, why is it that only wealthy people have the "right" to see any film or listen to any album they want? Staying within the law, the rest of us have to content ourselves with the films or albums we can afford, and we can't even have any pot to go with it.

(For the record, I do not download DVDs--Netflix is enough for me, and I earn enough to buy the occasional DVD--but I can understand why people do it)

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david hare
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#147 Post by david hare » Tue Dec 19, 2006 3:42 am

Sure, if you want to limit yourself to the legal aspects of the situation.
With all due respect we have, and I don't agree with you the limited discussions of International copyright law have been anything BUT interesting. Probably everyone in this forum has burnt a disc. As a backup, as a "gift, as a downloaded PD sharefile, whatever.

That's not the point. Exactly because the technology and will is already out there. The point is that MoC has been duplicated - illegally under any jurisdiction except perhaps Sweden - and is being traded FOR PROFIT by some cunts elsewhere who laugh while they take the money to the bank. And MoC sinks.

Sorry guys. FUCK THIS FOR A JOKE. (Very purposeful Caps.) It's really simple. The other one is DONT STEAL. DOHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

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#148 Post by unclehulot » Tue Dec 19, 2006 4:05 am

I guess it's a side point to all of this, but I wish there WERE a reasonable way to share products like MoC's offerings, using some quality downloading technology, yet providing a fair recompense for the work involved. I think one reason these sites continue to proliferate, is the rather poor example of iTunes. There, you are expected to pay almost full cd retail prices for crappy mp3 quality and no artwork. The fact that the better product is provided by pirates who upload lossless cd rips AND artwork, but are rip-off artists is an unfortunate fact, but is true nonetheless......iTunes should provide the same quality product, just as a starter, if they hope to entice me away from physical product. Digital Rights Management is also very intrusive for an iTunes purchaser, and will become a real issue when Windows Vista is unleashed. eMusic provides legitimate downloads of cds (but not the comprehensive selection), with the same lack of artwork, but since the cost is lower, it's a legitimate tradeoff. Ok, so I'm talking about audio files, not video, but I think the issues will be similar when technology and download speeds enable video downloads to proliferate somewhere down the road.

In the case of MoC's offererings, there is the additional legal matter that many of their dvds are only licensed for sale in the UK or surrounding areas, but not in the U.S., yet many of us do seek out their titles here, and I'm sure Nick doesn't discourage THAT practice, dispite the possible illegality of distribution. So, I'm not sure where that leaves worldwide legal downloads, but the fact that Nicheflix has just gone under, doesn't give me an alternate to purchasing each and every MoC title I'm interested in. Of course, I'm not advocating or justifying ripping them off from file sharing sites, but I am wondering how to keep up with my desire for at least a one time rental viewing of the titles I can't afford!

Currently I'm smarting from the blow of losing Tower Records, and ponder the impact of its closing on the many labels, small and large that depended on the large percent of their sales that used to be provided by that outlet. To say the internet has played a large role in their demise, and that the alternatives are both physical internet sales and illegal file sharing is self-evident, but surely the writing is on the wall as to the eventual need for a high quality virtual product, or I fear internet sales of physical product alone will not suffice to keep the lifeline of quality new releases appearing in the marketplace. Broadcasts revenues can be helpful for some of these companies, but is not a substitute for an available on-demand catalog.

I guess the technological genie is out of the bottle, ultimately. Any extra press given to outfits like those Nick went after, I feel are doomed to backfire, and simply make more folks aware of their existence. Going after those already active on those sites.....well, all I can say is good luck, because I don't think a moral argument goes too far with those who are accustomed to stealing in such a manner, and antagonizing them probably just stirs up more activity. I wonder, are these folks ever going to be paying customers EVEN if the source of free access is cut off?? It does make me sad to see Nick's understandable anger translate into fodder for those who don't play by the rules, yet expect his every utterance to be in perfect, gentlemanly legal-eze. Good luck, and please don't let this take away from your efforts to issue more product.

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david hare
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#149 Post by david hare » Tue Dec 19, 2006 4:32 am

Oncle MECHANT Hulot !! Lawdy - we all know we're buying (reminder: paying for) commercially produced discs from tout le monde.

There is absolutely no law in existence anywhere, that I know of at least, which prohibits multi-national DVDs in da home. There may be (and are) parallel importation laws in place for commercial distribs, but the whole fine point of THAT is that we all still have to argue for free trade, under commercial law. (No more region coding etc - this is why HD-DVD is so terrifying to the majors. Because it does it a priori)

Meanwhile there's this nice little thing called ripping which we all use, which is seemingly universal amonst the young (and middle aged) and which is a major source of profit for bodgie companies who might even attract the attention of the FBI or Interpol. Meanwhile small labels who are sitting ducks for parasites like this go under, and we will almost certainly never see their likes again. Christ almighty go to a market any day in Sydney and see the two dollar perfect rips. Including Criterion and MoC.

REALLY - this is the most exasperting thread ever. Poor bloody Nick, getting out of mind.... they should be just able to blast the cunts out of cyberspace. And again, remember the French - however faulty - law on intellectual property. which INCLUDES the publisher.

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godardslave
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#150 Post by godardslave » Tue Dec 19, 2006 6:26 am

I'm with the ITS CLEARLY WRONG side. And i feel for peerpee having to defend his excellent dvd company, its no wonder he got angry at points.

Theres an awful lot of words and rhetoric by the pro-free-downloads side being written in this thread, but in the end these people are essentially stealing something thats a legitimate product for free.

edited for clarification.
Last edited by godardslave on Tue Dec 19, 2006 8:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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