wanna come over and watch a movie? June 3, 2007 1:01 AM   Subscribe

I download what I imagine might be legally construed as "copyrighted material" all thie time. But I'm actually upset with this post because I know some people that worked on US v. John Lennon. (Double standard, I know.) So are there any guidelines about posting full-length, copyrighted movies? Is this post this even in good taste? Where's the context? Does it have any intent other than to illegally distribute a movie? Is this even a problem?
posted by phaedon to Etiquette/Policy at 1:01 AM (55 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Does it have any intent other than to illegally distribute a movie?

What I mean is this movie isn't particularly good. It isn't particularly new, or highly anticipated. It's not even particularly relevant to anything I can think of, off hand. And on top of that, I really don't give a shit what IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes people think.

So do this amount to anything really objectionable?
posted by phaedon at 1:07 AM on June 3, 2007


I got the link to the movie from this popular post which was nothing but links to "copyrighted material".

I happen to think the movie is very good... it's a very interesting subject, and there are are obvious parallels to modern times.
posted by pruner at 1:12 AM on June 3, 2007


Pruner, the link you refer is to totally something I was thinking of in the background, and that's why I'm being a little less aggressive with my criticism.

But I'm trying to think here in terms of implications. First of all, this site isn't about obvious parallels that you can't link to. On top of that, I can think of 100 other movies that i could link to, but I don't do it, and I haven't seen it done. Check that, I FPP'd a South Park episode that was in the news for being controversial and it got deleted.

I guess when it comes down to it, I'd rather bitch about your post than talk about the movie. There's no springboard.
posted by phaedon at 1:21 AM on June 3, 2007


Well, I don't really feel like talking about your bitching . ;)
posted by pruner at 1:26 AM on June 3, 2007


Both of your names begin with the letter "p". This is enough to confuse me to the extent that I think you're talking to yourself. Whoever you are!
posted by liquorice at 1:29 AM on June 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


Questions about the crapness of the post aside (and it *was* a crap post), surely this is a question for Google, rather than Metafilter?

Google vids is a legitimate site, not some notorious warez or bittorrent site. Posters and viewers are in no position to determine whether or not Google is entitled to host this material. A ban on a link to material on Google vids would inevitably also mean a ban on links to youtube as well, as how on earth are we to determine whether they have the right to show the material that they host?

As an aside, I've seen the movie too. I thought it was disappointing -- probably because there wasn't any new material in it. It just seemed to be a talking head fest that rehashed the well known material on the topic.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:34 AM on June 3, 2007


A ban on a link to material on Google vids would inevitably also mean a ban on links to youtube as well, as how on earth are we to determine whether they have the right to show the material that they host?

Yeah, but a ban on Google vids is not what phaedon called out. He's called out a particular video that he seems to personally know is copyrighted and not available for distribution. The surest and best way to combat DRM is to self-police and respect the copyrights of artists. Break-in's invite the locks that honest people don't want to deal with.

So are there any guidelines about posting full-length, copyrighted movies? Is this post this even in good taste?

I don't think any member of the Metafilter community wants to invite a takedown notice being sent to our hosts. Matt, jessamyn, and cortex are busy enough deleting editorialized FPPs like this.
posted by three blind mice at 1:55 AM on June 3, 2007


He's called out a particular video that he seems to personally know is copyrighted and not available for distribution.

First, almost everything is copyrighted. That alone doesn't mean that that the Google Video posting is illegitimate. If phaedon knows that it is, then he should report it to Google Video or let his friends do the same. I imagine Google would delete it promptly.

