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Ryan Wiggs

BEWARE - HE\'LL STEAL YOUR BANDWIDTH! (August 2005)

This site closed in March 2021 and is now a read-only archive
GS
Gavin Scott Founding member
ArnieFan posted:
Just to clear up the little matter. I joined this forum to reply to this topic. Yes it was after following a link on the GHO site, but I was not coerced into signing up or putting my comments on here. I signed up of my own free will because I could not believe how people were behaving towards GHO and in particular Simon. I think the GHO site is excellent and Simon does a great job in operating and maintaining it. Simon had no knowledge that I was going to sign up or what my comments would be. Now reading previous comments on here I'm sure you won't believe me either and think I am working in conjunction with Simon, but I assure you I am not. My comments are my own and not those of Simon, nor GHO.


Arnie Fan on GH Online posted:
As I have just said in another thread, I can't believe how petty Mersey TV are being about a site that promotes their show and always states who owns photo/info copyright.
They even say in their letters that there are many fan sites out there, but I bet they aren't persecuting them and trying to get them shut down.
I think it just goes to show Simon that you have such a brilliant, informative site that they feel so threatened that they couldn't do better and you might recieve more hits on your site than they do on theirs, that they just want to eradicate the competition.


Well, having read much of what you have to say on GH Online, Arnie Fan, I'm afraid I would have to level the same criticism at you.

"Eradicate the competition"? *What* competition? They make the programme and you don't. To call Mersey TV, "petty" is hardly going to persuade them to do what you want.

Being a moderator of GH Online, Arnie Fan, you should also show a little common sense and not bite the hand that feeds you.

I note with some alarm that GH Online is STILL requesting its members to bombard MTV staff by email. Not only that but Simon has published copies of correspondence, leaving mail addresses and telephone numbers intact - except of course those belonging to his GH Online colleagues. Its an outrageous state of affairs.

Any reasonable man would have apologised for the earlier offensive comments to the producers, and made an assurance that it wouldn't happen again. But then if your moderators and Administrator engage in the same activity, then why would the membership desist?

And try and get your head around this simple fact, Arnie Fan: It doesn't matter whether Simons site is full and well presented. The content is protected in law by copyright, and if you insult the owners then they have a right to stop you.

Grange Hill is NOT public property, however much you wish it were so.

Stop bombarding Mersey Television with you hate mail, apologise for calling them "idiots", and hope they let the matter drop.
GS
Gavin Scott Founding member
Incidentally Simon, your thread on GH Online regarding the, "feud between TV Forum and GH Online" is misleading.

No one here is criticising the site; rather your cack-handed approach to the producers of the programme.

But its always nice to know that no one can, "out-talk the Mighty Gavin Scott".

I'm touched.
GS
Gavin Scott Founding member
Well, this must be the first intra-fora discussion I've ever been involved with. I feel like we're having a EuroVision evening.

And now we cross to GHO to hear the judges comments:

CapronCrazy on GH Online on August 18 posted:
I know people on TV Forum will be reading this right...... now.

So here is what I say to them (Gavin):

I think it is just pathetic that you have so much time to crawl through loads of posts just to find something that you can nit pick about, such as the case with Arnies that you quoted from GHO a totally different website. You did not even date that quote, therefore making it out of context.


I assure you, or at least I'd like to, that I didn't trawl through the forums at all. I haven't visited the GHO forums for quite some time, and Simon's "Mersey TV Letters - Read Them Here" thread is a sticky one, right at the top of the list.

The last discussion Simon and I had was when he was sporting a signature here on TVF along the lines of, "email such and such - and tell them how wrong they are". I paraphrase, but that was the gist of it. At that time we had a heated discussion during which I made my objection to the invasion of privacy of the Mersey TV employee.

I really had no idea Simon was still involved in an argument with the production company. I assumed - incorrectly - that the matter had been resolved. When I saw the thread, and the scans of the correspondence, I simply quoted ArnieFan's reply.

You are right, I hadn't spotted the date; but as the thread is at the top of the list just now then I would dare to suggest that the sentiment remains the same.

Quote:
You know, there are plenty more things you could be doing with you time mate - like getting a life!


