What Does The DVD Editing Bill Has To Do With Grokster?

from the beats-me... dept

Congress has been debating for quite some time, whether or not systems that “edit” DVDs (usually to remove more “mature” scenes or language) are legal. Apparently, a bill saying exactly that has quite a bit of support and is likely to get passed. However, what’s interesting, is that one of the reasons they’re rushing it through is they believe the Supreme Court decision in the Grokster case will impact this issue by possibly modifying copyright law. At the same time, the article quotes Lamar Smith saying that, no matter what the Supreme Court rules in Grokster, Congress is going to have to step in to make things worse make some adjustments. It’s not all that clear how the two are related, though, I will say that it’s hard to see how the DVD editing software is any different than the whole ridiculous Google Autolink controversy. In both cases, it’s about what people are doing on their own property to make content more useful to them. That should absolutely be allowed (and, in fact, encouraged). The problem, as always, is that content creators have this obsession with controlling their creations, even after it’s out of their hands. It’s time to learn to let go. If others can do stuff to make your content more useful to them, that’s good for you.

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Comments on “What Does The DVD Editing Bill Has To Do With Grokster?”

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Mike (profile) says:

Re: Question

Sort of an odd question… aren’t you reading stuff I’ve written?

Because I’m assuming (perhaps a mistake) where you’re going with this, I don’t feel any differently when it comes to my own work. People keep asking that. Why do you think we make so much of it free here? I’m all for people taking stuff I write and doing what they want with it. That’s cool.

As for the stuff that people have to pay to access, that’s there for them to do what they want with it as well. We sell it as a service not as content. We’re selling our ability to write customized research for them — and then let them use that content however they see fit.

doodadman says:

Logical disconnect

The grokster case is about p2p sharing of files and its implications for copyright. The basic elements of copyright at issue there have to do more with exclusivity rights and the basic return-on-investment that the founding fathers built into copyright as a way to stimulate innovation than with the concerns of DVD editing software for playback devices, which focus on creative control.

The disconnect is in the fact that the creative control aspects of copyright are about protecting the author from being misrepresented as having made a statement other than that apparent in the whole work as originally released.

Since the issue here is playback on home devices and not republishing, presumably those adults employing the tools will know that they are editing the work and cannot reasonably be expected to assume that any message conveyed by the edited work which is not suported by the original is intended by the authors.

As long as existing DRM is employed to prevent re-recording of edited works (which does not preclude associating preferences with each work so that reoccurrences of playback within the same device are subject to previously made editing decisions), the copyright issue is inapplicable to this topic.

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