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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Well he doesn't traditionally bring presents so much as you know, disembowel children."
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August 22 2004

Spoiler Slayer retires due to legal issues concerning spoilers.

A sad day for the Buffyverse fan community. Tensai did a lot to promote Buffy and Angel and his analysis of spoilers was always worth reading.
No no no no no!

Sigh, I find this very sad. Tensai was always an excellent source for his analysis of spoilers and rumours. Even his predictions regarding outcomes were great to read and I really enjoyed his retrospectives on episodes. It'll be odd not to have Spoiler Slayer as a news source.
Is it wrong that I find this to be slightly good news? I've never agreed with the concept of spoilers and am kind of thankful to see some work being done to stop them. I'm sure it's somewhat fruitless, but they have to start somewhere.
Nothing like shooting yourself in the foot Fox!

The majority of people who bother to hunt down spoilers are the fans that love the show so much that they cannot wait to know what is going to happen until the episodes air. Said fans would still be there when the given episode finally hits the screen regardless of how much they knew of the plot. I certainly cannot see that any benefits that Fox will get from cracking down on these sites will balance out the backlash and anger from annoyed fans.

Spoiler sites are a large part of the internet fandom. You want to get an advance peak at what the future holds for your heroes then you go check out a site like Spoilerslayer. Then you discuss what you have read with other "spoiled" fans at various forums generating interest and possibly drawing more people into being in front of the television when that episode is finally on the box.

Love them or hate them, spoilers have been a part of the package of being a tv show fan for as long as i've been around on the internet and i dare say much longer than that. Tensai's site was one of the first Buffy related sites i bookmarked and it's a sad day when i no longer have any reason to keep it there.
Woe is me. Tensai's site was one of the first I discovered, way back when. This rivals the sad, sad closing down of ScoopMe and Leoff's site.

Is nothing sacred?
I've always avoided spoilers and also found it odd that people need to discover key story elements outside of the way that the storytellers themselves wish to reveal them.

That said, it is sad to see another example of overpaid hollywood bullies trying to write the rules of the internet to suit their bottom line.
It was only through Tensai's site that I found this one. I think the saddest thing is that this huge multinational corporation has seen fit to bully and intimidate a fan and advocate of its products in such a way. To quote Steely Dan, "The Man don't give a fuck."

I am very sorry for Tensai - I hope the man himself is reading these comments and can see the very real affection that his fellow fans have for him. Thank you for your site, sir, and for all the insight it has provided.

And to Fox - well, words (for once) fail me...
Herb, i personally don't like to have the major elements of the episodes spoiled for me either. I like to get basic details of what is ahead and then speculate with myself and others as to what will actually occur.

Spoilerslayer was ideal for me because Tensai went out of his way to not only make certain the spoilers were accurate but also give you advance warning of the nature of the spoilers so that you could avoid finding out too much information if that was your wish. That was how i was able to go totally unspoiled for the last two episodes of Angel. Well that and one hell of a lot of determination anyway.

That is the really annoying thing though. It is only the professional spoiler sites that will be stopped by these kind of legal threats. The spoilers will still get out and most likely end up spread across regular posting boards even moreso than they currently are. As such those that wish to go unspoiled will have to avoid even more places for fear of getting advance information accidentily.

Basically this is a pointless exercise that will do nothing but cause future problems on a much wider scale whilst pissing off fans in the process.

So your average television executive decision then!
This is really a sickening analogy, but in reading Neopagan's post I was reminded of the very serious consequences of illegalizing abortion.

The bad doctors would still continue. Women would still continue to get abortions, but be unable to seek out a clean, professional environment to do so.

With the shutting down of these immaculate sites, like Tensai's, the spoilers are just going to run rampant, and drive out any real or upstanding mods or site owners.

It's taking it to the extreme, but we're all grown-ups here, and that's what flashed across my brain.
Well, I guess since the shows are over, there's not that much left to spoil.. *shrug*

Can't say I'm really sad about this turn of events. In fact, I rather wish "the man" had taken action against the site sooner. I didn't want to know what was going to happen before it happened, but it became very hard to avoid in the last couple of years. I believe that The Spoiler Slayer (and spoilers in general) ruined both BtVS and Angel for a lot of people and ended up sabotaging (particularly) the former terribly (because the writers ended up playing right into the hands of the spoiler hounds in their desparate effort to keep stuff hidden, which effected the show's quality severely (especially in the last year and a half).

Sorry Tensai, but that's just how I feel about it. The huge upsurge in spoiler info in the last two seasons of BtVS (largely thanks to sites like yours) made it VERY difficult to take part in ANY involved discussion of the show online (on practically ANY board) and not get spoiled. After a while this grew to be more than annoying.

*Bad Kitty is STILL very annoyed that she was spoiled for both the ends of Season 6 and 7 despite trying her hardest NOT to be..*

PS - Willowy, I don't think that's a fair analogy. I think a better one would be the relationship between the paparazzi and the tabloids. If the magazines didn't print that crap, the paparazzi wouldn't go to such lengths to get the pictures. (The analogy there being; If the spoiler sites didn't exist, the insiders providing the info (to said sites) wouldn't have a legitamate base, would be less trusted and I think both sides (the providers of the spoilers and the desparate-to-be-spoiled) would somewhat lose interest in providing spoilers/seeking them out. I really don't think the abortion analogy holds up, sorry.

[ edited by Bad Kitty on 2004-08-22 02:05 ]
This is so sad. I, too, found Whedonesque via SpoilerSlayer. And, for me, the spoilers enriched my enjoyment of Angel (got hooked on the Buffyverse too late for spoilers to be of use for Buffy). And, as Neopagan says, Tensai was so careful to give you only as much as you wanted, and if he posted any unconfirmed information, he labeled it as such.

