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OK, I really am that naive' - what IS the difference between ...?

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OK, I really am that naive' - what IS the difference between ...?

Old 07-15-03, 06:04 PM
  #26  
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Originally posted by C_Fletch
It is my right if I have bought these movies in any form. Hence the RIGHT in copyright. I have a right to do what I please with my copy!
No, you do not. Even when you purchase a legal copy of a copyrighted work, the copyright holder retains a certain set of exclusive rights (including copying and the creation of derivative works). The only right that is given to a legal purchaser upon purchase is the right to re-sell that individual copy (the so-called First Sale Doctrine). The rights to copy and other rights are retained by the copyright holder unless you're specifically granted a license stating otherwise. Simply purchasing a copy of a work absolutely does not give you a blanket right to "do what [you] please with [your] copy."

DJ
Old 07-15-03, 06:11 PM
  #27  
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Originally posted by Jah-Wren Ryel
Given that historical context, Lucas and company are not living up to their end of the bargain. They have works of art for which they have been granted copyright, yet they are not willing to sell it to the public.
Availability to the public during the effective term of the copyright is not a necessary element of the copyright bargain. If it was, unpublished works would not be granted copyright protection, as they have not yet been made public nor might they ever. Despite some narrow and obscure exceptions for copies made by libraries (for certain uses) of unavailable works near the end of the copyright terms, there is no general rule of law that extinguishes the copyright protection on unavailable works. Your historical analysis is off-base. One of the effective rights granted by copyright is the right to not make a work available to the public and to make sure that no one else does, either.

Instead relying on the recent and immoral trend of indefinite copyright extensions to eventually, maybe, one day, bring the product to market. As they aren't living up to their end of the bargain, neither should the public be required to live up to their end of the bargain either.
Let's assume for a moment that your proposition was somehow an actual rule of law (which it most certainly is not, in reality). Let's further assume that the films are not currently available in any format (although they actually are currently available for purchase on VHS). What length of time would you set at which point the public was suddenly allowed to stop "living up to" their end of following the law? 5 months? 5 years? Does this not put a possibly onerous burden on copyright holders to keep their works in constant publication in order to avoid falling into the public domain? Does this not give corporate deep-pocket copyright holders an unfair advantage over the small-time author or publisher who cannot afford to keep a work in print during the intervals that you demand of them?

DJ
Old 07-15-03, 09:36 PM
  #28  
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djtoell - Your analysis would be valid except for a few reasons.

First, the low hanging-fruit. You say, "there is no general rule of law the extinguishes copyright protection on unavailable works." I say, of course there is, it used to be called "expiration." We've got hundreds of years of experience with that general rule of law, pre-dating even the founding of the USA.

Along those lines, as you have quoted, the continuing process of indefinite copyright extension has thrown the entire social contract out of whack. The original term of copyright duration was 28 years, it is now pushing 100 years and was even retroactively extended by the recent passage of the "Sonny Bono Copyright Extension Act" (aka "The Mickey Mouse Protection Act"). Under the original terms, Star Wars would be entering the public domain in a couple of years. But, unless impoverished, as long as authors (or now owners or distributors) can expect their monopoly in trade of their creations to remain indefinitely, there is little to no incentive for them to make them available for sale in a manner reasonably accessible to the public.

Second, with the advent of digital media, both the marginal cost of duplication and the marginal cost of transportation approach zero for many kinds of artistic creation. Making it far easier for an artist to extract the same relative amount of value today in far less time than the 28 years it once took. Thus, the cost to the public (due to the granted monopoly) of this social contract would still be greater at 28 years than it once was due to the evolution of technology. In other words, the bargain the public struck with artists is no longer as great of a bargain for the public as it once was. It needs to be re-evaluated such that the term of the monopoly is enough to bring the same relatively value to the artists as 28 years once did. As a SWAG, I'd say half of the original term would be a reasonable starting point for consideration.

However, this re-evaluation is not going to happen as long as the entrenched powers remain so entrenched. Until then, it may not be legal to make and distribute copies of otherwise unavailable works, but in the general case it is morally valid.
Old 07-16-03, 09:40 AM
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Originally posted by Dave C
Because when they do eventually make it available legally people who have bought the bootlegs won't purchase it.
That's not true. I know someone who has purchased the SE Bootleg set. But has every intention of buying the legit set when it finally comes out. The picture and sound are certain to be better. But for this person, the current set, even though non-anamorphic, is better than his VHS copy, to hold one over until Lucas gets off his high and mighty a$$ and finally catches up to the rest of the world with DVD's of the Trilogy that made him.
Old 07-16-03, 10:18 AM
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The trouble with digitized "art" (DVDs, CDs) is that they can be copied. To some, because music and film are art they should enter the public domain after some time. Thus, to some, there is a social contract implied with copyright law. Art is public, and copyrights have 'term limits' if they are to be meaningful in that they recognize public ownership. And there is some truth to this argument.

On the other hand, car manufacturers need few copyright protections, because people aren't going to go home, 'burn' a few new Hummers and sell them for cheap.

