MPAA: Ripping DVDs Shouldn't Be Allowed Because It Takes Away Our Ability To Charge You Multiple Times For The Same Content

from the um,-wow dept

It’s that time again when the Librarian of Congress is considering special exemptions to the DMCA’s anti-cicrumvention provisions. One of the key proposals, which we discussed earlier, was Public Knowledge’s request to allow people to rip DVDs for personal use — just as we are all currently able to rip CDs for personal use (such as for moving music to a portable device). The MPAA (along with the RIAA and others) have responded to the exemption requests (pdf) with all sorts of crazy claims, but let’s focus in on the DVD ripping question, because it’s there that the insanity of Hollywood logic becomes clear.

Effectively, the MPAA is arguing that there is no evidence that ripping a DVD itself is legal, and since anti-circumvention exemptions are only supposed to be for legal purposes, this exemption should not apply. Leaving aside the sheer ridiculousness of the fact that we need to apply for exemptions to make legal acts legal (I know, I know…), this is quite a statement by the MPAA. While it’s true that there hasn’t been an official ruling on the legality of ripping a DVD, the fact that CD ripping is considered legal seems to suggest that movie ripping is comparable.

But the bigger point is that the MPAA is arguing that because they offer limited, expensive and annoying ways for you to watch movies elsewhere, you shouldn’t have the right to place shift on your own:

Copyright owners include with many DVD and Blu- Ray disc purchases digital copies of motion pictures that may be reproduced to mobile devices and computers pursuant to licenses. Blu-Ray disc purchasers can also take advantage of “Managed Copy” services that are scheduled to launch in the U.S. later this year. Movie distributors and technology companies are also making available services such as UltraViolet, which enables consumers to access motion pictures on a variety of devices through streaming and downloading. Many movies and television shows are also available online through services such as Comcast Xfinity, Hulu and Netflix, or websites operated by broadcasters or cable channels, which consumers can enjoy from any U.S. location with internet access. With all of these marketplace solutions to the alleged problem PK points to, it is unlikely that the presence of CSS on DVDs is going to have a substantial adverse impact on the ability of consumers to space shift in the coming three years.

Notice that almost all of these “market solutions” mean you have to pay multiple times for the same content — and they ignore the fact that these offerings are all very limited and may not have the content on the DVDs people have. Public Knowledge has a quick summary of how these “solutions” are not solutions at all:

The MPAA had two specific suggestions. First, consumers could re-purchase access to a subscription service such as Netflix of Hulu. They did not dwell on the fact that 1) this would require you to pay again to access a movie you already own; 2) these services require a high speed internet connection in order to work; 3) There is a reasonable chance that the movie you own is not available on any of those services at any given time; and 4) MPAA member studios regularly pull videos that were once available on those services off of those same services.

The MPAA’s second suggestion was even less helpful. In their comments, they pointed to Warner Brothers’ DVD2Blu program. This program allows people to use their existing DVDs as a coupon towards the purchase of a handful of Warner Blu-Ray disks. They did not dwell on the fact that 1) this program is limited to Warner Brothers films; 2) the program is limited to 25 exchanges per household; 3) while some Blu-Ray disks include digital copies that can be moved to other devices, it is unclear how many of the disks in the DVD2Blu program include that option; 4) only 100 movies are included in the entire program; and 5) each exchange costs at least $4.95 plus shipping (which, for the record, is about as much as it would cost to buy the digital file from Amazon.).

When you think about it, this is really quite crazy. They’re saying because they offer you an option to pay for a way too expensive, very limited option that might not really exist, you shouldn’t have the right to rip your DVDs. This would be like the recording industry claiming you can no longer rip CDs because they offer a limited locked down selection of music in an online store. People would revolt at such a claim, and they should find the MPAA’s ridiculous claims here equally as revolting.

If the MPAA stopped there, it would be crazy enough… but no, in the mind of Hollywood, they have to take it even further. They claim that because the ability to rip your DVD might take away their ability to keep charging you for the same content over and over again, that it goes against the purpose of copyright law. Seriously. They’re actually claiming that their ridiculous “windows” are “new business models” that copyright law is designed to encourage:

In fact, granting PK’s proposed exemption would be directly counter to the purpose of this rulemaking. It would undermine emerging business models that increase access to creative works in precisely the manner Congress intended the DMCA to promote.

