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The Courts Government Encryption Security News

DVD Copyright Case Mulled over by Judge 270

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the careful-decisions dept.
howhardcanitbetocrea writes "news.com is reporting that the judge in a closely watched lawsuit challenging the legality of DVD-copying software said she was 'substantially persuaded' by past court rulings that favored copyright holders, but closed a hearing Thursday without issuing a ruling in the case." This is a case that could very well determine the future of the DMCA, and the article does a good job of summarizing the arguments from both sides.
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DVD Copyright Case Mulled over by Judge

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 15, 2003 @09:14PM (#5969646)
    Sony v. Universal [virtualrecordings.com]. If it's good enough for the Supreme Court...
    • by sould (301844) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @09:25PM (#5969706) Homepage
      Unfortunately that judgement preceded the DMCA by about 15 years.

      The law has changed since then.

      With any luck however, the judge will understand the insanity of limiting fair use.

      An item such as a DVD copier has a multitude of non-piracy (aar me hearties) uses.
      • I dont think there is any issue with DVD recorders per se. Its recoders or recording software that circumvents copy protection mechanisms on copyrighted disks.
        • by diatonic (318560) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @09:50PM (#5969807) Homepage
          But there are still fair use arguements to circumventing DVD copy protection. Damaged DVDs can be expensive to replace... and circumventing the copy protection does not circumvent the copyright.

          .:diatonic:.
          • by IWannaBeAnAC (653701) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @10:36PM (#5969985)
            The problem is that "fair use" applies to copyright law. Unfortunately there is no similar "fair use" provision in the DMCA for circumventing copy protection.

            One of the arguments of the case has been that it does not matter whether copyright is violated or not, as circumventing copy protection is illegal irrespective of the copyright.

            But, as I understand the DMCA, there is a link though between copyright and copy protection, as the act only prohibits copy protection when it is applied to a copyrighted work. That is, it is legal to circumvent the copy protection when the content is not under copyright. But, some comments by the lawyers quoted in the article suggest that this is not true, and circumventing ANY copy protection system is illegal? Is that really the case?

            • by Art Tatum (6890) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @11:49PM (#5970268)
              Actually, the DMCA only makes it illegal to circumvent access protection--not copy protection. The reasoning for this was really twisted.

              Originally, the copyright industry wanted a law that restricted acts of circumvention (with no distinction about what kind of circumvention it was). Defenders of fair use complained, stating that excerpts could not be made for commentary if it were impossible to copy portions of a work.

              The legislature decided that protection schemes that prevented copying of material would violate the fair use doctrine and would not be specially protected by law. Instead, copyright holders would be granted legal recourse in case of a breached access protection scheme.

              This is convoluted, of course, since you can't copy something if you can't access it. But legislators never seemed to get that far in their reasoning.

            • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 16, 2003 @12:03AM (#5970308)
              If you guys REALLY want to have a mind bender the judge is mulling over the fact that the DMCA might be unconstitutional due to the fact that it denies access to works even AFTER the copywrites expire. Here [latimes.com] is the la times article on it.
          • by the_2nd_coming (444906) on Friday May 16, 2003 @12:21AM (#5970357) Homepage
            district and circut court judges are bound by the law and the supreme court rulings. there is no ruling on the DMCA v. fair use yet from the top 9 but there is a law and based on that the judge must rule in favor of copyright holders. this case however will not be the end as an injunction to the ruling will be given while the losing party gets an appeal and then another injunction or a hold will be granted pending the acceptance of and ruling on the case by the supreme court.
      • Unfortunately that judgement preceded the DMCA by about 15 years.

        Exactly... Isn't that why they call it a precedent?
    • by 91degrees (207121) on Friday May 16, 2003 @04:04AM (#5970959) Journal
      The "fair use" purpose of a video recorder is for delayed viewing though. This does not apply to a DVD copier since you can view a DVD at any time anyway. The fair use for a DVD copier is making backups.