I have a full and very rich life. I make time for internet forums of course, but then I'm sure we all do.

Quote:
I think it just shows how big you really are, Gavin, if you have a problem with GHO then why not join up to this forum and express your opinions?


It had never occurred to me to join the forums. I liked Grange Hill as I was growing up, and although I may browse GHO and other sites I'm not sure I would have much to contribute to its forum. I'm glad at least we are able to communicate through a combination of your site and TVF.

Quote:
It's just a shame that no one else would agree with you though, isn't it?!


Well I'm not sure that you yet understand my point.

Grange Hill Online is a great site. If you like the programme then you will probably enjoy a visit. In fact I urge people to.

However, the site can only continue if Mr Redmond and Mersey TV allow it. It doesn't help Simon's cause if he is insulting towards them, or asks people to harrass them into submission, which is what is happening.

I don't think they feel "threatened". After all, they are programme makers, and the show will continue for as long as it is commissioned. Irrespective of any interent site.

If the site is precious to you, (and I see why it is), then I humbly suggest you take care not to push the producers too far. It's common sense, isn't it?

Perhaps withdrawing the suggestions of an email campaign to Mersey TV would be a start?

Quote:
Oh and thank you, I too am touched that you have read my post.


You are welcome. I appreciate the response.
TV
tvarksouthwest
Just to prove that I am open to suggestion, you may wish to visit the "Save GHO" page which has been reworded in the light of this debate.

The animated banner on Can U Help - launched last week - was created to refresh and give a friendlier "face" to the issue.
AF
ArnieFan
Gavin Scott posted:
And try and get your head around this simple fact, Arnie Fan: It doesn't matter whether Simons site is full and well presented. The content is protected in law by copyright, and if you insult the owners then they have a right to stop you.

Grange Hill is NOT public property, however much you wish it were so.


By applying the interpretations and standards as set out below for copyright law, that what copyrighted material is currently used on Grange Hill Online cannot infringe copyright law.

The copyright law is not as defined in the UK as in the US, though the law is virtually identical. Many cases have been brought before the Supreme Court in the US, who interpreted the copyright law as defined below. However there is one UK case that may be particulalry important in regard's to the Grange Hill Online site:-
Carlton made a tv documentury and included a small clip from another (non Carlton) programme for illustrative purposes for which they did not get permission to use from the copyright holders, who subsequently took Carlton to court over breach of copyright. Carlton argued that they gave credit to the original copyright holder and that the clip shown was brief compared to the length of the actual programme and that it was shown for the purposes of criticism and commentary. The court backed Carlton saying that they did not breach copyright law as what they used was allowed under the 'fair use' banner within the law.

The four standards for 'fair use' in copyrighted material that the court used to make their ruling is as follows:-

The purpose and character of the use.
Selected portions of copyrighted materials may be copied for specific purposes. These include but are not strictly limited to non-commercial educational purposes, such as teaching, scholarship, research, criticism, commentary, review and news reporting.

The nature of the copyrighted work.
Fair use more readily applies to the copying of whole paragraphs from a primary source (newspaper, research document, etc.) than say, to copying a chapter from a textbook (primarily designed for copying for learning/teaching purposes). The same would apply for any work in whatever format (printed, electronically stored, etc.)

The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole.
Reproducing extracts from copyrighted works, that are relatively short compared to the work as a whole and that do not capture the main essence of the work are generally considered as fair use. Copyright is infringed where either the whole or a substantial part of a work is used without permission. A substantial part is not defined in copyright law but has been interpreted by the courts to mean a qualitatively significant part of a work.

The effect of use on the potential market for or value of the work.
If copying/distributing the work does not reduce sales or the value of the original work, then the use could be considered fair.

There are two other guidelines regarding the fair use of copyrighted materials.
Firstly:- The material must have been made available to the public (this is to stop the publication of things such as certain legal and government documents).
Secondly:- An acknowledgement to the original copyright holder, in a suitable and prominent place.

