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Post #1117800

TV's Frink
Parent topic
Dealing with People Selling Fan Projects
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Date created
12-Oct-2017, 2:31 PM

yhwx said:

towne32 said:

NeverarGreat said:

Running torrents off of your website is a good way to run into legal trouble.

Even though you aren’t hosting the illegal content, hosting the torrent can be bad enough if you’re up against Disney and the MPAA. It’s a really bad idea to make yourself a target like that, in my opinion. And I thought it was a funny Leia misquote.

New people like to complain about how decentralized things are around here. Some people complain because they’re too lazy to figure it out.

I think this is a bit unfair. It’s an attitude of experienced computer users who don’t like to explain things to other people. Sometimes I can be a part of that category.

But who’s to say that these users are lazy? Can you prove it? I doubt it. Also, technology should be available to everyone, not just to people who’ve sunk their whole life into it.

Others make the reasonable claim that it drives people to places like Ebay.

It’s a reasonable claim that having things a bit decentralized thwarts some of the less technically inclined and probably drives them to ebay. And that having higher visibility (apparently more than a very obvious facebook page) would prevent some of those sales. Others would still buy because they are either lazy or don’t have the internet connection or ability to burn BD-R and make pretty cases.

But I would argue that besides the problems that A) some jackasses are profitting and B) some dumbasses are losing money,

I’d say it’s kind of harsh to call people who buy edits on eBay “dumbasses.”

yhwx said:

Puggo - Jar Jar’s Yoda said:

I’m a little confused… I just downloaded the latest despecialized editions myself using the instructions on the first post of Harmy’s thread, via Uloz just following his steps. It was extraordinarily easy and didn’t require understanding torrents. There’s not much easier anyone could make it given the size of the files.

I believe that you said that you were a computer programmer at some point. As such, I would guess that you would have seen the process as a piece of cake. But that’s probably not the way many “regular people” see it.

The reason you see everybody’s smartphones filled with apps is because it easy and safe to install apps on them. Just search for the app you want in the store, then click the install button. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. No file managers or installers to wrangle. There’s also the added benefit of people viewing their smartphones as secure devices; or, at least more secure than desktop computers. People remember the Bad Old Days of bloated anti-virus software on Windows and viruses that crippled whole networks. That stigma isn’t attached to phones.

While we experienced computer users have complex multi-folder deep hierarchies on our disks, I’ve seen regular people struggle with the concept of file management. These people aren’t dumb, they’re just not accustomed to the desktop environment. Just because a neurosurgeon doesn’t know how to mange files doesn’t mean they’re a dumbass. And a computer programmer that can do that isn’t necessarily smarter than the neurosurgeon. Competence does not equal intelligence. So, what we may think is a piece of cake may not be to the end user.

yhwx said:

Frank your Majesty said:

I’m not a lawyer but I have access to google and wikipedia.

From Wikipedia:

Exclusive rights

There are six basic rights protected by copyright. The owner of copyright has the exclusive right to do and to authorize others to do the following:

  1. To reproduce the work in copies or phonorecords;
  2. To prepare derivative works based upon the work;
  3. To distribute copies or phonorecords of the work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending;
  4. To publicly perform the work, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works;
  5. To publicly display the work, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work.
  6. To digitally transmit sound recordings by means of digital audio transmission.

A violation of any of the exclusive rights of the copyright holder is a copyright infringement, unless fair use (or a similar affirmative defense) applies.

Fair use

Fair use is the use of limited amounts of copyrighted material in such a way as to not be an infringement. It is codified at 17 U.S.C. § 107, and states that “the fair use of a copyrighted work … is not an infringement of copyright.” The section lists four factors that must be assessed to determine whether a particular use is fair. There are no bright-line rules regarding fair use and each determination is made on an individualized case-by-case basis.

  1. Purpose and character of the use, including whether the use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes: Nonprofit educational and noncommercial uses are more likely to be fair use. This does not mean that all nonprofit education and noncommercial uses are fair use or that all commercial uses are not fair. Instead, courts will balance the purpose and character of the use against the other factors below. Additionally, “transformative” uses are more likely to be considered fair. Transformative uses are those that add something new, with a further purpose or different character, and do not substitute for the original use of the work.
  2. Nature of the copyrighted work: Using a more creative or imaginative work (such as a novel, movie, or song) is less likely to support fair use than using a factual work (such as a technical article or news item). In addition, use of an unpublished work is less likely to be considered fair.
  3. Amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole: Courts look at both the quantity and quality of the copyrighted material that was used. Using a large portion of the copyrighted work is less likely to be fair use. However, courts have occasionally found use of an entire work to be fair use, and in other contexts, using even a small amount of a copyrighted work was determined not to be fair use because the selection was an important part—or the “heart”—of the work.
  4. Effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work: Here, courts review whether, and to what extent, the unlicensed use harms the existing or future market for the copyright owner’s original work. In assessing this factor, courts consider whether the use is hurting the current market for the original work (for example, by displacing sales of the original) and/or whether the use could cause substantial harm if it were to become widespread.