      Is it possible to backup a DVD in another way? Will the DVD companies replace a broken disc (and of not, why not? The cost of a disc is peanuts). Is the benefit to society of people being able to backup a DVD than the harm caused to the movie industry by people making illegal copies?
  • DVD X Copy (Score:5, Informative)

    by swtaarrs (640506) <swtaarrs@comcas t . n et> on Thursday May 15, 2003 @09:15PM (#5969654)
    I've seen DVD X Copy at stores, and it has false claims on the box. It claims to copy the whole dvd onto one dvd-r, which is impossible for many commercial movies. Dvd-r's are single layered and only 4.7Gb(4.5 usable), but many(most?) professional movies are on double layer discs which hold twice that, therefore not fitting on a single dvd-r.
    • Re:DVD X Copy (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Squarewav (241189) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @09:25PM (#5969705)
      a hour and a half long movie is about 4 gigs so yes you can fit a whole movie on one dvd-r without extras, however long movies take lord of the rings FOTR ( the single disk version) for example takes about 8 gigs
      • by diatonic (318560) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @09:41PM (#5969774) Homepage
        DVD's use variable bitrate MPEG-2 encoding, and even short movies can be >4.5 GB... I think it's being done as form of copy protection on commercial DVDs to sample the video at excessively high rates. I saw a single disc rip of LOTR the Two Towers that was on a DVD-R and the video looked great (it was a DVD rip from a disc submitted to the academy).

        Look at movies done with Apple's iDVD (constant bitrate encoding) where 60 minutes can take an entire DVD-R.

        .:diatonic:.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 15, 2003 @11:57PM (#5970295)
          I think it's being done as form of copy protection on commercial DVDs to sample the video at excessively high rates.

          Boy, that's pretty whacked-out reasoning. Have you ever considered the possibility that movies are encoded at "excessively" high bit rates so that the LOOK GOOD? It doesn't take a trained eye to see the difference between a well-encoded DVD and a poorly-encoded one. The difference jumps right out at you.

          Studios want their product to look as good as possible, so they squeeze every last bit onto that disc that they can.
        • I've seen that same disc and the quality wasn't that great. I believe that to be because the original DVD sent out for "Academy review" weren't the best quality though.
      • It's actually, 7,502,247,936 bytes for FOTR.

        I have yet to found an easy way to compress it. I would actually prefer to keep the quality high though, so maybe I'll just get a larger HD.

        I can't seem to get any other DVD to play as a vob file very well.
    • by diatonic (318560) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @09:29PM (#5969723) Homepage
      There are thre software packages currently available to copy a full DVD9 disc to DVD5. All three will resample the video to fit on a single layer recordable DVD.

      DVD2One [dvd2one.com] is incredible fast, and gives the option of 'Movie Only' stripping menus and extras, or 'Entire Disc'. It can process an entire 8GB DVD in about 25 minutes on my 1.4 GHz T-bird.

      DVD 95 Copy [dvd95copy.net] will preseve entire disc stucture (resampling video and giving option of discarding unwanted audio) Takes about 2-3 hours to process.

      Pinnacle Instant Copy [pinnaclesys.com] will also preserve entire disc. Takes about 4 hours to process disc.

      Hope this helps,
      .:diatonic:.
    • Re:DVD X Copy (Score:5, Informative)

      by Stigmata669 (517894) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @09:57PM (#5969833)
      Many movies that are recorded onto dual layer disks do not actually require the space for the film, but rather are recorded on dual layer disks for the inclusion of extra features and other IMHO useless bits. With the right software (i've used Dvd2One [dvd2one.com]) you can take the contents of dual layer disks and remove the extras to put a full bandwidth film on a single dvd-r, or sample down the mpeg-2 bitrate to fit a long movie on a single dvd-r.
    • Re:DVD X Copy (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 15, 2003 @10:10PM (#5969883)
      Hollywood confronts DVD-copy software [washingtontimes.com]

      Look, 321 Studios got it's start by selling freeware bundled together for $50 and even still sells it to this day. It includes Smartripper and I believe dvdx which is GPL dvdx [sourceforge.net]. DVDToolBox (freeware) can split main movie only two two dvd-rs and also strip out audio and extras, etc. Many in the dvd backup community don't look favorably upon 321 Studios although many wish them luck in court.

      What most people do is go to out and buy a dvd burner. Get on google and type in 'dvd copy' that is where it goes down hill. Almost 100 or more hits plus ads are all ripoff dvd software.

      I'm keeping a list of ripoff software on my site [mrbass.org] hoping that others don't fall into the trap but it's inevitable.

      BTW, in the above article what I'm trying to say is that this DVD Backup Software is irrelevant and not the cause of revenue being lost. All existing laws are already in place. Stop foreign countries, even people on street corners in big cities in USA from profiting off other's intellectual property. Prosecute those who upload movies to newsgroups, irc, p2p, etc.

