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Help Make it Legal to Rip Your DVDs

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quoted from Public Knowledge | December 01, 2011.

Quote:


Why is This Exception Necessary?

Most people are fairly comfortable with the idea of copying copyrighted works they own from one medium to another. This is sometimes called “space shifting” or “format shifting.” For example, this is what you do when you rip a CD in order to create .mp3 files to transfer to your iPod.

Another example of this is when you transfer a movie from a DVD onto a laptop or a tablet device, like an iPad. However, there is one important difference between a movie on DVD and a song on a CD: unlike the CD, DVDs are encrypted. That means that while copying a song from a CD is a one step process (copy the file), copying a movie from a DVD is a two-step process (decrypt the file, copy the file).

Users are authorized to decrypt the movie in order to watch it, but are not authorized to decrypt the movie in order to copy it. As a result, that extra DVD step (decrypting) is illegal under the DMCA. That makes it impossible to copy DVDs the same way you copy CDs.

Why is PK Asking For This Now?

Fortunately, when it passed the DMCA Congress recognized that the provisions that made it illegal to decrypt a DVD without authorization could inadvertently make legal activities illegal. For example, if it is legal make copies of parts of movies for the purpose of commentary or criticism under fair use, but illegal to access the movie in order to make the copies, there is a conflict that needs to be resolved.

Part of the DMCA instructs the Copyright Office to conduct a review every 3 years to determine if legitimate uses are being “adversely affected” by the provision that makes it illegal to circumvent access controls like encryption. If the Copyright Office identifies a problem, it can grant a 3-year exemption (which can be renewed in the next proceeding) from the DMCA for that activity.

More Info: Help Make it Legal to Rip Your DVDs | January 26, 2012

post #2 of 17
Bumping this back up. I think every US citizen who frequents this board should take five minutes to fill this out. Even though decrypting and backing-up DVDs for personal use is a trivial task for us, it remains technically illegal according to the DMCA. We have the opportunity to gain legitimacy here and we shouldn't let it pass.
post #3 of 17
filled it out...never knew it existed.
post #4 of 17
They are probably going to use this petition as an admission of your guilt.









Just kidding.




















Maybe.
post #5 of 17
Filled it out. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.
post #6 of 17
Just to add a couple of points:

The two relevant proposals for the designation of classes of works to be exempt from the prohibition against circumvention of technological measures that control access to copyrighted works appear to be 10A and 10B, described as follows:

"10A. Motion pictures on lawfully
made and lawfully acquired DVDs that
are protected by the Content Scrambling
System when circumvention is
accomplished solely in order to
accomplish the noncommercial space
shifting of the contained motion picture.
Proponent: Public Knowledge.

10B. Legally acquired digital media
(motion pictures, sound recordings, and
e-books) for personal use and for the
purposes of making back-up copies,
format shifting, access, and transfer.
Proponents: Cassiopaea Tambolini,
Susan Fuhs, Kellie Heistand, Andy
Kossowsky, and Curt Wiederhoeft (filing
separately)."


Comments on the proposed classes are due on or before 5:00 PM E.S.T., February 10, 2012. The comments are then supposed to be posted on the Registrar's webiste, and then "Reply comments addressing points made in
the initial comments are due by 5 p.m. E.S.T. on March 2, 2012."

It should be interesting to see the inevitable industry comments opposing classes 10A and 10B.

If you intend to submit comments, you may wish to consider the instructions published by the Registrar last September 29:

