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Miramax C&Ds Kung Fu Movie Reviewer

CmdrTaco posted more than 10 years ago | from the stupid-dmca dept.

Movies 278

Mirkon writes "When a movie distributor attains rights to a film, it's rather predictable that they go after individuals offering the movie for sale or free. But Miramax took it a step further - as reported by Wired and on the site itself, Mark Pollard of Kung Fu Cinema received a Cease & Desist letter from Miramax concerning a link on Kung Fu Cinema to a movie purchasing site for the Jet Li movie Hero (set to be officially released in North America in April 2004). Fearing Miramax (and thus Disney) and their army of lawyers, Pollard deleted the link, as well as another for Shaolin Soccer, also unreleased in North America. Pollard criticized the studio for not permitting the original version of such films to hit the states, saying "If they own the rights to this film, then this film is not available to U.S. consumers -- period." The EFF also has some comments regarding the fact that Pollard has done nothing wrong in the first place."

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278 comments

In other news .. (5, Funny)

junkymailbox (731309) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724429)

Slashdot links to a story [slashdot.org] that links to Kung Fu Cinema [kungfucinema.com] that links to a movie purchasing site.

Beware the wrath of Miramax lawyers!

fp?

Re:In other news .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7724449)

Why is this marked as a troll? I actually thought it was kinda funny...

Re:In other news .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7724451)

correct, you did aquire the fp. well done.

HEY, AMERICA! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7724437)

Why aren't you ridding the world of these evil dictators?

Kim Jong-il [cnn.com] - North Korea

Robert Mugabe [netfirms.com] - Zimbabwe

Ayatollah Khamenei [hasanpix.com] - Iran

King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz [kingfahdbinabdulaziz.com] - Saudi Arabia

Aren't these guys nasty enough for you? What was so special about Iraq?

Your question answered (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7724513)

Iraq was ripe for us to take action. Even then, it was not without the loss of quite a bit of political capitol. We can't go after N Korea, because they have thousands of missles pointed right at Seoul, right now we can't take anyaction with out all hell breaking loose. King Faud is technically our ally, but you're not far off in your assesment. the fact is we need at least one ally in the middle east, and if we pushed for his removal, we wouldn't have any left. As for Iran, they seem to be moving in the right direction slowly, but their nuke development does give some pause. I think that with in the next 10 years, the citizens will take care of him. Zimbawe is part of africa, not a place full of Saintly leaders waiting to take power. We must turn our eye to africa once the middle east has been calmed. But basicaly we are forced to move slowly lest the world think we are attempting to force our will upon it.

Re:HEY, AMERICA! (-1, Offtopic)

Porphyro (672968) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724514)

Eh, you gotta start somewhere

Howard Dean (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7724557)

Because if we went after them, Howard Dean would be there to say what great guys they are (like he did with Saddam Hussein) and that we should leave them alone.

I HOPE THE BLOODSHED CONTINUES IN IRAQ (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7724607)

Well, that should bring the bats out of the attic with fangs dripping. I won't be hypocritcal. It is politically correct, particularly in any Dem discussion to hope and pray and feel for our troops and scream "bring them back now". I'm fighting something bigger.

I'm a 28 year old and I can tell you that what is going on in our country isn't the usual ebb and flow of politics where one party is in power and then another; where the economy goes through ups and downs.......yawn, yawn--just wait a bit and things will turn out peachy keen. That stupid la-la land is over.

I realize that not every GI Joe was 100peeercent behind Prseeedent Booosh going into this war; but I do know that that is what an overwhelming number of them and their famlies screamed in the face of protesters who were trying to protect these kids. Well, there is more than one way to be "dead" for your country. They are not only not accompishing squat in Iraq, they are doing crap nothing for the safety, defense of the US of A over there directly. But "indirectly" they are doing a lot.

The only way to get rid of this slime bag WASP-Mafia, oil barron ridden cartel of a government, this assault on Americans and anything one could laughingly call "a democracy", relies heavily on what a shit hole Iraq turns into. They need to die so that we can be free. Soldiers usually did that directly--i.e., fight those invading and harming a country. This time they need to die in defense of a lie from a lying adminstration to show these ignorant, dumb Americans that Bush is incompetent. They need to die so that Americans get rid of this deadly scum. It is obscene, Barbie Bush, how other sons (of much nobler blood) have to die to save us from your Rosemary's Baby spawn and his ungodly cohorts.

I have mixed feelings... (3, Interesting)

eurleif (613257) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724443)

But it seems like this is somewhere along the lines of telling someone where the nearest drug dealer ir (not comparing the two crimes). Isn't/shouldn't that be illegal?

Re:I have mixed feelings... (2, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724474)

Please explain how ordering a DVD from Hong Kong is the same as buying drugs.

Hold on, let me strap my self in for this one, I'm sure its going to be good.

Re:I have mixed feelings... (1)

eurleif (613257) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724487)

Sorry, this was a legal movie purchasing site? If so, ignore what I said.

Re:I have mixed feelings... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7724517)

not comparing the two crimes

But you are comparing the two crimes. Otherwise, you would have made a more appropriate analogy along the lines of "Isn't this like pointing a person toward an eBay seller, who ships worldwide, when they are looking for an out-of-print CD."