      The average Joe backing up his movie is NOT where the main concern should be. If Hollywood wins this battle is that going to stop the illegal selling or uploading / downloading of movies? Heck no, it'll just punish the average person from legally making a personal DVD backup.
      • The average Joe backing up his movie is NOT where the main concern should be. If Hollywood wins this battle is that going to stop the illegal selling or uploading / downloading of movies? Heck no, it'll just punish the average person from legally making a personal DVD backup

        You're right about the average Joe who bought a DVD burner not being interested in irc, p2p etc. However he isn't interested in backing up his own DVDs either - he want's to backup Blockbuster's DVDs.
        • That's not my problem.

          If Blockbuster wants to get CSS-encrypted movies, that's fine. But why does that mean that the movies I purchase also need to be CSS-ecrypted? Blockbuster already gets custom versions of some movies from the studios, so adding this should not be that hard.
  • by corebreech (469871) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @09:15PM (#5969658) Journal
    Probaby get a better decision that way.
  • This is nice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jon787 (512497) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @09:17PM (#5969670) Homepage Journal
    It is good to see a judge thinking things over instead of following precedent. Precedents have incredible force in our legal system and setting them should be done carefully.
    • Re:This is nice (Score:5, Informative)

      by Timesprout (579035) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @09:22PM (#5969691)
      eh not really. The judge has already admitted
      "I am substantially persuaded by them," she told both sides.
      referring to previous decisions in favour of copyright holders in similar cases.
      • Re:This is nice (Score:4, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 15, 2003 @10:01PM (#5969845)
        eh not really. The judge has already admitted "I am substantially persuaded by them," she told both sides. referring to previous decisions in favour of copyright holders in similar cases.

        She was referring to Universal v 2600 which favored the copyright holders, and US v Elcomsoft which favored fair use.

    • Re:This is nice (Score:5, Insightful)

      by angle_slam (623817) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @10:16PM (#5969908)
      A trial court judge is REQUIRED to follow precedent. This case is fairly clear: under the DMCA, ALL copy protection circumvention is illegal. The judge really has no choice, unless she rules the DMCA unconstitutional. We really aren't going to get final word until the appeals are through, which will take years.
  • hmm (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 15, 2003 @09:19PM (#5969675)
    Excerpt from the article:
    Illston(the judge) asked Zacharia to explain the conundrum of locking up copyrighted works behind encryption and then making the breaking of that encryption illegal, even after the copyrights on those works expire. The judge wondered if it would effectively extend copyrights to keep such works out of the public domain. Zacharia said it would not, because the copyright had expired. "But it's encrypted. If it doesn't stop being encrypted, it's still encrypted," Illston said, adding that such protected works still couldn't be legally copied.
    A judge with a clue?
    • Re:hmm (Score:5, Funny)

      by Guppy06 (410832) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @10:06PM (#5969863)
      Nah. If she had a clue, she'd know that copyrights never expire. It's heresy to even say such a thing, and I'm sure men with black helicopters and black mouse ears will be showing up soon to take her away for "questioning."
    • Re:hmm (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sallen (143567) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @10:22PM (#5969929)
      The judge wondered if it would effectively extend copyrights to keep such works out of the public domain. Zacharia said it would not, because the copyright had expired. "But it's encrypted. If it doesn't stop being encrypted, it's still encrypted," Illston said, adding that such protected works still couldn't be legally copied.

      A judge with a clue?

      A very intresting clue. One I certainly hadn't thought of. It essentially makes copyright permanent. Even after expiration of copyright, the holders of original masters end up with exclusive rights. As each new technology comes out, super-dvd, super-hot-dvd, dvd-22nd century, they create new product, and sell it. All encrypted, nobody has the right to circumvent to copy. Not quite what the founders had in mind. Only those with 'old technology' ie, vhs, etc, would have something to 'copy' and that couldn't match anything once original works were digitally remastered a first time. I think those MPAA member film vaults just increased in value. Whichever whay the judge goes, it shows there are some on the bench with some long range insight.

      • My understanding of the DMCA is that the anticircumvention provisions only apply to copyrighted works. Once the copyright expires, it becomes legal to circumvent the copy protection (or more generally, s/copy protection/access control mechanism/).