But that’s pure bullcrap. The business models in question do not “increase access.” They increase the ways in which you can pay. If they want to increase access, they would let you rip your damn movie.

It is clear that access controls have increased consumers’ options with respect to motion pictures in digital formats. The Register should not interfere with that progress. Instead, she should endorse it.

Up is down, black is white, day is night. Controls have increased consumer options? No freaking way. Controls have limited options… but have allowed the MPAA studios to set up tollbooths and charge people multiple times for content they legally had purchased the rights to.

Filed Under: , , , , , ,
Companies: mpaa

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “MPAA: Ripping DVDs Shouldn't Be Allowed Because It Takes Away Our Ability To Charge You Multiple Times For The Same Content”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Anonymous Coward says:

What I am seeing is that the content companies are coming out with a system (content management) that should allow you to do pretty much everything you want, moving from device to device, etc.

The concern isn’t “selling you the same thing multiple times”, rather, it is selling it to all the people who want it, rather than using your single copy as source material for however many pirated copies you see fit.

Violated (profile) says:


Say what now?

Content shifting is a modern past time now we have many more devices than just the TV to watch media on.

It may have been nice to stick a DVD in my MP4 player but the massive flaws here is that my MP4 has no DVD slot and the actually DVD is bigger than the MP4 player.

This is not to forget that all my DVDs have every trace of the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) scrubbed clean including their ghastly anti-piracy video which meant burning a nice copy with their video removed. Although these days I will add the Copying is not Stealing video instead.

I tend to more buy imports to save the hassle.

As to FACT’s “You wouldn’t steal a car” then yes FACT I have now download an actual car from the Internet. Stolen no, but copied yes. Kind of like their member’s movies.

Anyway they will only get one sale unless a second sale offers much improved features. It is a good policy to force improvement.

Anonymous Coward says:

Hard to quote a prior post, but this even made into the best of the week column, a whole week before it became truth apparently:

“See, by only providing content through locked down, time limited, location restricted methods, the studios are actually giving us a lot more choices in how we consume our content. Dirty pirates can only consume their content in one way: no encryption, HD, and worldwide. But the studios give us an unending stream of different choices that provide real value to their content. Maybe you want DRM that requires a constant connection to the internet. They have that. Maybe you DRM that limits you to only certain devices. They have that. Maybe you want content that’s purposefully degraded. They have that. Maybe you want to be able to watch content only in the US. They have that. Canada? They have that too. Content that expires after 48 hours? No problem. Maybe you want to have to watch it in the theater? They got you covered. The depth and breadth of choices that the studios provide is something that the evil pirates just cannot cover. The other day I asked someone at the pirate bay for an encrypted copy of The Grey that would only play on my computer for a week and they couldn’t do it!”

Back then it was funny, now that they actually come out and state this for the truth is just sad.

Spaceboy (profile) says:

Hey Anonymous Coward Shills –

Why should I pay multiple times for the same content? By the time the movie makes it to DVD, the actor and everyone associated with it has been paid for their part, even the caterer and the guy sweeping the floors. At this point the actors get a cut of every sale, rental or license. That being the case, if I have a DVD of Mystery Men and want to watch it on my iPod, I have no problem ripping it because everyone has already been paid…right?

When was the last time anyone was prosecuted or even arrested for ripping a DVD for personal use?

I’m pretty sure the answer to that last question is never.

Gwiz (profile) says:


What I am seeing is that the content companies are coming out with a system (content management) that should allow you to do pretty much everything you want, moving from device to device, etc.

Heh. What I see is having to pay for something I can already do myself.

Next you will try to convince me that such things as giving Hollywood the ability to remove movies from my account or having my viewing habits tracked or deleting all of my movies if I miss a monthly payment are adding some kind value to me.

crade (profile) says:

“In fact, granting PK?s proposed exemption would be directly counter to the purpose of this rulemaking”

I must admit I agree completely.. Now if only they were honest about that purpose when they made the rules..
I wonder how many of the parts of sopa and acta that people are up in arms about and they claim are bogus concerns will they eventually admit that was the intended purpose all along.