In other words ar alla poliser haschare (1)

Sunnan (466558) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724589)

"No, sorry, officer, I can't point you to the nearest drug dealer because we have a free-speech-limiting law in place that prohibits me to do so. You and you're fellow police officers will have to look elsewhere for your dope. Have a nice day."

Re:I have mixed feelings... (4, Insightful)

JUSTONEMORELATTE (584508) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724649)

But it seems like this is somewhere along the lines of telling someone where the nearest drug dealer is.[sic] Isn't/shouldn't that be illegal?
Um, no.
Talking isn't/shouldn't be illegal.
Doing things that harm others is/should be illegal.
If person A is selling drugs, and person B is saying where person A can be found, then go and prosecute person A.

--

Re:I have mixed feelings... (4, Interesting)

the_consumer (547060) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724917)

Who did person A harm?

Re:I have mixed feelings... (2, Funny)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724784)

Owning drugs is illegal. Owning a movie isn't illegal. Playing a movie you own shouldn't be illegal.

Corporations are brainless organisms which only care about making profit. They're like yeast. They'll merrily shit in their environment until everything that forces them to work is illegal and anything that reduces their profit (IE, competition) is illegal. Like yeast, their shit will probably eventually kill off the colony, then someone will drink it like a fine port. Er... or something.

Re:I have mixed feelings... (4, Informative)

gaijin99 (143693) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724938)

But it seems like this is somewhere along the lines of telling someone where the nearest drug dealer ir (not comparing the two crimes). Isn't/shouldn't that be illegal?
Generally, telling people how to commit crimes, or telling them where they can obtain illegal things isn't illegal itself. The "Anarchist's Cookbook", for example, includes detailed (if boobytrapped) information on all manner of things ranging from cooking up Meth, to building pipe-bombs. Its perfectly legal.

This makes sense from pretty much anystandpoint you want to look at it from, even though it does sometimes produce odd results. It goes back to the basic idea that crimes are actions, you can't arrest someone for speculating about how nifty it would be to rob a bank (you can, however arrest someone for *planning* to rob the bank, you don't have to actually wait for them to do it). If it were otherwise we'd be entering the wonderful world of Thought Crimes (TM).

Besides, the way it works now leads to some very amusing situations, such as the "wine brick" that was sold during prohibition. This was basically a compressed bunch of raisens. The instruction sheet contained an interesting warning:
Caution: Never mix contents in two gallons of warm water
to which you have added a pinch of yeast, and one pound of sugar.
If this mixture is left to stand in a cloth covered container
for two weeks, an ALCOHOLIC beverage will result, which is illegal.

Uh... (2, Insightful)

hookedup (630460) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724445)


Hello McFly!

You sell something in one country, other people in other countries are going to want it!
How exactly does this make marketing sense?

Re:Uh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7724550)

Its their movie, their decision. Make your own movies and market them were you want. Oh wait, I forgot what site I am on... freedom... FREEDOM FROM CAPITALIST OPRESSION!

Re:Uh... (2, Insightful)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724675)

Yea, but they idea that they can stop free trade of legal copies of their movies from one country to another is what is rediculus. Yes they have the freedom to market as they wish, but you simply can't control the aftermarket of legal copies.

Re:Uh... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7724745)

Its their movie, their decision. Make your own movies and market them were you want. Oh wait, I forgot what site I am on... freedom... FREEDOM FROM CAPITALIST OPRESSION!

It's not "their" movie. It is a movie. One to which they happen to have the right of first sale. This means that if they sell a copy to a store in Japan or Hong Kong or wherever, that store has every right to resell that copy of the movie to whomever they want. Normally, in order to prevent this, movie production firms make stores agree to certain conditions, like not selling before a certain date or not shipping outside the country. But unless the store also screens its buyers against agreement to those same conditions, I don't see why Miramax or anyone else should be able to prevent resale of the movie to anyone, anywhere, at any price the buyer and seller can agree to.

It's hardly capitalist oppression that's being objected to here. In fact, copyright as a system has nothing to do with free markets (you'll notice that the Constitutional clause establishing copyright does not say "to promote free markets" but rather "to promote the useful arts and sciences")... And preventing people from buying or selling or even linking to legally produced materials is definitely interference with free markets. Thankfully, Miramax's legal claims here are of dubious value... and unfortunately the site did not feel it worthwhile to challenge them on it.

In fact, because the stated goal of copyright law is to promote the arts and sciences, it is clearly counter-productive for a movie studio to be able to prevent people from having legal access to their products. How does it promote the art if no one is able to experience it? If the movie company is not willing to make their product available in certain places at any price, then most certainly they should not be able to prevent the importation of that product to that place... and some of us might even go a step further and say that they lose the right to exclude others from making copies in those places as well.

Another reason the MPAA may be a dinosaur? (1)

abb3w (696381) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724823)

The world has gotten a lot smaller since Nelly Bly's 1889-90 trip around the world. Goods and services travel around the globe readily; some are now all but universal [economist.com] . Various organizations [wto.org] act to strengthen "free trade" between countries. But the DVD region codes are a method for not only protecting copyright, but limiting who you can sell your initial copy to, unless they have a region-free DVD player [jlist.com] .