        I may be wrong here, the quotes in the article certainly suggest otherwise. But I think a law that prohibits breaking ANY access control mechanism is completely ridiculous. It could be interpreted as making it illegal to remove the screws holding the cover on

        • by Qzukk (229616)
          My understanding of the DMCA is that the anticircumvention provisions only apply to copyrighted works. Once the copyright expires, it becomes legal to circumvent the copy protection

          Why, you're absolutely right. The DMCA only protects copy protection which is in use to protect copyrighted materials, which means that if the DVD consortium still uses CSS to encrypt discs in 500 years, then it will STILL be illegal to watch Die Hard in Linux.
        • Re:hmm (Score:3, Informative)

          by TMB (70166)

          My understanding of the DMCA is that the anticircumvention provisions only apply to copyrighted works. Once the copyright expires, it becomes legal to circumvent the copy protection (or more generally, s/copy protection/access control mechanism/).

          I may be wrong here, the quotes in the article certainly suggest otherwise. But I think a law that prohibits breaking ANY access control mechanism is completely ridiculous. It could be interpreted as making it illegal to remove the screws holding the cover on

      • Judge Illston: "But it's encrypted. If it doesn't stop being encrypted, it's still encrypted,"

        Sallen: It essentially makes copyright permanent. Even after expiration of copyright, the holders of original masters end up with exclusive rights. ... All encrypted, nobody has the right to circumvent to copy.

        To play devil's advocate:

        1) It is only illegal in the USA to circumvent the encryption. If an unencrypted copy is produced in another juristiction and then imported to the USA, the legality is purely bas
  • by harmonics (145499) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @09:24PM (#5969698)
    Amazing, one week we have solid interpretation of digital rights laws and their impact on Fair Use (Grokkster Case), and now this? I admit it isn't over yet, but some one please explain to me how the VCR is any different?

    Perhaps it's just me, but the last few years has been painful to watch, perhaps my politically apathetic body needs to get into action...

    Ahh hell, I live in Florida, the Mouse rules here with an white gloved iron fist!

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 15, 2003 @09:31PM (#5969732)

      one please explain to me how the VCR is any different?


      Encryption and the DMCA. If DVD's weren't encrypted this wouldn't even be an issue.


      • No, that's not the justification.

        Remember back when the DMCA was being written. The content cartels were justifying it by saying that the content was digital, and thus existing copyright laws didn't apply to and/or didn't adequately protect it. Because it was digital, it was All Different and needed an entirely new set of laws.

        Unfortunately for us, techies at the time agreed with them. "Hey," they thought, "copyright laws for the digital millennium, where things are All Different! Cool!" Of course, they

  • stupid (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SHEENmaster (581283) <travis&utk,edu> on Thursday May 15, 2003 @09:26PM (#5969709) Homepage Journal
    The software allows people to exercise their right to make a backup copy of digital media; that's fair use. The MPAA likes to sell multiple copies of fragile media.

    "If you can't excersize a right, you don't really have it."
    • Re:stupid (Score:5, Insightful)

      by More Trouble (211162) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @09:38PM (#5969759)
      The software allows people to exercise their right to make a backup copy of digital media

      So does a simple block copy. DeCSS is not necessary for making backup copies. DeCSS is necessary for making unlicensed players, tho. CSS is a licensing tool, not an anti-piracy tool. Maybe they should show the judge that you can easily make copies of DVDs without DeCSS. Think she'd get the point?

      :w
    • Allow me to play devil's advocate here. For many, the argument is that you should be able to produce a backup, in case the original gets damaged (or to prevent the original from getting damaged). If you buy a can opener and it breaks, do you expect to get another can opener for free (ignoring warranties, assume it's been 3 years since you bought the can opener)?

      More relevant to the copyright law: when you buy a book, do you copy/scan every page in the book, on the off chance that your dog will eat the book

      • As someone pointed out, the dvd is "fragile". There are books that are hundreds of years old.

        Do you have any 5 year old dvd's or cd's that are still in good shape? I don't, but I have books that have withstood a great deal of abuse over the last 30 years and are still good.
      • by Drachemorder (549870) <brandonNO@SPAMchristiangaming.org> on Thursday May 15, 2003 @10:55PM (#5970065) Homepage
        "If you buy a can opener and it breaks, do you expect to get another can opener for free"

        A can opener or a book is a physical item. When you buy a can opener, you're buying one can opener. You actually posses that item. This is not so with DVDs, according to the MPAA and their cronies: instead, you are buying the right to watch the movie contained in that DVD. Therefore it's reasonable to claim that this right persists regardless of what happens to the physical medium the movie is contained on.