" For each particular class of works that a commenter proposes for
exemption, the commenter should first identify that class, followed by
a summary of the argument in favor of exempting that proposed class.
The commenter should then specify the facts and evidence providing a
basis for this exemption. This factual information should ideally
include the technological measure that controls access and the manner
in which this technological measure operates to control access to a
copyrighted work. Finally, the commenter should state any legal
arguments in support of the exemption, including the activity that is
claimed to be noninfringing, the legal basis for this claim, and why
this noninfringing activity cannot be accomplished in other ways. The
legal argument should include an analysis of the factors set forth in
17 U.S.C. 1201(a)(1)(C), discussed above. This format of class/summary/
facts/argument should be sequentially followed for each class of work
proposed as necessary.
As discussed above, the best evidence in support of an exemption
would consist of concrete examples or specific instances in which the
prohibition on circumvention of technological measures protecting
access has had or is likely to have an adverse effect on noninfringing
uses. It would also be useful for the commenter to quantify the adverse
effects in order to explain the scope of the present or likely problem.
As noted above, demonstrating only As noted above, demonstrating only
isolated instances of relatively minimal adverse effects is not likely
to meet the proponent's burden.
Comments subsequently submitted in response to exemptions proposed
in the first round of comments should provide factual information and
legal argument addressing whether or not a proposed exemption should be
adopted. Since the comments in this second round are intended to be
responsive to the initial comments, commenters must identify which
proposal(s) they are responding to, whether in opposition, support,
amplification or correction. As with initial comments, these responsive
comments should first identify the proposed class or classes to which
the comment is responsive, provide a summary of the argument, and then
provide the factual and/or legal support for their argument. This
format of class/summary/facts and/or legal argument should be repeated
for each comment responsive to a particular proposed class of work.
All comments must, at a minimum, contain the legal name of the
submitter and the entity, if any, on whose behalf the comment was
submitted. If persons do not wish to have their address, telephone
number, or email address publicly displayed on the Office's website,
comments should not include such information on the document itself but
should only include the legal name of the commenter. The Office
strongly prefers that all comments be submitted in electronic form and
the electronic form will provide a place to provide the required
information separately from the attached comment submission. However,
anyone who cannot submit comments electronically may contact the
Copyright Office at 202-707-8380 for special instructions. Electronic
comments successfully submitted through the Office's website will
generate a confirmation receipt to the submitter."
post #7 of 17
I'd be curious to learn if anyone has ever been prosecuted for making an electronic copy of a DVD or Blu-Ray disc without being charged with distribution of said material. I have a pretty strong feeling that the movie industry turns a blind eye to individuals that rip DVDs as backups for discs that they own, as long as they don't find their way onto torrent sites and such.

That being said, it's only illegal if you get caught.
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

I'd be curious to learn if anyone has ever been prosecuted for making an electronic copy of a DVD or Blu-Ray disc without being charged with distribution of said material. I have a pretty strong feeling that the movie industry turns a blind eye to individuals that rip DVDs as backups for discs that they own, as long as they don't find their way onto torrent sites and such.

That being said, it's only illegal if you get caught.

I doubt if any individual has been sued, much less criminally prosecuted, for ripping their owned DVDs to their own HTPC for their own use, and I'd be surprised if that happened. But then again, go back a few years and we all would have also assumed that the recording industry would never sue individuals for downloading music.

I think the more likely thing is that the Govt will cut off access to credit cards, paypal, and other payment devices for those selling software like AnyDVD and DVDFab as they have with Wikileaks and Megaupload.

It would be good if the Recorder would find the transfer to other viewing devices for personal use an exempt fair use so that encryption circumvention software could be openly sold on the US market, although I'll be very surprised if that happens.

(BTW, it's illegal whether or not you get caught.)
post #9 of 17
I think another fair use it to pick up rentals from redbox while you happen to be in the store and then rip them so you can then watch the movie when you feel like it. Of coarse for this to be legit you should then delete the file from your hard drive after you watch them. Say you are going to be on a long flight, it would be nice to have some temp redbox movies on your laptop right?
post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

I'd be curious to learn if anyone has ever been prosecuted for making an electronic copy of a DVD or Blu-Ray disc without being charged with distribution of said material. I have a pretty strong feeling that the movie industry turns a blind eye to individuals that rip DVDs as backups for discs that they own, as long as they don't find their way onto torrent sites and such.

That being said, it's only illegal if you get caught.

Sony has been caught sneaking spyware onto people's computers before.
post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkro View Post

I think another fair use it to pick up rentals from redbox while you happen to be in the store and then rip them so you can then watch the movie when you feel like it. Of coarse for this to be legit you should then delete the file from your hard drive after you watch them. Say you are going to be on a long flight, it would be nice to have some temp redbox movies on your laptop right?

I doubt if. When you rent it there is no argument that it's "yours." A rental is simply a contract, not ownership in any sense, so you rent it subject to the terms of the rental.

No different than when you rent a car it is subject to the rental agreement that says only certain people can drive it, you can only drive it in a certain state, you can't tow with it, etc.

