Print 36 comment(s) - last by teckytech9.. on Nov 29 at 1:04 AM

But if you're a teacher, you can rip DVDs

There's no doubt in the world that Apple's iPod is leading the race in terms of sales, popularity, and social status. Apple has done an incredible job at keeping its multimedia pocket-wizard at the top of people's wish lists. Out of the three available flavors of the iPod, the video iPod is Apple's flagship; able to play not only music but also games and full length movies. Despite its features however, movie playback is where controversy has stirred.

This week, the US Library of Congress rejected a petition that would allow US iPod owners from copying movies that they own, onto their iPods. This does not mean that users can't copy movies over -- they would have to purchase licensed iPod versions from Apple's iTunes store. According to the rejection, users are not allowed to rip DVDs that they own for use on their iPods. Ripping DVDs by nature is against a number of legal rules and regulations and is definitely frowned upon by the MPAA.

The original petition submitted to Congress was written by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which is responsible for defending the rights of many media publications and independent organizations. The petition argued that DVD ripping software was now mainstream, and should be accepted as part of business as well as personal use. The EFF also indicated that if the user owned an original copy of a movie, they should be able to watch it on their iPod.

Despite the MPAA's stance that DVD copying and ripping hurts the industry, the EFF argued the following:

The empirical evidence proves just the opposite. During the previous exemption period,
DVD sales and profitability continued to grow at an astonishing pace.29 In fact, DVD sales have proven to be more profitable for motion picture studios in recent years than the formats they replaced, even at a time when DVD ripping software has been popular.30 In addition, major motion picture studios have continued to release new DVD titles in ever-increasing numbers.

The EFF also noted the following about CSS encryption:

Whatever the contribution of CSS to the availability of content on DVD may have been in the past, today the motion picture industry’s willingness to release material on DVD is plainly not correlated to any security provided by CSS.

iPod owners will have to purchase and download legal movies from Apple's online store, which in many cases means that they will have duplicate copies of movies they already own. Despite the ongoing restriction on DVD ripping and copying, the Library of Congress has allowed limited ripping for use in an educational environment only. Professors and instructors in the video industry are allowed to rip DVDs to create clips and instructional materials for teaching.

Movie studios argued that the education industry should be using lower quality VHS rips instead of using DVDs -- even with Congress's blessing.

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WTF is this saying?
By customcoms on 11/27/2006 4:38:32 PM , Rating: 5
Normally I am one to ignore such petty things as grammar (at least on a website), but when practically an entire paragraph is messed up....

"This week, the US Library of Congress rejected a petition that would allow US iPod owners from copying movies that they own, onto their iPods. This does not mean that users can't copy movies over -- they would have to purchase licensed iPod versions from Apple's iTunes store. According to the rejection, users are now allowed to rip DVDs that they own for use on their iPods."

Did they reject or allow it? We shouldn't HAVE to read the rest of the article to understand this CRITICAL paragraph!

RE: WTF is this saying?
By AmbroseAthan on 11/27/2006 4:43:35 PM , Rating: 3
It is a single word that needs adjustment, not the paragraph. Change the now to "not" and it is clear.

According to the rejection, users are not (now) allowed to rip DVDs that they own for use on their iPods."

RE: WTF is this saying?
By marvdmartian on 11/27/2006 4:45:19 PM , Rating: 2
If I had to take a WAG, I'd say that you're allowed to download a legal copy of the movie to your computer hard drive, THEN allowed to copy that same download to their ipod, via usb connection to the computer.

Really, though, is this law going to stop anyone from ripping their dvd's to their ipods?? NOPE!!

RE: WTF is this saying?
By WobbleWobble on 11/27/2006 5:01:38 PM , Rating: 3
It's not going to stop end-users, but it will hamper the legal development and distribution of tools to rip DVDs onto iPods.

RE: WTF is this saying?
By Flunk on 11/27/2006 4:46:43 PM , Rating: 5
Are you guys outsourceing writing these summaries overseas or do you just need to be forced to use the preview button first (*cough, cough*)

RE: WTF is this saying?
By MikeO on 11/28/2006 5:03:56 AM , Rating: 3
Are you guys outsourceing writing these summaries overseas or do you just need to be forced to use the preview button first (*cough, cough*)

The preview button is useless unless you actually preview what you just wrote :)

RE: WTF is this saying?
By Live on 11/27/2006 4:48:09 PM , Rating: 2
I don't see what the problem is. Its crystal clear me thinks.

