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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, 01:32 PM
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Settlement reached in MGM DVD class action lawsuit [merged]

Anyone remember this ancient thread about the guy who sued MGM for false advertising about their widescreen DVDs?

They've reached a settlement. Details are here:

http://www.mgmdvdsettlement.com

"Class Members have the right to return to the Claims Administrator one copy of each DVD title manufactured by or on behalf of MGM which was created for a film shot in the aspect ratio of 1.85 to 1 or 1.66 to 1 (“Eligible DVD”) for either (1) a new MGM DVD from a list of 325 titles or (2) a cash refund of $7.10."

The two guys who brought the case get some money too: "MGM agrees to pay an enhancement award to Plaintiff Warren Eallonardo in the amount of $7,500 and an enhancement award to Plaintiff Joseph Corey in the amount of $5,000."
Old 12-28-04, 01:56 PM
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Great... Stupidity gets paid again, due to to leaches... I mean lawyers.

fitprod
Old 12-28-04, 02:01 PM
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And the everpresent: how much did the lawyers get?

Anyone know what the list of 325 titles you can get is?

A cash refund of 7.10 per disk? At least it's something, and it's not only that coupon-on-future-purchase crap.
Old 12-28-04, 02:08 PM
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What about MGM lies about anamorphic dvds which turn out not to be! and Duel Layered dvds which turn out to be single layer! I am taking them to court now! Scum!
Old 12-28-04, 02:10 PM
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Looks like if one desired to that they could get refunds on some Bond and Rocky movies and then get the upgraded versions (assuming the Bonds with upgraded transfers will come out sometime). I don't know of any trade-in places where you can get $7 for those movies.
Old 12-28-04, 02:34 PM
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who and how do you return the titles
Old 12-28-04, 02:34 PM
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So if I have an MGM DVD I get cash it in for $7.10? Or trade it in for a fixed version?? Or absolutely NO fixed versions available?

I noticed Terminator and UHF are on the list. I have these. What was wrong with them?

Also, they say

Before requesting a Claim Form, please verify that your DVD is an Eligible DVD by reviewing the Eligible DVD List.
But they give no information on actually requesting a claim form. I only see the exclusion form.

Last edited by Class316; 12-28-04 at 02:48 PM.
Old 12-28-04, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Class316
But they give no information on actually requesting a claim form.
Yes, they do:

Originally Posted by http://www.mgmdvdsettlement.com/
To request a Claim Form, call 1-800-285-2168 (toll free).
Now here's the real question ... all the people are bitching about lawyers and suing and all that (granted, mostly in the other thread, but this one is starting also), why isn't anybody complaining that there is a list of 300+ DVDs with *known* botched transfers which predominately aren't going to be fixed? [I assume the Bond ones will be, but I tend to doubt, for instance, the Woody Allen films will be fixed. Or Steve DeJarnatt's "Cherry 2000".] Isn't that (a) a huge issue and (b) more appropriate complaining for a DVD forum?

Last edited by ThatGuamGuy; 12-28-04 at 02:56 PM.
Old 12-28-04, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by ThatGuamGuy
Yes, it's on that link, where it says "To view the Eligible DVD List, please click here."
So let's say, Terminator. It's on the list of eligible DVDs. I can either get $7.10 for it, or trade it for any other MGM DVD I want? There won't be fixed versions of the DVDs listed on the PDF??
Old 12-28-04, 02:53 PM
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i keep hoping for new woody allen box sets with anamorphic transfers
Old 12-28-04, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Class316
So let's say, Terminator. It's on the list of eligible DVDs. I can either get $7.10 for it, or trade it for any other MGM DVD I want? There won't be fixed versions of the DVDs listed on the PDF??
Keep in mind, I don't work for MGM, I'm just answering people's questions based on the information immediately in front of me, on that website linked at the top of this thread. That said, from my reading of the website, yes, your choices are either to keep the disc with an apparently flawed transfer (I'm still not clear on what's wrong with them, exactly), or to trade it in and get either $7.10 or another DVD from MGM, though that list doesn't seem to be there (I would assume you can call and get that sent to you with the form). Nothing on that site would lead me to believe that the flawed transfers will be fixed (I assume the Bond ones will be because they're being reissued next year), and you certainly can't just trade the movie in for a proper transfer of the movie you actually wanted.