Anonymous Coward says:

The problem is that when you purchase a DVD, you are licensing a copy of the movie. That’s how it works. Sure you’re buying the DVD, but on that DVD is a licensed copy of the movie. If your DVD is damaged you should still own a license to that movie. Therefor, for archival purposes copying a DVD strickly for personal use should be allowed. Public Knowledge went about this the wrong way, they should have never cited space shifting as a primary reason for copying DVDs. However, having said that space shifting should also be allowed and “big media” shouldn’t be allowed to excuse the lack of an archival exemption in the DMCA by citing examples of portable digital media. That would have been like arguing that you shouldn’t be allowed to copy CD because songs are available on the radio or in elevators.

The Copyright office must grant this exemption, it is a very real concern for many who have invested thousands of dollars in a video library.

PlagueSD says:


Umm, what about those of us that travel a lot. Burn a few movies to our laptop computer to watch while we’re traveling. (read: stuck in an airplane for hours.) No dvd’s to lose or leave somewhere. Oh wait…That’s what Hollywood WANTS us to do. Lose the disks so we have to buy them AGAIN!!!

For those saying we’re not “buying” it we’re “licensing” it…If we’re licensing them, they should replace any “lost” media at no cost.

Nevermind…Noting to see here…Move along…

Anonymous Coward says:

I am bald / 3D printers

We appear to have structured our entire society so that lawyers are the only people who always win.

I know a way to fix that: Only the winning lawyers get paid. Losers don’t. That would do two things. First, it would make going to court both more of a gamble, and less of a financial burden. And two, it would weed out bad lawyers in a very Darwinian fashion.

Anonymous Coward says:

I have a condition that affects my hands, and basically can’t insert a disc into the player without scratching it. Before I discovered how to rip DVDs, I already damaged a couple of them to the point they refused to work.

So they mean that I should spend insane amounts of money buying movies that were on my (regularly) damaged DVDs again just because I have poor health (which isn’t even my fault)?

(And yes, I actually prefer buying movies instead of pirating them. But I don’t claim to be particularly sane…)

silverscarcat says:


Hollywood wants it both ways…

“You’re not BUYING our stuff, we’re LICENSING it to you.”
“So, if I lose my disk, you’ll replace it.”
“Hell no! You need to purchase another one.”
“But, if I have a license to own the DVD, then you’ll have to replace it.”
“Fine, you bought it.”
“Oh, so it’s mine then? I can do whatever I want with it?”
“No! Because it’s a license!”
“You’re not making any sense.”
“Screw the rules! We have money!”

PopeHilarius (profile) says:

Doesn't affect consumers

The sad thing about this is that it only really affects researchers, archivists, and other niche uses of ripping DVDs. Every consumer who wants to backup a DVD just will- I know people who rip every movie they get from Netflix, and have built up huge libraries of films and shows. I’m not even sure if they know it’s illegal. There’s nothing stopping anyone from backing up their DVDs, because the means to do so are ubiquitous. The only time the law would matter at all is if you were backing up DVDs as part of some institutional objective, and then couldn’t for liability reasons.

As with most of these legal discussions, the maximalists seem to argue as if everything that is illegal is also impossible, and that legalizing it will somehow open the floodgates- floodgates that in reality have been wide open for like fifteen years.

TN says:

I had no idea it was illegal to rip a dvd. I’ve been reading Techdirt for a while and I guess this has been mentioned before but um… missed it! I live in Australia, maybe the rules are different here.

Anyway, what a crazy rule. Ripping DVDs is pretty normal. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t and that includes my grandparents who are hitting their 70s.

Anonymous Coward says:

Yes, I've noticed.

Notice that almost all of these “market solutions” mean you have to pay multiple times for the same content […]

Yes, I have noticed that. And I don’t. If I’ve purchased a book, a record, or a movie once then as far as I’m concerned, they’ve made their money off me…and I am NOT going to pay them for the same content again. (Given that my music, book, and video collection exceeds 10,000 items, they’ve made a LOT of money off me.)

So anything in another format — like, say, a digital version of a movie that I bought in 1995 — is fair game. I won’t pay for it: why should I? Doubly so when they’ll take the money, stiff the content creators, and use it to try to censor the Internet?

Don’t like it, industry trolls? You’ll like this even less: new developments in torrents mean that we can fit the entire Pirate Bay on a USB stick. And we’re not done: we’ll never be done until we’ve destroyed you. And we’re just getting started.

Anonymous Coward says:


They could just as easily let their friend at the office, or their parents, or their siblings borrow the original DVD they purchased on gasp have them over to watch it. So would you support bio-metrics that only allow the person who purchased it to watch it?