And the terms of the rental agreement certainly don't include copying it. As an example, the Redbox terms and conditions specifically prohibit copying, reproducing, downloading, etc, without the the permission of Redbox. So it isn't even a matter of the copyright of the creator of the work, it's simply a matter of contract between you and Redbox (or whomever you rented it from). Even if it was a fair use under the Copyright law, you would still be in breach of your rental contract.

It would be nice, but it's not going to happen.
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zon2020 View Post

I doubt if any individual has been sued, much less criminally prosecuted, for ripping their owned DVDs to their own HTPC for their own use, and I'd be surprised if that happened. But then again, go back a few years and we all would have also assumed that the recording industry would never sue individuals for downloading music.

I think the more likely thing is that the Govt will cut off access to credit cards, paypal, and other payment devices for those selling software like AnyDVD and DVDFab as they have with Wikileaks and Megaupload.

It would be good if the Recorder would find the transfer to other viewing devices for personal use an exempt fair use so that encryption circumvention software could be openly sold on the US market, although I'll be very surprised if that happens.

(BTW, it's illegal whether or not you get caught.)

I think the industry would consider this a waste of their time as they want to focus on distributors or file sharers. You backing up your dvd's doesn't immediately cost them sales.

P.S. the vast majority of pirated movies are sold and shared in non-western countries aka China, middle east, India, maybe Russia, etc and hollywood will never be able to go after these guys.
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zon2020 View Post

I doubt if. When you rent it there is no argument that it's "yours." A rental is simply a contract, not ownership in any sense, so you rent it subject to the terms of the rental.

No different than when you rent a car it is subject to the rental agreement that says only certain people can drive it, you can only drive it in a certain state, you can't tow with it, etc.

And the terms of the rental agreement certainly don't include copying it. As an example, the Redbox terms and conditions specifically prohibit copying, reproducing, downloading, etc, without the the permission of Redbox. So it isn't even a matter of the copyright of the creator of the work, it's simply a matter of contract between you and Redbox (or whomever you rented it from). Even if it was a fair use under the Copyright law, you would still be in breach of your rental contract.

It would be nice, but it's not going to happen.

True but for us non lawyer types its following the spirit of the law and not the 500 page legal jargon letter of the law.
post #14 of 17
Are you an RIAA lawyer?
post #15 of 17
You might own the disc, but you only have a license to view the movie contained on the disc...people seem to forget this.
post #16 of 17
No, I'm not an RIAA lawyer.

Indeed, I find the RIAA's position (and most of the DMCA) totally offensive.

But there has been lot of disinformation and outright nonsense posted here.

Maybe it makes people feel better to think they're entitled to do what they're doing. But if you're going to do it, just acknowlege that you're choosing to ignore the law and the property rights of others for your own convenience.
post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmerfreak0 View Post

You might own the disc, but you only have a license to view the movie contained on the disc...people seem to forget this.

It's not that people forget this but rather recognize the lunacy of the law and choose to ignore it. It shouldn't make one bit of difference whether you view the movie from the original disc or from a hard drive as long as you're not trying to distribute it. Just because the law says otherwise doesn't make it right. It's a stupid law and everyone knows it.

I look at it this way. If I copy a movie to my hard drive, view it on my TV, and then delete it from the drive, who really gives a $hit? Unless the FBI has me under surveillance or infected my PC with spyware to track my every move, who would ever know? The answer is, nobody.

The primary purpose of the DMCA was to prevent illegal copying and distribution of digital media (aka intellectual property). The studios aren't going to go after anyone that's copying a disc they own if the copy is restricted to personal use, regardless of what the law says. It all boils down to what they can actually enforce.

Case in point: Maryland made it illegal to drive while texting or talking on a cell phone without a hands-free setup in your car. I see people blatantly using their cell phones while driving when in plain view of local police. The cops don't do anything because it just takes up too much time and effort to try and enforce the law. The only time it will ever come into play is if the driver that was using the cell phone is involved in a moving violation. It's just not worth it to bog down the judicial system by charging soccer Moms that chat with the babysitter from behind the wheel.

In the case of someone copying a DVD for personal use, the law is completely unenforceable because there's no way to know that the law is being broken The only way to detect it is if the individual tries to distribute the ripped DVD via the internet, and even then it's not completely cut and dried. The system essentially turns a blind eye to anyone making copies as long as they keep it to themselves.
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