[B5JMS] B5 Bootleg Ethics...

b5jms-admin at cs.columbia.edu b5jms-admin at cs.columbia.edu
Sat Apr 21 04:23:09 EDT 2001

From: mikeduell at aol.com (MikeDuell)
Date: 20 Apr 2001 18:30:26 -0700
Lines: 47

"Bootleg Ethics" is an oxymoron, and I offer no arguments to dispute it.  I do
question, however, the ferocity some on this newsgroup display on the issue of
B5 blooper bootlegs.

Allow me to elaborate so I am not being misunderstood.  If I go see a movie,
such as Tom Hanks' CASTAWAY, I know that it will come out on video, which I can
then purchase.  I will not buy some poor quality bootleg of the movie filmed by
someone in an empty theatre with a bouncy video camera.  If I hear a great new
U2 song on the radio, I can go buy the CD, as opposed to taping a poorly
sounding copy of it off the radio.  If I am made aware of a great new book, I
can go and buy it or borrow it from the library.  

As it pertains to B5, I Love the series, and have purchased the episodes on
videotape, have recorded them off TV, and will buy the DVDs when released.  

The question I present is this, why is it so evil to own a copy of the B5
bootlegs?  It's in a sense a rhetorical question, as my brother is a patent
attorney, and has argued the legal matters with me on several occasions.  I
understand the legalities, which in effect answer the question, though I must
state that, though I disagree with the selling of bootlegs, I don't see why
it's wrong to own the B5 bloopers.  

Unlike all of the aforementioned examples, I cannot go out and purchase the
bloopers at Borders, Amazon, or thestation.com.  The only means to viewing
them, was when jms would tour and attend sci-fi conventions.  Unfortunately, he
no longer attends Marcon, which I used to attend because of the Babylon 5
appearances.  I am left to no other option but to obtain and cherish the copy
of the bootleg bloopers tape.  I do not own one, but have recently borrowed a
copy from someone, and I Loved every moment of watching it.  I'm hopeful that
they will be included on the DVDs, but if they're not, why is it wrong to want
a copy for a personal collection?  Again, I know the legalities, and know the
Napster arguments of stealing creative property.  How can one steal it though,
if Warner Brothers or anyone else isn't making money off of it already?  

I am throwing out these questions, much like a wolf howls at the moon.  In a
sense, I know the answer, but am frustrated by it.  I know that a lot of my
argument attempts to justify the means by the end.  Flame away if You'd like,
and if You're so inclined, You may call me an "idiot."  Trust me, I already
know my limitations.  Ultimately, I wish the bloopers would be released by
means of some medium, even the Internet.  They're a treasure for those who are
fans of the show, and open our eyes to the fun and the friendship shared by the
cast.  Am I asking for too much?


From: jmsatb5 at aol.com (Jms at B5)
Date: 21 Apr 2001 01:01:04 -0700
Lines: 34

>Unlike all of the aforementioned examples, I cannot go out and purchase the
>bloopers at Borders, Amazon, or thestation.com. 
>I am left to no other option but to obtain and cherish the copy
>of the bootleg bloopers tape. 
> I'm hopeful that
>they will be included on the DVDs, but if they're not, why is it wrong to
>a copy for a personal collection? 

Okay, so lets say I want your car, but you don't want to sell it to me.  By the
logic above, it's okay for me to steal it, as long as I'm not making any money
out of it and it's for my own personal collection of cars.

These tapes were made for the cast and crew in-house as a special gift to them.
A way to have fun at the wrap parties.  In that respect they are very personal
to all of us involved.  To have people making copies and selling them illegally
is just to tarnish that aspect.

And you say you want a copy..but the means of GETTING that copy 90% of the time
means somebody selling somebody else a copy, at 20-35 bucks a pop.  This goes
into the hands of a crook.  There is no other word for it.  A person who takes
what is not there, duplicates it illegally, and pockets all the money, none of
which goes to the creative people and actors who made them.


(jmsatb5 at aol.com)
(all message content (c) 2001 by synthetic worlds, ltd., 
permission to reprint specifically denied to SFX Magazine 
and don't send me story ideas)

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