Here is the real problem though, same as any DRM. THIS DOES NOT EFFECT PIRATES. No protection scheme they come up with will ever be truly effective at stopping someone who knows what they are doing from getting around it. It only inconveniences people who legally purchased the product. It gives device manufactures a monopoly on selling content on their device and forces people who don’t know how to get around and don’t want to pirate to purchase things over and over again.

People who download the pirate version can use it on any device. And people will always be able to crack a DVD. Its another but but but PIRACY incidence. When they full well know that pirates are unaffected and the true goal is making all the value that used to come free on a DVD be something they can charge for.

lolzzzz says:

HEY lets apply this to everything

LIVING in homes is BAD cause then we cant resell the house to you over and over…ROFL
HEY why sell people cars when you can sell them to them over and over again.
MAN this is gonna make everyone loads a cash
LETS all push for it in every job sector and area
OH and we need ot make a one billion dollar bill and some millions cause i think we’re all gonna be carrying around wheel barrels a cash paying each off…


Marcus Carab (profile) says:


Think of ripping a DVD as the first step towards piracy. You may not intend it, but it happens often enough.

Think long and hard about this: is that really the sort of justification you think is appropriate for a law? Let’s break that down, because it holds true regardless of context:

Think of (a) as the first step towards (b). You may not intend (b), but it happens often enough.

Now, picture a society that creates laws based on that kind of logic…

Not an Electronic Rodent says:


What I am seeing is that the content companies are coming out with a system (content management) that should allow you to do pretty much everything you want, moving from device to device, etc.

Ah ha ha hahaha hahahahahahahaha hAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!

That’s about the funniest thing I think I’ve ever seen in print…. possibly ever.

I’ve bought rather a lot of content thank you very much and I’ve yet to see one piece offered in ANY format that I can use on my windows computer (with Bluray drive), laptop (DVD only but HD screen), Linux machine (no drive at all), media box connected to High-def television, tablet, smartphone, iPod and any other device I might fancy at the time and see in the best possible format on whatever device I like without having to jump through hoops to get it there or prove every 15 seconds I paid for it.
The fact that you happen to think I’m a nasty, evil piraty pirate is not my problem. I paid for the content, I want to be able to watch it whenever and wherever I want. When you have a product that can do that, I might even be willing to pay a few more sheckles for it instead of fishing the trash out of the bargain bin when it’s cheap enough for me to bother.
Doesn’t exist… so stop pretending it does and since I can only assume with lines like that that you work for such an organisation, try giving me what I ask for – I will lay you a large bet you’ll make more money than you do now that way no matter how may people copy it.

Anonymous Coward says:


Dude, where is the link so we can contact who we need to make our voice heard? What is the point of these articles if you don’t include a way for us to contact people to make our voices heard?

You talk about the momentum from SOPA/PIPA protests, but fail to make easy for people to speak up.
I called the library of congress but the person I talked to had no idea who you call for getting your voice heard.

Note, this is NOT a Troll post.

Simon says:

Doesn't affect consumers

The sad thing is, politicians even acknowledge this. Here in Canada where we are battling our very own draconian copyright legislation, an MP responded to a constituent who was complaining about digital locks by saying that it’s OK because you won’t get caught : .

So now I have to teach my kids that some laws are OK to ignore?

Anonymous Coward says:

[..]in the U.S. later this year[..]
[..]can enjoy from any U.S. location[..]

Not everybody lives in U.S. And we all know that IF this stupidly bogus whatever gets sanctioned there, it will get pushed in Europe, Australia and probably some other places in a heartbeat.
So I guess it is ok to make people need to obey the laws that doesn’t give them ANY value whatsoever.

Waiting for “it will be available in other countries soon(tm)”. Probably… around the second Mars colony opening ceremony.

Cynyr (profile) says:


does it work on all OSs at the same quality, at the same time? how about anything currently hooked up to my (dumb) LCD TV? PS3, cable box, Linux X86_64 server, wii(if i want SD content on my HD TV)?

Why should I let the fragile plastic disks get used daily by my small children (both boys, 5.5 and 4) when I can simply rip them and send them over the network to the PS3, or play them though XBMC on the “server” hooked up to the TV.

Anyways, I’ve got a few of the blu-ray + dvd + download thing, they only work on windows usually, and sometimes OSX.

