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  (Source: Erin/Sunny Side Up)
Big media petitions Library of Congress to refuse ripping allowance

"Let them eat cake!"
-- traditional French "spoiled princess" tale

The above quote was often misattributed in the French Revolution to Marie Antoinette, whom the French revolutionaries sought to villainize as cruel and aloof.  Today, amidst a sweeping digital revolution, seemingly equally cavalier quotes are flying around, attributed to big media.  But this time around, they're the real deal -- big media literally wants you to repay for content you already own.  

The Recording Industry Association of America and Motion Picture Association of America's homage to "let them eat cake" began with the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) [PDF], which modified Title 17 of the U.S. Code.

The law was an uneasy compromise by the Clinton administration between big media who was clamoring about how rampant copyright abuses were ruining their bottom line, and by internet service providers, who feared big media's well heeled lobbyists would install financially ruinous legal responsibilities on them.  In the end big media received stiff copyright protections on creative works, while ISPs gained a level of immunity from their users' actions (piracy).

But it also installed some Orwellian provisions, making it a crime to remove copyright protection software on content you legally own -- even if that software caused harm to your computer (which in some cases it, in fact, did).

Between 1998 and 2006, the prohibition on burning CDs stood.  Of course a bootleg industry flourished, but makers of burning software had to watch their backs for fear of prosecution and/or imprisonment.

But in 2006 the U.S. Library of Congress added a key exemption, that allowed the practice, including circumventing copy protection schemes for personal use on CDs you legally owned.  The public actually has Sony Corp. (TYO:6758) to thank for that.  Sony BMG's dangerously defective rootkits convinced the LoC that maybe it shouldn't be illegal to allow people to remove unwanted copy protection on content they legal own.

DVD Burning
The MPAA has fought hard to make DVD burning illegal. [Image Source: MiNDFOOD]

However, making backup copies of DVDs and Blu-Ray movies protected by copyright protection software (virtually all of them are) remains illegal.  To be clear, it's the act of breaking the digital rights management (DRM) that's illegal, not the physical act of writing optical media.  But since virtually all movies carry DRM, essentially all creation of backup copies is illegal.  

That premise is a key topic of debate as the LoC mulls a proposal by consumer advocacy group Public Knowledge, to allow DVD/Blu-Ray ripping for personal use of content you own.

The proposal is ardently opposed by the MPAA.  They write [PDF] to the LoC:

Copyright owners include with many DVD and Blu- Ray disc purchases digital copies of motion pictures that may be reproduced to mobile devices and computers pursuant to licenses. Blu-Ray disc purchasers can also take advantage of "Managed Copy" services that are scheduled to launch in the U.S. later this year. Movie distributors and technology companies are also making available services such as UltraViolet, which enables consumers to access motion pictures on a variety of devices through streaming and downloading. Many movies and television shows are also available online through services such as Comcast Xfinity, Hulu and Netflix, or websites operated by broadcasters or cable channels, which consumers can enjoy from any U.S. location with internet access. With all of these marketplace solutions to the alleged problem PK points to, it is unlikely that the presence of CSS on DVDs is going to have a substantial adverse impact on the ability of consumers to space shift in the coming three years.

In other words, they're essentially saying that you should repay for content and/or accept inferior versions of the content that already own (UltraViolet and their ilk often lack the "extras" of a full-fledged ripped DVD) -- if you're lucky.  Of course, if they choose not to support your platform of choice with their locked down content, you're simply out of luck; too bad.

Public Knowledge lambasted the MPAA's claims, stating:

The MPAA had two specific suggestions. First, consumers could re-purchase access to a subscription service such as Netflix of Hulu. They did not dwell on the fact that 1) this would require you to pay again to access a movie you already own; 2) these services require a high speed internet connection in order to work; 3) There is a reasonable chance that the movie you own is not available on any of those services at any given time; and 4) MPAA member studios regularly pull videos that were once available on those services off of those same services.

The MPAA’s second suggestion was even less helpful. In their comments, they pointed to Warner Brothers’ DVD2Blu program. This program allows people to use their existing DVDs as a coupon towards the purchase of a handful of Warner Blu-Ray disks. They did not dwell on the fact that 1) this program is limited to Warner Brothers films; 2) the program is limited to 25 exchanges per household; 3) while some Blu-Ray disks include digital copies that can be moved to other devices, it is unclear how many of the disks in the DVD2Blu program include that option; 4) only 100 movies are included in the entire program; and 5) each exchange costs at least $4.95 plus shipping (which, for the record, is about as much as it would cost to buy the digital file from Amazon.).

