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Old     (nauty)      Join Date: Feb 2004       08-17-2005, 11:28 AM Reply   
My Wife and I got into a debate over copyright infringement and the difference between the copying of intellectual property being illegal and/or unethical. I thought this might be a good topic to get everyone’s opinion on, since on most message boards there is no shortage of opinions. Let the games begin……

Scenario #1 –

Two guys decide to go in 50/50 on a wakeboarding instructional DVD. They will split the cost, thus both being co-owners of the DVD. This is perfectly legal. Now, let’s say they burn a copy of said DVD so they each can have a copy. Technically, this is illegal since they are re-producing the material without the consent of the creator. However, if they do not sell or give any copies to anyone else are they really doing anything wrong (ethically) since they are both co-owners of the original copy?

Scenario #2 –

A guy buys an instructional wakeboarding DVD. He does not re-produce copies of it, but he does let his friends borrow the DVD as long as they want. Technically this is perfectly legal. However, the end result is that the creators of the DVD are losing out on the sales/royalties for each person who used the DVD without paying for it.

Scenario #3 –

A guy buys an instructional wakeboarding DVD. After gaining all that he can from it he no longer needs it and decides to sell it. Technically, this is perfectly legal. However, the end result is that the creators once again lose out on sales/royalties, as they are receiving nothing for the re-sale of the DVD.

All three scenarios have the same end result. The creator of the DVD is missing out on sales/royalties from those who used the DVD without paying the creator full price for themselves. As far as I know only scenario number one is illegal, yet to me it seems the most ethical since both parties are paying something to the creator for the DVD.

My wife is totally against me and a friend of mine doing scenario number one. I am torn on the issue because I see it from both sides. For me personally, I am more concerned with what is ethical than I am concerned with what is legal. For example I do not see why smoking pot is illegal while drinking alcohol is legal. Just because something is against the law doesn’t always mean that it is unethical.

Perhaps all three scenarios are unethical. However, I struggle to see the difference between these scenarios and someone who buys a book at half-price bookstores. The author of the book is missing out on royalties from the re-sale of their book, yet this is perfectly legal? Perhaps I am dating myself here, but back in the 80’s was it illegal to make a cassette copy of an album so you could listen to it in your car?

So what do you all think? I’m sure this thread will go south very quickly…….
Old    mile_high_rider            08-17-2005, 11:33 AM Reply   
its a small industry. let him borow it, but dont copy it. a 30 dollar dvd is not so expensive that it must be split between two people at purchase.
Old     (jarrod)      Join Date: May 2003       08-17-2005, 11:34 AM Reply   
I agree with your wife. This industry needs support. Pay the guys that produce these videos and the videos will keep getting better.

Scenario #2 and #3 aren't unethical. But again the problem with #1 is it multiplies the instances of #2 and #3.
Old     (97response)      Join Date: Oct 2004       08-17-2005, 12:20 PM Reply   
Actually, I may disagree with #1 being illegal. It is LEGAL for you to copy a DVD you have purchased for the purpose of using it as a backup. If your dog eats the original, having a backup is perfectly legal as long as you don't distribute for profit.

Here's where the gray area (ethical part) comes to play. If you and a buddy split it 50/50, you both have purchased the right to copy ("backup") your DVD, however, we all know that 1 person would keep the original and the other would have the "backup". Following this arguement, yes, #1 is legal, but now it becomes an ethical issue.
Old     (fly135)      Join Date: Jun 2004       08-17-2005, 12:27 PM Reply   
In this case both ethical and legal go hand in hand. The producers of copyrighted materials know what their rights are and accept it. In scenario #1 you are infringing on their rights. In scenarios #2 and 3 you aren't.

Deciding what's ethical has nothing to do with maximizing profit. It has to do with respecting the rights of the creators of your entertainment. Your obligation is to pay them what they ask for what they've created for your enjoyment, and in return they offer you all the rights afforded by law to do with it what you want.

Sounds like you should be listening to your wife in the future.
Old     (nauty)      Join Date: Feb 2004       08-17-2005, 12:33 PM Reply   
This is such gray area to me. I am leaning towards it being unethical, even if you were to just buy the DVD yourself and then let your friends borrow it (no copies made). However, I have two friends who went in together on a boat. They are co-owners. What is the difference in co-owning a boat and co-owning a DVD?

Before anyone says you can't make a copy of a boat, that is irrelevant to the argument of the creator of the DVD losing revenue due to people lending out the DVD. If two people want a Mastercraft and decide to go in together on one, isn't Mastercraft losing revenue from not selling two boats as opposed to only selling one? I can't help but see that there is no difference between co-owning a boat and co-owning a DVD.

