MPAA Sues Firm For Loading Legally Owned DVDs Onto iPods

from the come-again? dept

It really was just a few days ago that the entertainment industry folks were claiming that it was the consumer electronics industry that was trying to pervert "fair use," right? Somehow, it seems like it's the entertainment industry that's the one pushing the boundaries. Almost exactly a year ago, we had a post about a new service that would sell you a video iPod and DVDs... and would load the video from the DVDs onto the iPod (and then ship you both the iPod and the DVD). This should be perfectly legal. After all, the owner has legally purchased both the iPod and the DVD, and the company is simply making the process easier by transferring the video to the iPod as well -- and it's well established that you can make a personal backup of content you have legally purchased. However, knowing how the industry views fair use, Carlo titled his post "Sue Me, I Dare You" and noted in the text: "the clock's ticking on the first lawsuit." Well, it turns out the clock ticked a little longer than we expected, but it did happen eventually. The EFF is noting that the MPAA has sued a company for doing exactly this. They are, of course, claiming that ripping the DVDs is a DMCA violation, because the DVDs have copy protection, and circumventing that is against the DMCA -- even though physically copying content you own to another format is legal fair use.

As the EFF notes in the post, while the MPAA is focusing on this company that does the ripping for you, the meaning is clear: they do not believe that making a personal copy of a DVD is legal -- despite all of the historical precedent set with CDs and software. The only "difference" here is that the DVD has some weak copy protection, and therefore the DMCA applies. In other words, they're not saying that it's illegal to make a copy -- because it's not. They're saying it's illegal to get around the copy protection. And, of course, they're doing this because they want to force you to buy the same content over and over and over again. And, yet, they still claim that it's folks like us who are changing the meaning of "fair use."

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Nov 2006 @ 7:36am

    I doin't buy music anymore. i don't download music. most of what's out there is crap anyway. if i want music, i borrow friend's cd's. or ipods or whatever.

    as for movies. i try to attend. i also buy dvd's. i lovem. sure i can't make "bacukp" copies or whatnot. there are various products in the opensource/interntional market that allow for ripping of dvds. i don't feel the need to horde all my dvd's or share them on the net. so, if i make a backup copy, who knows? no one. i don't distribute. i don't sell, or whatever.

    however i feel the dmca and fair use have been conflicting for many years now. how can we have a law that says we are able to have an archive copy of copyrighted material in case the original is harmed, and then have the original work copyrighted, and have the dmca say you can't work around copyrights for backups?

    here's a suggestion. copy with copyrights. sounds dumb, right? not really. first, the backup copy (with copyright) will have an addtional encoding stating it's a copy, made from a legit copy, and therefore can't be copyrighted. next, have the original be able to be "written" to stating that it has been copied. that way, you have a backup copy that you can use like the real thing. this will make fair use eligable again, because you aren't breaking copyrights. the aa's put out the software (for free!!!) so we are all happy.

    now, sure people will break/hack this copyright scheem too, but they break drm anyway. so this gives the aa's the choice of saying HERE's your copyprotected legal backup for fair use. all while piracy is still at a consistant level. if they can make the consumer happy, i'm sure piracy will decline, or at least people will start buying more?

    oh and one more thing...better content. that'll help.

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