So to sum up, in terms of The Grange Hill Online website:-
1. The copyrighted material used is for non commercial purposes (The site is not there to make money from the use of the material).
2. The copyrighted material used is for criticism, commentary, review and news reporting (eg. Pictures only used to comment on characters and to illustrate who they are).
3. Compared to the size of the official Grange Hill site, the amount of copyrighted material used from it on the Grange Hill Online site is comparably short.
4. The Grange Hill Online site does not capture the main essence of the official Grange Hill site (the official site focusses on the current series, whereas Grange Hill Online covers the whole of the Grange Hill years).
5. The use of the copyrighted material does not reduce the sales or the value of Grange Hill, if anything it enhances it's sales/value, through promoting the Grange Hill programme and encouraging people to watch the show, thus generating a higher viewer share than other competing television channels, in turn creating greater revenue for the producing companies.
6. The copyrighted material used is not confidentail and is already in the public domain.
7. All copyrighted material is always acknowledged and the site as a whole does not claim to be an official site, so is therefore not attempting to mislead visitors. (there are even links to the official site).
GS
Gavin Scott Founding member
Arnie Fan, your post makes for interesting reading certainly, but I'm not sure how it will help.

From the test case you cited, Carlton used a, "small clip within a documentary" . Perhaps not quite the same as GHO, who's raison d'Ítre is the ongoing discussion and critique of a particular commercial property, featuring many clips, sounds and images.

In any event, I think the legalese is better left to lawyers and scholars.

I'm sure Mersey have well paid people to argue cases such as this.

I'm gratified that Simon has taken the time to look again at the "Save GH Online" page, but I don't see too many changes to the tone of the piece.

I would use the following as an example of what might be considered objectionable:

Quote:
http://www.grangehillfans.co.uk/banners/head_gho_bbc.gif

The BBC pay Mersey TV to make Grange Hill, they are the executive producers and would have the final say. They have decided to let Mersey TV make Grange Hill and if they wanted to could switch production to another firm. We hope the BBC would be sympathetic to our plight and realise what they stand to lose from the cessation of GH Online.


And also

Quote:
"I have sent the e-mails to Mersey TV and the BBC. I think what they have done is childish, it's not like their site is any good! I will pass the address on to others and ask them to mail in too.
Ian Rushmere, GH actor 1990-1995


I realise the second quote is attributed to a GH actor, but it still has a fairly prominent position on the page, and perhaps the sentiment is not quite the diplomatic one you are looking for.

The first quote as much as suggests that fans should ask the BBC to withdraw the commission to Mersey Television. I can't imagine that would be taken well by the lawyers acting on their behalf.

My suggestion (and free free to disregard it) would be to remove the "Save GHO" page altogether. It seems that to involve the readership in the dispute is counter productive, and certainly asking your members to engage with Mersey TV might be construed as an annoyance.

Better perhaps to have a link to the official page at the top of each of yours. It could be argued that your large traffic would then be encouraged to visit the official pages.

I don't think you would ever lose traffic to GHO, but it would be perceived that you are doing your best by the official site.

How do you feel about that suggestion?
TV
tvarksouthwest
Gavin Scott posted:
My suggestion (and free free to disregard it) would be to remove the "Save GHO" page altogether. It seems that to involve the readership in the dispute is counter productive, and certainly asking your members to engage with Mersey TV might be construed as an annoyance.

On this occasion I will feel free to disregard it. Not to score points off you, but because the people who visit our site genuinely enjoy it and we have a duty to them to know that perhaps not everyone views us int he same regard. If people want to know why our site doesn't have photos/video from the recent series, we owe them an explanation.

Quote:
Better perhaps to have a link to the official page at the top of each of yours. It could be argued that your large traffic would then be encouraged to visit the official pages.

A similar course of action was agreed with MTV at the start of the 2003 series, whereby images on our characters pages would be credited and linked. But this proved not enough, and towards the end of the year we discovered the goalposts had been shifted.


Quote:
I don't think you would ever lose traffic to GHO, but it would be perceived that you are doing your best by the official site.

How do you feel about that suggestion?

It is partially in place. The Save GHO page explicitly states photos of the current cast can be seen at GH.com. And they are the first item on our links page. We could have been really petty and withdrawn the grangehill.com altogether, but it was decided that would have reflected poorly on us (like TSW refusing to allow Westcountry to promote their service days before the handover).

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