Therefore, if you are the legal co-owner of a DVD do you not have the right to make a copy of it for your own personal use?
Old     (fly135)      Join Date: Jun 2004       08-17-2005, 12:35 PM Reply   
chris, your claim about being legal is in question. This is a complicated issue and I've seen lawyers who specialize in intelectual rights with respect to video production come down against you on this topic. The confusion comes from the "fair use" of copyright law. There were decisions regarding backups of software, but this does not apply to DVDs. Regardless of what is and isn't legal wrt DVD backups, it isn't a stretch to decide it's ethical to backup your DVD if you ensure that the backup is never used to enable sharing.

Also copyright law doesn't necessarily provide for any criminal penalty for personal backups in small quantity. However the lack of criminal penalty doesn't prevent the copyright owner from getting satisfaction in a civil court. Albeit highly unlikely that would ever happen.
Old     (dakid)      Join Date: Feb 2001       08-17-2005, 12:42 PM Reply   
i've never copied a dvd (tried to once tho), but by all means, when dpcfilms comes out w/ a dvd, please buy it! thank you.
Old     (fly135)      Join Date: Jun 2004       08-17-2005, 12:43 PM Reply   
Richard, ethics are quite frequently a gray area. For example, two people could conclude that it's either a "no sale" or a split between the two that creates a "sale". They figure that they are supporting the industry as a joint effort so what's the big deal. In that case their ethics are rationalized. If the producers of the DVD wanted to let people split and copy one time they could put it in their license agreement. In this case unethical to force your ethics on others.

The real answer is it's unethical, but if you want to do it, it's your personal decision and nobody is going to go after you for it.
Old    robertt            08-17-2005, 12:45 PM Reply   
Why stop at two. We could do a group buy, say 200 of us on a DVD, and we could make 200 copies of it. If we all split the cost, we are all co-owners and deserve the right to have our own backup copies right?

Its illegal and unethical. Rather or not your split it is irrelevant. If I am not mistaken, for it to be "legal" it is one per household. So, if we all lived in the same house it would be cool to make 200 copies, but if not then its illegal.

For me personally, I dont mind copying a movie, but would never do it with wakeboarding DVD's. It just hits too close to home, these guys are busting their butts to make them...cough up the extra cash for a legal copy. If not, then pirate it but make no mistake...its pirating.
Old    wakecastle            08-17-2005, 12:45 PM Reply   
OK, if Richard and his pal didn't buy this DVD together, maybe Richard would have never purchased it at all. Thereby the creator would never have received a sale/profit from Richard. Richard, just don't sell your copy, that is definitely illegal. Everything else is debateable. I back up all my DVD's because my kids tear them up. I also loan them out to people.....but never sell them.
Old    robertt            08-17-2005, 12:53 PM Reply   
I am pretty sure it is perfectly legal and ethical to sell your DVD. Its part of the game, and movie makers know that going into it. Its a very small market all in all I would guess. The biggest problem is people making copies. I have a double layer burner on all of my computers, and can make a copy of any DVD out there other than games.

The problem is in reproduction. Letting a friend borrow it is not a problem. Reproduction is the key, and what the movie makers are most concerned about in my opinion. I have loaned the first DVD in the Book series to two people that were trying to learn to get up and start. Without exception, they all bought the entire thing. My conscious is clear on that on, and I would do it again. But...I wont burn them a copy for anything.
Old     (nauty)      Join Date: Feb 2004       08-17-2005, 12:59 PM Reply   
This topic is just a never ending debate of circular reasoning. Why is it okay for half price books to sell copyrighted material for profit and not okay to to split the cost of a DVD?

Again, I am not concerned with the law. I not fearful that the feds will come after me for making a copy that never leaves my house. I am more concerned with doing what is right and living with my decision so that when judgement day comes I can have a conscious that I can live with.

I do not download music from the internet. I think it is wrong. Yet, in the past I have borrowed CDs from friends and ripped them to my computer. I guess I have been hypocritical? This debate has probably raised more questions than answers. However, I think I will just purchase my own copy and sleep a little better.

Old     (nauty)      Join Date: Feb 2004       08-17-2005, 1:11 PM Reply   

I agree with the first part of your post that it is wrong and unethical. However, to say that it's okay to copy movies but not wake boarding DVDs because of the size of the industry is just completely hypocritical. I suppose it's just as bad as me saying it's wrong to download from the net, but okay to copy your friends CDs? I guess the bottom line is that stealing is stealing.

