Why Does The Entertainment Industry Get To Decide Whether DVD Copying Is Legal?

from the thank-you,-DMCA dept

Back in April, a court found that Kaleidescape's high end DVD jukebox was perfectly legal, despite complaints from the entertainment industry. The DVD jukebox clearly was not for pirating materials. It would rip DVDs and store them on a hard drive, but it included all kinds of copy protection and cost $27,000. This wasn't for kids ripping DVDs in their bedrooms. When that lawsuit came out, the group in charge of the DVD spec, DVD-CCA whined that the lawsuit would delay the rollout of the latest DVD specs -- though it wasn't clear why. Now we know. PC Magazine has reported that the group has proposed a new amendment that would ban any product from making DVD copies or allowing DVD content to be watched without the actual DVD present. This is getting some attention on various tech sites, but it seemed pretty strange. How could an industry association, rather than the government, create the laws by which legally purchased DVDs could be used? However, as the EFF explains, it's the DMCA's fault. The DMCA effectively allows the industry to define what's acceptable innovation.

It's a little confusing how this works (and most of the initial reports aren't getting into the details). Obviously, the DVD-CCA can't change the laws and really "ban" DVD copying. DVD copying for personal use is protected fair use. However, in order to read a DVD you have to license the technology from DVD-CCA. So if you want to create a product that reads/copies/plays a DVD, you're supposed to agree to DVD-CCA's license terms first. The DMCA, with its anti-circumvention clause, means that anyone who ignores the license terms is guilty of violating the DMCA. Therefore, all the DVD-CCA needs to to in order to hinder innovation is change the terms of their license -- and ignoring it would breach the DMCA... even if all you're doing is providing tools for perfectly legal purposes (outside the DMCA). History is littered with examples of what happens when you put in incumbent industry to determine what kind of innovation is "allowed" and it never turns out positively. The incumbent industry is interested in protection, not innovation.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Bob, Jun 21st, 2007 @ 8:35pm

    Why do they get to decide?

    It's easy. Those that pay for the laws get to decide.

     

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    Overcast, Jun 21st, 2007 @ 8:42pm

    How could an industry association, rather than the government, create the laws by which legally purchased DVDs could be used?

    And no... not really.. In a free market - we can choose not to buy them. That would certainly send a message to the 'industry'. But, alas, people just choose to deal with it.

    But in all seriousness - if I can't make a copy of a DVD or CD, for backup purposes - is it really worth what I pay for it? Or am I better off with On-Demand channels?

    Or perhaps, I can get up and choose not to watch TV - maybe find more healthy things to do or more productive.

    If there's anything I can thank modern entertainment for, it's annoying me to the point that I have done just that. In recent days, I have bought a 'project' car to work on, got my 10 speed back in shape and have been re-doing my bathroom.

    Thanks Hollywood and RIAA - I'm finding stuff to do where I don't have to screw with 'DRM' and the like. I'm finding overall, I'm really more entertained, healthier, and happier. Seriously.

    The only thing I ever watch on TV anymore is a Star Trek espisode or two before bed - that's really about it.

     

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      identicon
      Steve, Jun 22nd, 2007 @ 9:44am

      Re: control of DVD and TV

      I agree completely - that those who produce the DVDs (and TV programs) have altogether too much control - and an over blown idea of their own importance! They are of the opinion that they are creating works of art (or so it seems). However, about 10% of what is being churned out via DVDs and TV, is any where near original and entertaining. I recently read an article that says that Cable companie will be able to broadcast about 500 HD chanels by the end of the year!!! Good grief - I have satelite TV, and about 100 channels - most of which are duplicats of each other, and the rest are un-reality shows. The only thing worth watching (still) is old Star Treck shows, sports, or Discovery Channel.
      We need to send a message - turn it off for a while, and stop buying/renting remakes of "the Exorcist," and old vampire movies - the originals were OK in their time, but their time has come and gone - so has the Hype of HD DVDs and and TV.
      ...Steve

       

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    Sanguine Dream, Jun 21st, 2007 @ 8:45pm

    Why?

    Because the government is up to the highest bidder and right now the highest bidder is the entertainment industry. It's late at night so I'll use my daily stupid question here. This thing says amendment, are we talking constitutional amendment? Please tell me the entertainment industry hasn't finally finished paying off enough legislators that they now no longer have to use the US government like a puppet but can now start making its own laws at a whim.

     

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    Bob Jones, Jun 21st, 2007 @ 8:51pm

    While I agree politicians are corrupted by the industry, the entire idea of copyright is that the OWNER sets it.

