Thursday, October 17, 2013

A NYCC 2013 Moment # 7. Bootlegs Get the Boot?

Yes, but are they authorized?

One noticeable change at New York Comic Con 2013 vs. other shows of the recent past – In New York or elsewhere – is the overall absence of folks selling Bootleg DVDs. 

Now, I’m NOT a supporter of bootleg DVDs, and will always prefer to purchase a legitimate studio release.  But, in certain cases when the studio fails to offer an authorized edition within a reasonable period of time (like five to ten years) I may have had to engage an unauthorized source.  ...Then again, watchdogs of rightful copyright holders, I “may not” have.  … You, er, never can tell about such things. 
You know, like THIS THING!

Either way, at New York Comic Con 2013, I wouldn’t have been able to have THIS EXPERIENCE. 

...Or, vicariously, of course, this experience!
And, perhaps, maybe I shouldn’t have the experience… but also there’s no reason why many things couldn’t be offered legitimately, especially now with studios instituting “Manufacture On Demand” programs for presumed low-volume properties. 

You know... Like, maybe MY Seasons 2-4!
Remember, bootlegging is not on the square, Old Chum!
Either way, the sudden absence of what was a staple of such Cons is worth noting. 


joecab said...

My attitude is, if they don't want to give it to me on DVD, I'll get it anyway I can. And once they release the real thing, I buy it every time. This is part of what made iTunes so successful when it came out: everyone thought with stuff like Napster around a pay service wouldn't succeed, but the convenience along with the quality made buying songs from Apple worth 99¢ a pop.

Joe Torcivia said...

Well, I certainly agree with you on such things that seemingly will NEVER be released, such as BATMAN 1966, Tex Avery MGM cartoons (both of which I’m happy I have) and the later seasons of HUCKLEBERRY HOUND (which, alas, I still don’t)

In every case, I’d happily purchase authorized studio editions, due to both personal ethics and better quality. But, with the banishing of the bootleggers, comes another loss that doesn’t immediately come to mind.

Often, bootleg DVDs (and, before them, bootleg VHS tapes) would contain VERSIONS of shows that wouldn’t turn up in commercially available video products. These would be artifacts that would be transferred to DVD or VHS by private collectors with (presumably) 16 mm film prints of original broadcasts.

One wonderful bootleg DVD I bought some years ago was called “Best of TV Toons – 3”. And, it sure made me wish I had Volumes 1 and 2, because it contained original 1960s versions of THE BUGS BUNNY SHOW, THE ROAD RUNNER SHOW, THE NEW CASPER CARTOON SHOW, and THE UNDERDOG SHOW… complete with some sixties-era commercials and (most importantly) the INTERSTITIALS!

By now, all of these properties have been released to DVD, and I’ve bought and enjoyed all the releases – BUT, on the authorized studio editions, you don’t see ‘em like THIS! In fact, in the case of CASPER and UNDERDOG, you get a true sense of what those shows really played like, with features the commercial DVDs did not include.

Or the series of VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA VHS tapes from 20-plus years ago that had NEXT WEEK PREVIEWS at the end of nearly every episode! As great as FOX’s picture quality on their VOYAGE DVDs was (And it was superb! VOYAGE never looked better!), you didn’t get those trailers on any of their eight volumes!

It’s stuff like this that I’d readily pick up from bootleggers, because the studios simply cannot offer them this way – most likely due to years of slicing-and-dicing for later syndicated broadcasts. And, “Holy Shades of Grey”, I miss that!