That's like saying it's okay to steal from Wal-mart because they are the largest retailer in the world, but it's not okay to steal from a mom and pop grocery store because they are a smaller company. The whole gist of my thread is to compare one act of intellectual theft to the other on an ethical basis. My point is that if it's okay to view intellectual property by borrowing it from someone without paying the author of the material, is there really a difference (ethically) in co-purchasing the material and making two copies?

The end result is the same regardless if one act is legal in the eyes of goverment and the other is not. Personally I was on the fence. I do, however, feel that you have to go one way or the other. Arguements can be made for both sides, but if you choose to take one side for one type of media and then take the other side for a different kind of media, that just makes no sense?

(Message edited by nauty on August 17, 2005)
Old    robertt            08-17-2005, 1:47 PM Reply   
You are 100% correct, it should make no difference. Still, I stand by my statement. I am not saying its right, just saying that is where I stand.

It sounds like you are a man of character, and much more ethical than most. That is rare.

Truth is that you have already answered your own question.

To be honest, I have never copied a movie either. I just think that I would if it was more convenient, but that situation has not presented itself.

In the future, as technology makes it more and more easy to pirate things...our character will be tested much more frequently than now.

Old    baileysmith            08-17-2005, 1:51 PM Reply   
In my opinion...

I think everybody knows somebody who knows somebody whose dog's previous owners' sister could burn DVDs. The way I see it, if you can get away with it, go for it. The only reason the media tells us pirating is wrong is so they can get their money for the products they sell. On the other hand, if Joe makes a DVD, we should buy it. Why? Because that's the right, moral choice. We wouldn't want to deny someone we know something they deserve(I watched one of his vids on an event... can't remember what event, but the vid was awesome! Very well done.). Anonymous people who need the money to pay for the new pool in their second houses, however, don't get quite the same amount of care from their fans.

On another, vaguely similar note, does anyone besides me find it odd that mp3 players came out around the same time people got busted for downloading music?

Don't get caught!

Old     (fly135)      Join Date: Jun 2004       08-17-2005, 1:57 PM Reply   
Richard, there is no circular reasoning here. Copying a DVD is stealing. It's illegal and the creators of the content are not giving you permission. However, the damage that you are doing to the offended party is not as great as stealing a comparable piece of tangible property off the shelf at a store. And the law wrt criminal penalties recognizes that.

You can always rationalize why stealing a Hollywood movie is not as bad as a wakeboarding movie. For example, Hollywood sells movies that put sex and violence in front of our youth and make parenting your children more difficult. OTOH, with wakeboarding we want to support a small industry that creates a healthy activity for families. You can always rationalize what's right or wrong for you personally. If you are a homeowner and wakeboard boats erode your shoreline, then you'd probably have no ethical dilemma with copying wakeboard DVDs (although I can't see why you'd want to). It's more a question of if it offends your own ethics than if meets a generic ethical standard. That's why people argue this point so easily. Ultimately it is stealing, and that's unethical.

Robert, where in the heck did you get the idea that you can legally duplicate DVDs for everyone in the house?
Old     (wakeriderixi)      Join Date: Jan 2004       08-17-2005, 2:03 PM Reply   
I once knew a guy that knew a guy that killed a guy..
Old    baileysmith            08-17-2005, 2:16 PM Reply   
LOL, Paul! I'm not saying that makes it right... ok, so maybe that was implied somewhere in there... but anyway, I do not approve of killing. Unless... nope, don't approve of it. I guess it just depends on when your conscience kicks in and how afraid you are of the law. Good point though: Just because we know a guy who knows a guy who does something, that doesn't make it right. I guess ya do learn somethin every day. lol!
Old    hbfabco            08-17-2005, 2:36 PM Reply   
You might as well buy it, make a bunch of copies, and sell them all on ebay.
Old    jayp            08-17-2005, 2:48 PM Reply   
Definately wrong. Unless you are making a backup copy for yourself and don't give it away.

Most of the wakeboard DVD's don't generate much profit after expenses. Pay for the work these guys do. Wakeboard DVD's are relatively cheap anyway.
Old     (wakeriderixi)      Join Date: Jan 2004       08-17-2005, 3:12 PM Reply   
to each his own... I just go to the premeirs of the videos and I want and get one 'donated' to my 'im broke and want the video fund'..
Old     (breadbutta)      Join Date: Dec 2003       08-17-2005, 3:24 PM Reply   
I think you shouldn't have told the wife!
Old     (wakeriderixi)      Join Date: Jan 2004       08-17-2005, 3:33 PM Reply   
hahaha...... discussion over...... Banner hit it on the head..... Dont ask the wifes opinion.
Old    opinionsofwife            08-18-2005, 10:16 AM Reply   
Of course he should ask my opinion! : ) He tells me everything - well probably not everything but I like to think so.

