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Movie studios revive the RIAA's "making a copy" equates to "stealing one copy" argument

The RIAA and music labels gained a bit more notoriety when one of its associates, Sony BMG's head of litigation Jennifer Pariser, remarked during a case, "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'."

Now the MPAA, which typically follows closely in the RIAA's footsteps, is suing software maker RealNetworks and making similar remarks.  In a similar mentality, which some say punishes the paying customer,
Paramount Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal Studios, Warner Brothers, Columbia Pictures, the Walt Disney Company and Sony have all filed suit against the company, which claims it only wants to provide content owners with a means of backing up their DVDs.

Greg Goeckner, executive vice president and general counsel for the Motion Picture Association of America, says that users shouldn't get to copy their DVDs -- even those they own.  He states, "RealDVD should be called StealDVD.  RealNetworks knows its product violates the law, and undermines the hard-won trust that has been growing between America’s moviemakers and the technology community."

Seattle-based RealNetworks found itself targeted after it released its RealDVD software, available for $30.  RealNetworks is no rogue operator -- rather it’s the software giant behind the RealPlayer software and the Rhapsody music subscription service, the second largest legitimate online music retailer.  Nonetheless, it found itself the target of the MPAA's aggressive campaign, which seeks to block any private DVD reproduction. 

RealNetworks is standing tall against the MPAA and blasted back in a tersely worded statement Tuesday.  The statement read, "We are disappointed that the movie industry is following in the footsteps of the music industry and trying to shut down advances in technology, rather than embracing changes that provide consumers with more value and flexibility for their purchases."

RealDVD conforms to all Hollywood’s rules on DVD protection by encrypting the digital copies.  This is intended to prevent filesharing.  Still, studios claim the program violates the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, an all-reaching act used for everything from web takedowns to filesharing cases.  The studios say that by overriding anti-copying mechanisms on the DVD, RealDVD is breaking the law.  The studios are seeking an injunction to prevent the program's sales.

A frustrated RealNetworks fired back with a countersuit of its own against the studios in a federal court in San Francisco on Tuesday.

This case will like bear major ramifications on the movie industry, and DailyTech will be following it closely.



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RE: failure to change with the times
By omnicronx on 10/1/2008 12:19:34 PM , Rating: 1
Please do not give the argument that copy protection is the reason people download via torrent. People download because they do not want to pay money, period!


By tential on 10/1/2008 12:42:37 PM , Rating: 3
I agree but now with all this stuff it starts to get confusing. Companies have DRM and rootkits everywhere. Some people who don't even understand DRM and rootkits or why they can't move their music around and listen to it will no doubt get confused. It's almost so bad to the point where I would say that people will rather torrent things because they know they can do anything with it rather than buy it at a store where they are confused as to how they can use it.

I do definitely agree though that 95% of the time people torrent things because they don't want to pay but it looks like it will be for simplicity in the near future at the rate these companies are going.


RE: failure to change with the times
By jimbojimbo on 10/1/2008 1:53:08 PM , Rating: 1
Some people are just sick and tired of buying something and finding that it's absolute shite. If it's damn good I'll buy it. If it's just good I'll rent it.


RE: failure to change with the times
By omnicronx on 10/1/2008 2:08:49 PM , Rating: 5
I am not defending either party here, I was merely pointing out that people do not download via torrent because of the DRM employed, they download because they do not want to pay. The reasons that people do not want to pay is beyond the scope of this argument.


By SavagePotato on 10/2/2008 5:04:28 PM , Rating: 2
I would pirate spore just to avoid the drm, if I wanted to play spore that is. No way do I want that securom mess on my machine.

Or there were of course the starforce games which in some cases actually permanently damaged your cdrom drive.

I have pirated games unapolageticaly, and I have bought many games as well. I actually have probably spent like 10k dollars on games throughout the years.

But I can say with confidence despite the fact that I have indeed pirated games for many reasons, I would indeed pirate a game to avoid ridiculous DRM or out of spite towards an over the top DRM scheme.


RE: failure to change with the times
By Murst on 10/1/2008 2:53:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
People download because they do not want to pay money, period!

I used to download songs using software like Kazaa when I was in college. However, I already owned the CDs... it was just quicker to download the MP3 than it was to find/rip the song from the CD.

So, in short, not everyone who downloads does so because they don't want to pay. I just didn't want to waste time.

At least now we have places like iTunes where you can download the songs very quickly (also faster than ripping from a CD). I just wish it didn't have any DRM, but w/ the way I use the songs, the DRM doesn't really bother me all that much. In fact, I can't really remember the last time I've bought a CD... all my songs have come from iTunes for a few years now. It's also much less hassle than having to drive for 10 min to a music store (yeah, I'm that lazy).


RE: failure to change with the times
By omnicronx on 10/1/2008 3:06:34 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
So, in short, not everyone who downloads does so because they don't want to pay. I just didn't want to waste time.
I meant for movies, I sample and download music all the time, if I like it I buy it, as it has a replay value. The same can't be said for movies, chances are if you are downloading it, you are not willing to buy it, for whatever reason that may be.


RE: failure to change with the times
By Murst on 10/1/2008 3:30:04 PM , Rating: 2
I guess that case can be made for movies. I've never even had the desire to download a movie. I've invested a lot of time (and money) into my TV, surround, etc. All the movies we get now are on BR - although I really miss HD-DVD, since when it was still around we could usually buy blu-rays for $20 each, and that was often with a BOGO deal, so they came out to be around $10 each. Now its hard to find a deal for a good BR for under $20.

Anyways, that's getting off the topic. :)


RE: failure to change with the times
By cmdrdredd on 10/1/2008 5:06:58 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
At least now we have places like iTunes where you can download the songs very quickly (also faster than ripping from a CD). I just wish it didn't have any DRM, but w/ the way I use the songs, the DRM doesn't really bother me all that much. In fact, I can't really remember the last time I've bought a CD... all my songs have come from iTunes for a few years now. It's also much less hassle than having to drive for 10 min to a music store (yeah, I'm that lazy).


Problem...to a trained ear with a good sound system. The music from iTunes, Zune or any other online download service is exactly crap. The CD sounds better and the only way to get that quality in the digital world is to rip it yourself at a higher bitrate than these services offer, or preferably lossless. Or bittorrent where it's 320kbps quality.


By omnicronx on 10/2/2008 8:18:01 AM , Rating: 2
320kbps mp3s are pointless.. The upper echelon of the sound spectrum drops off because of the way mp3s are encoded. Anything over 256kbps VBR is overkill, and basically pointless.

I agree with you about the sound quality though, I've ripped most of my cd's to high quality mp3 just because most music you find online is low quality 128/192 mp3s. 192kbps is bearable, but on a good system 128kbps mp3s sound like they are being played inside a tin can.


By Jimbo1234 on 10/1/2008 10:39:04 PM , Rating: 2
I've downloaded MP3 of stuff I had on old scratched CDs that could not be ripped. CDs I purchased before anyone ever heard of an MP3.

I'm not paying twice for the same damn thing I already purchased and still have in my possession which is unreadable.


"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov














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