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cannot be verified, and two, there is no mention on how, or why an
independent filmmaker would benefit from signing up with Eztakes. In
addition, the year 2003 did not anticipate the rise of the torrent,
which today (in 2008) lets Eztakes look rather silly as a concept or
even a distribution model for either independent or mainstream
content. Eztakes claims that they are leading in DRM (Digital Rights
Management) but then even state themselves that  the vast majority of
experts now agree that DRM does nothing to stop piracy and is harmful
to both consumers and the entertainment industry. (20)
In addition, the refund policy of Eztakes is also ambiguous and
unclear. This not only leads to confusion of consumers, but also is
also illegal as it violates standard business law. On the one hand
Eztakes states:  all sales of Content are final unless otherwise
specified. (21) However, on a different page on the website it states:
Is there a money-back guarantee? Yes. Our CEO's personal guarantee
states that first-time Eztakes customers can get a refund for any
reason that prevents them from fully enjoying the movies they get from
Eztakes. If there is ever any problem with the Eztakes service that
prevents a customer from enjoying a movie, Eztakes will always refund
all charges. (22) (23)
The surveyed filmmakers who did sign up faced a multitude of
challenges, first and foremost legal implications arising from the
outdated and DMCA non-conforming terms of its user agreement.
Deventiava follows up on this:  The DMCA was created to fully protect
content creators, web sites like Eztakes.com are ambivalent towards
such regulations. (24) In fact several independent filmmakers
received letters from US law firm Melveny & Myers, to seize and
desist, since they were apparently infringing on the copyright of
others. (25) One surveyed Indy filmmakers even received a subpoena
followed by a court order to pay $25, 000 to medium label, Digital
Films, Inc, who was using safenet.com to monitor and assist in any
infringing copyright violation. Eztakes quickly handed over all
contact information to the authorities and even faxed a letter to the
SEC and FBI insisting on fully assisting investigators against the
independent filmmaker. This was possible since Eztakes used several
legal loopholes in order to avoid its own prosecution, placing the
onus on the independent producer, while simultaneously blurring
additional international legal distinctions and mandatory statutes.
Closely tailing Filmbaby, Eztakes was overall among the worst in
dealing with all issues and questions of our surveyed independent
filmmakers. The so-called  digitally-protected content, ended up on
torrent websites within only 48 hours after it was purchased from
Eztakes. As Berger states:
In November 2006 Troma released a Buy and Burn' DVD at Eztakes.com
called Debbie Rochon Confidential, featuring never before seen footage
from Debbie's years working with Troma. Two of Debbie's most recent
features, The Deepening and Vampyre Tales (appearing in both with
genre actor Jim O'Rear) have just been made available on DVD. It was
acquired from Eztakes, ripped and then distributed on p2p and torrent
websites within 12 hours. (26)
To further make the point Stafford insists:  DRM and digital
watermarking of any content is futile since digital data can always be
down converted to analog, and then re-cloned back to quasi digital
standards. (27) It is thus simply questionable why any company let
alone eztazkes would claim there  leading-edge on digital copyright
protection, it obviously is just a marketing ploy to get users to sign
up with them.
Based on our study, if we were to apply a label to Lulu it would
inevitably consist of the term vanity press.' Lulu is a printing
company with its headquarters at Morrisville, North Carolina. In
addition to printing it also offers online order fulfillment. The
brand name is derived from the concept of a lulu as an old-fashioned
term for a remarkable person, object, or idea. CEO Bob Young insists
that the author retains copyright, and in theory that is true.
However, as our survey revealed, in practice this is untrue, since the
independent artist has to sign an agreement, which deprives him/her of
their copyright.
Another problem our surveyed artists had were  optional services
including ISBN assignment and distribution (28) since returns are not
accepted, which severely limits distribution opportunities. According
to Goldman  the author and content creator using Lulu is forced to
select from a series of options corresponding to the media type - for
example, an author uploading a novel would select binding, layout
style and cover art. (29) The problem with this is that here we have
a typical example of a vanity press which creates unnecessary costs
for the independent artist as part of mandatory bulk overhead costs.
The sales reporting tools where accurate, however, the sales volume
was lesser than expected. A price is determined based on factors such
as the page count, type of format, and the user's choice of margin.
From the margin set on each copy, 65% goes to the author and 35% to
Lulu, however as Lovell explains:  Lulu now claims a commission if the
work is offered free of royalty and copyright does not remain with the
author, regardless of the distribution model. (30)
In September 2007, Lulu came under criticism for changing the terms of
its global distribution package and incurring a price rise of around
70% on all books sold in the United Kingdom. (31) Some authors see
this as effectively pricing them out of the UK marketplace. On
September 19, 2007, Lulu authors based outside of the United States
received documentation informing them they would be subject to a 30%
tax on their royalties gained through sales in the United States.
Regarding this issue, the CEO of Lulu, Bob Young, has stated,  You are
quite right, we messed up, badly. (32) Lulu states that it has
attempted to mitigate the problem, that it has no choice but to follow [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]