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Copying HD DVD, Blu-ray Discs May Become Legal 188

Consumers could soon be able to make several legal copies of movies bought on HD DVD or Blu-ray Disc under a new licensing agreement now being negotiated. Rights holders might charge more for discs that can be copied for backup or for use on a media server, however.
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Copying HD DVD, Blu-ray Discs May Become Legal

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 24, 2007 @10:29AM (#19252937) that we weren't waiting for anyone's permission.
    • by TheRecklessWanderer ( 929556 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @10:52AM (#19253483) Journal
      Have you ever brought back a CD to a store that is maybe 2 or 3 years old and told them it was broken?

      Do they take it back and give you (the same) cd back?

      If what we are paying for is the content solely, then shouldn't they?

      I think it would make the whole industry more credible if they were willing to do that.

      Why should I have to pay a second time for content that I already paid for.

      Also, if I have it on tape, shouldn't I be able to trade it in for CD, and same with VHS and DVD? Pay a small fee for the upgraded quality of the content, but still, I own the movie, so why do I have to buy it again?

      • by networkBoy ( 774728 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @11:06AM (#19253753) Journal
        I tried this with Disney.
        I have all my kid's disney flicks on a home media server. I called disney to report that my disk for beauty and the beast was scratched, and that I would like a replacement. I was denied.
        me: hi, my disk is scratched
        them: buy a new one
        me: no, I would normally make a backup copy but your TOU forbids this
        them: so?
        me: well disney has taken the stance that I as a consumer have not bought any rights to the movie, only a license to the content
        them: so
        me: well that means under normal IP license schemas I can reasonably expect a refreshed copy of the IP for the cost of media
        them: no
        me: so I can copy the disks I buy?
        them: no
        me: will you sell me a disk?
        them: no, buy it retail
        me: but it's out of print and not in stores any more
        them: try e-bay


        Wasn't very productive, but I'll take it to mean I can copy my disks DMCA be damned.
        • by DivineHawk ( 570091 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @11:46AM (#19254463) Homepage

          You can for the 'nominal' fee is $6.95:
 tml#common0 []

          If you accidentally damage or break one of your Disney DVDs, you can get a replacement disc for a nominal charge of $6.95.

          Please mail in your damaged DVD (along with DVD case and full packaging), a Check or Money order for $6.95 (made payable to WDHE), along with your Contact Information (Name, Address, and Phone Number) to:

          Replacement Program
          PO Box 3100
          Neenah, WI 54957-3100.
          • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

            is that the source of the infamous playground chant

            'Neenah Neenah...'

          • Awesome...
            Wish the rep I called on the phone was as educated as you (and now me:)
            How did you find the site? as I have looked more than once for it (of course it is not hosted at, that would make too much sense).
            Honestly, this is good thing, though I wonder what they do if you don't still have all the packaging...
            At least they don't ask for a sales receipt, as that would be asinine, possession of the disk should be good enough.
          • "Replacement Program
            PO Box 3100
            Neenah, WI 54957-3100."

            Hey I'm only 1hr 48 min from Neenah. I wonder if they have a physical address. I could just then physically walk in and get my replacement copy and not have to wait 6-8 weeks or more for my replacement to arrive.
      • I'd certainly buy a lot more stuff if that would occur. As it is now, I won't buy it b/c it is too much of a hassle to copy and it seems things are obsoleted every few years. This becomes a big deal if you end up with a large collection of 'stuff'.
      • I have bought around 40 DVDs over the past six years and I have a few DVDs which are simply have corrupted or bad spots on them that you cannot visually see, but when you play the disc when it gets to a particular spot or some spots it confuses the DVD player and causes it to freez or even crash on some software DVD players. One such DVD is K-19 (has several bad spots) and another one that I can remember at this time is Beetlejuice.

        I have always wondered if it were possible to get a new / fully working DVD
      • by dunstan ( 97493 ) < minus berry> on Thursday May 24, 2007 @12:29PM (#19255251) Homepage
        No, you're not buying a right to view the content, you're buying the physical disc. However, to view the film, you have to copy the film from that disc into your computer/DVD player, and it is this act of copying which is subject to the EULA. That's the difference between a book and a DVD - you don't have to photocopy the book in order to read it.

