It's not a disaster, just means I won't be watching Stargate Atlantis any more. Given I have DVDs of original Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, The Professionals, Monty Python's Flying Circus, Quantum Leap, etc. it's not like I'm short of things to watch :)
2008-11-26 11:25 am (UTC)
Whilst it's too late now - replying may not have been the best idea.
If it's the standard AFACT infringement notice, it was sent to your ISP as a date / time / IP Address, on behalf of MGM (ie not from MGM itself) and they've (your ISP) correlated that with your connection time and forwarded it to you.
At that time, the sender of the infringement notice had no information about who you were.
By replying you may have given AFACT (or whomever sent it) that contact information and effectively confessed to the copyright violation. They are now more able to take legal action against you directly, should they choose. Eg to make an example.
I would suggest to anyone else who receives a notice, that unless it's directed to them specifically by name directly from the organisation (ie not relayed from your ISP) that they do not reply. If they are doing what the notice alleges, and it's illegal, they should certainly stop it. But don't reply.
It was actually an overseas company acting on MGM's behalf, contacting the ISP who then contacted us. The ISP was good, but in order for the notice to be closed, we had to reply via the company's website, since it was our IP that had been tracked. That IP had to be the one used for replying. Not closing it wasn't an option. And to my mind, I could have lied, said they were mistaken, etc. but then what happens if they find out I gave a false statement?
Reading through all the guff, there was no harm in replying. Basically they make it pretty clear it's not worth them going after someone unless it's an ongoing thing, and there's no danger of being sued if you remove the material. Which is reasonably civilised, compared to the companies that try to make examples of people. The company MGM uses also has a bunch of protocols in place which mean they can't legally share my details with MGM unless I'm caught doing the wrong thing some more, but they can pass back anything included in the additional information box anonymously.
And my attitude is still one of fighting the crap where I find it. If MGM had a system to pay for and download the episodes, I would be happy to use it, so long as the prices were reasonable. If they pressured Channel 7 into actually showing the bloody show properly, then again, I wouldn't have been downloading it.
Actually, what I would love to do is track the IPs of all the MGM bigwigs, and see how much illegally downloaded stuff is in their homes. You can't tell me their kids aren't downloading stuff on the sly :)
I just wrote back to them quoting the bit of the letter from MGM to them which said something like 'this letter is not to be redistributed' or something like that, and told them it was ironic that they were telling me off for breaking a rule when they were doing that themselves by forwarding me the letter when that was expressely forbidden.
I stopped downloading it, and then started again later. No more letters.
You can also only dl torrents using Hotspot Shield
which creates a Virtual Private Network for you.
I got hassled several years ago from MGM myself regarding my downloads of Stargate SG-1. My response was very similar, only I also stated that I had been ordering the DVDs from the UK and still got the episodes before Channel 7 got their act together to start screening them. I added to the e-mail a photo of my Stargate SG-1 DVD collection, stating that my DVD collection was ahead of what had been screened in Australia. I also made similar comments to the likes of "Stargate is screened free to air in Australia, what difference does it make how I obtain my free viewing, if my my purchasing of the DVDs gets me to watch the episodes months, even over a year before it gets broadcast free anyway?"
I then installed a mod to my torrent client called Safe Peer which doesn't allow particular IPs from seeing my collection. I haven't been hassled since.
2008-11-26 07:47 pm (UTC)
The difference is that Channel Seven has paid MGM for the rights to screen the show, and they make up that cost by advertising (remember, folks: when it comes to TV, the shows aren't the product. They're the bait. You are the product, sold to advertisers.) Now, I'll agree that downloaders who like the show are much more likely to actually buy it - but the studios only see downloaders not paying anything, and hence creating the possibility that there will be less of a market for their product.
Personally, I'm astounded that a TV company would pay the money for the rights for a show, and then not screen it at a consistent time to build up a following. But then, what would I know? I'm just a techie ...
the reasons for not showing US material are largely - there is a restrictions on the percentage of OS material they can show (as in, their licence mandates x% Aus content) and Stargate competes for time with all the other attractive OS material they buy the rights to
and - the US material is fscking expensive.
And timeslots .. whilst we might find Stargate riveting, unfortunately the carp they put on in family timeslots attracts more watchers and thus more advertising funds. A lot of it is made in Aus - under even more expensive licences. They pay $xmillions for the privilege of making Deal or no Deal, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, etc.
All of which means I dont watch much tv these days. Especially now we are going into "Xmas mode".
2008-11-26 11:22 pm (UTC)
Re: I would imagine that ..
Actually, starting with channel 9, lot of the major stations discovered that sci-fi rates really well in Australia, so if you put it on late, you can charge prime time, or near prime time rates to advertisers. So basically, they get extra income from sf that they wouldn't otherwise get.
Not all shows do this well of course.
The thing is, 7 has a dreadful track record even with its own product. They made the decision not to have Roy and HG on the Olympics this year due to the time difference - they felt they would have had to show it at a time that didn't work for them. Given how well they've rated in the past, wouldn't pre-recording it and showing it at a decent timeslot still work?
Like you, we don't really watch much TV these days. I'm quite happy to sit through commercials, but I'll be damned if I'm going to have to consistently wade through a half-hour or even hour overrun of a show I don't like, only to have the show I was waiting for canceled. Then there's the other issues I mentioned.
Commercial TV is in the early days of learning a harsh lesson, they just don't know it yet. And companies like MGM also need to learn that the more people who watch their product, in any form, the better. Since a percentage of those people will ending up owning it legitimately.
Christmas is usually the time of the obscure, short run shows. You can find some gems late at night, if you're lucky.
2008-11-26 11:43 pm (UTC)
Re: I would imagine that ..
Channel Ten however has concluded that all the geeks who watch SF will have the latest equipment and moved most if not all of their SF to the HD only channels.
I don't think I even have my TV set up to receive commercial channels. My pattern is to buy new seasons of things I know I enjoy once they become available on DVD - so if I've seen some Battlestar season 1 I'm quite happy to buy season 2, 3 and 4 on spec. I don't download much because quite frankly my backlog of unwatched DVDs makes a mockery of acquiring new media.
What this means is that I'm not seeing new shows. Which sucks. The logical solution would seem to be for, say, YouTube to set themselves up as an international TV station and feature new content with either embedded ads or banners/images on the site. They license the content in the same way as any other station and stream it. Possibly also offer it for download, with the ads embedded. I realise this would mean changes to current licensing arrangements around issues such as exclusivity but it would be a pretty much overnight solution to the problem - no good reason to go to possibly unsafe torrent sites when you can get the same content in the same media safely.
The industry made a noise about people videotaping from TV - it's the same content, at the same price, only timeshifted, and it's clear that your hommemade media does not directly compete with a nicely packaged official release. I'm not sure I see what the difference is with downloads of free-to-air TV.
*never*. *Never* made a noise. LJ needs an "edit comment" option.
LJ does have an edit comment option, but perhaps it's only available to people with LJ accounts.