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Old May 4th, 2013, 10:57 PM   #1
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yet another, What would you do?

I have a regular gig filming an Eistedfod, only 3 weekends a year, sell a few hundred individual dvds.
I have been made aware that during the group sessions, one of the dance schools is buying all their dances (good for me) and telling the parents of the kids to not purchase from me, but instead to purchase a copied DVD from the school at a reduced rate therefore saving the families some money. (bad for me).
I would definitely be worse off, considering that the chances of only one child in each group wanting a disc are slim, we prob average 2-3 per all the other groups.
The question is, how do I deal with it?
If I try to speak to the principal of the dance school I can only see it ending ugly.
I know she is doing it, but of course cannot prove it without one of her parents rolling over on her, which is unlikely to happen.
Frustrating.....
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Old May 4th, 2013, 11:56 PM   #2
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Re: yet another, What would you do?

Hey Gerald

I did a gig like this last year and also the dancing school wanted a piece of the action...they just told parents to buy from the school, I delivered the DVD's in bulk and then the school distributed them to the parents, collected the money and deposited it straight into my account...It did save a lot of running around getting DVD's to parents so maybe just roll with the punches and let the school do the distribution work??

Chris
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Old May 5th, 2013, 01:05 AM   #3
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Re: yet another, What would you do?

hey Chris,
I may not have been clear, I still have to do all the leg work for everyone else, its not the eisteddfod that is wanting to do it, its just one of the schools (there may be 30 or more schools in total) that's taking an opportunity to profit from my DVDs.
As annoying as it is, I get the feeling I may just have to grin and bare it.
Its pretty sad that I started doing these dance events because so many parents were complaining about the poor quality of the dvds they were getting, so now I get people gushing about how nice it is to get TV quality (their words not mine) footage of their kids, but still people are trying to get it cheaper or for nothing.
Humans are frustrating lol
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Old May 5th, 2013, 01:32 AM   #4
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Re: yet another, What would you do?

Hi Gerald

Oops I now see the issue ..With me there was just one school involved ... That's a tough call cos if the other dance schools get wind of what one school is doing then they might also want to do the same thing.
Working with 30 groups would be a nightmare in logistics.... surely the organisers could step in here and specify to all the schools involved that for simplicity's sake all DVD's would be distributed from a single point?

Hope you sort it out!

Chris
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Old May 5th, 2013, 04:06 AM   #5
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Re: yet another, What would you do?

I have never tried this but apparently the way to deter casual amateur piracy is to physically damage the final track on the DVD. Evidently is to mark the edge (outer most circles including some of the written area) thus damaging some of the data. Obviously this would make last portion of your disc not play well so assuming that your regular DVD fills 75% of the disc then make the last 25% a chapter with just a blank black screen or maybe just a title with your copyright details.
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Old May 5th, 2013, 04:25 AM   #6
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Re: yet another, What would you do?

Hi Nigel

The DVD player only reads the data files as does the computer and other devices but if the person tries to do a disc copy the computer will first scan the entire disc before the copy process ... even if you have only something like 1GB burnt to the DVD, the surface area is still scanned during a copy process so a tiny "nick" made with a file on the edge of the DVD (regardless of any data being present) causes the computer to conclude that the disc is actually faulty ...it will play but cannot be copied.

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Old May 5th, 2013, 05:33 AM   #7
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Re: yet another, What would you do?

I was reading a thread about this yesterday elsewhere on the web, I was interested until I noticed it was 5 years old and another poster stated that the dvd copy programs like DVD Fab, DVD cloner etc, will skip the damaged sectors and just copy the good ones.
I'm going to try it anyway though, who knows.
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Old May 5th, 2013, 09:20 AM   #8
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Re: yet another, What would you do?

Could you talk to the person who hires you and explain? If the copyright nick trick doesn't work, this could spread to the other schools and become a bigger issue. Your contact may understand that they'd have to pay more if you weren't making money off the DVDs and help nip it in the bud.
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Old May 5th, 2013, 11:07 AM   #9
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Re: yet another, What would you do?

I would absolutley NEVER film for the school under these circumstances.

It's like your being beaten up by a bully and you are just taking it and not saying anything. What they are doing is dirty and underhanded.

I would absolutley speak to the pricipal. I would have to be starving in order for me to be willing to work for someone while cheating me. That is SO dirty.
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Old May 5th, 2013, 03:29 PM   #10
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Re: yet another, What would you do?

Thanks for the replies.
As I mentioned, It is not who I work for, The Eisteddfod, that is doing the wrong thing. Just one of the dance schools that participate in it.
I spoke with the Eisteddfod organisers about the issue and they were very angry about it. They began to make announcements at every interval about piracy etc and that anyone caught copying DVDs purchased from me will be held accountable.
They are in the same boat as me though, without absolute proof, their hands are tied.
I am beginning to see why anyone worth their salt would stay away from the dancing video market. The parents spend so much money on these kids doing dancing, a lot in the vicinity of 10k-15k a year plus. For the wealthy ones thats all well and good, but they are not all wealthy, there are a lot that are struggling to realize there child's dreams at the expense of everything else in their lives, and if they can get some cheap/free DVDs, I'm afraid the temptation might be too great....
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Old May 5th, 2013, 05:35 PM   #11
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Re: yet another, What would you do?

Looks like you've already taken a good first step... I'm sure the culprits know full well what they are doing.

I don't know that you have to divulge your sources, but a pleasant "it's come to my attention" conversation or note might be effective, perhaps with a "copyright notice" and if applicable, a note describing potential damages (don't know anything about Australian copyright law...).

If you wanted to be hardball about it, send a "cease and desist" letter making them aware they aren't fooling anyone or getting away with anything. If it were me I'd inform them that as a penalty, the school will not be allowed to purchase a copy this season (or next if they continue the bad behavior?). I'd imagine the parents would be thrilled to find out their "supplier" had been cut off, and they couldn't get ANY disks!

Copying disks probably seems harmless, and I'm sure they pick up a little $$ thinking they are "helping" their parents/students. Perhaps ponting out that that "profit" and/or any loss of your revenue is DAMAGES, and I'd suppose your copyright law is similar to the US in allowing PUNATIVE damages?

If the event organizers are on your side, letting them be the "enforcers" is a good start, but if they still don't get it, you've got other options.
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Old May 6th, 2013, 08:48 AM   #12
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Re: yet another, What would you do?

I see Gerald, I didn't realized it was only one school. Dave, as always, gave a really nice, measured response, and I agree that the people doing it might think what they are doing is harmless.

I'm glad the organizer is behind you, that's a good thing.
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Old May 6th, 2013, 01:27 PM   #13
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Re: yet another, What would you do?

Make sure that your DVDs come with a full copyright notice, then get someone you know to order a copy from the offending school, saying that they are an uncle or what have you . If the school sells them one, immediately instruct a solicitor/attorney to threaten legal action for breach of copyright. that should frighten the s**t out of them and stop them trying it again.

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Old May 6th, 2013, 02:05 PM   #14
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Re: yet another, What would you do?

Burn the discs onto Dual layer discs. It obviously wont stop copying but makes it slightly harder and you can fill up the disc with a copy write notice that appears on the screen after the video.
Having moved to dual layer discs my sales have gone up.
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Old May 6th, 2013, 03:52 PM   #15
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Re: yet another, What would you do?

Remember that if this DOES become a legal matter, you may find yourself on the wrong side of the law regarding music licensing, depending on the specifics.
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