DVD-Sharing Device And Fair Use Questions

from the fighting-the-tide dept

OldYeller writes "Once again, someone's created a handy device to let consumers exercise their fair-use rights, which is probably getting the MPAA folks all steamed up over piracy. The story is about the Archos video player, which is basically a video iPod that transfers content from DVD players by conveniently bypassing the anti-copy protection on the discs. Transfer time takes about as long as viewing time, so this is not for the impatient. What it does, though, is either let you load up and walk around with a collection of videos to watch (perfect for planes, trains & automobiles), or facilitate the movement of content between DVD players, the device itself, and PCs. The latter is the crux of the legal issue, but it's the same old tired issue - are devices like this (or VCRs or camera phones or smart-card writers etc.) to be banned because of what they might do, or can we just let innovation improve legitimate uses and punish bad behavior with them instead. As an aside, in all of the discussion I've heard and read on this, I've never seen a particular analogy brought up - there's ample legal precedent in the cigarette and handgun/assault-weapon industries to allow the sale of obviously dangerous products that give law-abiding individuals and/or society little real benefit, but can cause much harm to society overall. Why can't some clever advocates put together a pre-emptive case (as DVD Xcopy or Lindows did) to press the Federal courts to set a precedent allowing these types of devices to be legal for legit (specifically Fair Use) purposes, and direct the regulatory/enforcement focus on behavior with the devices instead."
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2004 @ 8:23am

    Bold Statement, Mike

    "... the cigarette and handgun/assault-weapon industries to allow the sale of obviously dangerous products that give law-abiding individuals and/or society little real benefit, but can cause much harm to society overall."

    Not that I disagree with you in the slightest. It's nice to see honest opinion stated clearly and without any (that I can detect) malice.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

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



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Close

Add A Reply

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



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Discord

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

Loading...
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.