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Home :: Archive :: 2006 :: September ::
Movie Stills
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0796  Friday, 15 September 2006

[1] 	From: 	Jeffrey Jordan <
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	Date: 	Thursday, 14 Sep 2006 17:10:55 -0500
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0791 Movie Stills

[2] 	From: 	Larry Weiss <
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	Date: 	Thursday, 14 Sep 2006 18:27:31 -0400
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0791 Movie Stills

[3] 	From: 	William L Davis <
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	Date: 	Thursday, 14 Sep 2006 20:08:35 -0400
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0782 Movie Stills


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Jeffrey Jordan <
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Date: 		Thursday, 14 Sep 2006 17:10:55 -0500
Subject: 17.0791 Movie Stills
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0791 Movie Stills

Replying to Larry Weiss.

 >In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular
 >case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include -
 >(1) the purpose and character of the use, ...
 >(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;
 >(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in
 >relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; ...

This isn't a discussion of using entire movies, or even extended clips, 
it's about using stills.  At least that's what the original question was 
about.  The use of a few movie stills certainly falls under #3, and is 
fair use.

A 2-hour movie running at 30 frames per second will contain some 216,000 
frames.  The use of, let's say, 20 stills from the movie would be a 
portion equal to about 0.001 percent of the movie (if my calculator is 
on its toes today.)  That is not a substantial portion by any reasonable 
standard.  People will be fine in using a few stills from a movie.  It's 
no different from using a few brief quotes from a novel that's being 
discussed.  The use of an entire movie, or an extended clip from a 
movie, is a different subject.

Replying to Gabriel Egan.

 >Taking a copy of my friend's DVD does not deny my friend the
 >benefits of owning the DVD.  ...

That is extremely bad reasoning.  You have misunderstood what copyright 
is, versus what a copy is.  Your friend did not buy the copyright when 
he bought a copy of the DVD.  Your friend is not the copyright owner. 
When you copy a friend's DVD you are, in fact, depriving the copyright 
owner of a sale.  There are now two copies instead of one, but the 
copyright owner has only been paid for one.

 >That's why it isn't theft and why no-one should be ashamed of it.

It is most definitely theft, from the copyright owner, and anyone should 
be very ashamed of it.  It is called stealing.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Larry Weiss <
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Date: 		Thursday, 14 Sep 2006 18:27:31 -0400
Subject: 17.0791 Movie Stills
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0791 Movie Stills

Gabrial Egan argues:

 > Taking a copy of my friend's DVD does not deny my friend
 >the benefits of owning the DVD. That's why it isn't theft and
 >why no-one should be ashamed of it.

But it is theft; not of your friend's property but of the property of 
the creator of the DVD, who has the exclusive right to make copies (17 
USC sec 106).  If Gabe's quibble is with this universal law (see Berne 
Convention), he should address himself to the national legislatures that 
have enacted it, not encourage people to break the law.  I doubt he is 
willing to indemnify anyone who suffers as a result of following his 
advice, and I doubt even more that he is ready and able to do so.

People who write books, write and perform music, produce motion 
pictures, etc., are compensated based on the number of other people who 
are willing to buy the books, records, DVDs, etc.  By making 
unauthorized copies the pirate deprives the creators of income they have 
the right to receive.  That is theft.

There are members of this List who make a living teaching students.  If 
their universities took to taping their lectures and distributing the 
tapes to any student who signs up for the course, they could easily 
dispense with the professors' services.  This might be a good idea; it 
could lead to reduced tuition and dispose of those pesky troublesome 
academics who often find a way to embarrass their institutions.  Who 
could possibly object?

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		William L Davis <
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Date: 		Thursday, 14 Sep 2006 20:08:35 -0400
Subject: 17.0782 Movie Stills
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0782 Movie Stills

I debated about responding; after all, it's clear Gabriel is set in his 
opinions.  Pointing out the numerous fallacies in Gabriel's home-grown 
legal perspectives would not achieve much good because he clearly feels 
justified in his exceptionally peculiar view of the rule of law, and any 
attempt to spell it out would clearly be a waste of time.

His attempt to counter my examples with the spurious logic he chose to 
employ clearly indicates he does not fully comprehend the scope and 
ramifications of the law regarding these matters, or what my examples 
actually demonstrated.  As such, it's impossible to engage in meaningful 
dialogue.  I frankly find myself embarrassed for him, seeing such a 
stellar academic scholar showing his bum in such a painfully public way. 
  Only those completely ignorant of the law could be swayed by such 
pathwork logic.

We can dance around the issue with distractions, funny sayings, 
rhetorical flourishes, and wave our magic wands in an attempt to 
distract the watchers from the reality of these actions and what they 
represent, but it will not turn illegal activities into legal ones. 
Advocating that people may exploit someone else's work for gain in the 
manner Gabriel has suggested reflects an attitude that has no care, 
concern or regard for the interests and property rights of other people. 
  Call it what you like, dice it how you will, such attitudes and 
behavior will always be unprofessional, irresponsible and unethical.

For those who still prefer to take Gabriel's advice over the advice of a 
professional who actually works in the field, I have some free advice: 
don't ever represent yourself in court.

Regards,
William

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