(I will say, I deleted the bit in my post which you quoted, because I had mis-read the guy's question.)

Last edited by ThatGuamGuy; 12-28-04 at 03:01 PM.
Old 12-28-04, 03:01 PM
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I have at least 35 of those!

It's funny all the titles that MGM took over from Criterion are on the list.
Old 12-28-04, 03:05 PM
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Hold on a second ... can anybody actually explain what this guy sued over? I'm looking through the lawsuit itself, and this is what it says:

"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."

Is he objecting to the word "wide", or is he saying that they're advertised as anamorphic when they aren't? I'm guessing the former, since that list includes discs which Cameron pointed out aren't anamorphic, but why would that be limited to MGM? (Or, rather, MGM, Blockbuster, Best Buy, et al, but why no other distributors?)

This case is intriguing, I wish there were more info about it... elsewhere, in the other thread, people speculated that he was speaking of transfers done where they just matted a pan-and-scan, or did the open-matte proccess wrong, but I dunno if that's what it's saying. It definitely sounds like at least one person involved in composing that brief had no idea what they were talking about.

Last edited by ThatGuamGuy; 12-28-04 at 03:09 PM.
Old 12-28-04, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by ThatGuamGuy
Keep in mind, I don't work for MGM, I'm just answering people's questions based on the information immediately in front of me, on that website linked at the top of this thread. That said, from my reading of the website, yes, your choices are either to keep the disc with an apparently flawed transfer (I'm still not clear on what's wrong with them, exactly), or to trade it in and get either $7.10 or another DVD from MGM, though that list doesn't seem to be there (I would assume you can call and get that sent to you with the form). Nothing on that site would lead me to believe that the flawed transfers will be fixed (I assume the Bond ones will be because they're being reissued next year), and you certainly can't just trade the movie in for a proper transfer of the movie you actually wanted.

(I will say, I deleted the bit in my post which you quoted, because I had mis-read the guy's question.)
That's what I mean, they don't say what EXACTLY you can trade for. And they don't mention fixed versions of the WS discs at all.

I'm surprised that no one put billions of screenshots of these apparently faulty discs. Look at BTTF and T3. If they were faulty how didn't anyone take note.
Old 12-28-04, 03:09 PM
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I have about 10 that I'd be willing to trade in, I just wish that they'd have the list of available DVDs on their site.
Old 12-28-04, 03:10 PM
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Originally they only sued over a handful of DVDs. Now the list includes 350 DVDs. I wonder if they just put all DVDs that have an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 or 1.66:1 on the list just to simplify things for the lawsuit? As poplular as the Bond titles are on that list, you'd think that there would have been a big uproar if there had really been a problem with the framing on those ones.
Old 12-28-04, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Class316
And they don't mention fixed versions of the WS discs at all.
Take that at face value; they say in the settlement that there's nothing wrong with the discs, so I'd assume they won't be replacing most of them anytime soon. (Other than upgrading to anamorphic transfers where applicable, at least.)
Old 12-28-04, 03:11 PM
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The list of titles is available as a PDF file from their website.
Old 12-28-04, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by fitprod
Great... Stupidity gets paid again, due to to leaches... I mean lawyers.

fitprod
I love all the lawyer bashing.

So you people (you know who you are) are assuming that some lawyer went around and was looking for some poor schuck to get involved in a frivolous lawsuit in his name?

Come on people. The lawyer was looked up by the plaintif, and he was asked by that anus if he could get him some money. Be real - the a$$hole who engaged the lawyer is a leech and you're blaming the hired guns.

Do you call the guy who flips your greaseburgers at McDonald's a leech because he charges for his time?