    Its a basic tenet that government endorses copyright and makes it legal for people to restrict use of their work.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2007 @ 12:25am

      Re:

      While I agree politicians are corrupted by the industry, the entire idea of copyright is that the OWNER sets it.
      Its a basic tenet that government endorses copyright and makes it legal for people to restrict use of their work.
      It's a basic tenet that I should have the liberty to enjoy the fruits of *my* work too. That includes the liberty to purchase the type of DVD equipment *I* choose.

       

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    Shalkar, Jun 21st, 2007 @ 9:33pm

    WOW!!!

    This is ASTOUNDINGLY retarded! Seriosly, can we just get an angry mob together and bludgeon these retards to death? This pack of f&(@tards deserves it! I'm sick of this non-sense! These people are an example of people being born in to money and having no "common sense" at all.

     

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    dorpus, Jun 21st, 2007 @ 9:35pm

    This Call May Be Recorded For Training Purposes

    This is a serious question. Among my many other duties, I am now the guy who manages the server that records phone calls coming into a medical center, with the locked safes and all. So does the hospital have a "copyright"?

     

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      GoblinJuice, Jun 21st, 2007 @ 9:40pm

      Re: This Call May Be Recorded For Training Purpose

      Dunno. I sometimes tell the bitch on the other end of the phone that. Sometimes they hang up, sometimes they ask why, sometimes there's silence. ;) Interesting question, tho.

      I'd assume both parties have the copyright???

       

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    GoblinJuice, Jun 21st, 2007 @ 9:38pm

    rotflmao.

    Contact 'em: Senate and House.

    Get political or die.

    You don't need a million bucks in the bank and a endless supply of hookers & coke to make your voice heard. =)

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2007 @ 12:38am

      Re: rotflmao.

      Contact 'em: Senate and House.
      That is so ridiculously naive that you _must_ have been "rotflmao" when you wrote it.

       

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 21st, 2007 @ 10:06pm

    If all machines that copy DVDs are banned, how are the companies going to make any DVDs?

    *head scratch*

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2007 @ 12:42am

      Re:

      If all machines that copy DVDs are banned, how are the companies going to make any DVDs?
      The
      DVD-CCA makes "special" licenses available to "special" companies to allow them to manufacture DVD's.

       

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    identicon
    zcat, Jun 21st, 2007 @ 10:19pm

    'fixed' form

    As I understand it the copyright is owned by whoever transfers the 'transient' telephone signal into a 'fixed' recording; there's no copyright until the work is set down in a fixed form. The hospital made the recording, they own whatever copyright may apply. If you both record the call at the same time, I suppose there are two 'original' recordings owned by two different people which just happen to be identical.

    Permission is a completely different issue, to do with wiretapping laws and privacy..

     

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    identicon
    Earl, Jun 22nd, 2007 @ 3:23am

    Typical!

    Just another way that the IE: "Born with a Golden Spoon In Their Mouths" in society feed on all the not so privilaged in society that had to really "Work" for what they have...........

    We pay a big price for something , we should be able at the very least, be able to make a backup of "Our" investment. We are what they would concider, the lower end of society, if we dont make a "million or two a year". We can't afford to replace the often expensive product that, for the most part, are done on low quality DVD or CD Blanks whith a fancy design to cover them up, and designed to fail, so that you have to replace it and pay twice for the same product. And it has happened over and over again I will bet, to a lot of consumers out there.....

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Earl, Jun 22nd, 2007 @ 3:25am

    Typical!

    Just another way that the IE: "Born with a Golden Spoon In Their Mouths" in society feed on all the not so privilaged in society, that have to really "Work" for what they have...........

    We pay a big price for something , we should be able at the very least, be able to make a backup of "Our" investment. We are what they would concider, the lower end of society, if we dont make a "million or two a year". We can't afford to replace the often expensive product that, for the most part, are done on low quality DVD or CD Blanks whith a fancy design to cover them up, and designed to fail, so that you have to replace it and pay twice for the same product. And it has happened over and over again I will bet, to a lot of consumers out there.....

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2007 @ 4:07am

      Re: Typical!

      We are what they would concider, the lower end of society, if we dont make a "million or two a year".
      In the lower end of society it is your place to support those in the upper end. Don't go getting "uppity" now if you don't want to be made an example of. Got it?

       

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    identicon
    Wolfger, Jun 22nd, 2007 @ 4:24am

    Remember the golden rule...

    He who has the gold, makes the rules.