The Association of Research Libraries has also back the request for exemption, stating that it would help them replace damaged works. [Ed. - You KNOW how evil libraries are.]

But wait, in MPAA-speak banning customers from fully using their content they legally own "increased customers' options".  They write:

In fact, granting PK’s proposed exemption would be directly counter to the purpose of this rulemaking. It would undermine emerging business models that increase access to creative works in precisely the manner Congress intended the DMCA to promote.

It is clear that access controls have increased consumers' options with respect to motion pictures in digital formats. The Register should not interfere with that progress. Instead, she should endorse it.

Well, they may be half truthful here as it does increase customers options -- their options to pay twice for the same content.  Although, perhaps that useage is a bit disingeneous too, as option typically implies a voluntary choice, not having digital rights management shoved down your throat.

If the RIAA had their way, CD rippers could be sued and fined, and the authors of burning software shipped off to prison.  Jennifer Pariser, the head of litigation for Sony BMG -- the same company that installed those malicious rootkits on users computers -- stated in the 2007 RIAA lawsuit against working mom Jammie Thomas, "When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." Making "a copy" of a purchased song is just "a nice way of saying 'steals just one copy'."

RIAA police
Stop citizen! Drop the backup copy, you are under arrest. [Image Source: Sodahead]

In the RIAA and MPAA's world everything would have rock-solid DRM, and if you tried to break it you would be sent to prison.  In this world, you would only rent the rights to see the content for the short time.  Then you would have to repurchase it again, and again.  And if you sang in public, or invited your friends over to watch/listen?  Well, that would mean more fees of course.

Meanwhile the RIAA and MPAA merrily exploit a series of laws in the U.S. and abroad that allow them to steal hundreds of millions of dollars in independent artists' work, by calling the work "unclaimed" and then (legally) pirating it for profit.

Last time the LoC register didn't buy the RIAA's argument to prohibit user rights.  The LoC also sided against big media in allowing YouTube montages and other "fair use" works, consisting of short clips of copyrighted materials.  It should be interesting how things play out this time around, in the very similar debate regarding DVDs/Blu-Rays.

The LoC is also contemplating a proposal by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) to allow jailbreaking of consoles, smartphones, and other devices.  Surprise, surprise Sony is among the prominent members of a big media coalition opposing this idea.  The company has legally harassed PS3 jailbreakers, in some cases even looking to send them to prison.  Their harassment attempts, however, have been met by defiance from the tech community.  

States one prominent PS3 jailbreaker to Sony, "If you want me to stop then you should just kill me because I cannot live without programming, HV and Linux kernel hacking You know who am I and where I live, so come and get me !!!"

Sources: MPAA, Public Knowledge [1], [2], Association of Research Libraries

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Can we just...
By Motoman on 2/16/2012 5:51:09 PM , Rating: 5
...declare the MPAA/RIAA/et al illegal already and get it over with? I think you'd be hard-pressed to find any organizations more wildly anti-consumer than those people.

RE: Can we just...
By MarkHark on 2/16/2012 6:27:15 PM , Rating: 5
That must be why they became collectively known as MAFIAA...

RE: Can we just...
By Wolfpup on 2/18/2012 2:26:43 PM , Rating: 2
Haha, hadn't heard that.

This is just crazy. I mean I assume I'm like most people-I don't want to steal. I'm perfectly willing to pay to own or rent something. But when I own something, I want to use it without checking with big brother, and I want to be able to watch it on any device I choose.

That would be FANTASTIC if they'd finally make it legal again to rip DVDs and Blu Rays and the like. Criminals wouldn't benefit-they're already stealing them. Just us actual consumers WHO WANT TO BUY THE DISC will be affected.

Heck, software companies will benefit too as you'd be able to sell programs that can take a Blu Ray and spit out a format for your iPod or whatever.

Customers would win. Conversion companies would win. The film studios would at worst be in the same situation they are now, selling the same number of copies as before. Or at best it might actually benefit them, as certainly being able to do more with a Blu Ray I buy will make me more inclined to buy more Blu Rays.

What's crazy is they're trying to use the law to force us to re "buy" things we actually did buy...

