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Germany Says Copying of DVDs, CDs Is Verboten 230

Posted by Zonk
from the you-own-nothing-you-hear-me dept.
Billosaur writes "In what can only be seen as the opening salvo in an attempt to control what users can do with content, the German parliament has approved a controversial copyright law which will make it illegal to make copies of CDs and DVDs, even for personal use. The Bundesrat, the upper part of the German parliament, approved the legislation over the objections of consumer protection groups. The law is set to take effect in 2008, and covers CDs, DVDs, recordings from IPTV, and TV recordings." A few folks have noted that this story is incorrect. The original link seems to be down now anyway. Sorry.
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Germany Says Copying of DVDs, CDs Is Verboten

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  • by Czar the Bizarre (841811) <<czar> <at> <goth.net>> on Friday September 21, 2007 @05:44PM (#20704133) Homepage
    i see noooothing, i hear nooothing !!
  • by jtroutman (121577) on Friday September 21, 2007 @05:44PM (#20704141)
    That gives you three months to make all the copies you're going to need.
  • by stoolpigeon (454276) * <bittercode@gmail> on Friday September 21, 2007 @05:44PM (#20704161) Homepage Journal
    The author does not report the facts. The law does not prohibit the copying of DVDs or CDs; it disallows the circumvention of anti-copying technologies like Macrovision et al., something that has been illegal in the US for a decade. The law specifically allows users to make backups of DVD and CD movies, software and music and other digital content for their own archives and to use/play on alternate devices (i.e., ripping movies to your hard drive to watch on a DVR or other device, ripping music to play on an ipod or other device, etc.). These specifically-named consumer rights are actually broader than those granted by law to American consumers. I am not sure what the author relied upon for his translation of the law, but I can assure you that it does nothing like what he suggests.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by ackthpt (218170) *

      The author does not report the facts. The law does not prohibit the copying of DVDs or CDs; it disallows the circumvention of anti-copying technologies like Macrovision et al., something that has been illegal in the US for a decade. The law specifically allows users to make backups of DVD and CD movies, software and music and other digital content for their own archives and to use/play on alternate devices (i.e., ripping movies to your hard drive to watch on a DVR or other device, ripping music to play on a

      • by hedwards (940851)
        Actually, that's the case in the US as well, it just requires a supermajority to do so. Otherwise the President is required to sign off on it. When it comes to larger changes the constitution can be changed at any time with a constitutional amendment. It is purposely designed to be unwieldy so that in times like now, it is far less convenient to revoke things like habeas corpus on the fly. And as such it requires the ratification process be upheld. It is unlikely indeed that we would have made it through th
    • by LWATCDR (28044) on Friday September 21, 2007 @05:53PM (#20704365) Homepage Journal
      "The law does not prohibit the copying of DVDs or CDs; it disallows the circumvention of anti-copying technologies like Macrovision et al.,"
      So exactly how does one make a copy of a movie to their hard drive without circumventing De-CSS?
      Seems like the DMCA to me.
      • by Sloppy (14984)
        Copy the key along with the cyphertext.
      • by Hatta (162192)
        You can copy the encrypted .vob to your hard disk without circumventing CSS. You just can't view it.
      • not all dvds are encrypted.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by DaedalusHKX (660194)
          I actually lost any desire to waste time on pirating or even really purchasing that much "dvd content" years back.

          Last DVD I burned or even "decrypted" was Gentoo 7.0 DVD... I even used that verboten technology "bittorent" to download it... aren't I the evil sophtwarez pirat3, eh? (For those of you not in the know, bittorent copies of Gentoo Linux are actually the only way the Gentoo foundation distributes their Linux DVDs.)

          The irony is that the government clamped down on any form of usage, preservation, b
          • by junglee_iitk (651040) on Saturday September 22, 2007 @05:35AM (#20709333)
            Heh... I am in Stuttgart (Deutschland!) and yesterday my computer was confiscated because I downloaded OpenOffice 2.3 using BitTorrent.