But phaedon is also right in that this post sucks. If Google deletes the video, I think the post should go too.
posted by grouse at 2:19 AM on June 3, 2007


Did your friends make this to be paid or to have their message heard? Because I'd eagerly watch this for free, but the chances of me renting this are approximately nil.
posted by bunnytricks at 2:25 AM on June 3, 2007


Well, personally, I think that linking to a website that may or may not have illegals on it is different than direct linkage to something that is known full-well ahead of time to be copyrighted.
posted by Cyclopsis Raptor at 2:37 AM on June 3, 2007


Cyclopsis Raptor: Almost every link in MetaFilter is to something that is copyrighted. The difference is that in most of these links the web site hosting the content has permission to do so.
posted by grouse at 2:45 AM on June 3, 2007


There have been countless links to full movies/TV shows/music/books in posts to the blue in the past, and there will continue to be in the future. Matt and company are fine with it as long as it's someone else hosting it, and as long as it otherwise actually meets the guidelines for a good post, i.e. it's interesting and most people wouldn't have already seen it.
posted by Rhomboid at 3:10 AM on June 3, 2007


The sharing of the movie is besides the point. The bigger issue is that it's a big fucking ad. It's a blatant advertisement. Like that Pepsi Blue cliche. It's astroturfing.

You say "But mostly everybody on MeFi will agree with the content!"

Yeah no shit, that's media savvy marketing, like beer ads at football games and tampon ads on Desperate Housewives. Metafilter is a segment, and can be manipulated like everything else.

You say "How is it an ad if the entire movie is linked?"

DVD sales and word of mouth. It's a big fucking ad.
posted by Stan Chin at 3:15 AM on June 3, 2007


three blind mice writes 'Yeah, but a ban on Google vids is not what phaedon called out. He's called out a particular video that he seems to personally know is copyrighted and not available for distribution.'

Then surely the obvious place to take that up is with Google vids? Solve the problem at it's source?

The surest and best way to combat DRM is to self-police and respect the copyrights of artists. Break-in's invite the locks that honest people don't want to deal with.

I'm not convinced. The people who want DRM are determined to strip me of my rights, even when I've paid for the content in question. They don't want me time shifting, they don't want me copying to other formats, they don't want me reselling it after I'm bored with it and they don't want me lending it to a friend.

Fuck 'em where they eat, I say.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:20 AM on June 3, 2007


I'm not trying to sell anything.
posted by pruner at 3:45 AM on June 3, 2007


Dude, there's an Amazon.com link to the Soundtrack in the post.

I'll give the benefit that it's unintentional and you just really liked the movie, it's still an ad.
posted by Stan Chin at 3:51 AM on June 3, 2007


I think I agree with Stan Chin on this one. To be fair, I brought up a lot of issues as a smoke screen for the fact that something was bugging me, but I wasn't sure what.

At the end of the day, this is about MeFi real estate. And this post, despite it's best intentions, and setting aside the copyright issue I alluded to, is flat-out product placement. GYOB.

A lot of "illegally distributed" copyrighted material on Youtube is, how to put it, only available on Youtube, and websites like it. This stuff I have no problem with - a rehash of "Once Upon A Time In The West" with Arcade Fire, for example. This material stands out for being unique, and perhaps in its unavailability as a commercial product. Marketing this stuff on MetaFilter is important, no doubt.

On the other hand, you have the "alluc.org" type link on metafilter, which links to more material than just one movie, but much more importantly, provides a service above and beyond any particular product. and this service is in and of itself worthy of a post.

So maybe I don't mind "blatantly illegal", but I won't take something i can pick up at blockbuster. or netflix. or barnes and noble. or borders. or amazon. i don't need links to imdb and rotten tomatoes on my blue. if i wanted to find the john lennon movie, apparently i can go to video.google.com and type john lennon. something tells me i don't fucking need that one the front page of this site.

i also, really don't appreciate the "here's the movie! here's what people are saying! buy the cd!" approach of this post. I think this website is about discovering new voices in an ever-expanding horizon of information. This is so valuable to me, I don't need to have it reiterated here that some hollywood flick with millions of dollars of marketing already behind it, is available for illegal download.
posted by phaedon at 3:53 AM on June 3, 2007


and if you buy the album Mathowie gets the commission.
posted by pruner at 3:53 AM on June 3, 2007


i also, really don't appreciate the "here's the movie! here's what people are saying! buy the cd!" approach of this post.