I can't say I'm surprised at Fox's actions, but it certainly contributes to my anger at these Goliaths who seem to think we fans have no memory, that we are only wallets with legs.
Spoilers are not for everyone. For me, I'd occasionally get the spoilers and then be anxious to see how the shows turned out. What shots would they use? What was the wording of the scenes? How would they get THAT point accross? Actually, set reports were usually more fun, because then you had to try to figure out what was happening from bits and pieces and 50% of the time you were just dead wrong.

I guess I am just ticked that they would pay so much attantion to Tensai at this point. Multimedia distribution I suppose I can understand. Especially entire eps. I've used that too when my VCR has futzed up, but at least I could see where they might think that costs them money somehow.

But honestly, how many shows do you think have lost one 10th of a ratings point because of a true spoiler or leaked script? How many people that you meet on the street even know what spoilers are? Let alone where to find them.

The Internet is a place of excess and spoilers are a part of that. Studios should do what they can to protect the integrety of their shows, by implementing basic security. But I'd venture to say that Law firms charge them far more money than they actually lose because of spoilers.

Again, Multimedia is a different animal, but spoilers? Seems to me that as evidenced right here in the responses, that intelligent folks know how to avoid them and that those that like them really don't let it affect their viewing habits negatively.

I think this may be a case of a Law Firm preying on the insecurities of executives, who have never been a real fan of any show, in order to keep themselves as relevent as they can.

Lawyer - "Look at what they are doing!!" "They are giving away the plot of YOUR SHOW!"

Exec - "Is that Bad?"

Lawyer - "It's YOUR SHOW!!!"

Exec - "But isn't it good that they care so much that they would go to the trouble?"

Lawyer - "But it's YOUR SHOW!!! They should not even think about it without paying you a nickel!!!"

Exec - "Yeah! How dare they care about our property! We must wipe this out as fast as possible!!!"

Lawyer - "Brilliant Idea Sir!!! I'll start drafting letters right away."

Exec - "Good!"

Lawyer - "Here is my bill for $10,000."

-Doc
Bad Kitty I have a lot of friends that are like you. I think there are just as many of you unspoiled out there as there are us that love to be spoiled. Your point is very valid and I recognize it as such. Its just sad for us that felt enriched by the knowing. It was part of the fun. And Tensai had a great site. Really well researched and actually quite nice to look at.

After reading his goodbye post, I'm even sadder. I wish he'd left a "comments" section so we could all commiserate and give him our thanks and best wishes.
Bad Kitty, I'm 100% on the other side - if it were not for spoilers, I would not have even watched the shows. Spoilers provided a heads up about many a disappointing turn of events, and gave me time to "get over it", and then enjoy the episode with lowered expectations.

(Does that sound harsh? It isn't, not really. I just value my time.)

I love Mutant Eneny, but I don't worship at their feet like some fans do. There was lots of great, wonderful, terrific stuff in BtVS and AtS, but also a lot of crap, and I am grateful spoilers made it possible for me to know which episodes I should skip.

[ edited by wissxwe on 2004-08-22 02:18 ]
...as far as Bad Kitty's expeience goes, where does the responsibilty lie there? Because you don't want to be spoiled, which you are entitled to be, should no one be allowed to be? Because I don't eat meat should it be outlawed? Or just labeled as such and left for me to take the responsibilty to avoid it?

If I was dead set against being spoiled I'd be very picky what boards I'd frequent. Some are very diligent at keeping the spoilers out. But others are not. If I got spoiled against my will at a board, but I still went back to that board, then I share part of the blame the second time.

All that said, in the end perhaps they should be wiped out as best they can. I'm actually quite unsure of all the legal issues surrounding this topic.

All I know is that I'd rather make the decision to be spoiled or not, then have the decision made for me by a company that does not have my best interests at heart to start with. Firefly and Angel's cancellation demonstrated that for me all to well.

Doc
This SUCKS beyond the telling but I'm gonna tell it anyway. FOX once again proves themselves to be buttheads. SpoilerSlayer offers a valuable service for two reasons, 1) fledgling genre series need support. You may argue that if one is completely spoiled then you don't need to see the episode. That's insane suit logic! Who follows a series by only reading spoilers for each episode the entire series? No for a true fan spoilers are the ultimate tease. We are not talking Wildfeed summaries. I dare say Tensai's site did nothing to harm the ratings of Angel and Buffy. 2) Again for true fans really emotionally invested in a show, spoilers can soften the blow of traumatic series events or just plain ole bad stories. Ok, this mainly pertains to Buffy and Angel but still.
Finally, what really burns me is that this is a selective attack by FOX. Do you think Ain't It Cool News gets a cease and desist letter??? Further more, I challenge that spoilers are illegal at all. What happened to freedom of speech? You know what? Screw FOX. I'd change that site to the Psychic Slayer. Post the spoilers but call them "predictions." It's ridiculous.
The internet is a huge assest in marketing and promotion that no one seems to know how to use properly. Even Joss has seemed to forgot how the underground support for Buffy had started. It was because he was active on the message boards and encouraged others to be as well. Anyone remember the cast chats with accompanying digital photographs? It's about an investment a fan makes and repaying that investment with interaction which results in LOYALTY.

The only people who should be scared of spoilers are people who tell crappy stories. In that case, spoilers just speed up the process.

[ edited by IMMORTAL on 2004-08-22 02:40 ]
"All that said, in the end perhaps they should be wiped out as best they can. I'm actually quite unsure of all the legal issues surrounding this topic."

As far as I understand it actual dialogue is forbidden but general summaries are not

As for shutting down boards wouldn't the info just be posted on the newsgroup with the potential to spoil a lot more people who don't want to be spoiled

At least on most boards you have to make an active decision to be spoiled
Don't like spoilers? Don't seek them out. Those of us who like spoilers are tired of fighting your short-sightedness.