/r
Old 12-28-04, 03:15 PM
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I used the telephone line and ordered the claim form(s). It won't come for 3-7 days, so I guess we won't know what DVDs are available to trade-in until someone gets a form.
Oh, and can someone explain to me that function to exclude yourself from the class on the site? I don't understand...if you simply want to keep the flawed DVD, why fill out a form? Why not just take no action?
Old 12-28-04, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim
The list of titles is available as a PDF file from their website.
That's the list of DVDs with the 'fault'. We were speaking of the list of 325 movies that could be traded with the 'faulty' ones. If that latter list is indeed on the site (because I certainly cannot find it), then by all means give the link.
Old 12-28-04, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by natevines
Oh, and can someone explain to me that function to exclude yourself from the class on the site? I don't understand...if you simply want to keep the flawed DVD, why fill out a form? Why not just take no action?
In theory, you would be retaining the right to file a seperate lawsuit over the problems but not be part of the specific class action being described on the website. There's also a seperate form if you wish to remain part of the class action suit but object to the settlement (I imagine this would be the form to fill out if you wanted to express a desire to get new transfers of the movies made).
Old 12-28-04, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Class316
Or trade it in for a fixed version?? Or absolutely NO fixed versions available?
There are no fixed versions available because there's nothing technically wrong with these titles. There may be individual problems, but no one common technical flaw across these hundreds of DVDs.

Originally Posted by ThatGuamGuy
Hold on a second ... can anybody actually explain what this guy sued over?
As far as I can tell, the person is complaining that certain packaging/menus give the impression that the widescreen versions of these films have more information on the sides than the full-frame versions. Most, if not all, of the movies listed are matted. This seems like a pretty moronic thing to sue over.
Old 12-28-04, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Adam Tyner
As far as I can tell, the person is complaining that certain packaging/menus give the impression that the widescreen versions of these films have more information on the sides than the full-frame versions. Most, if not all, of the movies listed are matted. This seems like a pretty moronic thing to sue over.
I had thought that until I read the actual wording used. What you're saying makes sense -- well, not real sense, but an illogical sense, at least -- but what the wording in the lawsuit says wouldn't limit it to 1.85; a 2.35 widescreen movie on a regular TV is not wider than a fullscreen movie anymore than a 1.85 movie is. But the wording *could* mean that the discs said they were anamorphic and weren't (or that he thought it meant anamorphic when it didn't).
Old 12-28-04, 03:51 PM
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So if I have an MGM DVD I get cash it in for $7.10? Or trade it in for a fixed version?? Or absolutely NO fixed versions available?

I noticed Terminator and UHF are on the list. I have these. What was wrong with them?
I don't think there is anything wrong with them, so there's nothing to fix. The two examples you gave are examples of open matte movies. The full aperture of the film is exposed during shooting, giving an image aspect ratio approx 1.33 (fullscreen). But the director often means for it to be composed at 1.85 or so, and FX will often be done at the ratio it's intended to be seen at.

What I'm thinking the problem stems from is a little picture MGM has on several of their DVDs. It shows a clip from the movie in widescreen, with a 1.33 AR box over part of it, this is to illustrate how the widescreen version is better. The problem is, it's only factual for movies hard-shot in a widescreen format (usu 2.35). The Star Wars films are a good example. The original trilogy became a new experience for me when I first saw them letterboxed, because the panandscan process cuts off about 40% of the picture. For softmatte movies though, this little diagram is actually false. There is actually more image in the fullscreen version.

However, as my sig points out, it's not always right. One that comes to mind is Spaceballs, in the fullscreen version you used to be able to see the puppet rods of the alien towards the end of the film. In the widescreen version, the mattes cover this up. Also, for heavy FX movies, any FX are usually just done for the theatrical aspect ratio. So when making a 1.33 transfer, you could open up the mattes for a scene of two people talking (although now you could see boom mikes) but for the next scene of the CGI ghost, if the ghost wasn't rendered in the full 1.33 image, that part of the movie would have to be cropped on the sides to fit. This is why you can't always just use "zoom" on a widescreen tv to fix an open matte transfer.

So it comes down to two possibilites. If the person sued because they think MGM matted the tops and bottoms of already panandscanned movies, then a quick lesson in filmmaking would have straigtened him out. You'd think someone that into DVDs might take a trip to the World Wide Web to learn something new.

On the other hand, if he's suing over the diagram being false for softmatte movies, he's a pedantic ass, along with the lawyer who took the case, and the judge who made ruling.

Last edited by milo bloom; 12-28-04 at 03:54 PM.

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