Losses to piracy are highly overexaggerated
By encryptkeeper on 11/27/2006 5:40:15 PM , Rating: 5
Has anyone in the movie industry ever taken a REAL look at what piracy is? First, if anyone is making illegal copies of movies and selling them for profit, sure, arrest them. But do you really think that the average person does that? No, the average person goes to Blockbuster, rents a movie, rips and burns it and returns the movie. Big fucking deal. I can record shows off TV and no one says anything bad about that. Hollywood is trying WAY too hard to stop piracy. They inflate the dollars lost to piracy by probably 85 to 90 percent. Why? Because if people had no way to copy DVDs and CDs for virtually nothing, they wouldn't buy legit copies. So Hollywood wouldn't have gotten the sales anyway. So therefore, it's not a real loss. Maybe if Hollywood would make some GOOD movies more than BAD movies people would pay for them. By the way, fuck this Congress, it's run by Republicans who are in the pockets of big business anyway.

RE: Losses to piracy are highly overexaggerated
By Xavian on 11/27/2006 6:48:34 PM , Rating: 1
actually its now run by the democrats ;) But i'm sure this bill was proposed before the democrats came to control the congress.

By giantpandaman2 on 11/27/2006 9:25:03 PM , Rating: 3
It's not run by democrats...yet. They don't take control until January.

RE: Losses to piracy are highly overexaggerated
By ira176 on 11/28/2006 2:01:40 AM , Rating: 4
Congress is run by politicians and no one, democrat or republican is immune to the effects of special interest.

By 05SilverGT on 11/28/2006 9:21:30 AM , Rating: 3
Exactly, this is not a Republican or Democrat issue but one of special interests.

By mydogfarted on 11/27/2006 4:29:47 PM , Rating: 5
I just don't understand why the MPAA and RAIA just don't get that all they end up doing is pissing off the legitimate customers who pay for their products. Pirates are always going to find ways to break copy protections.

RE: Ughh
By Teletran1 on 11/27/2006 6:27:00 PM , Rating: 5
They want you to buy it on DVD, then buy it in a format that is more portable. These assholes are greedier by the minute.

How about providing me a copy that I can transfer to my portable movie player in the package rather than having to pay FULL price for it.

Or have a coupon in the box that allows me to go online, fill in my info, enter some sort of code, and download it for free. Fill it with DRM if you want. I already paid for your stupid movie. A new movie in Canada is like 20+ dollars. I am not paying twice. These assholes need to start adapting to technology rather than trying to stop technology.

RE: Ughh
By kristof007 on 11/28/2006 3:35:47 AM , Rating: 3
Agreed! I mean talk about milking the customer for everything they have! This is insulting.

They should be happy if you actually buy the DVD. Most people today have their cable subscription and record the movie on their DVR from some movie channel OR rent it from netflix and burn it. If you are willing to pay for the DVD, the process of putting the movie onto your iPod should be as easy as Teletran1 describes, if not easier!

Yay... more laws to break!!
By moisiss on 11/27/2006 4:49:22 PM , Rating: 5
Like Congress saying "you can't do that" is going to stop anyone... or even make them pause for a second. This is completely stupid... and totally impossible to enforce! I feel like my tax dollars could be used more effectively...

RE: Yay... more laws to break!!
By dagamer34 on 11/27/2006 5:09:48 PM , Rating: 3
I don't think anyone is really going to care about this really. People have been ripping DVDs for who knows how long, and there is always going to be a way to challenge the DMCA by arguing fair use. I'm pretty sure that anyone with half a mind knows that not allowing someone to rip a DVD is right along the lines of locking cellphones to one carrier. It doesn't directly serve the interest of copyright law if it's used as a personal copy, but deals more with business that copyright.

Yet another unenforceable law. Whoopie.

A grammatical train wreck
By Delegator on 11/27/2006 6:14:25 PM , Rating: 5
I don't generally rip on grammar of things I see on the web, but this article is a real mess.

First, here's the real deal: the copyright office of the Library of Congress has rejected a petition that would allow owners of DVDs to rip those discs for use on mobile devices.