This event is a sad one, because SpoilerSlayer has been such an informative and supportive part of the Whedonesque community over the years. This loss is one of many examples over the past several years in an ongoing war between corporate greed and the inalienable right of consumers to share knowledge about products. In other words, it boils down to whether or not a company has the right to tell its consumers what to say to one another. You may or may not like spoiler sites. I don't care. This is about free speech, and corporations are trying to put a price tag on it.

If Tensai could afford to fight, then he could afford to keep his site up, but legal costs would force him to turn his website into a commercial one, creating all new legal arguments. And what of sites that would not offer spoilers but would offer derogatory opinions of said programs. Can lawyers shut down any website they don't feel reflects their clients in a positive light? I mean they wouldn't actually have to take a particular web master to court. Just threatening such action would take out the average person who can't afford legal fees. So again, free speech is given a price.

If you got that legal letter one Saturday morning, could you afford it? Or would they shut you down too?
Willowy, I felt the same way -- and I clicked on Tensai's signature at the bottom of his statement, and an email box popped up. Not the same as a comments page where all can see fan support, but it's still a line of communication. Hope he got my message of thanks.
ZachsMind -- Don't you think that the artists behind these shows also have rights that should be protected? Personally, if I wrote a novel that I was planning to have published, I would be extremely upset if someone who knows me stole my entire plotline and posted it on the internet for everyone to read. I couldn't really care less about this person's freedom of speech, especially not when they're committing a form of theft against me.

Joss has said time and again that spoilers have plagued him. The only sad thing about this news is that it didn't happen years ago.
Spoiler Slayer was one of the best and most respected spoiler sites this fandom has ever had. I'm not big on spoilers but I visited the site whenever I had the itch. :)

This whole thing, though, makes me wonder how some sites, one in particular, that is so blatant in its copyright violations eg. providing episode and sometimes full movie downloads can stay untouched. It seems unfair that a site that has shown no respect for others including other sites can continue while Tensai's is actively pursued when all he has are spoilers. I guess the media attention didn't help the Spoiler Slayer either.
I do not believe any artist or any person has the right to tell another person what they can or cannot say. That would be like a musician in a concert stopping the concert when word got to them that one person in the audience was not enjoying her music. Or stopping because the play list leaked out and people knew which song was coming next. No. Artists don't have the audience's rights. They choose to create, but once it's out there they should not have the right to curtail your rights or mine.

Sharing the latest available news about upcoming episodes is not the same as stealing another writer's story and claiming it as his own. There is a difference. Unfortunately the law does not distinguish between an avid fan and a thief. This will discourage people from being avid fans. Why take the chance of being misunderstood?
What Fox doesn't seem to get is that shutting down Spoilerslayer.com isn't going to stop spoilers from spreading. Spoilerslayer.com was started to weed out spoilers and foilers, so the majority of spoilers that get posted are actually on other sites. Spoilerslayer just helps..helped the fans see the trash from the gold.

And I STILL don't get that whole deal about not wanting links to amazon.com on the site, they do realize he was advertising their shows, don't they?

Also theres a huge difference between spoiling a book and spoiling a tv show. TV shows are a visual medium, not books. How the lighting is set, how the actors act it out, what music is in the scene, what cuts the editors use are all important to how you judge and enjoy a episode of a TV show. Books are not, all you have are the words.

[ edited by eddy on 2004-08-22 03:20 ]
re: book vs. tv plots:
[devils advocate]Amazon hosts user reviews of books. many spoil the plot considerably. it's common that people post reviews before the book is released because they had advance reader's copies. they aren't hunted down and exterminated by the publishers. [/devils advocate]

spoilers will happen anyway. i'd much rather have a capable and sensitive admin like tensai at the wheel of spoiler sites, even if i personally don't get into spoilage. it just means that those who do want to moderate or control their spoiler intake can do so, rather than going to look for *mild* spoilers at a board full of spammed FRED DIES messages (my unfortunate experience last winter when innocently browsing the city of angel boards). not that morons won't continue to spam discussion boards, though. ;)
Isn't sending out advanced copies a bit different than someone on the inside leaking out plot information? If Joss & Co. sent out screener copies of the episodes before airing them and then the plot was leaked, I wouldn't be surprised. But for someone to take what they know and leak it out onto the internet...it just seems disrespectful and morally wrong to me.

I don't blame the fans for any of this. If people like to be spoiled that's their perogative. But I do think that the insiders who are doing these things need to be stopped somehow.
You don't suppose that Fox's lawyers belong to a certain evil law firm we all know, do you?
I have never wanted to be spoiled but it is amazing how easily some people let things slip on message boards, newsgroups or in person. Far better that there be a site like Tensai's where spoilerwhores can get their fix, so that there is less temptation to discuss it elsewhere.
I hate to be spoiled but I don't think there is anything wrong with those who like spoilers. To me, if there is a site where people could go and openly discuss the spoilers they'd be less likely to blurt it out on another site. I've had the unfortunate experience a couple of times on this site where someone has blurted out something but thankfully it's only been a few times. Now, I worry that it could happen more because people will want to have a place to talk about it. That's my only beef with those who like to be spoiled, is that they sometimes spoil others who don't want to be.

Wssxwe - by your own admission you use spoilers to screen episodes and then based on what you know, you then decide to watch or not. It's the "or not" that is probably what helped put the nail in the coffin for Spoiler Slayers site. If the networks are aware that others do that too they do realize they could possibly be losing viewers. If everyone who seeked out spoilers still watches the show anyway, no big deal. But if a number of people are like you, read the spoiler, don't like what it's about and skip the episode, and then mention that on discussion sites like you just did, I can kind of understand why the networks might want to ban these sites if they think the spoilers are making some people decide not to tune in.
"It's the "or not" that is probably what helped put the nail in the coffin.."

