DVD Movie to iPod Ripping Not Allowed Says Congress
November 27, 2006 4:05 PM
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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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Another strike for good will...
11/27/2006 8:52:56 PM
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...
RE: Another strike for good will...
11/27/2006 10:43:34 PM
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.
"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007
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