Why is art any different from a car? Whoever has an authorized work can do whatever they want with it, except copy and sell it. And whoever owns the rights to manufacture the good can do whatever they want with that right, in perpetuity, including not manufacturing that good.

I surely want Star Wars out in full, in versions with and without edits, etc. But I have no rights to those disks. It will be my good fortune to own those disks one day, I hope. But it is not my right.

And speaking of art, do I have a right to copy a Van Gogh and sell it as an original? Most everyone would cry foul (very loudly too) and I'd be in jail ASAP.

Last edited by DrS; 07-16-03 at 10:21 AM.
Old 07-16-03, 10:47 AM
  #31  
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I can appreciate the animosity toward Lucas for prolonging the inevitable, however, you cannot condone bootlegging to justify your displeasure. Public Domain argument aside, copying someone else's work and selling it is wrong. The bottom line is, Lucas is sticking it to his fans by keeping the series under wraps. Unfortunately, he has every right to do so. In the meantime, why not enjoy the vhs versions of the films and look forward to the official release of the films. Personally, I am looking forward to getting these also, but I don't feel compelled to have the film on a silver shiny disc. The illegitimate copies floating around may be from laserdisc transfers, but they haven't been remastered for DVD. Why support the livelihood of some criminal overseas? If you really want the series that bad, find someone that has the laserdisc and burn a copy for yourself for home use. Believe me, I am not putting anyone down for wanting these, but I think in the long run, waiting for the official release will be worth it. Unless of course, Lucas refuses to release the unedited versions...
Old 07-16-03, 10:44 PM
  #32  
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Originally posted by Jah-Wren Ryel
djtoell - Your analysis would be valid except for a few reasons.

First, the low hanging-fruit. You say, "there is no general rule of law the extinguishes copyright protection on unavailable works." I say, of course there is, it used to be called "expiration."
That's very poor logic, since the expiration of the copyright term has never had any necessary relationship to availability. Even under the 1790 Act, a copyright holder could make a work available for a month and then never make it available again for the remainder of the term. This would have no impact upon term expiration. Also, a copyright holder could make a work continually available for the duration of the term, and this would also have no impact upon term expiration. To state that expiration is somehow a general rule of law that is in any way related to extinguishing copyright protection on unavailable works is highly off-base.

We've got hundreds of years of experience with that general rule of law, pre-dating even the founding of the USA.
Well, the first copyright act only predated the Constitution by less than 80 years, but...

Along those lines, as you have quoted, the continuing process of indefinite copyright extension has thrown the entire social contract out of whack. The original term of copyright duration was 28 years
Well, it was 14 years with the possibility of a second 14-year term if the holder chose to renew. But, anyway...

it is now pushing 100 years and was even retroactively extended by the recent passage of the "Sonny Bono Copyright Extension Act" (aka "The Mickey Mouse Protection Act").
Every previous copyright term extension (1831, 1909, and 1976) was retroactive, too. It's nothing new such that it requires being set off in italics as something special.

Under the original terms, Star Wars would be entering the public domain in a couple of years.
Under the 1790 Act's term? That hasn't been in effect in 172 years, so I'm not sure I see the relevance of it.

But, unless impoverished, as long as authors (or now owners or distributors) can expect their monopoly in trade of their creations to remain indefinitely, there is little to no incentive for them to make them available for sale in a manner reasonably accessible to the public.
Apparently my "fruit" was hanging so low that you didn't actually bother to read it. So, I'll state it again: availability to the public during the term of copyright has never been part of the balance in the US. If it was, publication would be a prequisite to copyright protection. But it is not. The copyright balance does not require the publication of a work. Copyright holders have the freedom, as they have always had, to choose whether or not their works shall be made publicly available. That there might be less incentive now than previously to make a work available is thus irrelevant.

Second, with the advent of digital media, both the marginal cost of duplication and the marginal cost of transportation approach zero for many kinds of artistic creation.
Really? I didn't realize that hosting and bandwidth for potentially enormous files (but also for even more modestly-sized files) had become nearly free. This will be a shock not only to hosting companies, but also to their customers who pay a handsome sum for their services. Publication has never been a requirement under the balance of copyright, and it still remains potentially extremely burdensome.

Until then, it may not be legal to make and distribute copies of otherwise unavailable works, but in the general case it is morally valid.
You're certainly free to make whatever moral decisions you choose, but you're in error if you believe your choice to be based on a thorough understanding of copyright history. And, of course, there's the remaining problem of your moral decision as applied to Star Wars, since that isn't an unavailable work (some version of it, at least).

DJ

Last edited by djtoell; 07-16-03 at 10:47 PM.
Old 07-25-03, 09:44 PM
  #33  
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Buy from Hkflix.com or XploitedCinema.com. .. They sell legit copies.

I don't think it's vague. Use common sense. If you see some seller on Ebay selling a hundred copies of "Hero", for $6.00 dollars a pop - when other stores are wanting $15 - $20, than most likely it's a bootleg.

Just because it's Region 0 does not make it a bootleg. There are plenty of Korean DVD's that are Region 0 and there are even American DVD's that are Region 0, infact Blue Underground's releases are always Region 0.

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