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Settlement reached in MGM DVD class action lawsuit [merged]

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Settlement reached in MGM DVD class action lawsuit [merged]

Old 12-28-04, 03:52 PM
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So if you can find a deal on Lambada or Scanners or Throw Mama From The Train for $2 each from Overstock or some other cheap place you can sell them back to MGM for $5 profit each? Hmm...
Old 12-28-04, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by ThatGuamGuy
but what the wording in the lawsuit says wouldn't limit it to 1.85
Here's the quote that led me to my assumption:
The gravamen of Plaintiffs’ Complaint is that certain representations on the label and package insert of MGM’s widescreen DVDs are false and misleading because MGM’s widescreen DVDs for films shot in the 1.85 to 1 aspect ratio have the same image width as MGM’s standard screen format DVDs.
The impression I'm getting from that is he's saying that MGM is misrepresenting films that are matted (many 1.66:1/1.85:1 films) has containing more visual information than their 1.33:1 counterparts.

Originally Posted by ThatGuamGuy
a 2.35 widescreen movie on a regular TV is not wider than a fullscreen movie anymore than a 1.85 movie is.
Typically you do lose image width when reframing a 2.35:1 film. Films shot with anamorphic lenses suffer the most; Super35 films generally lose some on the sides and gain additional headroom.
Old 12-28-04, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Adam Tyner
The impression I'm getting from that is he's saying that MGM is misrepresenting films that are matted (many 1.66:1/1.85:1 films) has containing more visual information than their 1.33:1 counterparts.
I figure you're right, but it's badly explained (and, no wonder, since it's stupid anyway). I still hung up on the "image width" thing, because it makes it sound as if he expected the image to be wider than the TV (but, then again, as milo pointed out, the picture on the back of their DVDs does suggest that).

Super35 films generally lose some on the sides and gain additional headroom.
Good point; if they're gonna sue, they should be complete and include all the super 35 movies which were matted down to 2.35 also.
Old 12-28-04, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by X
So if you can find a deal on Lambada or Scanners or Throw Mama From The Train for $2 each from Overstock or some other cheap place you can sell them back to MGM for $5 profit each? Hmm...
I thought that (I've seen a lot of these discs for $5 or less), but there's an end date for purchase eligibility.
Old 12-28-04, 04:14 PM
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You need your receipts?
Old 12-28-04, 04:18 PM
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Not to my knowledge, so that's a pretty stupid stipulation. Unless they changed the UPCs on subsequent printings...
Old 12-28-04, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by X
You need your receipts?
As far as it says, no. I imagine that you don't need to prove that you own the disc, since you're sending it back.
Old 12-28-04, 04:30 PM
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All of that and I still don't understand exactly what the lawsuit was about.
Old 12-28-04, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by sn9ke_eyes
All of that and I still don't understand exactly what the lawsuit was about.
If Adam is right, then I think milo's right ... look at the back of any of the discs on that list. 'Terminator', for instance. There's an image explaining what widescreen means with a visual which doesn't cover *everything*.

Basically, you know how people explaining the difference between widescreen and fullscreen always deliberately leave off open matting, because it complicates the issue? That's what this is apparently about, the fact that a lot of movies shot for 1.85 are actually matted from fullscreen, instead of pan-and-scanned to fullscreen. The back of the widescreen discs only cover movies which were shot in 1.85 and then pan-and-scanned to fullscreen, so it implies that the fullscreen discs would have less picture than the widescreen when, in fact, the opposite is true in those cases.
Old 12-28-04, 04:46 PM
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If this worked someone should sue Disney for the "original" version of Fantasia!!
Old 12-28-04, 06:32 PM
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http://www.dvdtalk.com/forum/showthr...+%22lawsuit%22

The thread from 2002 when we talked about the lawsuit when filed.

Interesting that the four titles that were apparently mentioned early-on morphed into 350+ titles at some point along the way.
Old 12-28-04, 07:46 PM
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"The Terminator" doesn't have a pan&scan version on DVD, but I checked it with an old VHS copy I have and it looks like that movie was shot hard-matted, as there's image missing from the sides and nothing extra on the top and bottom. UHF has both versions on the same disc and the pan & scan version on that looks cropped as well. How did they decide which titles qualified as being falsely advertised?
Old 12-28-04, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Alan Smithee
How did they decide which titles qualified as being falsely advertised?
It appears to me that they just decided that any movie that was 1.85, somebody might sue over. So they listed them all and said, "Look, if you have a problem with these discs, return them to us and we'll give you $7.00."

Note that the settlement hasn't been finalized, I don't think, and I have a suspicion (or a hope) that the studio will point to the fact that the vast majority of buyers are not returning them because they understood what they were buying when they bought it. Apparently, there's still a "Court Hearing to Determine Fairness". In fact, I'm considering objecting to the settlement (which I'm eligible to receive, having bought several of the discs) on the grounds that the guy who filed the lawsuit is stupid. I mean, I'll word it better than that, but that's the idea I'll express.