Well, not only because of this recent event, but this coupled with many others in recent years, I now think twice before getting interested in anything with FOX stamped on it. It's unfortunately impossible to completely boycott big corporations, and they won't notice anyway, but both FOX and WB productions automatically have a mark against them in my book. I refused to watch Summerland specifically for that reason. I won't be giving Tru Calling another chance this fall, and although there are still a few veteran series from those corporations I enjoy, I hope to avoid new FOX and WB properties.

They don't do right by their fans. Having lawyers attack fan supported websites is like having thugs intimidate fans into behaving as they see fit. Unacceptable.
It's interesting to me that Joss has said in the past that he hated spoilers, but he seems to have accepted the inevitability of them. The only difference is that now he posts them himself. I mean, the Firefly site had a "spoilers" tab.

Tru Calling was in trouble (ratings-wise) to start with. Maybe Fox wants the series to fail [so they can cancel it without a backlash] and this is how they're trying to do it... by pissing off the most rabid fans.
Eyeah ZachsMind!

ITA with that last post of yours. I felt like cheering! Ever think about a career as a motivational speaker? (Not in a "van down by the river" sorta way, the real thing?)

And Ruby2, I didn't notice that. That's interesting! Joss spoilers? Methinks they'd be FOILERS! :)
I guess I'm a bit on the fence re: spoilers. I used to read them, and then I forced myself to stop, because I realized knowing things before hand just ruined my personal enjoyment of seeing them fresh on the screen. Because you don't get the richness just reading it online, but you get enough info to not be surprised. Reminds me of my mother-in-law and sister-in-law. They want to know if anything sad is going to happen in any movie or tv show they watch before they watch it. If my hubby doesn't tell them before they watch it, they are so upset with him. I don't get it. Ed had to tell his mom that Wesley died before she even got a chance to watch season 5 just so she could prepare. That would ruin the watching for me!

That said, I don't have a problem with people who don't mind being spoiled. Just don't understand it all that much.

*That* said, I think we should respect the creator's wishes. If Joss didn't want spoilers out about his shows, I think that should have been respected. The artist should be able to control how his art is presented. I know it's not realistic, but it's just my opinion.
I'd much rather avoid a show that sucks than discover that sorry fact while watching, as I did recently with the new "Stargate Atlantis" series.

I don't think being spoiled has much of an impact on who's tuning in because *most* spoiler whores watch even the episodes they don't like (so they can complain about it afterward, of course!) - and that couldn't possibly have the same impact as tuning into a show and then turning it off! Spoiler whores don't cause low ratings. The overwhelming majority of viewers who stopped watching/hardly watched BtVS and AtS (or Firefly!) made that choice based on what they saw onscreen. Most of them never read anything on the Internet in advance, they simply didn't care enough for, or about, what they saw to keep watching. Your average spoiler whores, on the other hand, care so much that they really cannot make themselves stay away.

It's really just about the particulars of copyright law, anyway - something about "defend it or lose it" - and nothing personal as far as the networks are concerned. Tensai got whacked because his name was next on the list, that's all. That's sad, I know, but that's how it is.
"It's really just about the particulars of copyright law, anyway - something about "defend it or lose it" "

Yeah, don't you lose ownership of a copyright if you don't use it for a certain amount of years?

[ edited by eddy on 2004-08-22 06:58 ]
I'm really enjoying this discussion and all the different viewpoints, but I've got to take exception with one statement that surprised me: ..."All that said, perhaps they should be wiped out as best they can." - Doctor_Evil.

Yeep. That one gave me the shivers. I'm sorry Doc, but no they shouldn't. Inasmuch as you don't agree with someone, they still have the right to say it, show it, what have you. If you don't like it, avoid it. But ya can't just "wipe out" something because it doesn't fit your coda.
Well the only time I ever read spoilers was after buffy S7 and before Angel S5. I couldn't resist. And I regretted it dearly. I read spoiler slayer's article on 'Just Rewards' and I pretty much knew the entire ep and it completely ruined it for me. So, like before that time, I went back to bein pretty much unspoiled.

Now yes, people can simply choose to go or not go to spoiler sites. They don't bother me since I don't go to them anymore. It's that simple. But I don't know, on the other hand, I do think arists and writers have a right to have some control over their work and product. Once spoilers come out, they are known and spread through the internet community and sometimes are hard to avoid. Also, the comparison to reviews is invalid. Reviews for books or movies don't tell you generally what the twists and surprises are in the story or how it ends. That's why no one shuts them down.

Also, Zachsmind, to accuse everyone who disagrees with you of being short-sighted is hardly a prime example of NOT being short sighted.

"It's interesting to me that Joss has said in the past that he hated spoilers, but he seems to have accepted the inevitability of them. The only difference is that now he posts them himself. I mean, the Firefly site had a "spoilers" tab."

And when the creators put them out themselves, there is no problem. But then that is the whole point.

I also agree it's by now practically moot, much like peer-to-peer filesharing. Prohibit all you want, it's not going away. The internet is here to stay, and these things come with the internet.

Also, I do agree spoilerslayer was the best in it's kind, allowing people to choose if they wanted to know it all, or just some vague hints. And it did do a lot in terms of internet 'buzz' and promotion for those same shows. Still, I find the concept of spoilers in themselves hard to defend completely.
This is a real shame. Though spoilers are a "hate them or love them" issue with fans, Tensai was the best. He always strived to give a honest report of the spoilers he traced. He made it clear when he was stating fact and when he was speculating. He would also give a warning before reveiling ground breaking spoilage. I consider Tensai a friend and his site will be missed by fans across the world.
Wissxwe, you should be careful about using spoilers to pick and choose what episodes and/or series you watch.

As i mentioned further up i like to be partially spoiled, basically getting the general idea of an episode but none of the specifics. In the past i've read some episode details where i've said to myself "Okay, that one is gonna suck!" but then on viewing the episode i've been really surprised as to how good it was.

As i said, i only bother to track down spoilers from shows i really love and will watch every episode of anyway, even the ones i do think are a little on the dull side. I've never yet not watched an episode based on spoiler information.