I never read this message board but I knew Rich posted this debate and thought it was interesting to see the different views.

The reason I am against #1 (duplication of the DVD) is because my Father makes his living selling his books, audio CDs, DVDs and seminars on mental training. Not unlike the instructional DVD in question. People work their butts off spending years and years developing a system or product that they can sell to feed their family. By the time you take out all of the advertising cost, production cost and extra expenses that go into developing any informational material the end profit is not much. I think this stands for Hollywood movies as well - they may make more money but they have more people to pay too.

Think of it this way - you work 40 hours a week but your boss decides to only pay you a commission on what you generate in sales instead of a salary. You sell DVD's for a living. You find out that several of your customers are buying one copy from you and making a couple of copies for their friends - do you care if they split the cost? You probably only care that you missed that commission.

I just won't duplicate anything - Rich would probably say it is because I can't figure out how (ha ha). I have let people borrow books and CDs but I rarely get them back and then have to purchase a new copy anyway. Most of the time I don't want to let go of my copy and would rather my friends by their own than borrow mine.

In my Father's business however, we get a ton of referral customers and many have read the book or listened to CDs they borrowed from friends. It is a great way to increase the knowledge of our business and we probably get more profit from it in the end. So I wonder if lending a tool is doing more good than bad. You are spreading the word and creating another fan who will tell friends and some will buy who may not have otherwise.

Just a thought

Heather (Rich's wife)

Old     (grimlock)      Join Date: Apr 2005       08-18-2005, 11:00 AM Reply   
Support the industry, I've seen to many filmers who try to make a living out of doing something they love, and spend thousands of their money and the sponsors money, if they have any , to produce the best wakeboard/bmx/snowboard/mountian bike/etc... film they can with the budget they have, just to have someone put it on Kazaa so everyone can burn it for free.

I don't understand people that are willing to pay top dollar for a boat and equipment, but to get an instructional video or reagular video that will cost at the most 30 bucks, they look for anyway around having to pay full price.

If you quit buying wakeboard films, they eventully will go away, and you will have nothing to debate about, as no films will be coming out.
Old    justsomeguy            08-18-2005, 11:12 AM Reply   
What about making illegal copies of wakeboard DVDs wherein the creator of the DVD is illegally using copyrighted music?

Old     (rson)      Join Date: Jun 2002       08-18-2005, 11:14 AM Reply   
[quote]I don't understand people that are willing to pay top dollar for a boat and equipment, but to get an instructional video or reagular video that will cost at the most 30 bucks, they look for anyway around having to pay full price.[quote]

The boat probably costs 70% of selling price to make give or take.....the DVD costs less than 1% of the selling price to make. Enough DVD copy is done and I need to burn another before I return them.
Old    opinionsofwife            08-18-2005, 12:08 PM Reply   
DVD cost much more than 1% of the selling price. You are paying for years of knowledge that you as the consumer do not have the time, energy or resources to get on your own.

You can add up all of the parts of a boat that make it what it is and understand the value in it - you can see it and you can touch it.

You cannot see the value of the DVD, CD, book or other instructional material with your eyes. The value is how much you learn and grow from using the techniques taught.

You cannot begin to measure the amount of time, money and energy that goes into the production of a DVD, CD or informational product. The creator spends countless hours not only creating the material but putting him or herself into a position where they can be a teacher - ex. winning tournaments or going pro.

You are not paying for a DVD you are paying for instruction, information and education. Huge difference.

You are suggesting in your post above that a blank DVD and a DVD from the pros is exactly the same by saying the cost is less than 1% to produce compared to the retail price tag. You are not buying a DVD you are buying information! You cannot compare that to a boat!
Old     (wakeriderixi)      Join Date: Jan 2004       08-18-2005, 12:12 PM Reply   
I pay for the entertainment when i'm bored and not out riding.
Old     (rson)      Join Date: Jun 2002       08-18-2005, 2:09 PM Reply   
"It sounds like you are a man of character, and much more ethical than most."

Very true about Rich

How about a compromise. Copy the DVD and slip Murray or whomever a 5 bill when you see them next. Karma's a b1tch.
Old     (wakeriderixi)      Join Date: Jan 2004       08-18-2005, 2:12 PM Reply   
How bout I buy the DVD, I will copy it... sell it to you all and you all pay me so that I can do it again.....

Good thread but you just can't ever answer it.
Old     (grimlock)      Join Date: Apr 2005       08-18-2005, 2:13 PM Reply   
Yo Rich, did you ever stop to think that the person(s) who made the film:

1. Had to buy a camera, and if they are a filmer who knows what he is doing will spend around 3-8 grand for a camera, and that doesn't include different lenses, ie fisheye.