            I use opera and I did... my system administrator is very competent but unfortunately he didn't know how to disable torrent capabilities system-wide. They (some long word referring to teh-main-network-monitoring-team) caught the port being used for downloading.

            Bad things happen :) I had around 6-7 GB of sceintific work but my machine is right now "frozen" and my professor cannot use it for the conference in Paris this monday. I had to hear "scheiße" uncountable times before he left my room in hurry.

            Late evening I was told that my activities are being monitored (and will be). I didn't dare asking for how long. I hate those Turkish people who were caught making bombs. They ruin it for everyone! People try to convince me a number of times how "foreign" is better, but to tell you the truth, I miss having cheap un-monitored broadband connection of India than clean roads, train on-time and other expensive luxuries I do not use or care.
            • by mahmud (254877)
              Dude, your post doesn't make any sense. Who confiscated your machine?, why (apart from the BS about using BitTorrent)?, where do you work?, etc. These are crucial pieces of information that you didn't care to provide. Downloading stuff using BitTorrent is hardly illegal or "evil", as long as it's not warez. So my conclusion is that you have no clue about what you are talking about, you are trolling (most likely) OR need to take some classes on communicating with other human beings.
              • Did it occur to you that having already implied that he's not white/German (possibly Indian), and that he works in a facility doing some sort of research (possibly a university), and that his professor (most certainly a university) is giving some speech at a conference in Paris has already released too much information to those that might do him further harm (read - so called "authorities") in his neck of the woods?

                To give names and specifics would further cement the ability of whatever bureau or employer t
              • Downloading stuff using BitTorrent is hardly illegal or "evil", as long as it's not warez.

                That is the whole point of the post.

                $ cat /etc/SuSE-release
                openSUSE 10.2 (i586)
                VERSION = 10.2
                In other words, no warez.
                • by mahmud (254877)
                  If you are indeed working at a top-secret mission-critical nuclear weapons facility, which is the only explanation for security people wanting to check on your computer, then your admin should be fired for not making the network secure enough.

                  My problem with your post was that you started to say how "bad" the system is, without giving us any of the context. If you are under NDA - don't talk about it at all. Me nor many other people, I am sure, don't want to read accusations of very serious crimes against
      • So exactly how does one make a copy of a movie to their hard drive without circumventing De-CSS?

        It is simple. Rip a track instead of copy the CD/DVD. Since you don't have the file structure and a bit for bit copy, you simply have a low quality facsimile. Last time I checked a low quality monochrome fax of a reduced size dollar bill (one sided) was not considered a counterfeit of the original. I would think this would apply to compressed reduced size rips for your iPod or Zen Video.

        There is the possibili
      • by jotok (728554)
        When I converted my DVD collection to use with MythTV, I had to circumvent copy protection in numerous cases to get a final 2-hour high-quality (well, not too shabby) MPEG.

        My other option was to simply make a 7-gig copy of the entire disc, which also preserves surround sound, menus, and so forth.
      • by Rutulian (171771)
        You just copy it to the hard disk. It will still be encrypted, but you can copy it. That's the funny thing about CSS. It is claimed to be for the prevention of piracy, but in fact it does no such thing. I can rip a thousand copies to my hard disk and distribute them to all my friends. All I need is a licensed player, like PowerDVD, to decrypt the stream and play it for me.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by darkvizier (703808)

      The law does not prohibit the copying of DVDs or CDs; it disallows the circumvention of anti-copying technologies like Macrovision et al., something that has been illegal in the US for a decade.

      Ah well that's good, because as stated previously it would be completely unenforceable unless they outlaw the possession of recordable media/recording devices. But, wait - It's still nearly impossible to enforce due to privacy laws (police can't just walk into a house to check if people are circumventing copy protection) and P2P sharing over the internet, which makes it very difficult to stop the distribution of circumvention software. Oh well... time for more inefficient use of tax dollars.

      • by mbone (558574)
        In Germany, representatives of the state do indeed walk into people's houses to check on things like this. I have seen this with my own eyes; I was at home with some friends in Germany when a functionary in uniform knocked on the door, and proceeded to start poking around the house. They told me he was looking for unlicensed TV's and did this once a year or so.

