DMCA question

 
Old 02-21-04, 01:20 PM
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DMCA question

Alright, this question is based on the recent ruling against 321 studios (DVD X COPY).

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...media_321_dc_5

I understand that under the DMCA, it is a per se violation to circumvent copyright protection schemes. Quite frankly, that's what DVD X Copy does.

However, under the DMCA, a user is allowed to copy media for backup purposes.

These two provisions seemingly contradict each other, as you could not make a copy without breaking the protection.

I think the DMCA is the worst piece of legislation regarding digital rights that Congress has ever passed. It's fraught with contradicitons and vagueries like this one.

So my question is how can one make a copy of his/her digital media, a right under the DMCA, without violating the DMCA?
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Old 02-21-04, 01:30 PM
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Re: DMCA question

Originally posted by DVD Josh
However, under the DMCA, a user is allowed to copy media for backup purposes.


No such provision exists within the DMCA.

DJ
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Old 02-21-04, 01:38 PM
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Re: Re: DMCA question

Originally posted by djtoell


No such provision exists within the DMCA.

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Copyright law is not my specialty . That was however 321's argument in its defense. Perhaps the article phrased it wrong. Generally speaking however, isn't a user entitled to make a backup for personal purposes?
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Old 02-21-04, 01:47 PM
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Re: Re: Re: DMCA question

Originally posted by DVD Josh
That was however 321's argument in its defense.


321 didn't argue that the DMCA allows for backup copies, but rather that the Constitution protects such fair uses. And they lost.

Generally speaking however, isn't a user entitled to make a backup for personal purposes?
Other than in the case of computer software, there is no law that definitively says so. A court would have to decide if a given backup copy was fair use, weighing the 4 factors. And while personal backup copies are fairly llikely to be found to be fair use, that is rather irrelevant to the DMCA. Fair use protects a person from copyright infringement suit, but the DMCA anti-circumvention provision isn't copyright infringement, but rather its own thing. The act of circumventing a technological access control such as CSS has no fair use exception. 321 Studios, just as 2600 Magazine before it, has tried to convince the courts that the Constitution provides fair use exceptions to the DMCA, but they're wrong and have lost in court each time.

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Last edited by djtoell; 02-21-04 at 01:50 PM.
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Old 02-21-04, 04:15 PM
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A lot of dvds don't have copy protection and those are the ones you can backup. As for all the others, you are SOL
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Old 02-21-04, 09:46 PM
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Originally posted by chemosh6969
A lot of dvds don't have copy protection and those are the ones you can backup. As for all the others, you are SOL
A lot? You must buy nothing but dvds from A&E then.

The only way to back up your dvds under the fair use provision is thru the "analog hole," that is, to copy the signal that comes out of the dvd player and to the tv/vcr. Atleast until the law forbidding that gets passed (the MPAA is trying hard).
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Old 02-21-04, 10:58 PM
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Originally posted by duz
A lot? You must buy nothing but dvds from A&E then.
Nope, no A&E, but I do buy a lot of movies that don't come from the major studios so that's why I can make that claim. I'd say that about 25% of my dvds don't have protection on them.

Originally posted by duz
The only way to back up your dvds under the fair use provision is thru the "analog hole," that is, to copy the signal that comes out of the dvd player and to the tv/vcr. Atleast until the law forbidding that gets passed (the MPAA is trying hard).
If the dvd has no copy protection, you can make a copy using a dvd recorder on a computer, and that is a digital copy not analog.
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Old 02-22-04, 03:15 AM
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Hmmm...Porn isn't usually copy protected and it certainly doesn't make up 25% of my collection!
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Old 02-22-04, 12:49 PM
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Originally posted by iove
Hmmm...Porn isn't usually copy protected and it certainly doesn't make up 25% of my collection!
noooo! I have a lot of older horror movies that don't have protection, some Something Weird dvds, some Troma dvds, some retromedia dvds, and so on.

dvds that aren't from the big studios that are supporting the DMCA a lot of times aren't protected.
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Old 02-22-04, 11:07 PM
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Originally posted by duz
The only way to back up your dvds under the fair use provision is thru the "analog hole," that is, to copy the signal that comes out of the dvd player and to the tv/vcr. Atleast until the law forbidding that gets passed (the MPAA is trying hard).
I say this with respect, but you may have just violated the law. You just circumvented a copy protection.

Gotta love possible (some would say very likely) interpretations of the DMCA, huh? When they add any measure of 'protection', which can mean so little, fair use is gone.
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Old 02-23-04, 12:48 AM
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Sony had Federal rulings against them when Universal tried to make VCRs illegal until it was eventually overturned by the Supreme Court. Even if they lose this case it does nothing to stop mass produced piracy which is far more sophisticated than any home PC software app.
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Old 02-23-04, 01:31 AM
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Originally posted by ScottReynolds
I say this with respect, but you may have just violated the law. You just circumvented a copy protection.

Gotta love possible (some would say very likely) interpretations of the DMCA, huh? When they add any measure of 'protection', which can mean so little, fair use is gone.
Nope, the DMCA refers only to digital circumvention. The MPAA is trying to get analog bypassing included though.
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Old 02-23-04, 01:39 AM
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Originally posted by duz
Nope, the DMCA refers only to digital circumvention.
No, it doesn't. The word "digital" does not appear anywhere within 17 USC 1201, the provision that prohibits circumvention of access controls. 1201(a)(3)(B) defines a qualifying access control as one that, "in the ordinary course of its operation, requires the application of information, or a process or a treatment, with the authority of the copyright owner, to gain access to the work." An analog access control can qualify just as easily as a digital one. Likewise, the act of circumvention is defined in 1201(a)(3)(A) as "to descramble a scrambled work, to decrypt an encrypted work, or otherwise to avoid, bypass, remove, deactivate, or impair a technological measure, without the authority of the copyright owner." Nothing in that definition limits circumvention to being digital in nature.

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Last edited by djtoell; 02-23-04 at 02:45 AM.
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