With the routine shipping of items around the globe (I've ordered obscure computer hardware from Australian PC dealers a couple times), this attempt to control the release of movies at different times in different countries seems doomed in a not overlong timeframe.

Not a fan, but if I was.. (3, Interesting)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724453)

I'd be fairly To'd. links should not be illeagal under any circumstances. I really think that this is a freedom of speech issue which should be tried. We need a lager group to support him, or for Miramax to attack someone who already has support.

Lager? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7724543)

a lager group? hooray!

Re:Lager? (1)

paazin (719486) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724814)

I prefer a good stout, myself.

I recently bought both DVDs... (3, Interesting)

elysian1 (533581) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724457)

at my local Chinatown. They're both pretty easy to find.

that is retarded (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7724458)

the guy was just linking. Like everyone that visits the site is in America. What about all the international readers of the site. the only thing this does is make the movie companies look retarded. People can still go the sites directly and order, so it doesn't actually stop the purchase of the original movies.

I cannot believe this (5, Informative)

mirko (198274) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724459)

I was in San Francisco in September and I bought the Hero DVD in Chinatown !
(I also got a French subtitled version of Shaolin Soccer one year and a half ago !?)
How can Miramax be *that* late and how can they ignore that one may find these DVDs in Chinese shops ?

Re:I cannot believe this (2, Insightful)

Dielectric (266217) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724559)

Miramax isn't late, they're just busy releasing the other crap that marketing thinks middle America will like. Really good movies get the shaft with alarming regularity.

The studios ignore the mass pirates because it's sexier and easier to go after file sharers with a big marketing campaign. To combat the pirates in China, Russia, etc, they'd need actual guns and stuff, because there are real pirates out there that will kill you if you raid their CD duplication factories.

Re:I cannot believe this (2, Insightful)

mirko (198274) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724638)

the other crap
Well, as perceived from Europe, "Hero" had was outstanding bith in terms of picture and storytelling : not just another blockbuster. IMHO, it was the best picture of 2003, ex-aequo with Devdas, an Indian "opera".

You'll understand if you watch the Chinese army hailing...

About "Shaolin soccer", I have to say it was really funny, but of course, soccer doesn't seem as popular in America as in Europe...
(I personally don't like to watch soccer but the movie made it quite enjoyable)

Re:I cannot believe this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7724752)

Devdas, an Indian "opera".

ALL Indian movies are an opera, man.

IF a movie is released WITHOUT song and dance routines the fans will be PISSED!

Re:I cannot believe this (1)

mirko (198274) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724812)

Have you seen the double quotes ?

And BTW, have you heard of "Monsoon wedding [imdb.com] " ?

This is why.... (5, Interesting)

Kenja (541830) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724460)

This is why I ordered a copy of this killer movie from Hong Kong the day Miramax said they where going to be doing the US release. Every movie Miramax has gotten its hands on has ended up being ripped apart in re-editing.

The movie realy is good. A simple story told from several view points using a diferrent color scheme for each one. If you can, watch the original and do not go to the US release.

This is why....PAL. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7724498)

"This is why I ordered a copy of this killer movie from Hong Kong the day Miramax said they where going to be doing the US release."

Dont you need a PAL capable DVD player?

Re:This is why....PAL. (4, Interesting)

Kenja (541830) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724524)

As it turns out, no. The DVD I got is 100% real, multi region NTSC. The original company knew there was a US market for the movie and released several versions of the DVD that work fine in the US and UK.

Re:This is why....PAL. (5, Informative)

inquisitor (88155) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724850)

Hong Kong [dddhouse.com] is NTSC. It is also very cheap, even for legitimate discs (as this site sells). After all, if it's legal there, it's usually legal for you to import it, although not to sell. You might need an all-region player (HK being in region 3), but a lot of legit HK discs - like Shaolin Soccer - are code 0 anyway.

Over in the UK, all of our our DVD players can play both PAL and NTSC, almost all of the cheap supermarket ones are already or can be made multiregion by remote, and certain high-street hi-fi chains [richersounds.com] sell modded MR product (I have a MR Pioneer 360 from them). Even our version of Amazon [amazon.co.uk] sells modded multiregion kit - the current top spot is a modded Sony DVP-NS330. Multiregion is much more widespread here, and that's a good thing for British consumers (even though most of them don't know about it). I try to let my friends know.

Please... (1)

telekon (185072) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724467)

At this rate, the only thing it will be acceptable to discuss online is oneself... and then only if your lawyer tells you it's okay. I can just imagine some contractual obligation to not link to something about oneself...

In an age where intellectual property laws interfere with our ability to communicate efficiently to this degree and with such frequency, piracy is a virtue... perhaps even a right.

Typical Responses. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7724471)

1-We are the mighty Slashdot posters. Hear us roar.

2-Ah man, the man is keeping us down.

3-???

4-Profit.

Miramax release dates -- hah (5, Insightful)

ceenvee703 (655877) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724476)

the Jet Li movie Hero (set to be officially released in North America in April 2004).

Yeah, I believe that one. Shaolin Soccer was supposed to have come out this past summer... saw trailers for it during Bend It Like Beckham and saw movie posters for it hanging in theaters. Has it been released theatrically here? No. Even if it had been, it was going to be a highly-edited version.

