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RE: [dvd-discuss] Salon Artice on DVD Commentary

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Steve Hosgood [mailto:steve@caederus.com]
> Sent: Friday, September 27, 2002 6:20 AM
> To: dvd-discuss@eon.law.harvard.edu
> Subject: RE: [dvd-discuss] Salon Artice on DVD Commentary 
> Richard M. Hartman wrote:
> > Just a short step from "legitimate" commentary
> > to MST3K-style ... and then what have you got?
> > Essentially the same thing we've been discussing
> > about inserting third-party material directly
> > into the flick ...
> > 
> If doing a downloadable MST3K-type commentary (or whatever) 
> is supposedly
> illegal, 

I'm not certain that it is.  As a matter of fact, I am
fairly certain that it would _not_ be illegal since the
original work is not altered in the process.  Unless you
sell a _modified_ DVD w/ your commentary track, in which
case it is an unauthorized derivative work.  If, however,
you merely sell your commentary on the movie it is really
conceptually no different than any other movie review.  The
fact that this review is timed such that specific pieces
of commentary will be heard when certain scenes are on-screen
should the viewer happen to have started both the movie and
the commentary simultaneously . . .  Well, no jury on earth
could convict me! Muhuhahahah ...

... sorry 'bout that.  Got a bit carried away ...

>how do people get away with *selling* books like 
> "Slayer: An Expanded
> and Updated Unofficial and Unauthorized Guide to Buffy the 
> Vampire Slayer(*)"?

I've actually wondered about that myself.  I think the
difference is in that it is a fact-based work _about_ the
(copyrighted) character, rather than a fictional work _using_
the character.

> Seems to me to be the paper equivalent to doing what is being 
> proposed for
> downloadable playlists or commentaries. The copyrighted 
> original work is *not*
> distributed (but is mentioned in the title of course), and 
> you'd have to go
> out and *buy* a copy of that work in order to make real use 
> of the unauthorised
> add-on. The copyright holder sells more copies, even if they 
> don't approve of
> the contents of the add-on.
> Seems that the copyright holder can't even sue to remove the 
> name of the
> copyrighted work from the title of the add-on either, or I'm 
> sure they would
> in many cases.


-Richard M. Hartman

186,000 mi/sec: not just a good idea, it's the LAW!