That's not "Congress", it's the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress, or the Copyright Office for short. It's an administrative ruling based on current law, particularly the "fair use" doctrine that made it legal to do things like record shows on your VCR for private home viewing.

The second paragraph of the original article is the one that makes no sense at all:


This week, the US Library of Congress rejected a petition that would allow US iPod owners from copying movies that they own, onto their iPods.

First of all, you don't allow users "from" something, you either allow them "to" something or prevent them from it. Rejecting a petition that allows owners from... Huh?


This does not mean that users can't copy movies over -- they would have to purchase licensed iPod versions from Apple's iTunes store.

The word "not" makes this sentence both internally inconsistent and incorrect. This DOES mean that users can't copy movies over. The fact that you would have to purchase the movie also says that you can't copy it.

So, aside from playing fast and loose with facts and names, and using grammar that makes the whole thing both incorrect and incomprehensible, it was right on target.

RE: A grammatical train wreck
By DigitalFreak on 11/27/2006 6:38:01 PM , Rating: 2
My thoughts exactly. I saw the title and thought that Congress passed some law banning ripping DVDs to the iPod. Not even close.

I don't know if English is a second language to the person who writes these news stories, but they need some major help! Either that, or just cut and paste from CNN or something.

ipod aside....
By Homerboy on 11/27/2006 4:13:33 PM , Rating: 2
... I assume this would mean to ANY other device/method of watching besides the original DVD disk? If so that's simply insane.

RE: ipod aside....
By Homerboy on 11/27/2006 4:14:26 PM , Rating: 3
wouldn't this slightly hamper the HTPC movement?

Fair Use FTL
By UserDoesNotExist on 11/27/2006 6:31:50 PM , Rating: 2
Usually I ignore the DRM fanatics as just a bunch of poor losers who have such boring lives that they have to download and watch hundreds of movies and thousands of CDs just to keep themselves in the semi-sane state of mind they're in, since they've been so brainwashed into sycophant drones by the record and movie companies that they are incapable of any other form of recreation, other than posting barely legible comments on digg or slashdot about how Bush sucks and how "M$" is going to destroy the world, or vice versa.

But not being able to put a movie from a DVD onto an iPod? Fair use, anyone?! This isn't even like the peer-to-peer argument where it can be argued that it's a new technology that requires new laws. This is an OLD idea that extends back to the days where books were the only form of mass media, that given a "license" to some form of information, you are free to view the information given by that license in any format that you wish, as long as you do not redistribute the information in an unaltered form. Exceptions bound, notably regarding education, but the exceptions are almost always on the side of the consumer and not of the producer. The difference between ink on paper and pits on optical discs is pretty minor in this regard, one being simply a more modern version of the other. This law won't even make it to the Supreme Court before being ruled unconstitutional, I pray. But, then again, the "right" of cities to condemn private property and give it to private developers, all in the name of eminent domain, was ruled constitutional by the current Supreme Court, so who knows.

RE: Fair Use FTL
By Xavian on 11/27/2006 6:52:01 PM , Rating: 3
Welcome to the world the MPAA and RIAA want us all to live in. There is no property rights on media anymore, its all licensed based and eventually all fair use rights will be whittled away by the various lobby groups controlled by the MPAA and RIAA in the name of piracy.

Another strike for good will...
By Axbattler on 11/27/2006 8:52:56 PM , Rating: 2
It does sound incredibly greedy to me. Then again, I wonder if it is anything new i.e. Is it legal to copy a CD to an MD for personal use? Or photocopying an entire book you already own for personal use? How about making a digital copy of a book you've bought?

I do suspect that most of the above are actually not legal. But lawmakers should consider if it is really beyond the boundary of reason to be able to personally port what is essentially the same content over different media format. I can for instance accept that someone with the DVD will need to pay for the content in another format that has been ported officially. But it's rather tyranical to prevent users from personally ripping/converting to another media for personal use on their MP3/Video player.

I realise businesses wants to make money, but the people they are going to alienate are their paying customers. That can't do them any good...

By DigitalFreak on 11/27/2006 10:43:34 PM , Rating: 2
The rule with books has always been that you can make as many copies as you want, but only one of those copies can be in use at one time. Used to be the same way with CDs, etc., until the bastards got greedy.