That's why people end up having to buy things like Hero "illegally." In fact, I think I'll go order a copy right now... before Miramax tells eBay to cease and desist...

Re:Miramax release dates -- hah (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724499)

The Shaolin temple is sueing to stop people from using there name. That may have stopped US distrabution of Shaloin Soccer.

Re:Miramax release dates -- hah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7724768)

i got this from http://www.kfccinema.com/features/articles/letter_ miramax/letter_miramax.html

Miramax has already stopped North American-based DVD sellers on the Internet, including eBay, from selling the import versions (uncut with subtitles) of the movies they own the rights of..

Re:Miramax release dates -- hah (2, Insightful)

ansible (9585) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724782)

Bah. I've seen the original Shaolin Soccer, and it was hilarious. Please, do we really need Hollywood editors to "fix" it for American release?

Miramax gets p2p'd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7724482)

I hope Miramax do realise, that by the time they release these movies - most of their core audience will have already seen the movies.
Thanks to this thing called p2p.

Not wrong, maybe... (5, Insightful)

wrinkledshirt (228541) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724488)

The EFF also has some comments regarding the fact that Pollard has done nothing wrong in the first place.

Whether or not he did something wrong is irrelevent. It's whether or not he did something unprofitable. Some corporations these days seem to believe they have a god-given right to profit, and that censorship and lawsuit chill is an acceptable tool to that end.

Until the average freedom-loving American starts to wake up to this and works to get the courts to adjust, it's probably only going to get worse. What happens when they realize that not talking about it on a website doesn't curb the problem? Tinfoil hats, people, they'll be after your thoughts next.

I'm sort of kidding, but not really. They're already blaming text messaging for ruining movie profits.

Re:Not wrong, maybe... (3, Insightful)

splattertrousers (35245) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724630)

Whether or not he did something wrong is irrelevent. It's whether or not he did something unprofitable. Some corporations these days seem to believe they have a god-given right to profit

Companies that are out to make a profit stick around. They get investors. Most companies that aren't out to make a profit disappear rather quickly. Therefore, most companies that exist are out to make a profit. It's not evil. It's pure business.

Companies will do what they feel they need to do to make profit or to stop losing profit.

and that censorship and lawsuit chill is an acceptable tool to that end.

It's both acceptable and successful. They said, "please stop telling people where to buy this DVD that our contract says shouldn't be sold in the US", and the guy in question said, "OK".

It's not as if they passed a law that trampled this guy's rights. They just asked him to stop and he did. IMHO, he should have said "no", but he's allowed so say "OK" if he wants.

It's just unfortunate that saying "no" would cost the guy a lot of money and time. Something needs to be done about that, IMHO.

Re:Not wrong, maybe... (1)

mindaktiviti (630001) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724732)

It's like a bully telling you to hand over your lunch money or else he'll beat the crap out of you.

If you give him your lunch money you've lost, but if you say no, then he'll kick the crap out of you AND THEN take your lunch money!

This is exactly what Miramax is doing - bullying - and there's no way that this guy would be able to survive financially if he would have been sued, hence either way Miramax would have won.

It's NOT okay for this to happen.

Re:Not wrong, maybe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7724635)

I've seen this "think they have the right to profit" troll over and over modded up and I really have to wonder why? No one thinks that they have the "right to profit". Its not insightful, its just dumb and wrong.

The rest of your post however was ok tho... but the whole "right to profit" call doesnt wash.

Re:Not wrong, maybe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7724680)

Until the average freedom-loving American

What planet are you from? The average American cares only for his own freedom and believes that money is enough to protect his own freedom.

Re:Not wrong, maybe... (3, Interesting)

the_mad_poster (640772) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724711)

You know, I saw a story about that somewhere and I didn't know if I should laugh or cry. They (the movie studios) were bitching that people shouldn't be allowed to have text messaging tools like cell-phones and whatnot in movie theaters because people were leaving the Hulk and similarly lame movies and TM'ing their friends not to see it. They would leave the studio and immediately let a dozen people know that the movie was a bonafide peice of Hulking (sorry) crap-a-roo.

The justification for this idiotic "thought" process? Yep, you guessed it! It's cutting into our profits when people TM other people not to go see a movie! Ohhh... boo-frickin-hoo. At what point does the fact that your product is total shit actually kick in around here anymore? I love how these big interests are so conveniently redefining the rules so that they have a right to steal people's money in the name of "profits".

By the way.. if you're wondering what a crap-a-roo is, it's like a kangaroo, only crappier.

The Failure of the Region System (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7724492)

The "Region system" for CD's makes no sense, as all it does is hinder sales.

If I am in Region 1 and want one of the many Region 2 DVD's (that will never come out in Region 1), I have to get a hacked DVD player, or get a pirated/cracked version of the CD.

Next time you see those "Movies: They're worth it" anti-piracy ads about lost revenues, remember that the movie industry is throwing roadblocks in the way of those who want to legally purchase AND view legitimately-pressed DVD's. If they wanted money, they'd make the DVD's available to those who want to buy them.

