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Smartflix unauthorized DVD rentals


#1

Thanks to everyone about the unauthorized rentals of my DVDs from
Smartflix. Here is a link to the that seems to state
that there is nothing I can do legally. It is called “Boycott
SmartFlix”. Figured I wasn’t the only one. Guess they aren’t paying
anyone!

http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/1x5

I have donated DVDs to Metalsmithing groups for their libraries for
years. If there is a metals group or school with a metals program
that does not have my BasicTechniques in Argentium DVD, contact me
offline to discuss this.

Ronda Coryell


#2

This particular issue has worked its way through the court system a
bunch of times in the US. The courts have always come down on the
side of the rental companies. See NEBG v Weinstein as one example. As
a copyright holder, once you sell your work, you lose a lot of
control over what people can do with it(first-sale doctrine). The
two big things you still get to control is that they aren’t allowed
to copy it and they aren’t allowed to have public performances.
Renting it out to someone to watch at their home or work isn’t
considered a public performance.

The reason companies like Redbox, Netflix and Blockbuster negotiate
revenue sharing and other agreements with the big movie studios is
so they can get a sufficient number of copies, or get them earlier,
get exclusive access for a period of time, etc. Smartflix probably
doesn’t need to kinds of volume they big guys need, so they just buy
a few copies wherever they can get them.

Jason


#3

To Rhonda

Artists and artisans are among the most generous people in this
world. They devote time, share experience and donate products to
charities. It’s a pity the dvd law is this way. I do believe though
that putting a list of do not do’s on the dvd itself might be
helpful. It is ironic to me that the law forbids copying the dvd but
allows someone other than the artist to rent it out. Copying is
possibly the one action that cannot be controlled - big numbers
copying can be found out but it is the leakage of one or two at a
time that can do some damage to the artist’s pocketbook. Again -
ethics, right? Just my point of view.

Barbara


#4

My take on this issue is somewhat cotraversial. If you decide to make
your hard won skills available to everyone, ie effectively free, then
I dont think you can complain if there are folk out in the big bad
world who will take advantage of you. Thats the rough tough world
that we live in today.

Once apon a time in the dim and distant past, knowhow in metal
working was considered to be almost magical.

so the metal smiths, particularly the gold smiths formed guilds to
ensure quality standards, to control how knowhow was passed on,and
to prevent any one calling themselves goldsmiths when they were not
entitled to.

As a system in that time frame it worked well.

For example if you wanted to become a goldsmith you needed to be
indentured to a working master who had to put up with all the
aggravation appentices bring the time wasting and metal spoiled. So
the master required the the parents of the said apprentice paid a fee
to the master to take on the said youth.

Despite what one is told by colleges and universities running
goldsmithing courses they are no substitute for an apprentiship
scheme. I wouldnt dream of making my original techniques available to
anyone else.

If however you bought one of my products, went away and worked out
how to make an exact copy., and was able to make in the same time for
the same profit,

id say good luck to you. You would have a hard job on your hands.
Ted


#5
If you decide to make your hard won skills available to everyone,
ie effectively free, then I dont think you can complain if there
are folk out in the big bad world who will take advantage of you.
Thats the rough tough world that we live in today. 

I make DVDs and it does not bother me if someone would rent it. I do
not know about other DVDs, but as far as mine are concern it is not
enough to watch it just a couple times. To get the benefits, one must
work with it. Skill acquisition to shape the metal, to be able to
derive any form that one need is a slow process. Watching, trying to
do, failing, analyzing mistakes, watching again to correct mistakes
is what it takes to make DVD to reveal it’s content. What one sees
during first or second view is just a shell. To get to the goodies
inside, one has to do some work. Therefore, I view renting by
companies like Smartflix as free advertisement.

There is another wrinkle here. Goldsmithing cannot be learnt on the
cheap. Everything connected with Goldsmithing is valuable and time
consuming. If someone does not want to make a commitment, and
purchasing a DVD or expensive tool is such a commitment, such an
actor is simply wasting his or her time. One philosopher said that at
any point of our lives, we are exactly where we wanted to be. It
means that on subconscious level we always responsible for our
current situation.

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com


#6
I do believe though that putting a list of do not do's on the dvd
itself might be helpful. 

In the right direction, but go all the way and write a licensing
agreement. Don’t sell the DVD, license its use, with whatever
controls you like. Read the agreement that you click on every time
you install new software, for an example. It’s best, of course, to
retain a lawyer specializing in intellectual property, but you can
get a lot of by typing “dvd licensing agreement” into
Google.

Smartflix is doing what the authors have allowed them to do, so
don’t complain, do it right.

Al Balmer
Pine City, NY


#7

Book publishers tried something similar to kill the second-hand book
market. They got shot down in court as well. Computer software is a
little bit of a gray area due to some decisions about how end-user
license agreements usually found in software affect the first sale
doctrine. There are decisions on both sides of the issue for
software, so it depends where you live in the US.


#8

If you want to watch something really informative and revealing
watch “Hot Coffee” a movie you can see on netflex. Taking a big guy
to court is useless.