In addition to these four factors, the statute also allows courts to consider any other factors that may be relevant to the fair use analysis. Courts evaluate fair use claims on a case-by-case basis, and the outcome of any given case depends on the specific facts of that case. There is no formula to ensure that a predetermined percentage or amount of a work—or specific number of words, lines, pages, copies—may be used without permission.

The justification of the fair use doctrine turns primarily on whether, and to what extent, the challenged use is transformative. “The use must be productive and must employ the quoted matter in a different manner or for a different purpose from the original. A quotation of copyrighted material that merely repackages or republishes the original is unlikely to pass the test… If, on the other hand, the secondary use adds value to the original–if the quoted matter is used as raw material, transformed in the creation of new information, new aesthetics, new insights and understandings-- this is the very type of activity that the fair use doctrine intends to protect for the enrichment of society.”

Making a fan-edit interferes with point 2 of “exclusive rights”, however, if you made this fan-edit for yourself and you watch it only with your family, you’d have a very strong case that this is covered by “fair use” as you’re not interfering with anyones business. (See point 4 of fair use.)
This doesn’t hold up anymore when you share your edit with thousands of people. Besides the altered scenes, a fan-edit also consists of many scenes found in the original work, which interferes with point 3 of “fair use” and distributing your fan-edit therefore violates point 3 of “exclusive rights”, as you’re also providing the unaltered scenes to the public. (Obvisouly, you’re always interfering with point 2 of “fair use”.)
You could make the claim that your edit is transformative (see point 1 under “fair use”) and has additional value over the original work, but if this argument was easily accepted in court, we would’nt have to have this discussion right now. Fan-preservations can by definition not be transformative, as their goal is precisely not to change a work of art, so no luck in that departement.
The only thing this community has left is point 1 under “fair use”, which is “non-commercial use”, but that alone isn’t enough in court. And this is the only difference to the people selling fan-edits on ebay. And in the eyes of the law, this difference is minuscule. Drawing the attention of authorities to these sellers also means drawing their attention to the creators of fan-edits.

Excellent analysis.

yhwx said:

oojason said:

ZigZig said:

Darth Lucas said:

how did this happen?

  1. The official sources are/were TehParadox (which is closed) and MySpleen (where invitations are not available anymore).
  2. When a newbie asks “where can I get them” on this forum, the 2 ou 3 same guys always answer with jokes, or “read the first post” (which is outdated), or don’t answer at all, or forbid access to newbies (you must be a member for 6 months before getting the private links, which is quite justified and understandable, but can give the impression of a closed club).
  3. If you want to learn more about how to get the Despecialized Editions, you have to read 161 pages of private jokes. And do not try to give your opinion or to answer to a post, you’ll receive “get out of here” or “ridiculous” for answer from some people who think that this forum is their playground, even though the vast majority of members are kind and caring.

On the other hand, if you pay on eBay, you receive a beautiful package with a box, inner sleeves and beautifully printed blurays.

I am obviously outraged that people get paid on eBay for the volunteer and free work of other people like Harmy, Poita, Adywan or DrDre. No one should claim $ 100 on eBay for Harmy’s work, it is not fair. And I’m happy to be a (young new) member of this forum, where I can learn a lot of things about SW, and share my passion with people who are, for the most part, extremely sympathetic.

But I understand why many people end up finding eBay easier than this particular forum …


You raise some good valid points ZigZig - and I appreciate your efforts in here to try and come up with a solution to these issues.

To try to answer some of your points - and in the interests of clarity for others reading up about this topic…


Harmy’s Dspecialised Editions are widely available on both public and private torrent sites - in many differing formats and sizes. That new posters state on here that they searched ‘high and low’ on the public torrent sites and still can’t find them is somewhat baffling. Also baffling are those that say they don’t know how to use torrent sites and then ask to join myspleen…

Never attribute to malice what can be attributed to stupidity.


In Harmy’s first post in his Despecialised Edition thread on this site is the linked ‘The Ultimate Introductory Guide’ -
which chronicles how to obtain the DE.

I have doubts on whether a user of normal technical capability can actually understand and follow those instructions.

Harmy also has a facebook page - chronicling how to obtain his Despecialised Editions - via ‘The Ultimate Introductory Guide’ linked on it.

And a twitter page too.

There is also a youtube video out there with ‘The Ultimate Introductory Guide’ linked in on how to obtain the DE.

Those pages might not have enough visibility to make a difference. I wonder what is the main outlet that people find out about these sorts of fan edits and restorations. YouTube is an incredibly large force — maybe people are finding out there, and then get roped into this resale scam.