that was sorta intended to be tongue-in-cheek.
posted by pruner at 3:57 AM on June 3, 2007


Spiderman 3v documents Peter Parker's attempt to silence one of his most darkest enemies: Himself. ... and his Mary Jane too.
IMDB: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆ (6.9/10)
Rotten Tomatoes: "There's oodles of sub-stories, and drama galore..." (61%)
MetaFilter: This will not end well.


Now see, if I wanted to post that to MeFi, the trick would be to dig up some vaguely BoingBoing-esque article about Spiderman, maybe something about how the Black suit is racist or something, build the entire post about that, and then maybe offhandedly link to the video featuring Snow Patrol. Next time leave out the reviews and links to amazon, and people will never notice.
posted by Stan Chin at 3:57 AM on June 3, 2007


I think you need to examine your own double-standard before calling pruner out, phaedon. That said, a link is not a crime. The burden is on the site that hosts the files.
posted by Dave Faris at 5:07 AM on June 3, 2007


I watched this on late night terrestrial TV here in the UK. It seems like a lot of those documentaries of that type end up on google vid. Maybe they have an agreement?

A copyright defense of this is funny since it is made up of extensive archival footage that was filmed by people other than the documentary maker. It wasn't a great documentary but the topic was interesting (and I don't think it was horrible fpp).
posted by srboisvert at 5:15 AM on June 3, 2007


I think you need to examine your own double-standard before calling pruner out, phaedon. That said, a link is not a crime. The burden is on the site that hosts the files.

I prefer using my instinct sometimes, Dave Faris. That said, I never accused anyone of commiting a crime. Maybe if you actually read this thread you'd realize that.
posted by phaedon at 5:30 AM on June 3, 2007


Does it have any intent other than to illegally distribute a movie?

Oh, I see. It was the word "illegally" that threw me.
posted by Dave Faris at 5:36 AM on June 3, 2007


So maybe I don't mind "blatantly illegal",

Read the fucking thread, and stop chapping my ass everytime I post to MeTa.
posted by phaedon at 5:39 AM on June 3, 2007


Sorry. I don't have time to keep track of your waffling, whoever the fuck you are. This isn't a vendetta.
posted by Dave Faris at 5:43 AM on June 3, 2007


I don't have time to keep track of your waffling

Maybe you should examine your own double-standard before calling me out, Dave Faris.
posted by phaedon at 5:47 AM on June 3, 2007


Maybe you should examine your own double-standard before calling me out, Dave Faris.

phaedon casts Power Word: Username. Dave Faris, roll to save.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:55 AM on June 3, 2007


VENDETTA! MALOCCHIO! VENDETTA!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:08 AM on June 3, 2007


Did someone say pancakes?

Oh, waffles. Nevermind.
posted by Tuwa at 6:25 AM on June 3, 2007


it's almost impossible to administrate in a fair manner a place as big and difficult as this; one of the consequences of course is that horrible YouTube shit posts happily remain on the front page as fine posts just because they don't violate any corporation's copyrights, even when they're really nothing more than fecal stains on the front page; and on the other hand the administrator's ax immediately strikes a video link to something actually interesting that normal people would be happy to watch.

it sucks I know.
posted by matteo at 6:34 AM on June 3, 2007


(I mean, if the people who uploaded the Lennon film to google video violated a copyright, let the copyright holder ask google to pull that video; it's the copyright holder's problem, frankly, not this site's readers. as it is, our moderators are defending some corporation's residual chance to make money off of a two year old (or just one year old?) film.

corporations get stuffed pulled off of YouTube et similia all the time. let them do the work, fuck'em.

but then I understand why the guy who owns and runs this site might not want the headache to begin with, mind you.

the result, and it's nobody's fault, is that good stuff gets pulled and bad stuff remains on MeFi the basis on some corporation's chance to make money off of that stuf. as I said above, it sucks.
posted by matteo at 6:39 AM on June 3, 2007


It wasn't a great documentary but the topic was interesting

I was disappointed because there wasn't any new material in there. If you've read pretty well any recent biog of Lennon, you'd be familiar with all the stuff.

