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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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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.


"It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I'm okay with that." -- Microsoft COO Kevin Turner











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