If you do that you risk missing some real gems as spoilers are often a poor substitute for how the episode appears on screen.
I was wondering why Fox specifically targeted SpoilerSlayer and one theory I was that it was because his site was very accessible to newbies and the casual punter looking for info about their favourite show. A lot of boards/forums that deal with spoilers are members only which puts people off. And furthermore, some of these sites are not the easiest to find.

And to those people who unfortunately get spoiled, believe me there's nothing worse than seeing some twit post in a subject line "OMG, Tara dies next episode WTF!!??!!".
Willowy say:"If you don't like it, avoid it. But ya can't just "wipe out" something because it doesn't fit your coda."

But that is what Fox (or their Lawyers) is attempting to do here and to an extent, they are succeeding. We will all be "avoiding" Spoilerslayer from now on. No choice at all.

Besides, I didn't say it should. I said "Perhaps" it should. Are you saying that Fox has NO leg to stand on? I think they do. I just don't think they are actually helping themselves by doing so.

What I'm saying is I can see where they are coming from. I'm not sure if I agree with them and I'm not sure that spoilers as such, actually do them any harm but I can see how they justify what they are trying to do.

I can't see them ever getting rid of spoilers on message boards. That is the equivalent of scuttlebutt around the water cooler. But I can see them attacking sites dedicated to spoilers and even trying to shut down boards where spoilers proliferate.

Again, I don't agree with it, but I can see, what with intelectual property laws being what they are and the litigious nature that Fox seems to have, where they could make life pretty miserable for many folks like tensai. While he was breaking no laws, per se, he was aiding and abeting a crime or breech of contract somewhere down the line. They will say a site like that encourages people to break contracts and/or laws. Once again, I don't know that I agree with them, but that is the justification they are most likely using.

As others have said and I agree, a clever Lawyer could almost certainly win this battle on Tensai's behalf. But most website operators don't have the time, money or inclination to go to such length's. Fox knows this. Hence the effectiveness of the intimdation letters.

So I guess we'll all be getting our spoilers from German sites soon! lol!

Doc
Doctor_Evil, just a small thing to point out. At Whedonesque we don't sign our posts here, your username at the bottom of your post does that for you.
damn, this sucks. Tensai was a massive part of the online buffy and angel world for me he was the first person i went to to be spoiled, if we ever do get a Spin off the online community just wont be the same....its a sad sad day. again this sucks.
Oh I'm all conflicted.

I'm very ,very sorry that Tensai is having to shut down I would have thought that Fox would *want* the links up to increase sales of their product .

And I'm a self confessed spoiler whore , I was totally spoiled for BTVS 7 and ATS 5 because I couldn't bear to wait for the episodes.

So Spoiler Slayer was a Godsend to me

Though my spoiled status did mean that I couldn't have proper conversations about the shows with my unspoiled friends, the risk of accidentally spoiling them was too great .

I have to say that I was quite glad that I knew how ATS season five ended because I swear I can still hear my Sisters anguished cries of " Whedon you utter bastard!!" as the screen faded to black and the credits came up . (I was able to deal with it in a slightly more sanguine manner because forwarned is forearmed .)

But then I've read Joss saying how he hates things being spoiled and I wonder what it feels like to know that someone on your team can't be trusted and is leaking like a sieve . I get access to advance copies of some stuff and I'd never dream of betraying the trust that is placed in me by sharing that information so I find it hard to understand those who have no such scruples ( pauses to polish halo).

But on the other hand ( told you I was conflicted didn't I?) Some stuff is fair game , casting sides, reports from extras on set ( if they don't have to sign a confidentiality clause then fair play to them for sharing their experiences) Interviews and Q and A's where actors or writers let things slip. All of those things are out there and fun and involve no betrayal of trust and I'm always happy to find and read them.

And it seems that security on set isn't as tight as it could be , wasn't there talk of script drafts being left in pigeonholes? And there seems to be an over zealous element on the cleaning staff ( some of the stuff that's shown up on Ebay is just plain odd). So if Fox are serious about wanting to keep their secrets maybe they should look to cleaning up their sets and not to hassling the internet sites that pass on the information.

So thanks to Tensai and nix to Fox and the lawyers.

Sorry for the ramble!
As far as I'm concerned, the issue is not whether one approves of spoilers or not. If you don't like spoilers, you're not going to visit a site called "The Spoiler Slayer," and if you did and were spoiled against your will then you're a fool. The issue is one of corporate bullying and intimidation. Tensai is a rabid Buffy fan whose site celebrated Fox's product. Fox saw fit to beat him up for it.

Spoiler fan or not, this is a sad day for every one of us who cherishes our freedom of expression.
I would contend that it has nothing to do with copyright concerns but with Fox Entertainment panicking because Tru Calling is getting such low ratings. It's both a FOX broadcast and a Twentieth Century Fox product, so they're doubly damaged if it doesn't do well. They're pointing fingers, and Internet spoiler sites are an easy target to sic the legal bulldogs on. This brings up two interesting things that speak to the psychology of a network/entertainment company: 1) they believe that an Internet site like SpoilerSlayer is powerful enough to cause them revenue harm; 2) they don't believe in Constitutional rights.

Clearly, there's no copyright danger, as there was no confusing the content or materials on SpoilerSlayer with "official" broadcasters.

In a previous item I cited Spoiler Slayer's likely Fair Use Exclusion to be able to post its information -- there's a further right that any court in the States would support: the First Amendment right to provide news, commentary and analysis.

Those who are upset by such tactics could write to Fox Entertainment expressing their displeasure. When Warner Brothers targeted "Harry Potter" sites a couple of years back, fans were up at arms over the lawyers scaring children with court papers. The backlash caused WB to back off harrassing Web site owners.
I keep reading about Joss' wishes. Sure he may not like spoilers but anyone who's ever read anuthing he's posted on message boards knows he and his writers sure love to tease the audience. Yeah they weren't spoilers, more like hints. It seems fine when they can control what and how much.