I refuse to buy new hardware at this point, just about everything is less than 2-3 years old. If the new system(content management) doesn’t work on that equipment, it might as well not exist for at least 5 more years. It had also better work on linux, in 64bit, using modern linux techs, (alsa, VDPAU/VA-API, pulseaudio, recent kernels, etc).

MPAA/RIAA can suck it says:

Failure in the system

These are organizations that claim the digital revolution is killing their business while at the same time they are seeing record profits year after year. They are just greedy assholes.

However none of that matters. Even if they are not ready to admit it, they have already lost this war. They can either change how they do business or sink into oblivion.

On that note check out “tribler”


Anonymous Coward says:


“Please visit your local brainwashing department for immediate removal of the copy.”

No need, didn’t you know they’re already rolling out the home version?

It’s called ‘The IP Protection Board’. It’s really very simple actually, anytime you watch a movie, listen to a song, or read a book, to avoid copying it to memory, and therefore stealing the movie/song/book in question, you pick up the board by the edges(1) near one end, bring it back as far as possible, and then slam it as hard as you can into your head.

Then you rinse and repeat the process until you forget what you just watched/listened to/read, ensuring that you never end up stealing a copy of it to store in your mind.(2)

(1)The plain version is just normal wood, but the deluxe, which costs a mere $250 more, has padded foam edges to grip. What a steal for such a minor price increase right?

(2)Chanting ‘pies lesu domine, dona eis requiem’ between blows to the head is entirely optional, though highly recommended, as it helps you keep a steady head-bashing rhythm, and allows you to avoid going either too fast, or too slow.

Anonymous Coward says:


I think what you want is total perfection, and it’s never going to work that way. But I can get a movie on my iPad and watch it there, I can also watch it on my PC or my TV. My wife can watch it on her phone. That aint bad.

I realize you are saying “I want it on every device, at the highest possible quality in any format I choose” and that’s not really reasonable.

Anonymous Coward says:


I think the media industry has been charging you for the same content for 50 years. Records -> 8 Tracks -> Cassette Tapes -> CD’s -> MP3.

Same for movie companies. Theater -> Rental -> Owning.

They’ve been making their money off that for a long time. They want to continue to do be able to do that. They want to create a legal framework where they can, in effect, rent content to you.

Should they be able to ?

Anonymous Coward says:

Ultraviolet DRM have people in arms already, this they don’t tell the Library Of Congress that there is a lot of frustration about that little scheme that has no real adoption on the real world.

The people who tried to use got confused and couldn’t use the damn thing.


In this film publicity image released by Warner Bros. Pictures, Ryan Reynolds is shown in a scene from “Green Lantern.” When Warner Bros. launched movie titles on Hollywood?s new UltraViolet view-anywhere standard last month, it meant to give customers a way to record movie purchases online and retrieve them on any device. Instead, it took away the ability to download a copy to their iPads and iPhones. (AP Photo/Warner Bros. Pictures)

Warner Bros. giving iTunes redemption codes to unhappy UltraViolet users

Ultraviolet is broken but that is just a silly detail.

The Rabbit Hole says:

Just take the Blue Pill

So by all accounts, our 1999 blockbuster The Matrix. Gave us all a hint of where the MPAA is heading. As Neo wakes from his automated searches on his PC and he is told to follow the white rabbit, he gives a mini disc to a rather grateful individual. What was this data? Neo was called a personal Jesus Christ for giving this precious disc. Or was it simply his own copy of the movie “Ben Hur”? Neo quickly denotes that if the individual were to get caught with this disc in his possession that…He doesn’t exist. This should tell us something, Hollywood wants us to stay in the dreamworld and take the blue pill, otherwise they will send the agents to kill us all. That said I wonder if we are already in their Matrix? Fueling their nefarious companies with our souls?

Angry Voter says:

Is RIAA & MPAA member offshore banking funding terrorists?

The RIAA and MPAA members’ transnational business structure is a threat to national security.

Offshore banking shouldn’t be allowed because it might be used to fund terrorists.

Their companies should be seized and liquidated immediately.

I dare them to prove it’s not true! Prove they aren’t secretly funding terrorists! Why would they hide their money unless they were planning on attacking the US? All MPAA & RIAA members should be monitored 24/7 because they might be cheating on their taxes.

Maybe the secret police should raid their offices and they should be held indefinitely without trial and interrogated until they confess?

