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.


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Comments on “Why Does The Entertainment Industry Get To Decide Whether DVD Copying Is Legal?”

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32 Comments
Overcast says:

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.

Steve says:

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

Sanguine Dream says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 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.

zcat says:

'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..

Earl says:

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…..

Earl says:

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…..

The infamous Joe says:

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? πŸ˜›

Who needs a backup copy, I say!

PS- Please don’t take this seriously, it’s a joke. πŸ˜‰

ehrichweiss says:

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.

sonofdot says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 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?

Gary (user link) says:

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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