Another thing, you think FOX will go after Kristin from E! Her whole job is spoilers. Not only that she was invited to the set of Tru Calling! Again- it's the suits trying to control what info and how much gets out.
"I keep reading about Joss' wishes. Sure he may not like spoilers but anyone who's ever read anuthing he's posted on message boards knows he and his writers sure love to tease the audience. Yeah they weren't spoilers, more like hints. It seems fine when they can control what and how much

Yes. It is fine when they can control it. That is the whole point. It's their product. That is the whole thing that makes the difference.

And no nobody will go after Kristin because she's pretty much harmless. For one, she is wrong 50% of the time, and also most of her info comes from officical sources, no matter how much she tries to sound like a spy.

I do agree that it's probably Fox panicking over Tru's ratings, and wondering if shutting down sites like spoilerslayer might help. It won't of course, because people that go read spoilers are fans of the show and keep watching. And all this time they didn't do a thing about the site while it was spoiling Buffy and Angel and other shows.

Still, to call it 'beating up' is silly. At the end of the day, it's their product, and this spoiler stuff is not allowed so it's within their complete rights to do something about it. If someone just has a fan site and lawyers crack down on that, then it's ridiculous. Like with Mariah Carey a few years back. I recal reading about a lot of fan sites being shut down. But this is not just fan devotion. This is releasing what are basically insider secrets of the company concerning it's product. Both from an artistic point of view, as well as a corporate one, they are completely in their rights.

Like I said, it won't matter since it will always exist, but they are within their rights. Just the whole word itself; "spoiler". It 'spoils' things. The word itself is a negative. If people get away with it, well, then that's just how it is. If people wanna read them and still watch the show, great. And I doubt it makes much difference either way anyhoo. (And it won't make a bit of difference in Tru's ratings. They should have been happy there was at least one site willing to give that show some attention, really)

But technically I don't think there's really that much of a moral high ground to be had about spoilers.
Another thing, you think FOX will go after Kristin from E! Her whole job is spoilers.

Kristin's admitted to purposely posting foilers for networks, though, so perhaps there's some kind of deal there?
I normally visit the site and when I read this I was really pissed! I can live without spoilers, but it's how Fox got him to stop spoiling their shows...by force. I think that's bull! I like Tru Calling, I know many here do not, and it preforms poorly in the ratings anyway, so putting an end to Tru spoilers would do what now? Fox is thinking a bit much of themselves, I mean its not like Tensai was spoiling one of their top rated shows like "The Simpsons" or "The O.C.", he was spoiling Tru Calling...Fox's equivalent to a WB sitcom (ratings wise). Whatever makes you feel good Fox! And as for Dead like Me, I liked reading those spoilers, and it pisses me off that he can't even cover that anymore due to the scare Fox gave him. I don't know about the rest of you, but the networks are really starting to piss me off!
"Still, to call it 'beating up' is silly. At the end of the day, it's their product, and this spoiler stuff is not allowed so it's within their complete rights to do something about it."

Various fans with legal experience have said it is very likely sites like Spoilslayer,as long as they didn't use direct dialogue out of scripts, would win any action if it was taken to court

If using your financial and legal clout because you know they cannot afford to pursue it is not "beating up" on someone then I don't know what is
With all due respect,EdDantes is kind of missing the point... and I speak as someone who doesn't particularly like spoilers. In the end, Tensai was harming no-one, because people who read spoilers tend to be die-hard fans who will watch the shows anyway, and people who do not read spoilers would not be affected. It's the crushing of the butterfly on the wheel that offends. Also, to say that Fox's tactics as regards Tensai were not "beating" him up is extremely silly and unhelpful.
why thank you FOX, for one more solid reason to shore up my previous resolve to never ever buy any of your product again - no matter how good, no matter who's involved (not even family; my sister works on tru calling), i am lost to you as a consumer for all time. you make it so easy.
Tracey: Um, you do realize that BtVS and ANGEL are "Fox" products? (Since they were produced by Twentieth Century Fox.) And Firefly was too, until the rights were sold to Universal. Joss himself, however, has said that he's not a fan of the Fox (or its parent company News Corp.) He likened working with them to being in the belly of the beast -- and the real parallel to the Wolf, Ram and Hart.
of course i'm aware of it, and yah that means i'm not buying seasons 6 & 7 of Buffy on dvd, won't buy any season of Angel - the only reason why i got interested in Angel was due to spoilers btw - and why i won't buy the aborted season of Firefly on dvd (i don't care who owns it at this point). i'm done; i'm not willing to invest time, money, whathaveyou, in any company that has zero regard for the fans and it's own product. i'm not sure what your point is, or how you missed mine...

i have to say i'm rather looking forward to the new tv season. there's nothing for me to watch, so i'll be able to catch up on reading and take at least one more jiu jitsu class per week, whee! :-D

(edited because i don't speel so gud while trying to eat ice cream, watch the olympics, and read whedonesque at the same time)

[ edited by t r a c y on 2004-08-23 00:32 ]
Not to offend Tracey but i have never understood the need to boycott a company as a matter of protest, certainly not one as large as Fox. Ultimately they don't care and you only spite yourself.

During the whole Save Angel campaign i was more than willing to help with letters, postcards and donations but i did not understand the reasoning behind stopping watching other WB shows. If you don't like them anyway then fine but why stop watching Smallville if you enjoy the show?

Certainly over here in the UK it would have been a futile gesture and even in the US it would only matter if you had the dreaded Nielsen box in your home. Sure you could make it a matter of principal but none of the suits at the WB would care in the least.

By not buying the DVD's you will only spite yourself, therefore only do so if you really don't want them.