Paul says:

Ah… had enough of this bull shit. Until they can’t enforce me to buy something that I don’t want I will buy what I want.

The only way to bring down their business model is by starving it. We live in an era where entertainment can be found very easy and for any price. My life is not better if I see the last movie that x or y made.

I will reward the artist that gives me the best quality and the least restrictions for my money.

I recently bought a book from a blog that I am following for at least 3 years. The reason? One they released their first book for free after 2 years. Second although I could wait for 2 years and get it for free or find other means (pirates) by buying it its my way of saying to them that they do a good job and I like them to continue doing it.

For any other “entertainment” makers out there…. if I don’t like you f*** you!

analogy says:


think of buying the car as a first step to hitting someone with your car, you may not intend it but it happens often enough

think of purchasing internet service as the first step towards piracy, you may not intend it, but it happens often enough

think of buying playing cards as the first steps towards illegal gambling, you may not intend it but it happens often enough

this is not about making copys for others, this is about being able to use the movie you buy in different formats, ones they want to charge you for each

Anonymous Coward says:


“so when i see commercials on tv telling me to “own it on dvd” this tuesday..

i don’t really get to “own” it?”

You do get to own it, on that particular DVD.
You can move it around, as long as it stays on that particular DVD.
If that particular DVD gets damaged and becomes unplayable, you get the opportunity to own it again on another DVD or to not own it.

It is a fact however that not owning it has more features than owning it.
You can not own a movie in multiple formats suitable for any and all devices existing or imagined, at the same time and you can share your non ownership with anyone you choose at anytime.
In fact groups of up to 40,000 can share their common non-ownership in ways that are totally non infringing.
For example, they could sell tickets to a non showing of a non owned film which they could not display in a stadium setting.
This could be the next big thing in entertainment.

sageadvisor says:

Ripping DVD's

Keep ripping – but more importantly stop buying this cripple crap until they (Hollywood) come to their senses. I have thousands of DVD’s (and CD’s) legally purchased and unused – I rip them to a media server and file the physical disks away – they decay and glitch in a few years – my digital copies live on…

If a DVD/CD won’t rip/contains obvious DRM – it is defective and goes in the garbage – and I would have no qualms about downloading a torrent copy after the ceremonial bining of the original – It’s mine, I bought it – and I own it. Studios taking exception to this can go take the proverbial flying f%@k…

In the end the consumer has the power, and we know what is fair… More importantly – we should decide what is aceptable

SGKorina says:


I have ripped digital copies of every DVD I have purchased. As in bought and paid for. I haven’t copied friends’ movies or downloaded them from sites like The Pirate Bay. I have also never allowed my digital copies to be uploaded and shared with anyone else. Ripping a DVD for a personal use only backup of what you have purchased is not a gateway to criminal acts.

You use words like “generally” and “might.” These words are used when there is no evidence backing a hypothesis. Give us facts if you want your post to sound like more than ignorant suppositions.

Anonymous Coward says:

MPAA kicks people on crutches.

Sorry, been a while since I’ve posted here.

I was recently in an accident in which I broke one of my feet and the opposite leg. I spend a considerable time on bedrest, so I plunked down a couple dollars for a Netflix subscription.

After a month that got boring, and I fell back on the rather large dvd collection that I have. My first time I was lucky, I made it to the shelf in the hallway, taking time for a bathroom break. It took sixteen minutes to get a dvd from the shelf to my player. Not bad.

Second try was a failure, dropped 2 cases on the floor, left them there for the wife to pick up. Made it with the third movie.

My wife must have called my daughter, who in turn dragged my son-in-law over. we had a discussion of my adventures over dinner, after which my daughter started boxing my movies up. She said she was going to help me out a little, which I didn’t question.

The next day my daughter let herself into the house as I was trying to figure out what to watch on Netflix. She promptly shut off my player and plugged a portable hard drive into the player. Every one of my movies was on there, albeit absent the subtitles I like to use sometimes.

My son-in-law had taken my dvd collection and put them on that hard drive. When I get back on my feet, both figuratively and literally, I am definately going to help him with that shed he’s been bugging me about.

Moral of the story: not everybody at all times has the capability to load up their precious plastic discs in order to watch a movie.

I can’t think of the movies off the top of my head, but Netflix didn’t have some of the movies in my collection, plus I’d rather watch the movies off the hard drive, it doesn’t take 30-40 seconds of staring at the ‘Buffering’ icon to skip forward.