I'm puzzled by the product placement argument though. Because lots of fpp's refer to stuff that's available to buy, but that people think are interesting for one reason or another. The recent Frankie Goes To Holllywood post could be seen as an attempt to sell their backcatalogue, and the Paul Merton vid could be seen as an attempt to sell Mr. Wu's Robots.

Once you start going down that route, it's hard to know where to stop.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:52 AM on June 3, 2007


3:29AM pruner makes FPP

3:37AM phaedon calls "bullshit" but thanks pruner

3:49AM pruner asks for clarification on "bullshit"

4:01AM phaedon makes MeTa callout, reason given "upset with this post because I know some people that worked on [it]," and copywright infringement

4:07AM phaedon comments, now giving the impression that the callout is for a crap post, not for copyright infringement after all. "It's not even particularly relevant to anything I can think of"

4:12AM pruner comments on the "copyright infringement" angle

4:21 phaedon: "I'd rather bitch about your post than talk about the movie"

[Time passes.]

6:53 phaedon: "And this post... ...is flat-out product placement. GYOB."

phaedon, I understand you don't think much of pruner's (now deleted) post, but I find your various claims of motivation somewhat suspect. You start out upset, presumable because the people you know who worked on the movie would not appreciate their work being distributed for free, then 3 and a half hours later you don't like the post because it an advertisement for the movie the people you know worked on (and would presumably benefitted from spreading the word).

If you didn't like the post, you probably should have just flagged it and moved on. Instead you made this bullshit callout, wasting everyone's time and pagespace.
posted by BeerFilter at 8:04 AM on June 3, 2007


Wasn't totally pointless bullshit. Got me some more faves.

Yesss!
posted by carsonb at 9:21 AM on June 3, 2007


What a difference a draft makes.
posted by taosbat at 10:04 AM on June 3, 2007 [1 favorite]

I download what I imagine might be legally construed as "copyrighted material" all thie [sic] time
What exactly are you complaining about then?
posted by misterbrandt at 11:21 AM on June 3, 2007


phaedon, I understand you don't think much of pruner's (now deleted) post,

I wasn't trying to personally insult pruner. On preview of this thread, I curse way too much. I'm going to clean my potty mouth from now on.

then 3 and a half hours later you don't like the post

I appreciate your constructive criticism, but i'm not so sure that pointing out that time passed is an indication of anything. then again, maybe i should a. not read posts after midnight, and b. not post to meTa after coming back from the bar.

i did, however, ask for guidelines, not a death squad. i was just wondering if you could draw any lines in the sand, and apparently, you really can't.
posted by phaedon at 12:28 PM on June 3, 2007


FWIW, I never felt that phaedon was personally attacking me.
posted by pruner at 1:36 PM on June 3, 2007


Instead you made this bullshit callout, wasting everyone's time and pagespace.

The pagemills have been working overtime and there is no shortage of pagespace, though there may be one of time. And if that is the case, Metatalk may not be the best place to be spending it, anyway. [/pot]
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:09 PM on June 3, 2007


You know what I meant grouse.
posted by Cyclopsis Raptor at 2:47 AM on June 4, 2007


You said "I think that linking to a website that may or may not have illegals on it is different than direct linkage to something that is known full-well ahead of time to be copyrighted."

By using the wrong terminology, you can make conclusions which are not justified. Yes, the page is copyrighted. Yes, this is known. If you conflate "copyrighted" with "unauthorized" you can then conclude that it's wrong. This is a fallacy of redefinition or equivication.