        Germany is not the USA, and the differences are not just the language and currency.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 21, 2007 @06:03PM (#20704529)
      The author does not report the facts. The law does not prohibit the copying of DVDs or CDs; it disallows the circumvention of anti-copying technologies

      And if someone were to hold a plastic bag over your head, it is not killing you, it disallows fresh air from reaching your lungs.

      If you make all possible ways of achieving a task illegal, then it is illegal to achieve that task, no matter how you wish to play with your words.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by kavau (554682)
        I don't think the poster was condoning the law. And yes, it does suck... but it's also important to put it in perspective. It's no worse (but also not much better) than the USA's DMCA.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 21, 2007 @06:16PM (#20704751)
      "I am not sure what the author relied upon for his translation of the law, but I can assure you that it does nothing like what he suggests."

      It's called, pushing the hot buttons. And since few RTFA or anything deeper than that. It slips by easier and easier. Kind of the slashdot version of slipping an item into a bill just before voting and hoping no one will notice. And much like that the consequences are hard to get rid of.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Hatta (162192)
      These specifically-named consumer rights are actually broader than those granted by law to American consumers.

      Just because it's not as harsh as the US's law doesn't mean it's not too harsh.
    • The law does not prohibit the copying of DVDs or CDs; it disallows the circumvention of anti-copying technologies like Macrovision et al.

      Yes. I am still allowed to make a private copy of the movie I just bought on DVD. I even paid for that right in a form of a levy on the DVD-R media and my DVD-burner. I'm not sure ... but I think even my Mac mini had that levy in its price. Now, as most movies this DVD comes wth a bunch of copy protection mechanisms. According to new laws I'm not allowed to by-pass them.

    • by m2943 (1140797)
      The author does not report the facts. The law does not prohibit the copying of DVDs or CDs; it disallows the circumvention of anti-copying technologies like Macrovision et al.

      That does prohibit the copying of (almost all) DVDs; the fact that it doesn't explicitly say so doesn't change that.

      The question then becomes: what do Germans pay fees on blank media for? What copyrighted content can be copied on DVDs? And why should the blank media fees be distributed to companies that put out encrypted (and hence,
  • You have a calling.
  • by iamacat (583406) on Friday September 21, 2007 @05:47PM (#20704229)
    When large companies find that their IT departments can not stage ISOs for enterprise-wide deployment, they are going to fight this law much more effectively than any music enthusiasts could.
    • by Shados (741919)
      Indeed. I can't beleive the people approving this have any experience in corporate environments... I mean, if you're really close minded and ONLY know about home use, it can semi sortoff make sense to say you HAVE to use the physical media and no copy... you're 1 person, 1 media...

      But for a corporation? OH YES! I -REALLY- want the junior sysadmin running around with my multi-thousand dollar server software disks! YEEEEEEEEEES.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by raddan (519638)
      No one is going to bother corporate IT people. They're not even on the RIAA/MPAA's radar, because they're copying software. And they're usually copying software that they explicitly have a license to copy for the entire organization, e.g., Windows. This is aimed directly at music and movie copying.
    • by jimicus (737525)
      Been on the catnip a bit too heavily? Software DVDs aren't CSS-protected. In fact, most enterprise software tends to follow the "activate as part of installation either using a license key, a separate piece of software to manage licenses or by phoning home" model rather than the "make the installation media hard to copy" model.
  • by vlad_petric (94134) on Friday September 21, 2007 @05:49PM (#20704265) Homepage
    with a CD/DVD purchase? It seems to me - a license to play the content, privately, for the lifetime of the physical medium.
    • by Clay Pigeon -TPF-VS- (624050) on Friday September 21, 2007 @05:59PM (#20704465) Journal
      For that much money it better be for MY lifetime.
      • by idontgno (624372)

        For that much money it better be for MY lifetime.

        Oh my dear GOD! Don't say stuff like that! Do you really think the media pigopolists would have any qualms about making that part of the license terms finite as well?