        RMS's essay The Right to Read [] is based around reading an eBook for this reason.
      • by cpt kangarooski ( 3773 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @02:32PM (#19257385) Homepage
        Sigh. I really, really hate the software industry for using copyright licenses so much. They've completely confused so many people as to how things really work.

        Look, when you buy a copy of a work, such as a book, or a CD, or a DVD, etc. you are simply buying the physical medium which happens to have a copy of the work fixed within it. It is that simple. It is no different from buying a brick or a car.

        You can then use that copy however you like, so long as you use it in a lawful manner, just like with anything else you buy. If you buy a car, then you can drive however you want, but you still cannot break traffic laws with it. When you buy a book, you can use it however you want (read it, learn from it, use it to prop up the bed) but you can't do illegal things (e.g. make another copy of it, if it is copyrighted at the time you do so). When the copyright runs out, fewer things are illegal. Depending on your circumstances, something may or may not be illegal while those circumstances hold.

        There is no license. In fact, the various publishing companies don't even claim that there are licenses. Copyright warnings (e.g. it's illegal to make copies of this) are not licenses, they're just restating the law. If your car came with a sticker that said 'don't run over people' that would be the same thing.

        Software, and works which are accessed over the net (e.g. iTMS music) are really the only exceptions to this in the consumer market. And it's a bit sad, since software doesn't need to be licensed to end users to begin with; users would be able to use the software and make backups of software without licenses, and developers would still be protected. Licenses are only really useful for things like site licenses, or where the work isn't software. And even then, implied licenses (e.g. as used for virtually every web page, allowing users to make copies of the page as is necessary in order to see it, due to how computers work) could handle a lot of the remainder.

        I am just sick and tired of all the crap where people think that Disney or whomever is not selling DVDs, but is instead licensing them. They aren't, and they never said otherwise, even. You know how a EULA for software is relatively up-front and in your face? When DVDs do that, then you'll know they're licensed. Otherwise, I assure you, it's not happening, not for the stuff you get from the store.

        The consequences of this are that 1) it's illegal to make copies (often even backups) due to the law; 2) if your copy breaks, you are not entitled to a replacement or to make a replacement if you hadn't (lawfully) done so already; 3) you aren't entitled to get better quality copies merely because you have a lower quality copy.
    • I wish *one exec from the "content industry" would come by just for a day. In case that happens, here's a message for himher, right up a the top:

      Fair use means *copying of your "content" that we are *legally entitled to do. *Without asking for *permission. We do not have to sit down with you and work on the problem, try and strike a balance that pleases everyone, come to an acceptable price. We get to just do it.
    • by Anderson Council ( 1096781 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @11:08AM (#19253777)
      So, we may be permitted to make a copy or two of product we purchase. How exciting. If I make a copy to put on my media server (for example, as suggested by the article), is this going to preclude me making another copy later if I trash my media server? Does this include *my* media server (which is currently a linux box), or some idealized media server that no one actually owns? Will this all work transparently with my linux server, linux + mac + windows clients thing that I have going right now?

      In order to solve certain issues with the Front Row software I already have to make reference movies; however, this enables my entire distributed multi-platform (TV and computer client) home set-up hum. Want me to give you odds that this new "licensed copy" won't work?

      I didn't think so.

      While it's encouraging that they are noticing that stomping on basic fair use is a Kobayashi Maru scenario for them (as other posters rightly point out, people will just break the DRM and copy it anyway); it should go without saying that a non-interoperable, proprietary system that dictates not just what software (or possibly hardware even) I run on my "media server", but also the software/hardware options for the clients as well?

      Thanks, but no thanks. I'd argue they've still dropped the ball, and this does not consitute picking it back up. More like when you see a kid reach for the ball but in reaching for it they kick it with their foot and push it even further out of reach.

      Oh well. Status quo I suppose.