2. Needed to get a computer with a massive amount of hard drive space and at least 1G of ram if not more.

3. He also needed to purchase the editing software, like final cut pro two, which is very expensive.

4. He had to buy his mini dv tapes at about 6-15 dollars a pop, or if he's going with 16mm film around 100 bucks a roll, plus he needs to get that developed and transfered so he can edit it.

5. Travel expenses, most filmers I know don't live where they film, my budy just went ot Powell and spent over 2000 grand, and he was able to use two boats for free and the houseboat was free, so he saved a lot more.

6. Time, time is money, have you ever sat down and tried to edit a film, I'm going ot say no.

7. Yes you can get dvd's packaged pretty cheap, but the cost is a little more for smaller production crews, as they are not ordering as many, so the price goes up.

8. Advertising, contact wakeboarder mab or alliance to find out how much that costs, but I've heard around 5000 for a page ad, ran one month.

So there you have all the hidden costs of producing a film, yes some filmers get helped out by sponsors, but they still have to come up with their own money.

So have fun burning your dvd, all I gotta say is Karma sucks.
Support the scene, I'm out.
Old     (just_board)      Join Date: Jul 2005       08-18-2005, 2:14 PM Reply   
richard has a good point on the boat argument

except isn't mastercraft also gaining profit by selling one boat to two people who can afford it together, than selling no boats to two individuals who can not?
Old     (breadbutta)      Join Date: Dec 2003       08-18-2005, 2:30 PM Reply   
I feel that since Rich's better half has chimed in I need to clarify, after all my better half may also be reading.
It's totally wrong to pirate DVD's or CD's. My point was: If you didn't want the grief then there was no need to mention it to your wife. I really feel there is no argument to the pirating, it's cheating.
Old     (nauty)      Join Date: Feb 2004       08-18-2005, 3:16 PM Reply   
I suppose when I started this thread I knew that it is wrong to copy the DVD and had decided after debating with my wife that I would just buy my own.

Out of the original debate I had with my wife more questions arose for me. Perhaps I didn't really make it clear as to what I was after with this thread, so I will try to do so now.

Putting aside the legalites of duplicating DVDs, my main point was, ETHICALLY SPEAKING, isn't borrowing a DVD just as bad as burning one? By borrowing it you are deriving the same benefit as the owner, but you are not paying anyone one for that benefit.

That is it. Plain and simple. No need to tell me what the law says, blah, blah, blah. I am not concerned with copyright laws. I just find it interesting that people tend to get high and mighty about duplicating DVDs but then have no problem borrowing the same DVD. In my opinion the end result is most often the same.

I do agree that sometimes people may decide to buy the DVD themselves for their collection after borrowing it from a friend. That is a positive thing I guess where as if the DVD were burned there would never be a need for that person to buy it. Perhaps this is the difference?

Okay then I think after all this minutia I finally have my answer. Alright then, thanks for everyone's opinion!}
Old     (fly135)      Join Date: Jun 2004       08-18-2005, 4:01 PM Reply   
Richard, just quoting the law and using it to demonstrate why it's ethically wrong to copy a DVD doesn't make one "high and mighty". I've seen this argument time and time again, especially wrt games and computer software. People who legitimately pay for games and have a strong interest in seeing new and better games created are often "high and mightly" about game makers getting paid for their work.

But no matter how "high and mightly" they feel, they understand that they have no grounds to be "high and mighty" about people who obey the law. Borrowing a game, book, or dvd (and even reselling) is legal. There is no issue of ethics here if you are obeying the law.
Old    jayp            08-18-2005, 10:10 PM Reply   
"the DVD costs less than 1% of the selling price to make."

That is not true. I know for a fact that most of the DVD's for sale cost so much more to make than than 1%. Just because wakeboarders have heard of and buy such and such DVD does not mean that they are big sellers. They don't sell in huge volumes. Many of the DVD's do little more than break even. I doubt that even a well known DVD like Relentless is bringing big $$ to LF. They make these DVD's to market products and promote the sport.

There are many more smaller production companies putting together some really good DVD's. They are not getting rich. They are having a great time doing what they are doing.

You need equipment like boats, cameras, computers to capture and edit. Not to mention filling the tank on the boat for many trips. $$$

And the big factor is time. Everyone's time is worth something. It takes time to edit and get all the clips put together.

These guys deserve to get paid for thier work.

Old     (breadbutta)      Join Date: Dec 2003       08-19-2005, 5:33 PM Reply   
No, lending the DVD is not wrong (morally speaking not lawfully), as long as it is not being replicated. After all, it can only be played in one place at a time.


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