     

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    The infamous Joe, Jun 22nd, 2007 @ 4:31am

    Might makes [copy]right.

    Maybe you don't need to make a backup copy.. as I understand it, you don't actually *buy* the music/movie/software-- you just buy rights to listen/watch/use one copy of it... if all your CD's go up in flames, well, your *rights* didn't go up in flames.. so you should be sent a whole new set of CDs by the record company.. right? :P

    Who needs a backup copy, I say!



    PS- Please don't take this seriously, it's a joke. ;)

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2007 @ 7:22am

      Re: Might makes [copy]right.

      You mean that as s joke but sadly you make just as much sense as the made up "facts", biased surveys, spun data, and "irreparable damages" the industry keeps trotting out.

       

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    ehrichweiss, Jun 22nd, 2007 @ 7:20am

    this doesn't apply to individuals

    If everyone would bother to read a bit, this is merely an amendment to the current license agreement that restricts the **vendors and manufacturers** from doing these things. It doesn't apply to individuals at all. The only way it affects you is that you won't get to buy a DVD jukebox until they get their heads out of their asses.

    What's really silly is that they're acting as though them controlling the DVD's means they control the *content* on the DVD's as well and that is supposed to somehow prevent companies from working out arrangements with individual media companies to, say, make a video jukebox and bypassing the DVD-CCA altogether. Yes, I know this isn't likely to happen but they're attempting to build themselves as an authority over a very, very limited domain. Big deal, let them rot.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2007 @ 8:15am

      Re: this doesn't apply to individuals

      I did read a bit but I think the common fear is that after they pay the government enough money to have their way with the vendors and manuafacturers who will they (or more like continue to) go after? The customers.

       

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2007 @ 12:00pm

      Re: this doesn't apply to individuals

      The only way it affects you is that you won't get to buy a DVD jukebox until they get their heads out of their asses.
      Wrong. The DVD-CCA also controls licensing for DVD software which means that you will not be able to get many kinds of software DVD players anymore.

       

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    sonofdot, Jun 22nd, 2007 @ 7:39am

    Here's what I do

    I don't buy DVDs -- seriously, do I really need to "own" a copy of a movie? How many times can you watch the same drivel?

    I also don't buy music CDs any longer. Who wants to spend $19.95 on a CD with 12 tracks, of which 11 are crap? Sorry, but I won't pay $20 for one song.

    Here's how we fix this: Vote with your wallet, by not using it to support these ignorant boneheads.

    I'll take my old collection of vinyl, play it on my turntable, copy it to tape or CD, and do with it as I please, just like I was able to do *before* the DMCA.

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2007 @ 11:51am

      Re: Here's what I do

      I'll take my old collection of vinyl, play it on my turntable, copy it to tape or CD, and do with it as I please, just like I was able to do *before* the DMCA.
      Not for long.

       

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    Banana Man, Jun 22nd, 2007 @ 11:10am

    Well, if I sold bananas and the only way people can get bananas is through me and I tell people that they can only eat the bananas if they leave the peel on, then people would stop eating bananas, right?

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2007 @ 11:49am

      Re:

      Well, if I sold bananas and the only way people can get bananas is through me and I tell people that they can only eat the bananas if they leave the peel on, then people would stop eating bananas, right?
      Well, if I sold movies and the only way people can get movies is through me and I tell people that they can only watch the movies if they leave the DRM on, then people would stop watching movies, right?

       

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    identicon
    John, Jun 24th, 2007 @ 6:28pm

    "Banned devices"

    Even if DVD burning was illegal, making devices that copy them should not be. Only the action is illegal not the capacity. If the capacity was illegal why would it be legal to manufacture guns since murder is illegal?

     

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    identicon
    Gary, Aug 30th, 2007 @ 2:58pm

    DVD X Copy was shut down, but you can still easily

    As per http://www.dvdxcopy.com , they shut down 321 Studios. The good news is that you can still easily copy your DVD movies with popular programs like 1 Click DVD Copy and DVD neXt Copy. There are dozens of DVD copy software programs available and the best ones are listed at http://www.dvdxcopyreviews.com .

     

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    identicon
    Daddy's Boy, Nov 19th, 2007 @ 2:43pm

    Outlaws

    "If guns were outlawed, only outlaws would have guns."

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2008 @ 7:15pm

    misstec

     

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    identicon
    janse, Nov 20th, 2010 @ 8:52pm

    Thanks dude, this is really nice info, much appreciated.share you a cool dvd copy software for mac

     

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