Hi gang. Just a short posting on this subject again. In the comments section for the last posting on this topic, I said I would try to figure out a way for everybody to see those “best of” shows that have fallen out of circulation.
After wracking my brain for many days now, I keep coming back to the same problem. Just because the copyright owners haven’t distributed these shows doesn’t mean anybody else has a right to make them available in any form.
In the old days I would’ve seriously considered starting some form of the “video circle” where people would send each other VHS dubs of out-of-print movies. While legally hinky, I think most would’ve conceded that so long as no money changed hands and there were no legitimate copies on the market, it fell under fair use, and personal use at that.
Today, unfortunately, to release copyrighted works in digital form “into the wild” in any way, even if you’re just sending it to one other person on disc, makes it too easy for somebody down the line to put it up on a torrent site, and there goes the ball game.
That said, I’m wondering if we shouldn’t start some kind of online campaign to show Sony that there is a market for those lost episodes. If they see enough activity on that front, they may be convinced to make them commercially available.