        The movie is an abstract concept (i.e. "intellectual property"); the can opener is a physical item. The two are inherently different.

      • by IWannaBeAnAC (653701) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @11:25PM (#5970182)
        The problem is, the publishers' are trying to have their cake and eat it too.

        If they really sold you the physical media, and you were free to do anything you liked with it there would be no problem. (Of course, subject to existing laws, like you are not allowed to hit someone over the head with it and kill them, you are not allowed to violate copyright and sell copies of it, etc etc etc)

        But, software publishers especially, (but even book publishers) try to apply additional restrictions, to the point that you don't actually own the physical media anymore, you are instead "licenced" to make use of the product for some period of time. In this scenario, the phyical media is actually irrelevant, it makes no difference at all whether it came from a CD "bought" at the local store or downloaded from the internet. If the CD gets scratched or you accidentally erase your harddrive, it does not affect your licence to use the content. That is, if you can obtain the content from some other source, you are free to use it. Thus, forcing people to pay the full cost of an additional licence just to get a copy of something they already had a licence to use anyway is double-dipping (especially when it is a download with a marginal cost of zero). An analogy would be, if you lost your driver's licence, instead of just charging some nominal fee for the replacement of the card, charging the full cost of a new driver's licence (or even making you do the test again).

        Now, I don't necessarily agree with this model at all, but just stating how (some people think) it works.

        I believe it is quite legal to copy or scan every page of a book, as long as you do not distribute the copy. I might be wrong though. It doesn't matter much because that is completely unenforcable anyway. But I think DVD's are different in this respect.

      • by Bagheera (71311)
        If you buy a can opener and it breaks, do you expect to get another can opener for free (ignoring warranties, assume it's been 3 years since you bought the can opener)?

        Different animals. When you buy a 'device' you are buying the DEVICE. When you buy a DVD (Or CD or VHS Tape or Phillips Cassette or Vinyl record) you are buying a License to play the media and experience whatever is on it. The media itself is secondary to the License.

        Since the price of the Media is pennies, I would say YES. If you (an
  • by FuzzyBad-Mofo (184327) <fuzzybad@nOSPaM.gmail.com> on Thursday May 15, 2003 @09:28PM (#5969719)
    1. copyright protection is the legal protection given to works
    2. copy protection is the snake oil used to prevent fair use and to slow incompetent pirates
    • and to slow incompetent pirates

      Well, I wouldn't go that far. I can't help but suspect that the line between the two is blurred on purpose - after all, no one can argue that copyright protection is bad thing, right?

      • Weeeell, back in the old days, when copyright law was invented, copyright protection was not really a bad thing because it affected practically nobody (since so few people had a printing press), while benefitting practically everybody.

        Nowdays, digital copyright protection affects practically everybody (since practically everyone has access to a digital computer of some form), while benefitting practically nobody (the 0.0001% of society that are RIAA executives, and to a lesser extent, authors).

        Now, prot

        • Lets not get carried away here, the copyright system is not nearly as fucked at the moment as, for example, the patent system. Copyright is working perfectly well for print media, software, etc., just because ??AA are trying their hardest to abuse it to save their doomed business model doesn't make the concept of copyright itself a bad thing.

          You know, kinda like P2P networks aren't really responsible for people abusing them ;)

    • by petecarlson (457202) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @09:48PM (#5969798) Homepage Journal
      copy protection is the snake oil used to prevent fair use and to slow incompetent pirates

      The DMCA is legal protection of copy protection
      Brings up an interesting point. What is the intent of the DMCA? If the intent is to stop the copying of copyrighted works, why go through trouble of making an additional law? If the DMCA is enforced, there can be no legal copying of any protected work. No fair use etc... Why not just ditch fair use and say that any copying of a copyrighted work is illegal?
  • Can't be! (Score:4, Funny)

    by nightcrawler77 (644839) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @09:29PM (#5969724)

    "A copyright holder has no right to prevent someone from engaging in fair use," Durie said, noting that the studios' position would prevent students from excerpting film clips for school projects or parents making backups of their work. "That, I would suggest, can't be right. That can't be what the drafters of the DMCA intended."

    Yeah. There's no way that's what they intended...what's that? The MPAA wrote what?? Ahhhhh!!!

  • Please GPL it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by argoff (142580) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @09:34PM (#5969744)
    If the author hasn't already, I plead with him to please GPL the code. With code all over the internet, they will be powerless to stop it.

