I like to turn the tables around in situations like this and ask how I would
feel if I wrote a book that was destined to do well in the marketplace, only
to find out that someone, without my permission, took my book, changed it
slightly to make it more to their liking, and sold it. I don't think I
would like it much, and I would take the person to court to stop it.
From: Darryl Wiggers [mailto:Darryl.Wiggers@AllianceAtlantis.com]
Sent: Thursday, February 01, 2001 11:51 AM
To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: RE: VERY interesting copyright article
Where is it written that one can't alter a legally purchased copy? The
warning on all my videos only talks about public screenings and copying.
That's it. Besides, it's not as if he disguising what he's doing. No one who
is interested in purchasing an unedited version would be fooled into dealing
with this guy...
According to the Copyright Infringement Act of 1976 "Any person who, with
fraudulent intent, removes or alters any notice of copyright appearing on a
copy of a copyrighted work shall be fined not more than $2,500." That's it.
Only the warning can't be "removed" or "altered." And you can't even claim
fraud with Mr. CleanVideo. He spells out what is omitted... I can't find
anything else in the Copyright Infringement Act that suggests that what Mr.
CleanVideo claims he's doing can't be done. Can anyone?
And let's suppose he is nailed. How is his crime different from a video
store that sells me a "used" mangled, chewed-up video that's blurry and full
of picture drop-outs. That video has been altered too from its original
condition. Maybe I can get the MPAA on my local store's case...
Personally I would never do business with Mr. CleanVideo because I want to
see my movies unedited. But I'm not convinced that what he's doing is
illegal, and cannot share in the drooling enthusiasm to have him drawn and
quartered. I especially don't understand why people seem less bothered by
corporations who lie, deceive, cheat, overcharge and steal from millions of
consumers than a guy who is openly providing a seemingly legal service that
his community clearly wants.