Me? I'm waiting for the complete Buffy series boxset that is released in November anyway ;)
I stopped patronizing Exxon when the Exxon Valdez destroyed a huge part of the ecosystem in my home state due to a drunken captain and a half-assed clean up effort.

They couldn't have cared less that lil' ol' Willowy wasn't buying their product any more. I couldn't help it. I just couldn't contribute dollars from my pocket to their coffers. They are plenty rich without my help, thank you.

So I think that's what tracy is doing in her own way. I completely understand. (Although I am a huge hog for any 'verse related items and will continue to buy whatever comes out! :) )
Oh i get the principal that Tracey wishes to put forward Willowy, in fact in it's basic sense i applaud her, and you in your case, for making that stand.

All i mean to say is that there is little point in losing out on something you enjoy just for the sake of trying to bother a company such as Fox. If Tracey really does not want to own those DVD's then fine, no loss. However if she actually would rather have bought them then the only person really losing will be her.

For me, when i spend my hard earned cash on the DVD's, books and other slayerverse related merchandise, i'm not thinking about adding to Fox's profits, i'm showing my appreciation to Joss and Mutant Enemy. It makes it more acceptable that way ;)
not in the least bit offended Neopagan :-) i am not putting any sort of effort into protesting, i am simply done. everyone has their limits. it hardly hurts me to spend my money on martial arts classes instead of a dvd set that has the potential to fuse my bum to my sofa. usually i break my habits via my own efforts, this time Fox et al did it for me. but it's not like they're the lone offender, as someone previously mentioned MGM's recent meddlings, so i figure at some point i'll be eschewing all (passive participation) entertainment completely.

and i'll end up so fit and so well read i'll have to feel gratitude towards the suited bastards, LOL!

Willowy, i of course succumbed to buying new Spike & Buffy dollies from Sideshow, but at least most of the purchase price went to Sideshow directly, outside of the licensing fee they paid upfront. my dollies will be of more value to me than the dvds, since i've only watched a few eps out of the 5 seasons i already own. they were bought more as mementos, than something i'm going to use. the dollies keep me company at my desk and are a happy reminder of a great story someone once told me.

[ edited by t r a c y on 2004-08-23 01:36 ]
"With all due respect,EdDantes is kind of missing the point... and I speak as someone who doesn't particularly like spoilers. In the end, Tensai was harming no-one, because people who read spoilers tend to be die-hard fans who will watch the shows anyway, and people who do not read spoilers would not be affected."

With all due respect, that's not true. When spoilers come out, they don't stay in their neat little cages. 'Buzz' spreads. I've come across little things I didn't want to know several times in several places that were not spoiler pages. But it was still info that came from there.

And *the* point is that ultimately, as I said, both artistically and from a business pov, you're messing with someone's product who doesn't want you to do it. I have nothing against Tensai, but I could never run a site like tha. I mean you're claiming to love those shows, but run that site while knowing that the creators hate what you're doing. You're not really respecting their wishes and I wonder what type of fan that really makes you.

And I doubt anyone related to these shows appreciates people not buying the products. That's where a lot of money comes in for most of them. I don't know what the deals are, but don't Joss & ME receive a percentage of DVD sales? Does anyone know specifically?

And I hear now that hardcore 'bangels' refuse to buy Buffy S7 DVD out of protest because in a commentary in the extras, Joss says something positive about Buffy and Spike's relationship. I will never understand that kind of behaviour.
"And I hear now that hardcore 'bangels' refuse to buy Buffy S7 DVD out of protest because in a commentary in the extras, Joss says something positive about Buffy and Spike's relationship. I will never understand that kind of behaviour."

EdDantes, I have chatted in forums with fans who refuse to accept that the whole Buffy/Spike relationship happened at all and only watch Buffy up to the end of season 3 so believe me when i say i'm right there with you!
"I mean you're claiming to love those shows, but run that site while knowing that the creators hate what you're doing."

Well even if they hated what he was doing as far as I recall some of the writers mentioned knowing of Spoilslayer and if I remember correctly even saying they visited it presumably to check up on what info was leaking out

So it seems even ME had a use for it
"EdDantes, I have chatted in forums with fans who refuse to accept that the whole Buffy/Spike relationship happened at all and only watch Buffy up to the end of season 3 so believe me when i say i'm right there with you!"

Oh you're kidding! Man I'll never get that stuff. We all have characters that we like better than others, and relationships we prefer over others but some people take it a little ...further, I guess.

"Well even if they hated what he was doing as far as I recall some of the writers mentioned knowing of Spoilslayer and if I remember correctly even saying they visited it presumably to check up on what info was leaking out

So it seems even ME had a use for it "


Uhm, the way you describe it; no, not really. They don't like spoilers getting out. They know of a spoiler site and check what info they're leaking, what secrets they're spilling. That is not having "use" for that site. That is checking up on the stuff the site's doing that they wish it wasn't doing.
EdDantes and Neopagan: A bunch of the hardcore Willow/Tara fans stopped watching the show in protest after Tara was killed off too. It's not just the "Bangels" who go nuts over this stuff. The Willow/Tara shippers cited all sorts of "ME is homophobic!" claptrap and ended up shooting themselves in the foot with all their complaints as it turned out Joss had always planned to bring Tara back. But because of all the sh*t Amber Benson had to put up with in the wake of Tara's death, she declined to return to the show. And Joss went with the (ahem) much-loved Kennedy/Willow storyline. I remember reading an interview some of the Willow/Tara shippers did one-on-one with Amber Benson during (or possibly just after) Season 7. They ended the interview by THANKING her for "having enough integrity" not to return to the show. Can you believe that?! Talk about crazy fan behavior.

Apparently, a lot of the way the Buffy/Spike storyline panned out (from late-season 6 onwards) had a lot to do with the letters, complaints and email campaigns of various "shipper" groups too. Ranging from the Spuffy shippers who refused to believe that Spike was evil to the angry Bangel shippers who (apparently) wrote to ME claiming to be abuse/rape victims disturbed by the very notion of a Buffy/Spike relationship (yet remained diehard fans of the not-at-all abusive or icky Bangel ship?)