RE: Can we just...
By JediJeb on 2/16/2012 6:25:20 PM , Rating: 5
Instead of clogging up the law books with more laws making them illegal, why don't people just stop buying any and all music and movies from them for a few years. By that time the record/movie companies will be out of business, which in turn will cause the RIAA/MPAA to be out of business and all the good/savvy artists will have figured out how to self publish and self promote and we will be rid of the crap that the bloated studios have been producing for years now.

Of course we have people so brainwashed now that they think if they go a few minutes without their music/video fix they will curl up and die, so I imagine the above has no chance of happening :( I guess maybe we should go the legal route and have the FDA declare that music and videos are addictive and destructive to health (like they are trying to do with sugar now) and just ban it all, or make the entertainment companies have to pay for cessation classes and stop all advertising (like for tobacco companies). I'm sure we can break then one way or another that makes it look like the right thing to do :)

RE: Can we just...
By ClownPuncher on 2/16/2012 6:57:19 PM , Rating: 2
Music, movies, media - all part of culture. Thinking everyone could ever go a couple years without is insane.

RE: Can we just...
By GotThumbs on 2/16/2012 7:41:37 PM , Rating: 4
Ever heard of a book? How about board games....deck of cards?

This is how families used to entertain themselves...and share quality family time. Now families are in the same room, but don't acknowledge each others presence.

It make be impossible for weak minded people like you...but its not impossible for people with character and a resolve to NOT be bullied.

RE: Can we just...
By StevoLincolnite on 2/16/12, Rating: -1
RE: Can we just...
By tastyratz on 2/17/2012 10:25:25 AM , Rating: 1
Cute, you should be a politician.
A complete ban would not ever work,. Hell I bet a lot of people already are banning them. Those same people are lumped into the lawsuits as "lost revenue" I am sure. It's almost counter intuitive at this point, screwed either way.

Now what about people who have the "character and a resolve" to not insult others and say they are weak minded. Do you not see the painful irony in calling someone both weak minded and crying bully in the same paragraph?

Maybe you want to be Amish, but I don't... and the rose colored glasses you have thinking it is even a possible solution really are distracting to realistic solutions to the cause. We likely have a better shot at dissolving the monopoly alliance than a worldwide band on modern entertainment. The chance is not strong, but it sure as hell is better.

RE: Can we just...
By ClownPuncher on 2/17/2012 1:51:05 PM , Rating: 2
Pardon me? All I said was that expecting everyone to be able to quit cold turkey just because you can is a fucking retarded notion.

Lay off the personal insults while you're at it.

RE: Can we just...
By NellyFromMA on 2/17/2012 2:07:43 PM , Rating: 2
It's funny,because after reading your comment, you sound like you could be bullied quite easily... maybe stop trying to bully this guy for having a different opinion than yours?

RE: Can we just...
By Motoman on 2/17/2012 1:13:06 AM , Rating: 3
It'd be pretty easy for me, actually. I used to buy lots of CDs back in the day - the past 10 years or so though I've probably bought about 3-4 CDs. And I don't buy anything digitally either.

I buy movies on occasion on disk - usually when they're in the $5 bin. But again, I could easily go a year or two without buying any.

Radio is free. TV is free. You can get all the music and TV/movies you want (albeit not necessarily on your schedule) without directly buying anything.

RE: Can we just...
By acer905 on 2/17/2012 11:59:43 AM , Rating: 2
Also, anyone know where DVR's play in. Last thing i knew was you can record any broadcast for your own personal use. Essentially, anything broadcast is free for your use whenever you want it. But that could be out of date now...

But, computer with a good video input, recording software, and a mass array of multi-terabyte hard drives can catch you a large amount of TV and Movies

RE: Can we just...
By The Raven on 2/17/2012 12:40:34 PM , Rating: 2
This really wouldn't be that hard to do given that people already have sizable collections of entertainment (especially when you count dogs wearing hats or something on Youtube). Plus you can crack into the public domain for a few years no problem. Hell people might just start writing/producing their own music/movies/both. (Though most of it will probably remain commercial I'd imagine this would give a needed boost to the opensource entertainment community. That would be sweet. Like a global jam session!)

Also, you I and whoever have a good chance of seeming more funny/smart/attractive to the ladies around you because you are no longer competing with Will Ferrell/Watson/Brad Pitt.