        *AA: "Yup, lifetime license."
        You: "Great, decades of enjoyment."
        *AA: "No, 2 years."
        You: "But I'll live longer than that!"
        *AA: "No, you won't. We'll see to that."

      • by Myopic (18616)
        Mods, you got it wrong. Parent is not funny, it's insightful. Plus, the GP doesn't address the question of buying content with no physical medium.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by rastoboy29 (807168) *
      Seems to me, a physical recording.  That's it.

      LICENSE MY ASS.  SHOW ME THE CONTRACT.
    • by arkhan_jg (618674)
      Why would I need a licence? There's no ongoing service provided. It's a simple established principle in law that when a copy of a copyrighted work is sold, whether it's printed as words on paper or indentations in a circular piece of plastic, the doctrine of first sale applies and no further restrictions can be applied by the copyright holder post sale, other than those specifically disallowed by copyright and other laws.

      I can't distribute copies to other people, I can't make public performances of it, I ca
  • So sad. (Score:5, Funny)

    by bi$hop (878253) on Friday September 21, 2007 @05:56PM (#20704391)
    I remember the good ol' days when copying of DVDs and CDs was just farhfegnugen in Germany. Now it's verboten? Next thing you know it will be gesundheit!
    • by gardyloo (512791)
      Yes, and it's making me all verklemmt. Discuss amongst yourselves.
      • by MrCopilot (871878)
        I remember the good ol' days when copying of DVDs and CDs was just farhfegnugen in Germany. Now it's verboten? Next thing you know it will be gesundheit!

        Yes, and it's making me all verklemmt. Discuss amongst yourselves.

        Should I call you a Krunkenvagon?

  • You see, I thought my German friends were more pragmatic than we Americans, but this law is making me review my attitude towards them. I personally doubt it will have any effect.
  • by erroneus (253617) on Friday September 21, 2007 @06:07PM (#20704607) Homepage
    Clearly German legislators are less expensive than those of many other nations! I'll keep that in mind when I need to buy a new law! :)
    • by Tribbin (565963)
      Thanks for the tip.

      Cheers,

      Murphy
  • Nice way to subvert the will of the majority and cater to a minority. Seems pretty obvious that the will of the German people was not served here.
  • by dada21 (163177) <adam.dada@gmail.com> on Friday September 21, 2007 @06:23PM (#20704871) Homepage Journal
    Yes, your loving anarcho-capitalist, me, loudly pronounces his support of this great law.

    It is my belief that the best way to get rid of government is to let it collapse on itself. We need more taxes, more laws, more regulations and more actions to be considered crimes -- at all levels of government. Not only would all this new legislation and income create a more massive bureaucracy that will just stifle its ability to do anything right, but it will help open the eyes of every being in seeing what a waste government is.

    I love adding new non-violent action laws to the books: all it does is make the black market that much more fruitful for those willing to take the risk. Why just stop at copying the CD and DVD to another CD or DVD? Let's make it illegal to copy ANY information off of a CD or DVD into any other form, including RAM, so that just playing it is wrong.

    "Did you see that new movie? It's gorgeous, bright and shiny, and the case is really nice!"

    "What's the plot?"

    "I don't know, I didn't want to risk playing it. But the DVD is nice!!!"
    • by raddan (519638)
      Anarcho-capitalism really is a central piece of your identity isn't it? Reminds me of that Python skit... oh yeah, this one [youtube.com]!
  • by gnasher719 (869701) on Friday September 21, 2007 @06:34PM (#20705027)
    For some more serious information check out this article:

    http://www.goethe.de/wis/buv/thm/urh/en2550214.htm [goethe.de]

    Very quick summary: Yes, you can make copies of your CDs for private use. There are things that you are not allowed to copy, but they are not CDs.

    Obviously it is now up to consumers not to buy music in a format that doesn't allow copying.

