[B5JMS] B5 Bootleg Ethics...

b5jms-admin at cs.columbia.edu b5jms-admin at cs.columbia.edu
Sun Apr 22 04:23:00 EDT 2001

From: b5merlen at aol.com (B5 Merlen)
Date: 21 Apr 2001 16:50:46 -0700
Lines: 46

>> 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.
>If they were limited to cast and crew, and nobody else was given copies, 
>doesn't it stand to reason that their source MUST have been someone who was 
>given a copy?

Um. To put it bluntly... Nope. Let's put it this way. Have you ever heard
of/seen those pirate copies of movies that have just been released? For
example: When Star Wars: The Phantom Menace came out, there were copies
available for sale within 24 hours of the movie hitting the theature. Have you
heard of how they were made? One of the most popular was people going in with a
camcorder and taping the movie right off the screen. Made for a poor copy, but
the fans sure were willing to pay for even a poor copy since they didn't want
to wait who knew how long. Would they still buy the tapes and/or DVD's when
they came out officially, probably. Did it make the selling of those pirate
copies legal/ alright to do? Definately not.

So, what does this have to do with the B5 blooper tapes? JMS and other
cast/crew from the show would bring a copy of the bloopers to conventions.
They'd show the tapes to the convention goers as a present for the years of
dedication to the show. Bootleggers would videotape the bloopers straight from
the screen and make copies to sell.

Another method used that I can think of right off the top of my head is if a
copy was auctioned off at a convention with the money going to charity. The
person bidding on the tape could then take the tape and make the copies to
sell. Rather like buying a copy of the Babylon 5 episodes that have been
released to the public and making a few hundred copies for your close friends.
Still piracy, of course.

Could somebody who was legally given the tape as a gift have let a friend
borrow it and it was copied from that? Sure. But the bottom line is, the making
of copies and selling of them is still piracy unless you own the rights to the
show. These people work to make the product and should be compensated for their
work. Just because the work isn't in a physical shape like a car doesn't make
it one iota less illegal to steal it.

Boy. I'm getting long winded lately. Thanks for listening. TC&SF.

From: jmsatb5 at aol.com (Jms at B5)
Date: 21 Apr 2001 17:53:40 -0700
Lines: 15

There are all kinds of ways bloopers can get out...I did a presentation at a
con, and when I went to get the tape back, I found that the guy running the
video equipment was secretly making a dub as he was playing the tape.  We had


(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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