You wouldn't be able to listen/watch advertisement sponsored programming because that is a form of payment to them. And you probably shouldn't talk at the watercooler about the movies in your collection for fear that it would encourage someone to buy them. lol

It is funny that we had an opportunity for a complete overhaul like this in the blink of an eye with the auto industry...but them we bailed them out. :-(

(And this is coming from someone in the auto industry BTW)

RE: Can we just...
By The Raven on 2/17/2012 12:41:46 PM , Rating: 2
Oh and I know this isn't that hard because I have given up on the MAFIAA for a few years now and don't care much to go back to the old ways.

RE: Can we just...
By ClownPuncher on 2/17/2012 1:53:59 PM , Rating: 2
It would be easy for me, too. But what bearing does that have on expecting an entire world full of people to follow your lead is naive and unrealistic.

RE: Can we just...
By ClownPuncher on 2/17/2012 1:54:38 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, that was a butchered post.

RE: Can we just...
By Jalek on 2/17/2012 11:56:42 PM , Rating: 3
Many people did stop buying CD's, I canceled two of those monthly-mailing "clubs" I'd had for years in 2003 while the lawsuits were bypassing due process.

They simply blamed any reduction in sales on piracy and used that to convince Hatch and his ilk in Congress that immediate action was needed to save their profits.

RE: Can we just...
By jabber on 2/18/2012 8:51:14 AM , Rating: 2
OK let's do it then?

Why not set a week aside for folks to not buy CDs/DVDs/Blu-rays and also not visit the cinema?

A total boycott for a week.

Pick a week towards the end of a quarter for extra effect. Or maybe 4th of July week?

Start a Facebook/Twitter campaign

RE: Can we just...
By corduroygt on 2/16/2012 9:16:32 PM , Rating: 3
No need to get the government involved. Anti-consumer companies eventually go bankrupt since they forget the fact that they depend on those consumer dollars, and consumers can only put up with so much.

RE: Can we just...
By Motoman on 2/17/2012 12:55:40 AM , Rating: 2
The problem being, with these guys, is that there's not any practical way for consumers to avoid them. Either you buy music and movies, or you don't. It's not like there's another RIAA-like organization that's distributing CDs to BBY or authorizing the downloads from

RE: Can we just...
By Master Kenobi on 2/17/2012 7:48:04 PM , Rating: 2
Ah, but you have brought up a very interesting point. As it stands physical media makes the MAFIAA largely an iron clad setup. But, once BBY goes out of business in the next 5-6 years and places like Amazon/Wal-Mart rule the world it will be quite easy for either Amazon or Wal-Mart to start dictating to the MAFIAA. Don't wanna play ball with us? no problem, we won't stock your products and have fun trying to sell it anywhere else! I'd be good money there will be lawsuits to that effect in the next 20 years.

Perhaps I should write that up and sell it as a book on the future of the American Economy?

RE: Can we just...
By Motoman on 2/19/2012 9:35:11 AM , Rating: 1
Yeah sure. Prolly get a spot on the Daily Show.

Obviously there's a lot of places besides BBY that sell physical CDs.

And lots of people that prefer to have their music on CD. I want to have the original disk that I can file away...naturally I rip the CD to the digital format that I want - but a hard drive can always fail and you lose your stuff. And if I want to re-sell or give away the CD later I can always do that. You really have no ownership rights on digital purchases...

RE: Can we just...
By gorehound on 2/17/2012 8:22:36 AM , Rating: 3
The MPAA/RIAA needs to just die and go away.Leave us alone and we will all be better off.
Join in my Boycott Big Content !
No theater going, no buying of new MAFIAA products, only purchase used MAFIAA products, and purchase only non-MAFIAA INDIE products.

RE: Can we just...
By arazok on 2/17/2012 8:37:33 AM , Rating: 1
think you'd be hard-pressed to find any organizations more wildly anti-consumer than those people.

I found three. Congress. The Senate. And the office of the President.

RE: Can we just...
By The Raven on 2/17/2012 12:42:49 PM , Rating: 2

pure capitalism is evil!
By DanD85 on 2/17/12, Rating: 0
RE: pure capitalism is evil!
By JediJeb on 2/17/2012 11:45:53 AM , Rating: 3
Actually just take away all the restrictions that the MPAA/RIAA have lobbied for and gotten over the years and then you would have pure capitalism!