    • ... and you get to exercise your constitutional rights to Fair Use.

      So, basically, if you are poor, we consider you a criminal and you don't deserve to have the constitutional rights due to everyone else.

      Two interesting ways of interpreting the scheme where you pay more in order to be allowed to do something that's legal anyway.

      As long as people keep buying no matter what these companies do, we'll continue to see our rights eroded away.
    • I'm not giving them my money until they've made it possible for me to exercise my rights.

      In my case, it's not copying I care about so much as ability to play on an HDTV with component video input, not HDMI.

      Any word on if this proposal would allow that?
  • Heh (Score:4, Funny)

    by faloi ( 738831 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @10:30AM (#19252949)
    "Since you guys keep cracking our DRM schemes, we're going to be really nice and grant you fair use rights for the stuff you're paying for. See how cool we are!?"
    • Exactly (Score:3, Insightful)

      by fishdan ( 569872 ) *
      ...consumers may get the right to make several legal copies of HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc movies they've purchased, a concession by the movie industry that may quell criticism that DRM (digital rights management) technologies are too restrictive...

      Excuse me? The RIAA/MPAA people argue that DMCA forbids us from making backups of our media, but that is hardly FACT -- merely their legal position -- and as far as I know one that has NEVER been challenged. I'm sure they'd like for the public to think they are "

      • Hardly. I believe it was Valenti who said the way you get a backup of The Lion King is, you buy two copies of the Lion King.

        No, they're saying "please use the item you've purchased from us only in the ways we approve."

        This comes after attempts 1) to restrict the kinds of technology you can buy ('trusted' computing, broadcast flags); 2) to restrict what you can do with your hardware (anti-circumvention laws) and 3) to redefine "purchase" so that it actually just means "rental" of their 'content
      • Re:Exactly (Score:4, Insightful)

        by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @12:33PM (#19255325) Journal
        They want to charge more for the version you can make copies of. That means, they want to charge less for the version you can't make copies of. That's also fine, because the version you can't make copies of isn't covered by copyright law.

        Copyright law is a bargain that is made between creators and society. Society agrees to enforce a temporary monopoly on distribution. In exchange, the creator agrees to allow certain fair-use rights during their period of exclusivity, and release the work into the public domain at the end. If the creator is now allowing fair use rights, then they are unilaterally nullifying the bargain, and their copyright should no longer be enforced. They can't have it both ways.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by garcia ( 6573 )
      Or more like, "Since we can't do anything about you hacking it because Fair Use still trumps our payoffs to legislators, we're going to 'let' you do something that's already allowed by law."

      I hate those fuckers.
    • Re:Heh (Score:5, Funny)

      by FredDC ( 1048502 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @10:39AM (#19253171)
      Yea, I'm definitely tempted to write them a little thank you note!
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Lord Apathy ( 584315 )

        Yea, I'm definitely tempted to write them a little thank you note!

        Yeah, same here. I'm tempted to write it with my ass, in a box. Then mail it to them. Feces package anyone?

    • Re:Heh (Score:5, Insightful)

      by morgan_greywolf ( 835522 ) * on Thursday May 24, 2007 @10:43AM (#19253283) Homepage Journal

      "Since you guys keep cracking our DRM schemes, we're going to be really nice and grant you fair use rights for the stuff you're paying for.** See how cool we are!?"

      ** for a small fee of course. That's right we're going to CHARGE YOU for exercising your RIGHTS under Fair Use, including the right to make a backup for archival purposes and to use your legally purchased media on your own devices.

      They can blow it out their ass. I'll just keep cracking the DRM, thanks.
      • Fair use isn't technically a right. It's a "legally defensible position." Whatever that means...
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          It's stupid and pointless to debate whether fair use is a right or a legally defensible position. It extends from a misunderstanding of the term 'affirmative defense', a term that the SCOTUS has used to describe the concept of fair use. Just because something is an 'affirmative defense', that doesn't mean that it's not a right. The First Amendment is often used as an affirmative defense -- but clearly the First Amendment is a right. It's just also a legally defensible position.