Re:The Failure of the Region System (2, Interesting)

DigitumDei (578031) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724563)

Well I live in a region 2 area and I have to say that 2 out of every 3 DVD players here is "region free". That said, I think the regioning helps people like MiraMax think they can easily get away with stopping release of movies in certain regions. All part of the greater scheme of sucking as much profit out of you as possible. :P

But doesn't it hurt profits? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7724580)

"MiraMax think they can easily get away with stopping release of movies in certain regions. All part of the greater scheme of sucking as much"

But doesn't it hurt sales and profits to say "We never will make it available for your country" ?

No (4, Insightful)

IshanCaspian (625325) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724686)

The trick is, if we allow consumers to decide what they want for themselves, they will find and come to expect GOOD movies, which are much more difficult to make than "Gili". It's easier to ensure that you have a good return on your investment in a movie when you can totally control what it's competing with. Additionally, it's easier to milk each region for what it's worth, rather than having one price.

In short, they don't care about hypothetical sales for "hero." They want kung fu fans to shut up, get out there, and start paying up for whatever they have decided is the kung fu movie for december 2003 is. Stop telling them what you want. The movie / music industries will tell you what you want, and when you can have it.

Another case of idiots in legal departments (4, Insightful)

downix (84795) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724494)

And here is Miramax proclaiming it a grand victory. It is such a victory that they just forced hundreds of formerly potential customers into p2p file sharers. Miramax must love how they're encouraging the illegal file sharing that their other movie studio bretheren have damned as dangerous. Give a hand for Miramax, another promoter of P2P technology.

A file swapper is not born, he is created when something desired is not availible at the price desired. When that something is not availible at all, that turns all of those that wish it into p2p file junkies.

Sorry state of affairs, honestly.

Re:Another case of idiots in legal departments (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7724665)

That thing, in this case, is available for the price of parking in your neighborhood chinatown. As many have mentioned.

But it's pretty hard to feel sorry for the guy who feels he's entitled to set up a toll booth on a public road (curiously illegal) like Weinstien. Maybe he should take a lufa into the shower and try to wash out some the millions stuck under his roles of fat.

He's a real world analogue for Jabba the Hut, I don't want to hear about how the people aren't willing submitting to his rule, I don't want to hear him plead poverty, I just want to hear the sound of his silence. Good job passing on Lord Of The Rings too, I don't know if I'll ever be able to express how much I appreciated that.

Re:Another case of idiots in legal departments (1)

stuph (664902) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724853)

That thing, in this case, is available for the price of parking in your neighborhood chinatown. As many have mentioned.


Which is great.. if you have a neighborhood Chinatown. Down here in Florida.. not so much....

Re:Another case of idiots in legal departments (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7724767)

A file swapper is not born, he is created when something desired is not availible at the price desired.

I became I file swapper the day I learned stuff isn't free.

Unbelievable... (1)

lukewarmfusion (726141) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724505)

Well, not totally unbelievable (coughcoughriaa/mpaa/dmcacoughcough). But it's pretty crappy. 1. Offering a link is not illegal, is it? 2. What are they doing to prevent the seller from selling to U.S. customers? Isn't that a more logical target if you want to stop these sales? One of these days I'm going to give up and go live on Mars. Ooh, and what luck! There's a Java Mars clock available!

Re:Unbelievable... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7724755)

CEASE AND DESIST ORDER

We at Mars, Inc. believe Slashdot readers are confusing your references to "Mars" with our fine candy products. You speak of Mars as a sort of "last resort", tarnishing the image of our delicious snacks. Please remove any references to our name in all your comments.

Thank you,

Mars, Inc.
Legal Dept.

Reasons (1)

panxerox (575545) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724520)

there may be real reasons why they don't want it available in the US market, legal reasons, copyright reasons hell mabee they don't want to be exposed to the US legal system do you know how many ways somebody could be sued these days?

Changing regions on DVD's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7724521)

Is anyone here aware of a utility that actually changes the Region designation on DVD's during copying?

What a pain in the ass (1)

BigJimSlade (139096) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724528)

I had a hard time finding Hero also. Know what I did? Downloaded it from eDonkey. And if they don't fuck up the release over here (ie: chop it up, dub and/or dubtitle it without making the original vocal available), I will still purchase it. Idiots.

Sorry, no ed2k link provided. I don't want to get my own C&D. Shouldn't be too hard to find though.

BTW, I bought a copy of Wasango (sp? Volcano High in English) on eBay for $10. Region free. Wanna bet that's legit?

Re:What a pain in the ass (1)

jasonisgodzilla (591252) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724617)

Go to ebay. I bought hero, musa the warrior, shaolin soccer, and volcano high for 7 bucks a piece there. All of them work great and if they are pirated copies, they are labelled pretty well.

Exclusive rights to movies? (4, Insightful)

yar (170650) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724534)

It appears that Miramax is stating that their exclusive rights to movie distribution include the purchase of IMPORTS. Since when is it illegal to import a legal copy of a video from another country? There are import CD and movies available at video and music stores all the time.

Re:Exclusive rights to movies? (1)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724576)

It appears that Miramax is on crack, and is assigning itself far too much power. If someone sells me a used copy, and they're from another country, Miramax can do nothing. If a foreign website is offering videos for sale, and I choose to buy some, Miramax can do nothing. (Okay, sure, they can try to close the website, but let's face it... they do not and should not have absolute control over every video/DVD that bears their coporate logo.)