This is US
By Xajel on 11/27/2006 10:04:24 PM , Rating: 2
this is another good reason not to be in US :D

RE: This is US
By Zim on 11/28/2006 1:14:13 AM , Rating: 2
Fuk'em. Let 'em try and catch me.

gone to far
By pt376 on 11/27/2006 8:35:06 PM , Rating: 3
Does it also mean that if I buy a book, I cannot copy it, and read it on the bus?

Call me cazy, but this has gone to far.

By Hydrofirex on 11/28/2006 1:26:31 PM , Rating: 3
It's moments like this that make me realize how much I hate the MPAA. If I own a copy of a movie I'm going to play it on any device capable of doing so: I could care less what you say is "acceptable" use. Who are you to tell me what I can do with information that I own?

Look, I agree it's one thing if I'm copying it and selling bootlegs on the black market, but we're talking about me spending money A) on a DVD (which I probably paid money to see in the theater), B) on a DVD player, C) on a premium Ipod or playback device, D) Accessories, E) A computer, and F) potentially software. Isn't that enough for the corporations to get before I can use my information how I want?

This is why I dislike the new technology business model which exploits both a consumers need for hardware as well as the content to play on that hardware - for each individual piece of hardware.

Information should be accessible by all, regardless of income, race, gender, or Nationality!


By slash196 on 11/27/2006 7:24:51 PM , Rating: 2
Greed is a disgusting thing.

Dont like that at ALL!
By phymon on 11/27/2006 7:30:42 PM , Rating: 2
I mean, if I buy an original DVD it means that it belongs to me, that I can do whatever I want with it.. except burn it and resell it.. but if I want to rip it into my iPod, why I cant do that? thats stupid tho.

Educators can use but....
By shamgar03 on 11/28/2006 8:12:29 AM , Rating: 2
The stupidest thing about all this is that teachers and people in the education industry can still rip DVD's. Where do you think they technology came from to rip those DVD's? Do you think that you high school english teacher wrote the software to do it? No, it was the hackers, the people working on the fringe of the law who did it in the first place. By this, DVD ripping never even should have been invented and yet its ok for teachers to do it.

Lets all be honest!
By AssMonkey76 on 11/28/2006 9:27:16 AM , Rating: 2
Do you actually think this is going to stop people? No, life will go on as normal...Netflix or Blockbuster...get movie...burn movie...transfer movie to Ipod or whatever. They cant stop that. There will always be cracks and hacks...just google it.

My rule:
By Rock Hydra on 11/28/2006 12:14:15 PM , Rating: 2
You're only in trouble if you get caught!

Not a Fair Use issue
By IckesTheSane on 11/28/2006 5:23:46 PM , Rating: 2
The problem with the DVD ripping issue here is not about Fair Use, as was mentioned in previous posts. A lot of the examples above would constitute fair use (copying a book, for example) as I interpret it (my interpretation is just mine, and not from a legal standpoint).

The problem, is that all DVD's are protected by the CSS encryption scheme, and under the DMCA, it is illegal to circumvent such digital protection measures. That is what makes it illegal to rip a DVD. If they were shipped with no protection scheme, ripping them to an iPod would (in my opinion) be 100% legal under fair use. In other words, copying the content is not illegal, but breaking the protection system is.

This doesn't mean I like it or think it's the way it should be, just my interpretation of what is legal under current US law and what is not.

Miniscule Video Promotion
By teckytech9 on 11/29/2006 1:04:45 AM , Rating: 2
This is just another advertising campaign sponsored by all taxpayers to get normal folks to start watching movies on tiny video gadgets (apples, oranges, pea-pods, zunnies, whatever). Now, I don't own any of those small video gadgets, cuz, I would never watch a movie on such a small screen (hard to see those subtitles!).

Media companies need to be as greedy as possible to survive. Advertisements invade the movies, games, and everything "media." Buy a DVD, not just once, but twice or more would be fine and dandy for any company (look at the new packaging). Not to mention, proprietary gadgets, formats, and the media attached to them. Truth is, its just "ones" and "zeros," digital data, with human consumption as the end result (watch a good movie twice?). DRM is not pure, and pollutes the bits, which in its natural state, waits to be cracked to purify itself.

All media is made to be enjoyed and consumed at ones own leisure. How it’s acquired and what one does with the bits from that media is ur own private business. "Fair use" is good.

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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