So, either you like the government monitoring your internet usage or you kick puppies; the MPAA can either let people rip their lawfully purchased movies or they kick people on crutches… like me.

Here’s a nice finger for you, MPAA.

Not an Electronic Rodent says:


Why not? What is unreasonable about it? It’s technically possible and very very easy. Hell, I can do it from here starting with the highest available quality format (bluray) and working from that. It would take a couple of hours and give me EXACTLY what I want. Of course that would be infringing copyright, wouldn’t it?

SO is the problem that my “utopia” isn’t possible, or that a bunch or moron corporations are too scared of what I “might” do with a film to allow me to do it legally and pay for it once?

Again, an artificial system to limit what is possible is not progress. The aim should be to make money out of the possibilities not pretend they don’t exist.

Glenn says:

I bought it -- I own it.

If I bought the disc, then I bought the right to actually use it and the content on it in any “personal use” way I choose. And if a studio thinks it can sell me something and then still tell me how and when and how much I may use it… well, I’ll certainly never buy anything of theirs again (merely for their piss-poor attitude). However, paying “Hollywood” for anything again is not in my plans. The best thing that could happen in this world is for those studios to dry up and fade away. If they’re not stealing from “customers”, then they’re stealing from artists and performers. Just boycott them and their “product”.

macdroid84 (profile) says:


So I should pay for the DVD, pay for my cable/on demand/HBO to show it hopefully, or pay for Netflix to hopefully have the right to show it 3 months after its out on dvd… Those are the “content management” solutions? BAHAHAHAHAHA!! I’ll just keep ripping my DVD’s, buying them off iTunes, and buying the digital copies. I get my movies legally, but if ripping a DVD I bought 3 years ago is going to be illegal and called pirating, I have one thing to say… ARRRGGGHHH!!!!

Dreddsnik says:

I have been a long time regular at P2Pnet. Actually, I have been there since it split off from the ( now defunct ) Boycott RIAA, seen P2Pnet through ‘Thumbtack”s days through Jon Newton’s reign there. A very long time and a lot of memories. This article brings back a particularly amusing memory at About 6 months before BlueRay actually hit the shelves we had a Shill for blueray that said nearly exactly what this article is talking about.

BluRay DRM ‘Allows’ this .. BlueRay ‘Allows’ that etc ..

We were pretty much on the same page as you Mike and we repeatedly asked him how BlueRay could possibly ‘Allow’ what we already can do, since by definition DRM is created to restrict. He stuck stubbornly to repeating the ‘BluRay allows’ mantra without ever addressing questions. I became curious and did some searching using the shill’s username and discovered that the shill was actually a member of the developement team that created one of the potential DRM schemes proposed for BlueRay. When I called him out on this he vanished from the Boycott RIAA forums, never to return.

The ‘DRM Allows’ spin has been around for a long time and the ONLY ones who spout it are inevitably found to be connected to the industry in one capacity or another. I have yet to meet anyone who supports such gobbledygook that isn’t in the industry ‘food chain’.

Eye of Sauron says:

I bought it -- I own it.

Sheep do not complain, you understand that?
You take what we give you and don’t complaint, we are giving you a break here by taking all of your rights from you we didn’t need to give anything back by we throwed you a bone.

Now sheep, stop complaining and open your bank to auto debit charges so we can charge you for anything we want and don’t complain you have no rights, we are the owner of rights you are not, do you understand that? we own the rights you won nothing.

DanZee (profile) says:

Frustrated Lawyers

Being a lawyer is a pretty uncreative job most of the time, so when they get a chance to start making up reasons for an injunction or lawsuit, apparently they go over the top with their analogies. Give them enough rope and they’ll eventually claim that ripping a DVD will bring about the Apocalypse!

The funny thing is that the studios could probably make more money by making movies MORE accessible than less accessible. For example, we’ve seen computer games WITHOUT DRM sell a heck of a lot more games than games WITH DRM. And O’Reilly Books has found that the more its books get “pirated” the more printed versions it sells. (IT guys apparently like to preview books before they buy them!)

And there’s also synergy that the studios still seem to be ignoring. Ask George Lucas how that worked out. He made more money by selling Star Wars toys and books than he did from his movies. And Disney has known this for decades. The amusement park business kept Disney alive when it was turning out crappy movies.

