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Thursday, September 20, 2007

The curious case of Raise the Red Lantern's DVD transfers 

Raise the Red Lantern, one of the prettiest movies ever to come out of China, has suffered from some terrible DVD releases.

But at long last, while I wasn't looking, it appears the latest two NTSC (and Region 1 or 0) editions don't suck. DVD Beaver raves: Acceptable visual quality! And subtitles that make sense!

Alas, they give and they take. The ERA release comes down hard on those who would illicitly show this video on...

oil rigs?

It actually looks like it's give and give, in this case. Read the warning again. "Oil rigs" is part of a broad, generous definition of "home use".

"The copyright proprietor has licenced the film...for home use only. ... The definition of home use *includes* [my emphasis] the use of this video device at locations such as...Oil rigs...."

So the more unlikely locations ("spaceships", "Moon bases", "Mars outposts") they're willing to include in the list, the better.
Alas, no. It's not obvious on my tiny-version, but the word that DVD Beaver's MS Paint arrow is obscuring is "excludes."

In other words, oil rigs aren't homes.

For my part, I say home is where the heart is, but few legal documents refer to the heart.

Well, except organ donor cards.
Actually, if you read the fine print, you'll see a lot of movies have oil rigs in their list of prohibited places to screen the film.

On oil rigs, there are common rooms - the movie's lawyers don't want those oil rig companies screening films for their employees without paying the licensing fee.

There's nothing to stop a worker on an oil rig from showing the film in his room and then inviting all the other workers (provided they can fit in his room).

But I'm sure the workers sometimes play films as an extracurricular activity without advertising it loud and clear.

I do wish movie companies were more flexible in their pricing of licenses and more clear as to where to actually buy the licenses!
You're right; I stand corrected.

But this means spaceships, Moon bases, and Mars outposts are still ok, yes?
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