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Author Topic: Having the video on the site isn't quite legal...  (Read 8337 times)

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Offline sloan47

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Having the video on the site isn't quite legal...
« on: May 10, 2008, 12:10:58 AM »
I wanted to state first and foremost I am a HUGE fan of RiffTrax. I thought you guys did a great job riffing World Enough and Time. But you guys may be getting yourselves into a bit of legal trouble over offering the actual video. Paramount (I guess it's CBS now...) has tolerated the fan productions because it's considered Fair Use and the productions are not allowed to charge for their work. In order to actually deliver the audio and video together, you must also give it away for free. If you do not offer it for free, your derivative work violates the intellectual property CBS. (Even though CBS had nothing to do with the production... they just get to cash the paychecks.) It's a problem fan productions have faced for years now and luckily Paramount/CBS has allowed them to make their films. Obviously the mp3's are just fine, but the video could get you and potentially New Voyages (or Phase II) into some legal trouble.


Offline ShadowDog

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Re: Having the video on the site isn't quite legal...
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2008, 12:50:15 AM »
I am a HUGE fan of RiffTrax.

But apparently not a fan of these forums because this issue has already been discussed and resolved to the satisfaction of reasonable adults.  But welcome!  I hope you stick around and post lots!
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Offline bettertomorrowamy

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Re: Having the video on the site isn't quite legal...
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2008, 03:56:06 AM »
I still think there is room for argument here amongst lawyers.  This is definitely the closest to copyright infringement Rifftrax has come.  This would be a very interesting case for setting precedent.  It's up to whatever corporate entity that owns the Star Trek copyright to make the next move.  I'm not a lawyer, but I play one on the internet.
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Offline sarcasm_made_Easy

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Re: Having the video on the site isn't quite legal...
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2008, 04:36:53 AM »
Quote
still think there is room for argument here amongst lawyers

If theres anything this world needs,  its more laywers. 


Offline Flopsy T. Hamster

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Re: Having the video on the site isn't quite legal...
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2008, 04:58:52 AM »
I think an arguement COULD be made that since RiffTrax are only charging their standard rate for this - the same price they would charge for the MP3 - that they are not charging for the video. They are merely charging for their own work, and providing the video as a courtesy to those who would find it difficult to locate, convert, and/or sync. But I'm not a lawyer, either. This is between the producers of ST:NV and Rifftrax, and so far, the only thing we've heard from from the ST:NV producers has been positive. We can't really count the forum bannings, since the admins there are probably not directly connected with the productions, and may be over-reacting.

But your point is taken, sloan. I think the majority of us here know the implications of this, and certainly the Rifftrax people are aware of these concerns by now. Thanks for being so polite about it.


Offline gammer

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Re: Having the video on the site isn't quite legal...
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2008, 07:55:23 AM »
Hey, you never know how far you can go if you don't push the envelope...right?


Offline ShadowDog

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Re: Having the video on the site isn't quite legal...
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2008, 07:58:25 AM »
That's true gammer.  But for me it's an open and shut case because of this:

I think an arguement COULD be made that since RiffTrax are only charging their standard rate for this - the same price they would charge for the MP3 - that they are not charging for the video. They are merely charging for their own work, and providing the video as a courtesy to those who would find it difficult to locate, convert, and/or sync.

DEFENSE RESTS YOUR HONOR!  That's absolutely rock solid in my mind.  Of course I'm not a lawyer either ...
"Did she just say Chipping?"


Offline MartyS (Gromit)

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Re: Having the video on the site isn't quite legal...
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2008, 10:44:08 AM »
That's true gammer.  But for me it's an open and shut case because of this:

I think an arguement COULD be made that since RiffTrax are only charging their standard rate for this - the same price they would charge for the MP3 - that they are not charging for the video. They are merely charging for their own work, and providing the video as a courtesy to those who would find it difficult to locate, convert, and/or sync.

DEFENSE RESTS YOUR HONOR!  That's absolutely rock solid in my mind.  Of course I'm not a lawyer either ...

I'm sure a "clever" lawyer could make the point that since no one is allowed to make a profit from selling the source material, that any profit derived from making fun of the source material would also be illegal.   Plenty of lawsuits have gone forward with even more flimsy cases, like the guy that sued a dry cleaner for millions over a pair of pants, that went on for way too long before it was dismissed.

I would think the lawyers at Legend would have already considered this.


Offline Pak-Man

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Re: Having the video on the site isn't quite legal...
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2008, 02:05:57 PM »
The video file even tells you where to find the official copy for free. :^)


Offline Raven

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Re: Having the video on the site isn't quite legal...
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2008, 05:29:21 PM »
If there were actually a site, any site, that charged for the unriffed video then there would be a problem but since these things have never made any money than I don't see the problem.  The creators don't even own a copyright to their own material.   It's different than the SWHS in at least that regards.


Offline bettertomorrowamy

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Re: Having the video on the site isn't quite legal...
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2008, 05:34:12 PM »
But the corporate overlords let them slide on using the Star Trek universe only because they aren't selling it.  If said corporate overlords hear tell of people making money, even tangentally, with their "brand" they might seek legal recourse.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2008, 05:45:01 PM by bettertomorrowamy »
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Offline Flopsy T. Hamster

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Re: Having the video on the site isn't quite legal...
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2008, 05:43:54 PM »
I don't think anyone is exactly worried about the reaction of the ST:NV producers, who seem to be cool people, and will probably love the hell out of this. I think the main problem at the moment are the fans who are worried that Paramount will not see this as we do, and will kick everybody out of their sandbox, and not allow Crawley and Company continue with their series. I doubt it's gonna come to that.


Offline Dim of the Yard

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Re: Having the video on the site isn't quite legal...
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2008, 05:45:33 PM »
I don't think anyone is exactly worried about the reaction of the ST:NV producers, who seem to be cool people, and will probably love the hell out of this.

AAntilles is RIGHT!


Offline Raven

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Re: Having the video on the site isn't quite legal...
« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2008, 06:04:38 PM »
Anybody else think it would be funny if Rifftrax brought about the end of the New Voyages entirely? 


Offline Flopsy T. Hamster

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Re: Having the video on the site isn't quite legal...
« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2008, 06:18:42 PM »
Anybody else think it would be funny if Rifftrax brought about the end of the New Voyages entirely? 

Maybe that's why Mike decided to sit this one out. He didn't want to be responsible for destroying yet another world!  ;D