There are few independent artists out there simply because if they try the big entertainment companies use laws they had written to take their money and claim their works, which is not allowing for pure capitalistic competition to occur. If you go out on your own and make a CD, then it gets played on the radio, the radio station has to pay a royalty to the same group that gathers the royalties for the major record companies because it is the law. Now if you do not sign up with that group, which costs you money, they do not have to pay the royalties back to you. Then because you are not part of one of the organizations representing Artists, your works are not registered with them and the Major Recording Studios are using that loophole to more or less confiscate the work of the independent artist and claim it as their work. In the end you could be charged a fee to sing a song you wrote and performed just because you are not working for the Big Companies.

That is not pure capitalism, that is monopolistic behavior dictating what the market is and being legally condoned by the government.

RE: pure capitalism is evil!
By superstition on 2/18/2012 2:22:33 PM , Rating: 4
Capitalism eats itself via monopolization. The goal of capitalism, just like in the board game Monopoly, is to monopolize — ending/eroding competition and freedom.

Business buys politicians. Politicians and the police state are the enforcers of monopoly/corrupt anti-consumer policies.

RE: pure capitalism is evil!
By johnbuk on 2/17/2012 11:50:43 AM , Rating: 2
So you're arguing for the MAAFIA with this argument right? Because saying that anyone can produce and sell something in any format that they want would seem more capitalistic where communisim would lean more towards "we control the only means of production and you'll pay what we want and like it or else".
Silly argument when it comes to this topic regardless.
To me if I buy media I should be able to do what I want with that media short of freely distributing it or selling it in a different format to others. Whatever I do with it for my own personal reasons is my business.

RE: pure capitalism is evil!
By steven975 on 2/17/2012 12:56:12 PM , Rating: 5
Actually, no, this is NOT pure capitalism.

This is crony capitalism.

In PURE capitalism, the government wouldn't be acting as an enforcement arm for them. In crony capitalism, they allow laws like this to be passed to levy excessive fines on the population for violating their business interests.

RE: pure capitalism is evil!
By The Raven on 2/17/2012 12:52:00 PM , Rating: 2
Somebody doesn't know what capitalism is or how it works.

Who is greedy in your example? The studios or the consumers?
Have you not been following this issue at all? The consumers are (via a free market) slowing the horse (studios, not capitalism) down by pirating/boycotting/protesting. Stand back lest this scared horse kick you in the head...hiya!

How about some evidence...
By EricMartello on 2/16/2012 6:31:41 PM , Rating: 3 back up the claims these idiots keep making?

They claim "financial loss" - prove it with real numbers, not speculative figures based on sales that never happened.

They claim that it hurts the artists - prove it - show a direct (or even indirect) correlation between FILE SHARING and a detrimental effect on the artist whose work is being shared. I would wager that an artist who is popular enough to have his/her work shared by many is also enjoying a wealthy lifestyle.

There is no REAL evidence to back up anything they present as a grounds for creating these moronic why the hell are these laws even being passed in the first place?

Copyright law needs to be REFORMED and fair use needs to be expanded. Less restriction, not more. These people feel entitled to make billions each year by rehashing the same tired content over and over, then complain about declining media sales when the media offers little value to the consumer.

RE: How about some evidence...
By Solandri on 2/16/2012 7:13:51 PM , Rating: 2
They're so used to manipulating numbers to make them say what they want that I suspect even they don't really know if they're making or losing money.

RE: How about some evidence...
By Strunf on 2/17/2012 7:34:17 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly, they are the kings of manipulation very often used to rip off artists and writers, there has been a few cases of artists that were entitled to a % of the profit from a movie and they just manipulated the numbers to make sure there was little to no profit from it, and since artists can't really check the accounting or would cost them a lot, and if the things get messy they settle it with a paycheck that it's probably much lower than what they would have to pay anyway. It's a win-win situation for them and if they always win there's of course someone that always lose!

Enough !!!
By SuckRaven on 2/17/2012 1:52:09 AM , Rating: 1
Lol....eventually people will become interested in the names of these individuals, and start stocking up on Dragunovs, M-24,s and M85s and shit.

RE: Enough !!!
By shanomacadaemia on 2/17/2012 6:24:37 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, Call Of Duty and derp. :/

No one's going to go postal over some movies and music. It has to be a joint effort by artists and consumers to essentially starve them of the money they need to lobby for additional regulation. These guys are lawyers; once they stop getting paid enough, they move on.