Share with others if you think more people ought to know.


#9

Ronda,

I just BOUGHT your video on Argentium Granulation and LOVED every
second of it! Have watched it a few times and even said to my husband
a few times, “This woman is a genius!” The photography was excellent
and I have made some things following your advice- thanks a TON!

Dana Evans


#10

Carol,

If you want to watch something really informative and revealing
watch "Hot Coffee" a movie you can see on netflex. Taking a big
guy to court is useless. 

It ABSOLUTELY is not if you find the right, experienced attorney.

M


#11
It ABSOLUTELY is not if you find the right, experienced attorney. 

It depends on how financially in the hole you’re willing to go.

For everyone that wins a legitimate case there are a lot more that
lose a legitimate case :frowning:

Regards Charles A.


#12

Charles,

You are correct, for every win there are more that lose. However, if
you choose the right attorney with the right experience, who knows
the right court to file the case and you have the documentation of
your ownership, you will win. The exception would be international
cases.

M


#13

Having taken people to court before I would agree with Charles, you
must be able to afford to lose even if you think your case is cast
iron. I think these companies rely on the fact that the producers of
these small run works cannot afford to throw enough money at the
proceedings or even if they can they dont have the time to
concentrate on it. This is how they win on marginal cases and then
use that as a precedent to put you off taking them to task. Years ago
a major publisher used to ask for copies of scientific papers on
research for publication. If you failed to copyright the work they
published it for profit and also claimed copyright in totality whcih
could prevent someone finishing their postgraduate research degree
because they no longer had permission to use their own work! This
means that when this company or its agent first approach to buy a
copy of your DVD or whatever it should be made clear that all rights
are reserved and that is usually best done by treating it as a work
of art and protect it so as software developers do. You then have
something to throw the money at-generally a simple breach of
contract.

Nick Royall


#14
You are correct, for every win there are more that lose. However,
if you choose the right attorney with the right experience, who
knows the right court to file the case and you have the
documentation of your ownership, you will win. The exception would
be international cases. 

Exactly right, and it’s finding the right attorney. If anyone has a
problem, maybe there’s someone on the list that could supply a good
name.

International, basically forget it unless you have really deep
pockets and are willing to take a serious financial loss. My friend
got Interpol to track down and arrest a shyster who had done a bunk
with his money and bolted to Canada… cost my friend $28k, plus the
rest of the garbage that went along with it. He’s still hasn’t seen
the end of the situation and it’s been about 15 years.

Regards Charles A.


#15

This thread has been well and truly covered, and I sympathise with
producers of training DVD’s who are ripped off by big money grabbing
co’s. To look further at the question of licencing said DVD, it is
well worth looking at the EULA of one of the most onereous co’s in
the US. It is a well known outfit from redmond., Called microsoft.
do read their EUlA and its probably worth adapting it to your DVD
licence. The other licence thats worth looking at is the GPL licence
put together to protect open source software.

Microsoft couldnt break this licence despite having the biggest
legal team bar none. Moving on to the other issue that this thread has
brought to my mind, that is the difference between what can best be
described as GENERAL KNOWLEDGE in our trade, which is available in
books and on said DVD’s and, SPECIFIC KNOWLEDGE applicable to a
specific technique that has a commercial value. For example lets look
at Fluxes.

Johnson Matthey have researched and produced at considerable expense
a whole range of products for our and industrial use.

with all the useage instructions, temperature limits etc, BUT they
dont say what the said fluxes aremade up from.

Quite rightly so to. They are protecting their commercial interest.
So Id welcome any comments on how others see this difference in
knowhow, and how it effects their work.

I mentioned before, that some of my techniques are commercially
valuable and I wouldnt dream of giving them away for free.

Ted
in Dorset
UK.


#16

If your in a problem in a dream, how do you fix it? Wake up.

Arrange to rent the DVD’s.

Jack


#17

I discovered that Smarflix was renting my first DVD, Russian
Filigree, shortly after its release. Part of my concern was that the
PDF e-book on the DVD could be printed off by anyone who rented it.
After trading quite a few nasty emails with the owner and getting a
lawyer to look into the matter, I found that I couldn’t win that
battle, but the war was not lost. For the Rings and Eastern Repousse
and Chasing I added a much stronger copyright warning, including not
allowing their rental. I also created serial numbers for the DVDs, so
that people have to register them in order to download the e-books.

That said, there have been more than a few sales from people who
rent Russian Filigree from Smartflix, and I learned the tough
copyright lessons in time. Lots of school libraries have my DVDs for
their metalsmithing students. Unlike with Smartflix, there is no
sense of being ripped off, and I’m happy to help students gain
access to they might not otherwise be able to afford.

The success of Ronda’s and others’ DVDs in the field, means that
more must be replicated for sale. It’s easy enough to have a
videographer add a stronger copyright warning to the front end of
the master copies and well worth the effort. It won’t change the
ones in circulation, but when those copies wear out, Smartflix won’t
be so smug.

Victoria
Victoria Lansford
http://www.victorialansford.com