DVD Makers Say That You Don't Really Own The DVDs You Bought… Thanks To Copyright
from the ownership-sure-is-a-funny-thing dept
So, we already wrote about some of the crazy filings from John Deere and GM claiming that when you buy a vehicle from them, you don’t really own it, thanks to the software inside, which those companies argue they still really own. This was part of the opposition to requests for exemption from Section 1201 of the DMCA. Once again, Section 1201 is the anti-circumvention clause, that says you can’t break DRM even if it’s for non-infringing purposes. But… every three years, the Librarian of Congress is allowed to “exempt” certain classes of items from Section 1201. the responses above concerned locking down automotive software, but there are some other crazy ones as well.
For example, the DVD Copy Control Association (DVD CCA) and the Advanced Access Content System Licensing Administrator (AACS LA) are so worried about an exemption for certain kinds of DVDs that it ran to the Copyright Office to claim that you simply don’t own the DVDs you buy, and they’d really appreciate it if people stopped thinking they actually bought the DVD that, you know, they bought:
When consumers buy a DVD or Blu-ray disc, they are not purchasing the motion picture itself, rather they are purchasing access to the motion picture which affords only the right to access the work according to the format?s particular specifications (i.e., through the use of a DVD player), or the Blu-ray Disc format specifications (i.e., through the use of a Blu-ray format player). Consumers are able to purchase the copy at its retail price because it is distributed on a specific medium that will play back on only a licensed player.
Notice that even this statement is self-contradictory. The first sentence says they are not purchasing any content, but merely a “right to access.” And yet, the very next sentence talks about the “purchase [of] the copy.” So which is it? Are people purchasing a copy of the movie? Or are they merely licensing access to the content on the plastic?
This is a problem with Section 1201, showing how its expansive nature is fundamentally changing the concept of ownership in ways many people haven’t even begun to understand yet.