Artists will hopefully realise, some day, that record labels are now a defunct business model (so long as things like ACTA and SOPA are held at bay). You have a direct artist to customer relationship via the internet, you can record music in your own home with relatively cost effective tools that will sound just as good a studio produced muck (as long as you're ACTUALLY talented) and all the advertising in the world. The difference is that you will have to rely on the quality of your work and your either your own ability to sell your works or the dedication of your fan-base to promote your talents rather than established media strong-arming.

Movies, on the other hand, are much more difficult. Box offices still pull in HUGE money, and that's not likely to change. Cinemas aren't going anywhere. Home release sales (DVDs, Blu-Rays), on the other hand, are much less lucrative than they once were. I see services like Netflix as being much more pro-consumer; a sensibly priced flat-rate subscription to all-you-can-eat content is an excellent compromise. They just need to start allowing content to flow more easily and become more readily available internationally to prevent counterfeiting/illegal copying.

RE: Enough !!!
By JediJeb on 2/17/2012 12:05:27 PM , Rating: 2
Just see how it can be done.

Louis C.K. was able to make a profit while actually saving his fans about 75% on the cost of acquiring his DVD versus what a large studio would have charged. If more artists would take the initiative it would start to put the scare into the big studios. Though then they would probably try to push some legislation that would make it illegal for people to produce their own works and sell them independently.

What needs to be done is change the copyright laws so that only the artist can hold the copyright to a piece of work, and make it non transferable even upon death. Authors should own the copyright to books, song writers should own the copyrights to songs they write, performers should own the copyright to their performance of a song, after obtaining permission from the song writer to perform it. A movie company could own the rights to their production of a script, but the copyright should belong to the script writers.

Some would argue that this would kill the industry, but I don't believe it would. You would have a streamlining of how things work, and the talent of the artists would be better rewarded with the middlemen being the ones now competing in the cut-throat portion of the business seeing how they can make the best deals. How much would say Sony try to wring out of the consumers if the artist could simply switch to another company who would offer a better deal to their fans? If Sony(or any and all Major Labels) charged $20 for a CD and another company was streamlined enough to produce it for $10, would Sony still be able to charge the excessive prices and stay in business? If the big companies did not "own" the content, but merely distribute it, they would have to be leaner companies to stay afloat, instead of holding all the cards as they do now and being able to control the market.

Grammy show
By Black1969ta on 2/16/2012 8:50:27 PM , Rating: 2
Anybody notice all the smartphone waving in the air, recording the Grammies from the audience? Bet we will hear of zero people prosecuted for pirating. If they don't prosecute those pirates, if they don't prosecute them how can they prosecute anyone else?
I know with patents the holder must prosecute all offenders, not just selectively; does copyright law work the same?

RE: Grammy show
By nottingham on 2/22/2012 3:55:00 PM , Rating: 2
If you're asking does the copyright holder have to actively protect his copyright from possible infringement that comes to his/her attention...the answer is yes, or he/she can lose the copyright. It can become placed in the public domain by failure to protect. But it's far easier and cheaper for the copyright holder to do so compared to the patent holder.

A MAJOR difference between copyright and patent law, is that copyrights get the GOVERNMENT to take on much of the cost and burden of proof, enforcement, applying penalties, and collecting damages in CRIMINAL court, even having the FBI to do the expensive grunt work without cost to the copyright holder.

Whereas with patents, as far as I know the patent holder must still sue a claimed patent infringement in CIVIL court and all the costs of investigation, etc have to be paid up front by the patent holder, and the burden of proof is on the patent holder and his private attorney(s)...not a taxpayer funded federal prosecutor, the FBI, and the DOJ.

Another major difference is the enforceable "life" of a copyright compared to the "life" of a patent. Copyrights last for many decades...even after the owner dies. Patents are very short-lived in comparison.

I own both copyrights and patents and how copyright law has evolved and the incredibly long "life" of a copyright still concerns me.

Picture fail
By Gondor on 2/17/2012 3:09:55 AM , Rating: 2
Second picture of the article: "you're holding it wrong".

RE: Picture fail
By MrTeal on 2/17/2012 9:32:44 AM , Rating: 2
Hopefully they made a backup...

pure capitalism is evil!
By DanD85 on 2/17/2012 11:51:48 AM , Rating: 2
this is pure capitalism at its finest. Pure capitalism is like a blind powerful horse that's driven by greed. Blame communism all you want but you have to admit thanks to communism, capitalism has evolved for the better.