Kierthos

Re:Exclusive rights to movies? (3, Interesting)

dschuetz (10924) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724626)

Since when is it illegal to import a legal copy of a video from another country?

Since always, actually. It's quite annoying.

Remember how anal-retentive the folks who make "Beanie Babies" were a few years back? They were exercising their import-control rights so strongly that people buying legal, licensed beanies from abroad were having them seized at customs.

Essentially, if someone owns the copyright for a product in this country, they can restrict the importation of any copies of that product from abroad, even if that product was purchased legally (and for which they already received payment).

So, technically, I shouldn't be allowed to buy a copy of West Wing in the UK, even though WB gets a cut of the sale from their UK arm. (of course, now that they finally released it in the US, it doesn't matter).

This has been the case for years, but it's rarely strongly enforced. Personally, I'd love to see something like this go before the courts -- I can see (but don't agree with) companies having an interest in (and rights to) regulate the wholesale importation of goods, but for individual purchases, they should go away.

As for this particular story (which I haven't read yet), if the movies in question were available for legal sale elsewhere, there shouldn't be anything wrong with having a link on the site, even on a US-hosted site for US-based audiences, just because the web's a global medium and they could argue the link was a service for overseas readers.

Obligatory Family Guy quote (1)

zonix (592337) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724551)

Fearing Miramax (and thus Disney) and their army of lawyers, [...]

Remember the Michael Eisner (CEO, Disney) sketch on Family Guy?

Eisner: (cheerful) "See you at Disneyland!"

[gets into his car]
Eisner: (angry) "Bring money!"
[speeds off]
z

is it miramax or Eisner (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7724554)

seems like mirster I'm a f-ing idiot Eisner is up to his idiot behavior again. Since disney has totally forgotten how to make movies, they decide to butcher Hong Kong films in the hopes of making a buck. Miramax used to make good films, but lately they haven't done much. Atleast everything disney tries to change ends up being dog crap. it's only when disney takes their hands off, that movies come out decent and make a profit.

WTF... (2, Insightful)

Wakko Warner (324) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724569)

Whatever happened to the concept of a free market economy? Shouldn't people be able to purchase this film, and tell others where to do the same, without fear of being sued for it? What law(s) would this even violate?

Re:WTF... (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724866)

Whatever happened to the concept of a free market economy?

Silly consumer, the global "free" market is only for companies looking to get cheap labor elsewhere! Mere humans are not permitted to participate in this so called "global economy".

But he wasn't even advertising the film Hero! (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724572)

These links are to buy films from Hong Kong that happen to merely share a similiar title (give or take translation) and much of the same footage. Since Miramax will not be releasing the film you can buy in the rest of the world to US cinemas, but rather a total re-edit, why should they care?

Far more damaging than simply getting things late is Miramax's technique of utterly mangling these films beyond all recognition. I wouldn't mind half as much about the wait if I knew I was going to get the actual film at the end of it, rather than some hack job. What is next? Getting in trouble for pointing out where to buy Total Recall, as some people might buy it rather than go see Paycheck?

Re:But he wasn't even advertising the film Hero! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7724727)

Getting in trouble for pointing out where to buy Total Recall, as some people might buy it rather than go see Paycheck?

What?!? You act as if they are the same movie. Paycheck is about a guy who has his memories altered and has to figure out what happened before some maniac takes over the world. Total Recall is about a guy who has his memories altered and has to figure out what happened before some maniac takes over the world...ON MARS!!! Big difference there...

I have this ..... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7724578)

Ok, so here's how the room arangements work in this dorm:

I have a small room with a small sink and a small walk in closet. My neighbor has a mirrored setup, and then joining our two rooms is a kitchen area and a bathroom.

With that out of the way..

My neighbor lives like a fucking pig. I mean, this disgusting waste of space will leave his old ass food sitting there on the counter gathering mold, trash strewn around the floor, and I've lost count of how many times i've had to wipe his piss off of the toilet seat before taking a shit. Hell, just last weekend I had to scrub piss stains out of the bathtub. THE BATHTUB.

We work opposite shifts, so I never get to see the bastard, which is a double edged sword. On one hand, i don't have to see the 5'7" 190lbs tub of lard, on the other, I never get to tell him face to face to pick up his shit.

Well anyway, today was the day I pretty much snapped. The tubby fuck left crap all over the kitchen that i labored over for a few hours last weekend, left shit crusting up in the microwave, and clogged the fucking garbage disposal (which doesn't work, btw) with crap. I went in there, did a quick clean up, threw all of his shit into the trash, and left him a polite note asking him to please keep the kitchen clean.

The complete disgrace to humankind replied with a note on my door that said (in complete and total 4 year old chickenscratch): "Leave my trash for me to deal with".

How the fuck am I supposed to let that little spoiled kid take care of his own trash when it's obvious that he can't go through life without a mother figure there to take care of him? And to think that the fucking mongaloid actually spawned a kid.. guh. When we were on the same shifts still, he told me about how he's proud of his daughter and how he loves his girlfriend so much , etc etc etc, so i was like "Well when are you getting married?"