    • by wol (10606) on Friday September 21, 2007 @06:59PM (#20705383)
      Critical bit from that article:

      To be sure, copying for private use is still permitted - which is, after all, the reason for the flat-rate levy payable on certain devices. However, if special anti-copying technology has been employed to protect the medium, e.g. a music CD, such protection may not be circumvented by any means. The Ministry of Justice has given clear expression to this prohibition: "There is no 'right of private copying' at the expense of rights holders". This also means that consumers who download a file from the Internet must first check whether the offer is legal. How users are supposed to do so remains unclear, says the National Federation of Consumer Organisations.
      • by Randseed (132501)

        The Ministry of Justice has given clear expression to this prohibition: "There is no 'right of private copying' at the expense of rights holders".

        In other news, the Ministry of Truth has declared that Ignorance Is Strength. An announcement is expected from the Ministry of Love tomorrow explaining the penalties for those who copy. The Junior Anti-Sex League has, meanwhile, expressed concern that this act may decrease dissemination of pornography, thus leading to more actual sex.

      • by pimpimpim (811140)
        Sorry, but anti-copying technology means anti-listening technology, since these two processes are in effect the same. Also note that those are the CDs you won't be able to play on your pc or car stereo because, in effect, these CDs are not complying to the CD standards made in the 80's. So you wasted your money on a product that doesn't offer what it said it would (be a medium you can use to play music with on CD players). Thank you very much German lawmakers! I'm living in Germany and was sort of proud of
      • by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Friday September 21, 2007 @10:28PM (#20707357) Homepage Journal
        ``To be sure, copying for private use is still permitted - which is, after all, the reason for the flat-rate levy payable on certain devices. However, if special anti-copying technology has been employed to protect the medium, e.g. a music CD, such protection may not be circumvented by any means. The Ministry of Justice has given clear expression to this prohibition: "There is no 'right of private copying' at the expense of rights holders". This also means that consumers who download a file from the Internet must first check whether the offer is legal. How users are supposed to do so remains unclear, says the National Federation of Consumer Organisations.''

        Comparing this to the Dutch (from the Netherlands, a small country that borders Germany in the west) equivalent of copyright law, I get the following.

        1. Copying for personal use is permitted by basic copyright law, which, in the Netherlands, has been in place for a pretty long time. I imagine the same to be true in Germany.
        2. Not allowing the circumvention of "technical measures" is from the EUCD, the EU equivalent of the DMCA. Both Germany and the Netherlands have this.
        3. In the Netherlands at least, downloading a file from the Internet constitutes making a copy for personal use, which is expressly permitted as per 1. (That is, for anything that is on media, except software. Books don't apply as thy aren't on media, music does, and software doesn't, because it is explicitly mentioned as an exception.)

        I would be mildly surprised if 3 were different in Germany, i.e. you were not allowed to download music files under all circumstances. What is illegal, in the Netherlands, is circumventing the DRM. Anything that involves that (making a copy of th contents of the DVD, playing the DVD) therefore cannot be done legally. Downloading a file from the Internet does not involve curcimventing DRM, so isn't made ilelgal by tha.t
  • Democracy (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Tribbin (565963) on Friday September 21, 2007 @06:41PM (#20705163) Homepage
    In a democracy, shouldn't we, the people, be deciding if we are allowed to copy anything we want?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by wytcld (179112)

      shouldn't we, the people, be deciding if we are allowed to copy anything we want?

      Surely private enterprise can invent chip implants that scramble experience if you don't have the keys. The same sort of noise-cancellation currently used for headphones, why not tie it directly into the nerves from the ears, or the optics? There's something quite wonderful about the notion of being surrounded by an invisible reality only those with the special keys can see. That's the premise of just about every religion and m

    • by Kelz (611260)
      Analogy to prove that your line of thinking is wrong:

      In a democracy, shouldn't we, the people, be deciding if we are allowed to kill (Insert_Minority_Here) because they're colored differently?

      Extreme example (ya think??), but please, theres so many stupid comments going on any time someone brings up copyright protections they need to be shot down.
    • In a democracy, shouldn't we, the people, be deciding if we are allowed to copy anything we want?