What we need now is not less rein (as the free market ideology is so advocated) but more control, we need to slow the capitalism horse down somewhat...

RE: pure capitalism is evil!
By Dorkyman on 2/17/2012 8:14:10 PM , Rating: 2

This is not capitalism, but "crony capitalism." Huge difference.

And no, we don't need communism, and no, it didn't make capitalism better. But it DID ruin millions of lives in the 20th century.

We don't legally "own" anything.
By Mr Perfect on 2/17/2012 1:08:35 PM , Rating: 2
The article keeps talking about content that consumers legally own. As far as copyright law goes, we don't actually own anything.

RE: We don't legally "own" anything.
By bennyg on 2/19/2012 4:49:55 AM , Rating: 2
yeah, but if it walks and quacks like a duck... as they walked out the store (10 years ago when people did that...) all but the most nitpicking technical legal mind would think "I bought it" not "I purchased a license which is a limited bunch of usage rights to the content and the physcial thing I'm taking home is just a worthless unimportant delivery medium for me to enjoy the rights I have purchased"

When you try to change something we are all accustomed to, there's resistance. The popular understanding of "ownership" of physical things still dictates the understanding of copyright law - and here in Aus, yes it ISN'T theft because there's not the element of "depriving another".

"Piracy" is popular simply because pirated material is better than DRM infested crap, even for the same price if the option was between completely unencumbered content with which I can do what I wish, versus something I can only play on the one device / after I install a program / after I stuff about putting an alpha string into a website / only with a disc in the drive etc. the choice is simple. When the unencumbered copy is free and the less useable copy costs money the choice is easier.

MPAA/RIAA should focus on making content more easily enjoyed, like Steam has... then they may start combating piracy rather than just lose to it.

By Belard on 2/21/2012 2:50:59 AM , Rating: 2
In the Hollywood movie business, they rip off actors by making movies into a corporation (because they are people too). Ever notice in the opening of many movies, they are a "company" you never heard of?

So, a good example is Return of the Jedi... The move is NOT Profitable. So actors like David Prowse (Darth Vader) do not get royalties. Funny that Jedi is the 15th highest gross (profit) making movie of all time. All the big studios do this.

The Stupid creates a movie project/company. They charge that company fees/what-not which means that corporation is constantly broke. The owner of said-corporation is of course the studio that created it. WHAT THE F?!

This is NOT all that much of a secret... its a TAX loop hole that needs to be plugged and fines charged!

Can we Americans, somehow SUE the Studios for NOT paying their taxes? Sure would help our deficit... as we ALL pay our gas tax, phone tax, buying their sh*t tax, utiltiy tax, booze tax, etc.

By cladari on 2/21/2012 6:33:56 AM , Rating: 2
The major studios pay plenty in taxes but they do it much more efficiently, they pay directly to congressmen instead of that pesky middleman IRS.

Ultimate Goal Is Pay for EVERY Bit EVERY time
By nottingham on 2/22/2012 3:21:36 PM , Rating: 2
The ultimate goal of these organizations is almost certainly to create an legal environment where the consumer will have to pay for every bit of data every time it is listened to or viewed.

The currently "undesirable" business model of actually having something in your possession (physical or virtual) that you can freely watch on any DVD/BluRay player at any time as many times as you want, will disappear.

The same "pay by the bit" model will apply to movies, music, and eBooks. Want to re-listen to a song? Pay a little bit more. Want to re-read that previous chapter in an eBook? Pay again...and so on.

In other words, every time you watch any piece of a movie,listen to a song, read a will have to pay a fee to do so...even if you've already purchased a license to the material. Example, even if all you do is rewind 5 seconds to watch a scene again, you will be charged a little bit more to re-watch those 5 seconds. Of course, for your convenience it will be deducted from some kind of universal "Media" account or set-up to be transacted by a universal "media management" service via auto-debit from your bank account.

The technology to do this already exists. They simply know the public are not trained to accept that business model...yet. But, they're working on it.

By Trisped on 2/22/2012 6:24:48 PM , Rating: 2
If your statement was true I would expect digital distribution to be part of "the ultimate goal of these organizations."

Since MPAA members do not push digital distribution I would have to say your statement is false. The goal is not to create a legal environment where consumer's have to pay for everything, every time. The goal is to make money.