"We have to wait until she graduates High School, she's just starting her senior year"

Heh. That'll last.

where was I? ...oh yea..

i dropped a note back off on his door that told him if he didn't want to be treated like a kid, to quit acting like one / clean up after himself. If I run into the bitch tomorrow, i'll have some face to face with him and see if we can get some proper resolution on this, but if the fucker wants to get lippy and retarded, I'm going to just say "fuck it" and go have a talk with his supervisor and the first sergeant. Fuck him. I refuse to live next to a god damned pig.

A US Movie Company C & Ds a US based movie com (2, Informative)

matchlight (609707) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724585)

A whois [whois.net] of kungfucinema.com shows it's registered to a person in Seattle Washington. I think that's how they can bully the guy. I'm sure if there was a HK based movie selling site, there wouldn't be much that Miramax could do, unless they also owned the HK rights to the movie as well.

This is a classic example where even when a big corp. is wrong, making them do the right thing would cost too much time and money with almost no return.

Re:A US Movie Company C & Ds a US based movie (1)

Syberghost (10557) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724801)

Amazon's got it, from a guy in New York. Interesting that Miramax doesn't tackle them.

Jerks (1)

Beer_Smurf (700116) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724592)

I just don't get it.
Can't they work in a positive manner?
Ask the guy to link to thier site for the movie.
Give him a small clip or something to post.
Free publicity.

Hero : Miramax version (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7724593)

See Hero!
with DMX (Voice) & Ice Cube (Voice) ..and a slamming soundtrack.

now all we need is to get ILM to add some cars to it..

Wordage of C & D (1)

kensai (139597) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724596)

Was this a threating or a non-threating C & D letter? If it was a non-threating one, then maybe Miramax is in negotations to buy the movie and this information may have undercut their offer.

You should lose your exclusive distribution rights (4, Insightful)

mocm (141920) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724599)

if you delay distribution for more than 1 year. Some companies seem to buy up exclusive distribution rights for asian movies just to prevent them from competing with their own products. Like Disney did with Studio Gibli and Miramax with Hero, Shaolin Soccer or others. (Just try to get a DVD of Drunken Master 2).
These tactics are in total contrast to the purpose of granting distribution or copyrights. Which should promote the arts and encourage artists to publish their work.

Don't Buy Our Products! (1)

the_mad_poster (640772) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724605)

By removing these links, he's making it more difficult for people to purchase these films, thereby allowing us to protect our interest in these properties. -- Matthew Hiltzik

Uhhh... what? Sooooo... it's in my best interest to... uh... NOT let people buy my products? Umm... I think I must've missed that econ class.

Direct translation from bullshit PR spin-ese:

By removing these links, he's making it easier for our people to rape consumers when it comes to purchasing our films, thereby allowing us to extort as much money as possible from innocent buyers by locking away legally purchased media. We do all of this under the guise of "protecting our rights" because we, big shitheaded corporate assholes, think that the only right consumers have is the right to give us money.

Bye bye Miramax! I hardly ever go to see movies or buy DVDs now because 1) movies in theatres are way too expensive and 2) I hate fucking around with CSS protectionist bullshit. I'm happy to report that in the rare event that I do plan to buy / go to a movie, I will make sure ahead of time it's not got anything to do with Miramax (and yes, I keep a list of these things).

Of course he did something wrong! (3, Funny)

palad1 (571416) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724655)

He did the movie a disservice by writing something about it.

All we need to know about Shaolin Soccer and Hero can be accessed using AOL keywords SHAOLIN SOCCER and HERO.

Move along citizen, the computer is your friend.

Re:Of course he did something wrong! (1)

stuph (664902) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724898)

WTF is an AOL keyword!?!? I'm confused now...

Just another example (1)

iamdrscience (541136) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724662)

When are people finally going to realize that situations like this, caused by strong copyright law are an inhibitor to the free market and not something that helps it. In this situation, even the copyright crazy who believe it's an artist's god given right to control the dispersion of their ideas should be able to see the problem with it. The "artists" (film-makers, actors etc.) released this movie abroad and are getting paid for it, these people were simply importing it.

that's funny (1)

Satanboy (253169) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724681)

a quick search on ebay reveals: link! [ebay.com] so will they attack ebay? or what about: link again! [dvdasian.com] It seems pretty obvious it's a pointless endeavour. There are tons of sites out there where you can get original, uncut hong kong, chinese, japanese etc movies. The funny thing is, I prefer getting the movies when they come out on dvd, not waiting 2 or 3 YEARS to see them when some distributor in the US picks them up and decides to sell them. So, does google.com have to remove all instances of HERO from their system? I think not. Just because Miramax got the rights to the film, does not mean they can stop someone from distributing a version that was previously released. If they cared that much, they should have funded the production as far as I'm concerned.

Re:that's funny (1)

IWorkForMorons (679120) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724848)

Just because Miramax got the rights to the film

No...Miramax has the North American distribution rights. They don't own the film, and they can't sell it anywhere else other then North America. Or at least that's as far as I can tell. The only thing Miramax is protecting is the profits from when they decide to release their hacked-up version. And you can't do that when the real fans are finding better versions of it elsewhere...