      No. In a democracy you elect representatives and those decide for you. If all representatives are against your opinions that's it. If you still want your opinions in decision making you'll have to start your own party. Then, when you gain ground, the parties in power will change policy whilst still have all other things in place you haven't thought of yet. So your little effort will vanish in a New York secon

  • We know that America is probably the worst country for digital freedoms, and it sounds like Germany is in the running for second-worst.

    Which countries are the *most* permissive in terms of fair use, lack of software patents, etc.?

    (And I don't mean which countries don't enforce their laws. I mean which countries actually have laws offer the most freedom for citizens.)
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by BlueParrot (965239)

      (And I don't mean which countries don't enforce their laws. I mean which countries actually have laws offer the most freedom for citizens.)

      By that metric the US would be very permissive given the constitution. You can't just look at the letter of the law, at the end of the day the courts will have to interpret it, so it is really a matter of how things actually work out in practice. In principle US citizens have more legally recognised rights than we have in Sweden, in practice you have to consider how auth

  • If its for personal use, how are they ever going to even know that it happened?
    • by knewter (62953)
      Pulled over in a car while playing a burned music CD? That took a lot of thought, thanks.
  • by posterlogo (943853) on Friday September 21, 2007 @07:26PM (#20705719)
    Do we license it?


    Do we own the physical CD/DVD, but not what's on it?

    If we own the right to use the media for personal use, then we should get additional copies of the physical media at no (or very little) charge if it becomes damaged.

    But if we own that CD/DVD, then we should be able to make our own backups, at the least.

    The content producers want it both ways. They say that we don't really "own" the content, just the right to access it, but what if you can't access that content? For example, no more working record players or tape decks in the world. Then we should get the updated version for free right? If we bought the right to access that content. If not, then they should just fuck off and let us acquire or reacquire content we already paid for.

    • by BlueStrat (756137)
      "The content producers want it both ways."

      Of course they do, silly! Call girls, cocaine, Ferraris, yachts, mansions, and politicians haven't gotten any cheaper, you know!

      Strat
  • Turn it around! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by El Icaro (816679) <icaroNO@SPAMspymac.com> on Friday September 21, 2007 @08:55PM (#20706631)
    This could be an absolutely retarded thing I'm saying, but, couldn't we turn the public on to them?

    Say something like, for example, that this will enable paedophiles to hide their files. Independent groups won't be able to verify their contents and police will need court orders (or whatever kind of official permission there is there to enable police to conduct searches) and that it will radically slow down any important investigations...

    I don't know how, but I feel it's time to use their own manipulative weapons against them. Remember, it doesn't have to be logical or completely sane, just "emotional" enough to convince the impulsive masses.

    Would something like this be possible?
  • As the Video pirate captain in "Amazon Women on the Moon" said, "I'm soooo scared". See the Video Pirates in action. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7I5dVBezF9k [youtube.com]
  • by cpghost (719344) on Friday September 21, 2007 @10:47PM (#20707453) Homepage
    Do you really think this silly law is about DRM? IP rights? Copyright infrigement? C'mon! Just like the anti p2p legislation, it will be ignored by nearly everyone, and the government won't even try to enforce it on normal citizens. The real reason for such widely disobeyed laws is for the government to have a tool they can smash on the heads of people they don't like and against whom they have no other legal recourse. An example? Merkel doesn't like, say, Germans converting to Islam. Now imagine some government employee at work: "Oh, it's not illegal to convert? Damn those constitutional rights! How can I brown-nose our Angie? I need that promotion pronto! Oh, yeah, let's check out his private CDs / DVDs collection: there WILL be something illegal there to haul him into jail! Hmm.... What would I do with the pay rise?" Too narrow? Not so many "Konvertiten"? No problem! What about those pesky attac dissenters? Consumer rights groups? People protesting against taxes? Peace activists?... All of them will have compromitting CDs/DVDs somewhere, so government can selectively apply its silly anti-circumvention law to silence them too. Normal population has nothing to fear at all from this: it's a purely political law, that will be used for political purpuses only (plus a few token normal cases, so nobody gets all too suspicious).
  • ...outlaw the rational.

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