I think (though am not certain) that the above video, with ‘The Ultimate Introductory Guide’ linked in, is available on other similar video sites too.

Please note that the first post of the ‘Myspleen Invite’ thread HAS indeed been updated.

Re the 2 or 3 guys who answer ‘newbies’ with jokes etc - yes, at times they could be a little more helpful and can a bit sarcastic. However, please note that many of the posts in the various Despecialised / myspleen threads have many, many new people to this site who haven’t read that first post on how to obtain them, nor have they taken the time to actually read through the thread, or around the site - they often just ask how to get them - repeat it a few days later (or more) and then never post again.

I will concede that not reading the first post is pretty stupid. However, reading through multi-hundred page threads is something that I don’t think we should ask of people. And many people probably don’t arrive here at the front page — they’re probably directed to Harmy’s or the MySpleen invite page without knowing what’s beyond those parts.

You can’t ask people to take time you don’t know if they have to do something.

I imagine many posters pop in a few of these quality Despecialised threads from time to time - after seeing the thread has been bumped - thinking there may be some new additions to the work, or a new alternative take, or that it may have inspired someone to do something similar, or perhaps an update on the project, or just a good conversation on the topic at hand etc…

…but, no - it’s yet another ‘can I have a link’ type post.

For the posters who have been here a while… seeing quality threads bumped by people consistently and repeatedly asking questions that have already been answered many, many times - on a subject to which the answer was staring ‘newbies’ in the face all that time is quite frustrating - well… patience can, somewhat understandably, wear a little thin.

I honestly don’t understand this frustration that many people seem to have. These one-post wonders are only that — one-post wonders. After they’re done with their innocuous question-asking, they have absolutely zero impact on the forum whatsoever, except for a feeling of “clutter” that some might have. And regular conversation of the topic at hand can continue unhindered. If people aren’t talking about the topic, that’s because people don’t want to talk about it or have nothing to say. That’s not the fault of the newbies.

Perhaps we should have a forum feature allowing users to ignore accounts less than a day old?

However, if anyone oversteps the mark in treatment to fellow posters - new or old - it can be reported to the moderators on here.

If a member on here chooses to only give a small number of invites to a few fellow members that have been here for 6 months or more, then that is his/her prerogative and is down to that specific member - it does not reflect on this site. It also has little-to-nothing to do with this site.

This site was not the only way to join myspleen.

This site has no affiliation with myspleen - although some people are members of both sites.

For those wishing to join up at myspleen it has repeatedly been pointed out that myspleen’s own forums remain open to join, at:-

It is on that forum that many questions could likely be answered better than on here.

It is also possible, that contributing to those forums, will likely get them the information they desire - as well as likely being made aware of if/when myspleen invites will be made available once again.

The problem is, we need to find a way to direct more of the newbies to go over there before they ask for invites or information over here.


Re artwork for the Despecialised Editions - there is a whole section of the dedicated to helping provide covers, discart, chapter inserts and artwork etc for near on all things Star Wars. There are many differing options to choose from, ranging from quality work from professionals in their field - to people like me who struggle with MS Paint…

There is also information including info on how to print on discs, which type of paper is best, which printers will print direct to disc, how to make a boxset, alternatives to storing films on discs, which dvd or blu ray cases are decent - and cheapest to buy from, and how to make your own covers etc…

I mention this as I received an email not long ago from a person who had bought a Despecialised Edition boxset from ebay - it certainly was NOT ‘a beautiful package with a box, inner sleeves and beautifully printed blurays’…

It was printed on cheap ‘letter quality’ paper on which the ink had run through to on the other side, it had cheap cases which had cracked in transit (or before?), and the films themselves were on a very cheap brand of blu ray disc - and would only work on some blu ray players.

I would assume that the quality of the counterfeit disks would vary. Obviously people with no care for what they’ve made who just want to make a quick buck is a big part of the market, but the plural of anecdote is not data. I wonder how many people there who want to make a quick buck but also have good workmanship!

So ‘buyer beware’ - for they are likely dealing with the type of person who goes against the wishes of the man who gave us these Editions for free, profits from the work by that man & many, many others, sells them on at an extortionate price - and then apparently sends out substandard / shoddy sets.


Re the njvc Custom Blu Ray Set…

njvc very kindly put his customised project of the Despecialised Editions up for people to download - for free on Mega - and some ****s still downloaded and put them up for sale on/at various places like cons, ebay, other online selling sites etc. We now know that some people on myspleen (when invites were still being given out) have done the same in downloading them and then selling them on.

This somewhat nullifies a few claims seen on here along the lines of ‘restricted availability leads to higher demand and more expensive sets sold online - so make them more easily available’.

It seems to be a pretty reasonable prediction based on supply and demand, but things can get weird with digital products where there is no actual limit to the amount of product that can be distributed. I’d love to see what the economics at play are here.

When did Warbler start posting in this thread?