  • by beldraen (94534) <chad...montplaisir@@@gmail...com> on Thursday May 15, 2003 @09:34PM (#5969745)

    Illston asked Zacharia to explain the conundrum of locking up copyrighted works behind encryption and then making the breaking of that encryption illegal, even after the copyrights on those works expire. The judge wondered if it would effectively extend copyrights to keep such works out of the public domain. Zacharia said it would not, because the copyright had expired. "But it's encrypted. If it doesn't stop being encrypted, it's still encrypted," Illston said, adding that such protected works still couldn't be legally copied.

    I had never thought of this before. Think about it: If any work now has solely been release to the public in an encrypted form, then if anyone has copied/clipped/fair-use used the item, then the corporation can always go after the individual; therefore, copyright is completely irrelavent since encryption is enforced forever. Maybe I'm the only one who just caught this, but it seems no one has explicitly stated it this way.

    • If any work now has solely been release to the public in an encrypted form, then if anyone has copied/clipped/fair-use used the item, then the corporation can always go after the individual; therefore, copyright is completely irrelavent since encryption is enforced forever.

      Not really. If I could make a bit-for-bit copy of a DVD and sell it, I would have violated the copyright, but not the decryption ban. Therefore copyright is still relevant. Or am I missing something? Besides, not all media can convenie

      • On a different note, doesn't my DVD player necessarily decrypt the data when it displays the picture on the screen? Are all DVD players therefore illegal? Or am I missing something else, too?

        The DVD player is not intended to bypass copyright, simply play the contents of the disk on your TV screen.
        • The DVD player is not intended to bypass copyright, simply play the contents of the disk on your TV screen.


          True, but according to the RIAA, intent isn't what matters, it's ability. The software in this case is not intended to enable piracy, either.

      • Not really. If I could make a bit-for-bit copy of a DVD and sell it, I would have violated the copyright, but not the decryption ban.

        It's not a "decrypting ban", it is a ban on circumvention devices. DVD writers will not let you make a bit-for-bit copy of a copy-protected DVD unless you circumvent the device.

        On a different note, doesn't my DVD player necessarily decrypt the data when it displays the picture on the screen? Are all DVD players therefore illegal? Or am I missing something else, too?

        Y

    • This argument was one of many which I foresaw and noted in my anti-SSSCA letter of a few years ago. The language of that proposal was "copyrighted or protected works", which essentially killed the whole concept of lapsing copyright.

  • yah right! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 15, 2003 @09:45PM (#5969788)
    OK, so I bought hundreds of records in the 80's and I confined them to the dustbin (or lost them) when CD's became mainstream. Do you really expect me to pay once for tape, again for vinyl, again for CD's, and again for your next format, and the next... ?
    The same for the MPAA! I bought a DVD and it developed a crack not through my own fault of abuse. I sent it back to the 'house' that produced it and never received a response.
    Oh my question: When we buy a CD or a DVD what exactly are we buying ? (rights to view/listen ? a piece of plastic ? rights to put on another medium ?)

    My answer: The right to spend money so these greedy assholes can get million dollar salaries, never answer questions, and buy lawyers!
  • by mao che minh (611166) * on Thursday May 15, 2003 @09:48PM (#5969799) Journal
    The cynical side of me wants to say that the judge has suspended immediate judgement in order to appear even handed - to save some kind of face with anti-DMCA folks. He or she has already decided to rule to the highest bidder, and that's the copyright holders.

    We'll have to wait and see. Until the ripple effects of the DMCA start to annoy more people (not just techies), the bulk of the rulings will go towards the corporate masters.

  • by Duckman5 (665208) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @09:50PM (#5969806)
    "They just can't traffic in anticircumvention devices," Russell Frackman, a partner with Los Angeles-based Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp who's representing the studios, told the judge.

    The studios seem to have some real bright cookies representing them. Isn't 321 Studios selling circumvention devices. You know, something used to get around the encryption. This may be a bit nit-picky, but i thought you were supposed to have a firm grasp of the English language before going to law school.
  • by sbwoodside (134679) <sbwoodside@yahoo.com> on Thursday May 15, 2003 @09:51PM (#5969813) Homepage
    I also liked the comment by the defence lawyer:

    "That, I would suggest, can't be right. That can't be what the drafters of the DMCA intended."

