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Dealing with People Selling Fan Projects — Page 5

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tbird97 said:

NeverarGreat said:

While we need to do a better job at directing new members towards important information
Any solution not involving money would be quite a hassle, and the best thing I can think of is a system wherein the party requesting the blu-ray would be required to purchase their own blank blu-ray discs and send them in a package containing their copy of the relevant 2011 Blu-ray discs (as proof of purchase) and enough postage for sending it all back.

I fall into that category. Been a member here for years. I have the files. I do not yet have access to a Blu-ray writer. So, I would be very happy to purchase blank discs with that intention. Having read all the hard work and dedication that went into making these things, I won’t purchase online so some Greedo makes a profit off the work done by members of these forums. Being patient till I get the opportunity to make my own or at least not so as someone else profits from it. Great discussion in this thread.

I was in the same boat as you until I sat down on one of my days off and played around with TUIG until I finally figured out how to download the multi-part rar files. The day I finally figured out how to download the files, I went to bestbuy that very same afternoon and purchased a blu-ray burner and a spool of 25 discs. That ran me up just shy of 120USD! But good god, talk about money well spent. With all of the extra discs I just burnt up copies for friends, family, co-workers etc.

Luke astro-projects himself to Salt Lake Planet, gets shot at by gorilla walkers, has a non-lightsaber duel with Darth Millennial, then dies of a broken heart, inspiring broom boys throughout the galaxy to get creative with their sweeping. - DuracellEnergizer

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Harmy isn’t publicly distributing his projects himself. Thus he isn’t responsible for the objective breach in copyright because someone else posted his work. Get it?

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nickyd47 said:

Harmy isn’t publicly distributing his projects himself. Thus he isn’t responsible for the objective breach in copyright because someone else posted his work. Get it?

As far as I know, the mere fact of modifying a work without the prior consent of the author constitutes an infringement of the author’s intellectual property rights, regardless of whether or not it is distributed.

Would there be a professional lawyer on this forum who could give his opinion?

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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.

nickyd47 said:

Harmy isn’t publicly distributing his projects himself. Thus he isn’t responsible for the objective breach in copyright because someone else posted his work. Get it?

But Harmy is publicly distributing his project himself. He posts about it and he (indirectly) tells people how to get it. And at one point the files had to go from his computer to some file hosting service. Do you really think any judge would accept “well, someone broke into my computer and stole the files whenever I finished a new version of the movie, but I have never contacted the police about it.” as an excuse?

Ceci n’est pas une signature.

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Thank you, Frank Your Majesty!
As “fair use” is defined as “the use of LIMITED AMOUNTS of copyrighted material”, I am not even sure that it can be invoked here, even though it is only broadcast in a family circle: it is not a “limited amount” of copyright material, but an entire work.

Frank your Majesty said:

But Harmy is publicly distributing his project himself. He posts about it and he (indirectly) tells people how to get it.

… plus he has his own Facebook page dedicated to his work.

Thus, if I understand, we must be careful and not report those ebayers to the relevant copyright protection agency for selling bootlegged content, otherwise we could cause problems to Harmy, to other fan editors, to MySpleen and to this Original Trilogy community.

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Harmy’s work is basically a re-mix, re-mixes are considered fair use. https://boingboing.net/2013/04/26/fair-use-decision-remixing-is.html
He didn’t just re-distribute existing copyrighted things, he took different bits of different copyrighted materials and created his own fan edit, which is very similar (but not identical) to the theatrical cuts, which can’t be right now obtained legally. He has no personal profit out of his work, and his works are used for educational purposes - they are often used to demonstrate differences done to the movies during the years, and providing commentary on them.

So yes, Harmy’s despecialized editions, just like any other fan edits COULD be considered fair use and therefore fully legal. COULD is the most important word. But why are we having such a discussion? Isn’t it safer to behave in a way in which Lucasfilm / Disney has NO reason to take any legal actions?

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This is a very favorable interpretation. Here’s another take:

It’s not a re-mix, it’s a re-creation. Any differences to the actual theatrical cut are small, and they are unintentional. It’s not putting anything in a new context. Just because there is no home video release of the OUT does (sadly) not mean it’s not protected by copyright. The educational part of this project could be achieved by showing a selected few scenes.

Copyright law as a whole should be changed so that copyright holders also have the responsibility to preserve their work for future generations. It’s not worth going to court over some stupid ebay sells and risk to shut the whole fan-edit scene down.

ZigZig said:

Thank you, Frank Your Majesty!
As “fair use” is defined as “the use of LIMITED AMOUNTS of copyrighted material”, I am not even sure that it can be invoked here, even though it is only broadcast in a family circle: it is not a “limited amount” of copyright material, but an entire work.

Fair use can be recognized even when only one of the four criteria is met (from the wiki article: “However, courts have occasionally found use of an entire work to be fair use”). And if you show your edits only to your family, the strongest point in favor of fair use is that you don’t interfer with any hypothetical sales. No company is going to sue you if they don’t think they are losing any money because of you. And no court will spend time discussing such a case.

Ceci n’est pas une signature.

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You do know you are allowed to look at your post after it is submitted and fix it, don’t you?

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TV’s Frink said:

You do know you are allowed to look at your post after it is submitted and fix it, don’t you?
The game continues!

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LordZerome1080 said:
You do know this topic thread is against the selling of fan edits don’t you?

Yes but if he’s going to be a douche he should do it in style, he should at least take the ugly black letters off the disc.

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Here is someone else trying to profit off of Harmy’s hardwork

Link to website removed by moderator - let’s not give them the publicity they wish for.

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Rocketpunch said:

Here is someone else trying to profit off of Harmy’s hardwork

Link to website removed by moderator - let’s not give them the publicity they wish for.

I think that link is the one from the beginning of the post.

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ZigZig said:

There are now dozen of people that sell the Despecialized Edition, see what Google founds:
https://www.google.com/search?num=100&safe=off&q=star+wars+despecialized+bluray+-originaltrilogy.com&oq=star+wars+despecialized+bluray+-originaltrilogy.com

You’ll find eBayers, YouTubers, iOfferers…

I actually had to take a moment to breathe and chill out a bit after looking through those results. Wtf people?? The fact that the vast majority of people seem to think eBay is where to get them, how did this happen?

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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 …

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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 an answer from some people who think that this forum is their playground.

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 …

I agree. I think that there does need to be some fixing of how things get done here in respect to newbie treatment and getting a better file sharing system set up.