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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » Buying DVDs by Mistake (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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seraph127
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I believe that the "fair use" provision of copyright law entitles one to make copies for personal use.
There are many tricks, and many effects, but rarely a Grand Effect. There are many entertainers, but few real magicians. Many technicians, but few artists who use their art to explore their vision. - Derren Brown, Absolute Magic
RiffClown
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Fair Use includes making a back-up copy for personal use. I'm allowed to copy my daughter's DVDs, CDs, VHS and even computer software and put the originals away for safe keeping. The copy gets scratched or messed up, I can make her a new one. This does not violate any US laws and is well within my rights for fair use. Now, if I sold either the copy or the original, it would be piracy and subject to the penalties mentioned.

*NOTE* Copying DVDs does flirt with the Digital Millennium Copyright laws but consumer fair use is guaranteed. Until Hollywood starts replacing scratched or broken optical media at no charge, you are within your rights to make a copy for personal use and as long as the copy and the original maintain the same owner you are probably not breaking the rules.

Now, here are a few ethical questions--
You own a VHS original of a movie (or instructional magic video) and have thus bought the rights to view that movie (or vid). Can you:
1. Dub the movie over the DVD for personal use?
2. Copy the DVD release for yourself as long as you keep the original tape? (why pay for the same material twice?)
3. If you are okay with 1&2, can you sell the dubbed DVD along with the original VHS?
Rob "Riff, the Magical Clown" Eubank aka RiffClown
<BR>http://www.riffclown.com
<BR>Magic is not the method, but the presentation.
Nathan Pain
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Someone let me know if I am still in the discussion because the legalese still doesn't change the final result, or don't let me know, rather, I'm going back to bed.

Nathan Pain
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RiffClown
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Quote:
On 2004-05-20 21:53, nathanpain wrote:
p.s.s.s. I still understand all the legal reasons not to do it, I just can't stand the "You're taking food out of my baby's mouth!" argument that always comes up in this type of discussion. I mean across the board, not just magic dvd's!


IF someone copies and sells (or gives away) the material, you've essentially prevented the artist from selling them an original.

SO, in the scenario about the $50 DVD above, the artist only sold one copy even though 2 copies now exist. The artist lost the profits from the sale.

As for the book issue, as long as you remember, or took notes, then live long and prosper. Otherwise, all of those books from elementary school should be forgotten and then me edumicashun werz a waste.

Same for DVD,s, you remember, you took notes then go for it. You copied, then it's on you to explain to the authorities.
Rob "Riff, the Magical Clown" Eubank aka RiffClown
<BR>http://www.riffclown.com
<BR>Magic is not the method, but the presentation.
Samuel Catoe
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The final result is you have your copy that you bought for $50.00. Guy #2 has the illegal copy you made for $25.00. The creator has the payment for ONE dvd that he made, no compensation for the SECOND dvd made without his/her authorization, and a good case to sue you for making the illegal copy.

Guy #2 has an illegal copy that can be confiscated if the authorites decide to do that.

You have your original, $25.00 more in your pocket, a potential lawsuit, a probable fine if caught, and a possible bed in one of this countries fine establishments for theives, murders, rapists, etc. if you are caught.

So, Nathan, yes everyone has what they wanted.

Except Guy #2 who wanted the original (if he knew you were selling illegal stuff he becomes an accomplise and is just as guilty as you in many states). Oh and the creator who sells his own copies of the tape for only $35.00 rather than the $50.00 the stores charge.

You, on the other hand have all you wanted and so much more than you ever dreamed of. A video, $25, a room with a view, three free meals a day, and a new roomie named "Bubba" who thinks you're pretty.

P.S. For those of you who read this, if you are selling illegally copied products; do not sell to me. If I find I have been sold illegal stuff, I will contact the creator, the police in your area, and the FBI. I do not tolerate theft and will NOT be a willing party to it.

Samuel
Author of Illusions of Influence, a treatise on Equivoque.
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Nathan Pain
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Please re-read my example..OK...guy #2 has my original copy, which as I stated, he was not WILLING to pay the original artist 50$ for, (TOO rich for his blood), but 25$ seems like a good deal to him. I AM NOT SELLING THE COPY, I AM SELLING THE ORIGINAL. Once again the end result is the same, if I have to deal with the authorities, then that is my problem, but the original artist is not out any money.

ONCE AGAIN, I DO NOT CONDONE ANY OF THIS...I am just exposing the flip side of the coin!

Nathan Pain

p.s. "You, on the other hand have all you wanted and so much more than you ever dreamed of. A video, $25, a room with a view, three free meals a day, and a new roomie named "Bubba" who thinks you're pretty." Honestly that is hilarious, I thought I was the only one who said that!

While we are on this topic, I have one more scenario. What about stuff I've recorded off of tv. Am I allowed to make copies for trading purposes. I would never sell anything I recorded from tv, but am I allowed to use this stuff for trading purposes? Let me know what the legalese says about this!

Nathan Pain
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Micheal Leath
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The fact is that there is no easy answer. Everyone is going to have their own opinion about it. No one can even seem to agree on what the law says about it. The law says a lot of things about certain issues but that doesn't make it right, but we have to live with those laws until enough people stand behind an issue and make a change. I'm not sure that we will ever have a law about anything that everyone can agree on.