"Shippers" and diehard fans of single characters (at the exclusion of all others), imo, are ALL nuts. They all have agendas. It's just a shame the writers paid so much mind. The show would've undoubtably been better if the writers had simply followed their story instead or altering it to suit a tiny minority of crazed reactionary (so-called) fans.

I heard that David Fury, on more than one occasion, actually changed plotpoints/parts of his scripts, abandoned whole ideas altogether, because he read the pre-emptive fan reaction to his leaked ideas on spoiler sites like the Cross & Stake. He actually admitted to doing this in an interview once. That's nuts, if you ask me. I wonder what the show would've been like if the writers had actually showed some courage of conviction?
I mean you're claiming to love those shows, but run that site while knowing that the creators hate what you're doing. You're not really respecting their wishes and I wonder what type of fan that really makes you.

I couldn't agree with you more, EdDantes. I also don't understand the concept of boycotting a company as large as Fox because of a few bad decisions. Does this mean never watching another show produced by Fox? Never seeing another 20th Century Fox film? Burning all of your Fox DVDs in a giant bonfire of protest? If you're a true fan of film and/or television, you simply can't do this. If you're someone who feels trapped by the television and have no other way to break your "addiction", I guess I understand it. But it seems like there are more serious issues at hand if that's the case.

[ edited by MindPieces on 2004-08-23 04:26 ]
"EdDantes and Neopagan: A bunch of the hardcore Willow/Tara fans stopped watching the show in protest after Tara was killed off too. It's not just the "Bangels" who go nuts over this stuff. The Willow/Tara shippers cited all sorts of "ME is homophobic!" claptrap and ended up shooting themselves in the foot with all their complaints as it turned out Joss had always planned to bring Tara back."

Yeah it's all types of fans, usually 'shippers' of some kind. But...so they were angry at Joss for shooting her (that bit I know, I also remember the ludicrous 'homophobia' accusations) and then they thank Amber for not returning at the same time. Oy.

Funny thing is, Joss said that when Oz was brought in, no one liked him because they wanted to see Willow with Xander. Then by the time Seth left, people were angry because they loved Oz so much. When he brought Tara in no one liked her, because they wanted to see Willow with Oz. By the time Tara was killed, Joss got in trouble because.....well, you get the gist;-)

Seems like the growth of the show, one of the great things about it, (not sticking to the status quo but letting the characters evolve) one of the reasons it was so good, is the same reason people react this way. They don't like change. But if Joss had stuck to a status quo, I think most of us wouldn't even be so involved in it's 'universe' to begin with, and it would have been like so many other shows.

I don't know. I was sorry to see Oz leave, but I gave Tara a shot. And I liked her. And I didn't like Kennedy but I'm not going to 'protest' against Joss or Amber because of it. Oy...

And I was very much into Buffy-Angel, and the show moved on, and then I was very much into Buffy-Spike (which was totally different) and then moved on. This 'shipper4EVAH!' stuf is for the birds. No offense to anyone.

"I couldn't agree with you more, EdDantes. I also don't understand the concept of boycotting a company as large as Fox because of a few bad decisions. Does this mean never watching another show produced by Fox? Never seeing another 20th Century Fox film? Burning all of your Fox DVDs in a giant bonfire of protest? If you're a true fan of film and/or television, you simply can't do this. "

Exactly. Because of another reason as well. Say you hate FOX. And you don't buy any Buffy/Angel/Firefly DVD sets because it's linked to that company. How does that help the shows? Or Joss and ME? One of the reasons 'Serenity' is no being made is because the Firefly DVD set sold so well. It showed the suits there's an audience.

Sales figures for Buffy and Angel can show the same thing and will help with TV movies and new spinoffs. Just like the Saveangel campaigns (never had a chance) showed the devotion of fans, which can help with future Buffyverse projects. Not buying doesn't help anything. Because also, if you don't buy the sets, Fox doesn't even know about your 'protest' so it doesn't do anything.
AHH!...This is sad...and some more, AHH!
I must not be that adept of a web surfer because I was only ever spoiled once when I didn't want to be and that was my own fault for clicking a link that had the pretty red SPOILER warning before it. (Yes, it was here but like I said, it was my own fault :P hehe)

When I was going through my being spoiled phase I did check out spoilerslayer and thought it was cool that the information was ranked on how true it was. (so to speak)

My point is, I don't think it's as hard as some people think to avoid spoilers but I guess that is dependent on the kind of sites you visit. *shrugs*
EdDantes: "Also, Zachsmind, to accuse everyone who disagrees with you of being short-sighted is hardly a prime example of NOT being short sighted."

My original statement in full is as follows:

"Don't like spoilers? Don't seek them out. Those of us who like spoilers are tired of fighting your short-sightedness."

When I used the word 'short-sighted' I was being polite and kind. I could think of a dozen words off hand that would be better suited, but less polite and kind. I stand by what I said.

I'm a nonsmoker (ex-smoker) now but I used to be a smoker, and even though when I walk through an entrance to a building and the cloud of smoke is thick and makes me cough and makes my eyes water because I'm no longer acclimated to it, I still believe smokers have the right to smoke just as nonsmokers have the right not to. There should be designated places for smokers and if a nonsmoker doesn't wanna smell it they just don't go to those places. Occasionally I have to deal with it, but I'm OPEN-MINDED enough to allow others to have their rights, and for an occasional discomfort on my part, I'm perfectly willing to co-exist with people who disagree with me.

Those who want to shut down all spoilers because they can't avoid the temptation and feel it's somehow unethical or its GOT COOTIES or something are SHORTSIGHTED. And a number of other things I refrain from adding.

Again. I stand by what I said.

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