Last edited by ThatGuamGuy; 12-28-04 at 08:46 PM.
Old 12-28-04, 09:03 PM
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Should some of these titles even be on the list? I have The Longshot/They Went That-Away and That-Away and both movies are presented full frame (the back cover copy says "Standard Modified to fit your screen."). And aren't Remo Williams and Yours, Mine, and Ours full frame-only titles, as well?
Old 12-28-04, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by ThatGuamGuy
If Adam is right, then I think milo's right ... look at the back of any of the discs on that list. 'Terminator', for instance. There's an image explaining what widescreen means with a visual which doesn't cover *everything*.

Basically, you know how people explaining the difference between widescreen and fullscreen always deliberately leave off open matting, because it complicates the issue? That's what this is apparently about, the fact that a lot of movies shot for 1.85 are actually matted from fullscreen, instead of pan-and-scanned to fullscreen. The back of the widescreen discs only cover movies which were shot in 1.85 and then pan-and-scanned to fullscreen, so it implies that the fullscreen discs would have less picture than the widescreen when, in fact, the opposite is true in those cases.
I remember this case. And that's exactly what the guy was suing over...that stupid little diagram and generic explanation that MGM used to include on their inserts, about how widscreen DVDs provide up to 50% more picture on the sides, which of course is not true of 1.85 movies.

Sadly, a few of MGM's early DVDs were over-matted (zoomed in on all sides, then matted to make sure that no booms, etc. are in the shot), which lent credence to this guy's case, as they in fact had less picture than full-frame. Still, can't believe MGM settled.

You know how people on the HTF boards are always saying that it is the studios' job to "educate" viewers about widescreen? This is why the studios don't.
Old 12-28-04, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by ThatGuamGuy
As far as it says, no. I imagine that you don't need to prove that you own the disc, since you're sending it back.
Then how do they know when you bought them?
Old 12-28-04, 09:39 PM
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I have some of those DVDs in the eligible list. What exactly are wrong with them? They are anamorphic as far as I can tell. Am I missing something?

Silence of the Lamb
Hanibal
Terminator
When Harry Met Sally
...
Old 12-28-04, 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by fitprod
Great... Stupidity gets paid again, due to to leaches... I mean lawyers.

fitprod

Good point. Fuckin' lawyers. Trying to get money for nothing.

So back on topic. How do we get the claim form? If I exclude myself, can I sue and try and get my own damages of $5,000 or so?

Old 12-29-04, 02:17 AM
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Sure, opt out and go find a lawyer willing to take your case. Be aware that even if the lawyer takes your case on contingency, typically you will ultimately be responsible for all litigation-related costs (other than lawyer fees), you will likely have to spend many hours (if not days) engaged in procedural hearings and responding to discovery requests and possibly having your deposition taken.

So opt out and knock yourself out......
Old 12-29-04, 06:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Applejack
Good point. Fuckin' lawyers. Trying to get money for nothing.

So back on topic. How do we get the claim form? If I exclude myself, can I sue and try and get my own damages of $5,000 or so?



/r
Old 12-29-04, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by ThatGuamGuy
(snip) Apparently, there's still a "Court Hearing to Determine Fairness". In fact, I'm considering objecting to the settlement (which I'm eligible to receive, having bought several of the discs) on the grounds that the guy who filed the lawsuit is stupid. I mean, I'll word it better than that, but that's the idea I'll express.
Exactly! How was the "plaintiff" harmed? This is asinine!
I was pissed off about a few titles that Warner's released that said "Enhanced for Widescreen TV" and weren't (2010 and Cabaret come to mind), but I wasn't going to SUE over it!
Old 12-29-04, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by CrumpsBrother
Sadly, a few of MGM's early DVDs were over-matted (zoomed in on all sides, then matted to make sure that no booms, etc. are in the shot), which lent credence to this guy's case, as they in fact had less picture than full-frame. Still, can't believe MGM settled.
So which MGM DVDs have are wrongly framed??

You know how people on the HTF boards are always saying that it is the studios' job to "educate" viewers about widescreen? This is why the studios don't.
Studios don't do it because people on a forum say they should??? huh?

As for excluding oneself for a potential $5000, the money you spend actually trying will likely be more than $5000

Last edited by Class316; 12-29-04 at 12:04 PM.
Old 12-29-04, 11:21 AM
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was the original Back to School part of this problem? MGM recalled it early on, and then quietly reissued it with an Anamorphic transfer.
Old 12-29-04, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by darmok
was the original Back to School part of this problem? MGM recalled it early on, and then quietly reissued it with an Anamorphic transfer.
Any easy way to tell the difference from packaging?

Why doesn't somebody sue the studios that release flipper discs with widescreen *and* fullscreen, but then release new versions which are only fullscreen and don't change the specs on the box? I could see the value in that...
Old 12-29-04, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by ThatGuamGuy
Any easy way to tell the difference from packaging?

Why doesn't somebody sue the studios that release flipper discs with widescreen *and* fullscreen, but then release new versions which are only fullscreen and don't change the specs on the box? I could see the value in that...
I guess because there's no false advertising in that. And it's clearly labeled "modified" to fit your screen.

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