& # 8217 ; s War On Fan Websites Essay, Research Paper
It seems like the battle between legal sections at major film and Television studios and fan manufacturers of web sites has reached a febrility pitch. In late September, the legal section of Fox TV sent out notices to discontinue and abstain to two webmasters of fan & # 8220 ; King Of The Hill & # 8221 ; web sites. Fox Primetime has cracked down on fan sites before, most notably those toasting & # 8220 ; The X-Files. & # 8221 ;
It boggles the head why fan sites pose such a menace to the studios. It would look that for a fan to take the clip and pass the money to construct a web site without any hope of fiscal wages would be the supreme compliment to a given show. I know of no fan site which makes money. Normally, unless the webmaster has a free history through their College or University, their Internet entree and web infinite costs money.
Only $13.90 / page
And if non ever a money sink, sites like these are ever a clip sink. These fans are taking clip out of their busy educational and/or work agendas to give these shows free promotion.
Still photographs from films and Television shows used for reviews and/or given off, with or without autographs, to fans has been a traditional agencies of advancing a studio & # 8217 ; s wares. When fans offer stills for other fans to roll up on the Internet, they are carry oning a type of trade which has for decennaries existed via the mail and in face to confront memorabilia barters.
There is more contention about audio and video cartridge holders, but the fact remains that 10 % of a copyrighted work of art can be duplicated for & # 8220 ; fair use & # 8221 ; intents harmonizing to the Berne Convention, the current criterion of jurisprudence on right of first publications for most of the universe. Current sound techniques for the Internet like.AU, .AIFF, and.WAV acquire really, really big unless the sound snipping is merely a affair of seconds long. And Real Audio.RAM files and Shockwave Streaming Audio files both drama as they pass by and are non stored on a individual & # 8217 ; s computing machine. We are non speaking about buccaneering here. We are speaking about a sample that & # 8217 ; s merely a few seconds long, which the people who fastidiously make the sample slave over without any hope of recompense, and which takes up terribly big balls of server infinite.
This goes double for the most controversial component of fan sites & # 8212 ; video cartridge holders. AVI Video For Windows and QuickTime picture files are highly mostly sized. The belowground authoritative short & # 8220 ; The Spirit Of Christmas, & # 8221 ; made by the energizers who would subsequently travel on to do the hit overseas telegram series & # 8220 ; South Park & # 8221 ; takes up a mind-numbing 50 Megabytes in filesize. Not a insouciant download to state the least. Unless you have a Cable or ADSL connexion to the cyberspace, otherwise you would hold to put your computing machine to download all dark to acquire that file. I have a transcript of the celebrated Apple Com
puter “1984? commercial that is 11 MB in size. Would I hold downloaded that? I truly don’t think so. I got it from a CD-ROM that Apple put out for promotional intents. Through MacAddict magazine, I believe off manus.
The studios argue that they are supporting their hallmarks from go throughing into the Public Domain, I don & # 8217 ; t think so! All of the fan sites I have seen have been scrupulous in giving proper hallmark and right of first publication credits, including the Boomhauer ( Did I spell that right? ) site which is presently under fire by Fox TV Legal. A hallmark can non travel into the Public Domain unless a hallmark holder stops utilizing the hallmark, and/or specifically donates the hallmark into the Public Domain.
Not every studio has been Draconian in their response to fan sites. The independent life studio Spumco International has been really sort to fan sites, and encourages them. Besides the manufacturers of the hit Television series & # 8220 ; Babylon 5 & # 8243 ; ( which has quieted down recently ) have encouraged fan sites, and in one instance, & # 8220 ; The Lurker & # 8217 ; s Guide to Babylon 5, & # 8221 ; hold given the official cast of blessing, to fan sites. It is astonishing to see the good will between & # 8220 ; Babylon 5 & # 8243 ; fans and the series & # 8217 ; manufacturers. It possibly might be non surprising that the & # 8220 ; Babylon 5 & # 8243 ; manufacturers and authors are mostly cyber-savvy folks. One of the authors I met, subposidably anyways, on a local BBS ( DaRk EcLiPsE BBS, subsequently renamed The Rainbow Connection BBS )
Fan sites provide a great chance for cultivation of fan morale, and when fan sites are cracked down upon by studios fan morale sinks. It is the good will of the fans that makes a film or a Television show a hit. Without the fans, the studios have nil. What is needed is an outreach by studio publicizers to promote and stock fan sites with sanctioned art and sound cartridge holders, non a Draconian crackdown by studio legal sections. Unlike the fan-art sites which drew the anger of the Warner Bros. Pictures legal section for their blue images of authoritative WB sketch characters in an obscene mode, these sites which have been threatened are regardful and respectful to the characters they salute.
These are non moonshiners who make money off buccaneering. These are fans, foremost and first, who are passing their clip and their money to give these shows and films free promotion and acquire no fiscal wages in return. It is crazing to believe that the legal sections of Fox and other companies have nil better to make than to oppress people for being fans. But possibly lowered viewership and loss of fan good will might do concrete economic effects for the studios. And that & # 8217 ; s possibly the lone thing that will do the studios to name off their legal Canis familiariss and leave the fan sites entirely.