Saturday, May 29, 2010

Ass-hattery Ahoy

I love Mystery Science Theater 3000. I think it's one of the funniest shows ever made, even when I actually like the movies they show (such as Danger: Diabolik and some of the Roger Corman films). A lot of episodes aren't available on DVD, some due to copyright reasons (including pretty much all of the Gamera films they did). At the end of each episode, the credits would include the phrase, "Keep circulating the tapes". The folks at Best Brains were encouraging fans of the show to share their copies of each episode with other fans. In the years since the show started, a little thing called the Internet has become somewhat popular. One website, Youtube, has brought the circulation of episodes into the 21st Century via several MSTies posting episodes broken up into 10-12 chapter on it. However, Viacom and NBC Universal have been intermittently cracking down on these people. Some who have posted episodes have gotten their accounts suspended. More irritatingly, rather than the more logical idea of removing the episode entirely, some episodes have had only one or two chapters removed. This does a disservice to old and new fans of the show, some of the latter of whom may not have a chance to see some of these episodes otherwise. I understand the desire to protect one's intellectual property, but I have to wonder why these companies are going about it in a half-assed, rather dickish way.