    Well, I agree, that can't be right. The question was about students taking excerpts from movies. Well, obviously it can't be right to ban that. But I think it probably was what the drafters of the DMCA wanted. It's nice rhetoric to claim that the drafters of the DMCA didn't mean to impinge on fair use, but they probably did.

    simon
  • This is great... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Directly from the article:

    "They just can't traffic in anticircumvention devices," Russell Frackman, a partner with Los Angeles-based Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp who's representing the studios, told the judge.

    What exactly is an ANTIcircumvention device? I'm so glad to see that the judge was swayed by such persuasive reasoning as this...
  • the way I look at it (Score:5, Interesting)

    by toddhunter (659837) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @10:13PM (#5969896)
    If they sell me a DVD or CD, I'll do whatever I want to do with it. If I want to copy it, I will, If I want to crack the copy-protection, I will. If I want to sit around the house using them as frisbees I'll bloody well do that too. If they don't like it, then stop selling me DVD's and CD's. Make it impossible to 'buy' them, and start a renting agreement. Then fair enough, I'll pay my money, agree to the temporary license and leave it at that. So stop prenteding you are not selling me something. if you do, then it is mine.
  • by iplayfast (166447) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @10:16PM (#5969911)
    If she was pursuaded by the recent DMCA rulings, shouldn't she also be pursuaded by the SC rulings on VCR copying? Afterall, the fact that VCR's have a record button, means they are built in order to record. The fact they have a play button means they were also built to play (and in the process unencrypt) video tapes. If VCR's are able to play a video tape, why can't my computer play a DVD?
  • Welcome to the sideshow! Here you are argue that the DMCA does, or does not allow fair use as it existed before the DMCA.

    Avoid the Sideshow. Vote. Forget this arguement. The people who passed the DMCA need to go. Do something other than letting your butt get bigger reading postings and eating hohos. Write a letter.

    If you don't like it like I do, take action. Don't wait for someone to save your rights like the EFF. Help them, by donating money, time, and help yourself by writing and calling.

    For God's sake please don't complain unless you are willing to do something. I hope that everyone here who cliams to have some passion about this issue is willing to do something. If that is so we'll have no trouble making our opinions known.

    PS: Sorry, about the butt...errr...crack earilier in my post. :)

    -- James Dornan

  • by Kjella (173770) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @10:31PM (#5969955) Homepage
    is that you can split it into two programs. A DVD player, and a screen capture utility, which are both perfectly legal. Of course that would require a reencode, but that is what happens on 4,7gb+ movies anyway.

    Kjella
  • Seeing as how they've already started SELLING this software, there's no WAY this is going to do anything other than stop the flow of income into 321 Studios, unless they shut down P2P networks, which have already been ruled in court (Grokster) as non-copyright-infringing [crblaw.com] and therefore cannot be (legally) removed (if at all).
    • by Quila (201335) on Friday May 16, 2003 @02:49AM (#5970783)
      there's no WAY this is going to do anything other than stop the flow of income into 321 Studios,

      They want to make innovators afraid to go into business, eliminating other players in the media business. They want to own and control all media from production to viewing, and this is just a step in that direction.
    • unless they shut down P2P networks, which have already been ruled in court (Grokster) as non-copyright-infringing

      Not quite. It's been ruled that the software used to create these networks has significant uses that are non-infringing, and that the software maker cannot reasonably held liable for infringement of copyright perpetuated by software users.

      Having said that, I agree with what (I think) your point is--to wit, that DVD copying should be legitimate, legal, and fair in many instances.

  • I mean, they are probably just miffed that their lousy copy protection doesn't work. Instead of ensuring their system is robust and bullet proof, they winge in court that anybody can circumvent it. This should really be seen by them as embarrassing.

    Alternative for the software manufacturers:
    Perhaps if the DVD copying software uses the libdvdcss stuff, then it should instead of including it in the package, have a script that will download it from some unnamed country in eastern europe, much like how some Li
  • by clonebarkins (470547) on Friday May 16, 2003 @08:08AM (#5971726)

    First, is CSS patented? I mean, it's gotta either be patented or be in the public domain, right? Is there another choice I'm missing?

    Anyway, assuming it is patented, then the patent is up in 20 years, right? So, once the patent is up, who can legally argue that you broke the decryption?

    Just some thoughts.

  • But he added that Ebert has no more of a right to make full copies of a movie than anyone else.

    Ummm... OK. The implication is that he (and thus anyone else) does have the right to make excerpts, right? Which part of the DVD in question is unencrypted to facilitate this? The part that the studios want to have excerpted, or the part that the individual wants to excerpt?

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