But we don't actually know that it is unauthorized. If it is, I'm surprised it's still up on Google Video.
posted by grouse at 3:08 AM on June 4, 2007


If it is, I'm surprised it's still up on Google Video.

I'm not. I much more surprised by how under-the-radar-slash-in-your-face a lot of google video's unauthorized content is, what with the lack of a time limit and totally uncomplicated system of retrieving videos. low to medium quality full length movies are a point and click away. factor in the fact that's streaming flash content? you don't have to wait more than 2 seconds to start the movie. insane.
posted by phaedon at 4:39 AM on June 4, 2007


and the more amusing aspect of "well, go ahead and report the problem to google then" is that google's "infringement notification" process is a joke. and indeed, somewhat intimidating.
posted by phaedon at 4:46 AM on June 4, 2007


google's "infringement notification" process is a joke.

It's the standard DMCA notification. I've heard it called a joke before, but in the past always because it makes it too easy for people (such as Diebold, in the other page you link) to demand the removal of information when they have no legal right to do so.
posted by grouse at 5:06 AM on June 4, 2007


admittedly so. but a demand for the removal of information typically materializes in the form of a cease and desist order. for the sake of fleshing out this "self-policing" concept, i'm talking about a flag option next to "obscene content".

of course, we've been talking about one particular movie here. the total number of videos on google is undoubtedly staggering. then again, placing the onus on copyright holders to seek and destroy all instances of infringement is probably more unreasonable than asking the content providers to do so. and, i would add, a somewhat perverted way of looking at who is being held responsible for what. but i guess i'm just stating the obvious.
posted by phaedon at 5:30 AM on June 4, 2007


for the sake of fleshing out this "self-policing" concept, i'm talking about a flag option next to "obscene content".

Are you talking about MetaFilter, or Google Video? I'm confused. In any case, I didn't think Google Video claimed to be "self-policing."

placing the onus on copyright holders to seek and destroy all instances of infringement is probably more unreasonable than asking the content providers to do so. and, i would add, a somewhat perverted way of looking at who is being held responsible for what.

No, the onus is on potential infringers not to infringe. Once they post a copyrighted video to Google Videos without permission, they are liable for their infringement. In the U.S. legal system, the wronged have always had to pursue the wrongdoers in order to stop a civil wrong or recover damages. This is the normal order of things; it is not perverted.

What is perverted about the DMCA notification procedure is its presumption that any person claiming to give notice of infringement is correct. Service providers are required to removed notified materials "expeditiously" but can only reinstate them two weeks later.
posted by grouse at 6:03 AM on June 4, 2007


So, phaedon, does your double standard on copyright infringement pretty much pivot on the fact that it's only bad when it directly affects someone you know, as in the people who worked on the linked movie? Or have you seen the light now, and renounce your pirating ways?
posted by Dave Faris at 6:30 AM on June 4, 2007


does your double standard on copyright infringement pretty much pivot on the fact that it's only bad when it directly affects someone you know,

Totally. You're asking me re-admit to something that I declared in the first three sentences of my post. Thanks for yet another fix of unentertaining animosity.
posted by phaedon at 11:58 AM on June 4, 2007


I liked Dave Faris better when he was crunchland.
posted by grouse at 12:04 PM on June 4, 2007


I liked Metafilter better when both of you weren't even here.
posted by Dave Faris at 12:15 AM on June 5, 2007


It sounds like you desperately need a life.
posted by phaedon at 1:05 AM on June 5, 2007


Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day of writing pointless metatalk threads to entertain me then.
posted by Dave Faris at 1:09 AM on June 5, 2007


You're welcome. You can now continue to play with yourself elsewhere.
posted by phaedon at 1:42 AM on June 5, 2007


Sorry grouse, I live in a post-RIAA society where "Copyrighted" means "Download this and we'll burn down your house."
posted by Cyclopsis Raptor at 10:32 PM on June 6, 2007


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