Getting the studios to see the light is going to take a lot of time and effort!

Anonymous Coward says:

No, you can't watch that Blockbuster movie you bought on your Tivo any more

Blockbuster just emailed me. “We have some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that, as of 3/31/12, the Blockbuster app will no longer be available on your TiVo DVR. We are updating our technology platform and will not be able to continue supporting your device. ”

This is why I NEVER buy anything that has DRM. You lose your investment immediately if they choose to just stop supporting you. At least with DVD’s, I can keep my old player as long as I want. Heck, my mom still watches her VHS tapes!

donthetech says:

No, you can't watch that Blockbuster movie you bought on your Tivo any more

WOW!! That really sucks big time….So that means you would have to buy ANOTHER device that DOES have Blockbuster on it…Glad I didn’t buy any movies from them, I have a different device, though, and it allows downloads to the device’s built-in hard drive….I have them, CinemaNow and VUDU all on the same device….again, that blows!!!


Aim gun at foot, pull trigger.

If not for the MPAA, there would already be a cheap and widely available equivalent to the Kaledescape device that was recently declared in violation of DVD cartel licensing. Much like the “boston strangler” of another era, such devices would improve the value of a spinny disk by making it easier and more efficient to use. People would actually be encouraged to accumulate massive piles of these things so they could stuff them in their jukebox.

If I had the choice, I would prefer such a jukebox.

That option was pretty much denied me so I just copy spinny disks to a big hard drive.

Now all of that stuff that could be in a nice enclosure is just a bunch of files sitting on a PC somewhere.



You seem to be describing a single hardware vendor ecosystem.

While you didn’t explicitly state it, it sounds suspiciously like you are using nothing but Apple products and that your solution would IMMEDIATELY FAIL if you added a single non-Apple product into the mix.

Ditch the DRM and there’s no problem. Anything can play anywhere. The technical hurdles are trivial. The only real problem is that your solution will get sued out of existence if you try to sell it as a ready made consumer product.

What’s so unreasonable about something I already have?

Just put a DRM free QT video in the package instead of an iTunes redemption code. Non-problem solved.


Fancy rentals

If you can’t copy it, it’s just a rental.

Any “managed copy” that is dependent on DRM and validation of that DRM can become unusable at any time for any number of reasons including some trivial network glitch.

It have seen this with iTunes “digital copies”.

A little network trouble and your “digital copies” are unusable but your ripped stuff is fine.

Anonymous Coward says:


Though I’m sure it’ll just add fuel to the trolls’ fire, I was able to find a subtitled version of the scene on youtube.

Pay no mind to the fact that the little clip made me want to watch the whole movie again of course, that’s just dirty pirate apologist talk.

If you were looking for the translation, apparently it’s something along the lines of “Pious Lord Jesus, give him rest.”

Franklin G Ryzzo (profile) says:


Giving instructions on how to do something is absolutely legal and covered under protected speech. Hosting the software may be a gray area, but the speech itself should be protected.

Telling someone how to do something should always be protected under the 1st amendment. If the act is illegal and they then actually perform the act, then they would be liable for breaking the law, but you should have no liability for sharing the information.

It’s not to say that some jackass lawyer might not try to sue for spreading the information but no competent judge should allow the case to proceed.

Daniel (profile) says:

You can have a Digital Copy but to do, it has to be legal so this is why it is sold on the Web, selling them only on the web (iTunes Store, Amazon Insant Video, etc), will make it harder for pirates to brake the protection. DVD/Blurays, they all should be deleted. They’ll keep ripping it and share it on the web, you probably won’t do it, but there are many that do, so they don’t get paid for what they worked, to reduce this they have to protect it.

JD says:


I don’t care. i really don’t. i buy movies on dvd when they come out, usually blu-ray. but when i go on trips, which i do frequently, i don’t want to lug around a whole case of dvds to watch on my laptop. it is much simpler to torrent a copy of the same movie i already bought, and adjust it to my preferences, and have a more convenient method of watching movies on the planes. business and first don’t have little tv’s, as much as i wish they did. Not to mention that my laptops use about 2/3 less power to run quicktime than the dvd player.

as much as i don’t like torrenting, if the movie companies want to charge me twice for the same movie, i will draw the line. honestly, it is unethical to charge people twice when they want to make movie watching more efficient. if i can get digital copies i take them though.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop ยป

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...