Just go to Chinatown (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7724691)

I bought the Chinese edition DVD for 12 bucks in Chinatown the other day...

Pretty good movie.

Similar to Anime Fansubs (2, Informative)

starbuck8968 (224854) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724700)

This reminds me of anime fansubs you can get from newsgroups or bit torrent. While the anime isn't licensed in the US all is good and download all you want. But as soon as its licensed, the links go down (for torrent at least) and you're out of luck if you didn't get all the episodes.

just so you know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7724716)

The movie Hero isn't from HK its from the mainland.

OMG (1)

redcaboodle (622288) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724730)

needed sometime to remember. I saw that movie at least 3 times earlier this year.
Complety forgot about it. If I ever see the DVD in a shop I will probably not even remember it.
Way to go - thats how you gain customers. Make the movies available so late that everyone has forgotten about it. I suppose it works with LOTR, but Hero was not that good... and I dont read the book a couple of times a year.

What happened? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7724749)

I thought if there is any place on earth where they've got all the movies ASAP, then that must be america.

Here in Europe both movies are already out of the cinemas and available on DVD in every fucking store.

Hero is great. I have seen that movie twice. Once in a THX enabled cinema with all the BOOOM stuff and once in a little program cinema with subtitles :).

Shaolin Soccer is furious! Probably the most insane movie about soccer ever made.

Globalism rant (1)

swb (14022) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724779)

By now it should be clear that globalism and multinationalism is something for the benefit of corporations -- cheaper labor, differential market pricing. It's not for consumer benefit at all.

Re:Globalism rant (1)

Darth23 (720385) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724904)

You nailled it! Capital can travel freely, and large corporations can be immune from governmental authority, while labor is locked into specific geograpgic locations, and consumers are ruled by governmental authority acting on belaf of those same corporations.

Shaolin Soccer (2, Informative)

CrazyTalk (662055) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724791)

Shaolin Soccer was playing ever-so-briefly my local cinema here in the US, so I dont know what they mean by "not released". After seeing the beyond-bad previews, there was no need to see the film.

On a side note, there is a "Shaolin Martial Arts Studio" that I often pass by, and I can't help but think of that movie and laugh (and picture kids kicking flaming soccer balls) whenever I see that sign.

Appeasement is wrong too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7724802)

Now let me get this straight: he's afraid of their lawyers, so he backs down? Just once, I'd like to see someone who doesn't collapse like a spineless coward at a letter (gasp!) from a lawyer (gasp!). It doesn't matter how much money and how many lawyers they have if they simly have no case.

It's unlikely that they would really sue; they're *counting* on the fact that spineless cowards like this guy will give in without a fight. If he actually called their bluff, they'd probably do nothing. And if they did, he could (and should) countersue for millions! If people who are threatened starting countersuing in greater numbers, you can bet the big corporations would start thinking twice about making such threats.

stupid (1)

kraut (2788) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724827)

"he's making it more difficult for people to purchase these films, thereby allowing us to protect our interest in these properties"

Surely the distributor of a movie should make it EASIER for people to BUY it? I hope the original owner of the movie has some words with them....

Free trade, my ass, Disney's face (2)

Demona (7994) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724828)

I already knew Disney and Hollywood were protectionist thugs who, like all thugs, believe in one set of rules for them and another for the proles. But I didn't realize it's gotten even worse since the last time I ranted about this same subject. [samizdata.net]

Fuck the Mouse that Whined. Nobody has the right to interfere with free trade of lawfully obtained property between consenting adults.

I got to see both of those movies a long time ago! (4, Interesting)

dido (9125) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724863)

Man, this is absolutely incredible. There was a theatrical release for both movies (which both TOTALLY ROCK!... I can only hope that Miramax & Co. don't butcher them!) here in my country a long time ago! Hero [jetli.com] was released here late last year, and Shaolin Soccer not long after if I recall correctly. Now, Shaolin Soccer, and maybe even Hero, have actually even been popping up on the Chinese cable channels (with English subtitles, thank goodness) occasionally. Does a whole lot of good for them to be closing the barn door after the horse has already run around more than half the world for about a year ongoing, don't ya think?

Mirimax - Disney Conspiracy (1)

Darth23 (720385) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724872)

Miramax buys up the rights to major martial arts movies, then butchers them for their release to the US. Disney buys up great animated movies from Japan (Princess Mononoke/ Spirited Away),dubs them in "American", then releases the movie to only a a handful of theaters, with a very limited marketing budget to 'prove' that there's no real market for the movies in the US (and to cutdown on the competition with their inhouse animated products.) If people can buy the original version of their 'products' overseas, shouldn't that a benefit of Globalization? Someone needs to challenge the Mouse in court and take them down a peg or two. I think a countersuit for attempting to violate the site owner's Free Speech Rights is in order.

I've seen Hero (1)

Goner (5704) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724907)

That movie is so good. Probably the best Chinese cinema since Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and in some ways better. Totally amazing that it was the director's first action movie. He also directed 'happy times' which was a story set in the modern day urban China which is similar only in its bright colors. Basically Hero is worth buying on the black market, but I can't wait to see it on the big screen. It sends chills down my spine just thinking about it. I wonder if they'll keep the one line translated as "How swift thy sword." Great last words.

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