Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

OT (?) analogy on Third Voice
Posted:9/17/1999; 1:31:35 PM
Topic:OT (?) analogy on Third Voice
Msg #:11245
Prev/Next:11244 / 11246

All of the fascinating discussion of Third Voice gave me an idea for a new model for the entertainment business. Maybe interesting, maybe annoying, certainly far-fetched. Apologies in advance if it's too off topic.

Ever hear of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K)? A TV series where they basically show bad movies and riff on them. Ok, sounds hokey, but they do it so well it is hilarious. It is just now going off the air. Has a small but rabid following .

To do this, they obviously must get rights to the bad movies. Usually pretty easy, since nobody's making any money from them anyways. But when a movie has been on MST3K, it gets a cult following, and rights go up--MST3K can no longer afford it. And now they are off the air.

So here's the hypothetical: Many of the bad movies are released on DVD, and the owners refuse to give MST3K rights to them. So MST3K releases some software with just the riffs and timesync codes on it. You buy the DVD of the movie, run the software, and the riffs and movie are merged--Voila! MST3K.

Note that this is exactly what Third Voice allows you to do with websites. So: my hypothetical legal? Ethical? Desirable? (I say YES to the last one, only because I love MST3K.) The owners of the movie get paid (with a bigger market even). They also get humiliated, which may or may not matter to them. (Some film-makers have no shame about being featured on MST3K, some threaten to punch the guys out.) But are their rights violated?

If not, I may want to go into business....

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