All legalities aside, I do believe that it is unethical to make a copy and then sell the original. It is unethical to make a copy and then sell that copy. If you make a backup copy for your own use, then I believe that is ok.
Blitzen
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Where to start, where to start. Without going into great depth, criminal prosecution of copyright infringement does occur, but it is a rare individual that satisfies the statute. Look here:http://tinyurl.com/2dcjl
Bubba is not going to meet someone busted for only selling one DVD. Civil damages are available only if the copyright was registered before infringement and run between $750 and $30k per infringed work. 17 USC 504.
If someone sells the original and retains a copy, yes, that's infringement. If you sell a copy, that's infringement. If you make a backup it's infringement (but almost certainly covered by fair use). Trading copies is infringement, but trading originals isn't.
Nathan, as far as trading tapes of shows...that may or may not be infringement. The leading case of VCR copying allows taping for purposes of time or place shifting (watching later and/or on another VCR). Arguably if the tapes trades were equivalent in nature (both of broadcast shows) time/place shifting would say it's not infringement. If one trades things they got from HBO and trades with someone for shows they taped off of Showtime (assuming neither party subscribes to both networks) that is probably infringement since there is an economic gain realized by the traders since then they get material they'd otherwise have to pay to access.
Nathan Pain
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Wow, I thought the tv thing was cut and dry, nut I really just meant like abc, cbs, nbc...hbo and showtime don't have many straight magic programs, and yes I do know about Penn and Teller's show.

Nathan Pain
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Rob Johnston
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Well, I buy DVD movies used from the Store all the time. It is one of many exchange stores. I save a lot of money and can even trade my own used movies in.

I view this topic in nearly the same way as that...though we must be weary of the "hot" dvds nonetheless.
"Genius is another word for magic, and the whole point of magic is that it is inexplicable." - Margot Fonteyn
Nathan Pain
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Astinus,
What you are doing is the real problem, I do it too! When you sell used product to a store and someone buys it, the original creator gets no compensation for this item being sold. Even though this is legal, and what we are talking about is illegal, the end result is the same. Although re-selling the same item over and over costs no more in production, but of course it does kill sales! This discussion is really about money, not whether it is illegal or not. If I get busted for copying, I pay a fine, and probably don't go to jail...money, money, money!

This became a huge deal when used stores started to come about, but only one artist raised a stink about lost profits, Garth Brooks!

Nathan Pain
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Samuel Catoe
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You are right about the money part of it. That is exactly what it is all about for the producers. I do agree with you concerning the reselling of magic videos, but it is not illegal. Renting those same videos though when they are clearly marked "Not For Rental" could very well be illegal though. I am not certain of this area.
As far as TV goes, anything on the main network stations could easily be seen as public domain since anyone with a tv and antenna can view these channels. Cable on the other hand, gets into the realm of purchased services and could very possibly be seen the same as a video/dvd/cd if the lawyers really wanted to push it and had plenty of time to prepare arguments.
Author of Illusions of Influence, a treatise on Equivoque.
PM me for details and availability.
Blitzen
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I'm fairly sure labelling a video "not for rental" has no legal effect. Broadcast shows aren't public domain, but private taping is legal for the purposes of time/space shifting. If you want to read the case it's available here: http://tinyurl.com/8toz.
I think it would be pretty easy to argue that trading tapes of your cable for tapes of someone else's cable (where the two people don't have the same channels) is infringement. That would probably be considered an economic gain for both parties.
The money is an interesting aspect of this discussion that hasn't really been addressed. Is it the same ethically to infringe on a DVD/manuscript/book when it is purchased directly from the magician and is self published or to infringe something bought from a publisher when the magician makes relatively little on each unit sold? In music, generally, the only artists that make appreciable money from CD sales are those that are already so rich that it's hard to feel sorry for them if their songs show up on P2P networks. The majority only get a small royalty per unit after they recover record company costs.
Nathan Pain
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Yeah, but a nickel is a nickel! And a million nickels is $50,000, which is usually enough for an artist to recoup the loss.

Nathan Pain
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Blitzen
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True, but there are often costs that can sound a little shadey. Payments for pressing, mailing to radio stations, "payola" (although no one admits to that but it's been disguised and hidden), miscellaneous promotional costs, creative accounting, etc. Courtney Love sued about that a few years ago, and I'm honestly not sure what happened with her case, it probably settled with a gag order. Plus a million units is quite a few, that's the criteria for a platinum record.
I don't think that a single movie has ever made a profit, based on the industries accounting scheme.
Nathan Pain
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Yeah I know Steve, but of course I was referring to the type of bands I listen to...they don't have to do all that junk because they have a dedicated underground fan base...as we all know the bands make all their money off of merch anyhow Smile

Nathan Pain
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Blitzen
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I dig underground bands, PM me a few I should check out and I'll do the same in return.
Bands make their most money from ticket sales, although they can make a nice bit from merchandise.
Nathan Pain
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Oh yeah...tickets...I'm always on the guest list Smile
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kihei kid
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Just an observation (not pointing fingers) but how many times have you seen Joe Schmoe not make a copy of a DVD then turn around and cheat on his taxes. Or cheat on their spouse, or run a red light, or… you get my point.

To me this is the same B.S. I hear out of all those music artist crying about Kazaa. They are so quick to sue someone over copyright infringement but don’t you think for a minute that they have never gotten a freebie of their own (or have tried to get away with something) sometime in their life.

Just an observation...
In loving memory of Hughie Thomasson 1952-2007.

You brought something beautiful to this world, you touched my heart, my soul and my life. You will be greatly missed.

Until we meet again “my old friend”.
Nathan Pain
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Amen Brother!
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