To make money the companies must sell something of supposed value. While we might be willing to pay $10-15 per person for a theater experience, we are not willing to pay $10 to watch a movie once at home. With physical media (DVD or Blu-Ray) we are willing to pay $20 for what often times is a movie watched 1 or 2 times because if we want to watch the movie latter, or share it with a friend we can. As a result movie studios make more money on physical media then on pay per use content.

Also, if content is distributed digital then we expect it to be cheaper. After all, they don't have to make the disk, box, and cover art, ship the disk to the store, or pay someone to sell it to us.

The movie studios are concerned about money, crying about piracy is just one of the ways they make more.

That being said I do not approve of piracy at all.

pedantic mode engage
By jtemplin on 2/16/2012 7:07:18 PM , Rating: 3
Sorry but aloft is just the wrong word here. Creativity be damned, it should be aloof. Its a better choice in every way.

That is all, carry on.

By darkpuppet on 2/17/2012 10:01:25 AM , Rating: 3
The problem with all of these DRM / pricing, viewing schemes is that they only hurt legitimate movie owners.

For example, I own about 900 movies -- mostly DVDs, with about 100 of them being BDs. I go to the theatre, and I buy movies I like so I can continue to enjoy them.

I buy a BD to watch in hi-def. I'd like to take it with me on my frequent business trips, say on my PSP, laptop, etc. In every case, none of the digital copy codes work -- so you have to call Sony -- but you can only call about your digital copy problems during business hours. Coincidentally, this also happens to be the time I'm not wanting to transfer movies from my PS3 to PSP/Lappy, etc.

So digital copy doesn't work...

but I can pay extra to stream it from somewhere else -- except where there isn't any internet, which happens to be a lot of places NOT at home with easy access to my extensive collection.

Nor is Netflix or the other formats truly hi-def (or affordable with the bandwidth caps we're faced with)

I can pay to replace my DVDs with BDs.. But with the DVDs after spending $125+shipping for the first 25 movies, I get to pay $750 for the next 25... and so on or about $23,000 to update my library to BD.

Now, I'm not one to collect movies in the hopes they'll be worth something. I do it for entertainment, but for a total cost of ownership coming upwards of $50,000 to enjoy the collection in the latest format over the course of 14 years is a bit of a fool's errand.

And let's say, I like to have all of my movies on my NAS server -- not to share, but to browse through, and watch through the PS3 (who's BD drive has already been replaced once).. I can't because they now have Cinavia watermarking on new BDs that kills the movie if you try to watch it on the PS3 and other compatible devices.

I don't see how this hurts pirates -- these files play without issue on a PC -- they only hurt the guy with a heavy consumer electronics budget.

So I'm having a hard time rationalizing the cost of a game console to watch movies and other digital content on when I can't own or watch what content I buy -- companies want everything to be disposable so the revenue stream never dies.

It's like banning feather dusters to protect Swiffer's extensive product selection for customers.

dvd ripping hurts USERS?
By Samus on 2/16/2012 6:12:48 PM , Rating: 2
Utter bullshit.

Anything that gets content off an antiquated medium onto a vastly superior storage array that is more reliable, easily searchable and universally accessible isn't hurting the user.

What's next from these wackjobs, streaming Netflix hurts users too?

More choice explained
By BugblatterIII on 2/17/2012 4:02:38 AM , Rating: 2
By "more choice" they mean that they wouldn't have made streaming etc. available in the first place if they couldn't have DRM'd the arse off it.

Completely circular argument of course. "Because of DRM we're prepared to allow you other ways to pay for the content when DRM stops you watching the copy you've already paid for."

Not quite...
By Trisped on 2/22/2012 6:26:34 PM , Rating: 2
To be clear, it's the act of breaking the digital rights management (DRM) that's illegal, not the physical act of writing optical media. But since virtually all movies carry DRM, essentially all creation of backup copies is illegal.
Unless you make an exact copy which would maintain the DRM without issue. I am not saying this is feasible, but as far as a computer is concerned, if the bits all match then it is the same.

Very evil indeed...
By Trisped on 2/22/2012 6:35:58 PM , Rating: 2
The Association of Research Libraries has also back the request for exemption, stating that it would help them replace damaged works. [Ed. - You KNOW how evil libraries are.]
Yes, very very evil.

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