          All 'affirmative defense'
    • Should be:

      "Since you guys keep cracking our DRM schemes, we're going to be really nice and grant you fair use rights* for the stuff you're paying for. See how cool we are!?"

      * (For a nominal one-time additional fee)
      • I should've read the entire nested thread before commenting. I feel dumb for posting (unknowingly) nearly the exact same things as the person above me.

        Anyone have a paper towel I can use to get this pie off my face?
    • This is nothing more than an attempt to get the standard/default price of media on HD-DVD & Blu-Ray raised by $20.
  • Pay more? (Score:4, Funny)

    by pipatron ( 966506 ) <> on Thursday May 24, 2007 @10:31AM (#19252969) Homepage
    Pay more? For our right to read the information you have bought for that specific purpose? Thanks!!!
    • Re:Pay more? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Caiwyn ( 120510 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @10:37AM (#19253137)
      Actually, if they offer it in a format that doesn't need to be cracked, then yes, I would consider paying more for that. I often buy CDs -- even used CDs -- at a higher price than the iTunes Music Store offers. The benefits are a lossless physical hard copy that I can then transcode into any format I choose.
      • Re:Pay more? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by eln ( 21727 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @10:53AM (#19253499)
        The problem is they introduced technology to take away our fair use rights, and are now going to charge us more to give us back the rights they shouldn't have been allowed to take away in the first place.
        • by garcia ( 6573 )
          I'm surprised they haven't tried to sue over publicizing the words "Fair" and "Use".
        • That's how business works. I don't see that as any different than the organic food market, where they introduced foods that were irradiated or genetically modified, then charged us more to buy foods that didn't contain the new technology.

          It's how business creates tiers of product quality in a system where the original tier was already high-quality. A) downgrade quality on product sold B) introduce new high-quality version, similar to original product, at a higher price.

          Heck, didn't Linksys do this exact t
          • by nasch ( 598556 )

            That's how business works. I don't see that as any different than the organic food market, where they introduced foods that were irradiated or genetically modified, then charged us more to buy foods that didn't contain the new technology.

            The analogy would be that people started using technologies to remove the effects of irradiation or GM from the food they bought. Then the FIAA (Farming Industry Association of America, natch) got laws passed that make it illegal to do this. THEN they sell "organic" food for more money. Those first two steps are both missing from the food market, so the analogy is (big surprise coming up here) flawed.

      • Re:Pay more? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Scrameustache ( 459504 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @11:05AM (#19253711) Homepage Journal

        Actually, if they offer it in a format that doesn't need to be cracked, then yes, I would consider paying more for that.
        You're still waiting for your flying car, aren't you?
        You're gonna be paying more for a DRM scheme that allows a limited number of copies, IF all your gear is "trusted" and expensive, of course. They have been consistent in their efforts: they want control.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by jridley ( 9305 )
          I'm assuming that they'll actually roll this out universally. See, it'll be a NEW DRM scheme, because THIS time they'll get it right, see? And they'll be able to PR-swing the irritation they're causing users that have to update/replace their players, because they're doing it to GIVE US MORE RIGHTS. See, they're GOOD GUYS!!!

          If they put a few hundred million dollars into developing the new scheme, this time it might even last long enough for some discs to be released in the stores before it's cracked. But
      • I really hope you're not buying CDs because they are "lossless" -- they aren't. Their encoding is uncompressed, but the very act of digital sampling is lossy. In particular it's lossy if you have to re-sample from recordings at 48kHz or 96kHz to CDs at 41.1kHz, as it's a non-integer conversion. There's no information loss as a result of sampling->encoding changes on a CD, but there is a loss with the sampling conversion, and that doesn't need to happen with with other music formats.

        I'm denying that there
        • by Benanov ( 583592 )
          44.1, not 41.1. CD's were supposed to be able to record 22,050 hz sounds, which means a 44,100 hz sample rate.
  • by Spazntwich ( 208070 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @10:31AM (#19252975)
    Anyone with a real interest in copying a hd-dvd or blu-ray disc is likely already going to have the know-how (and disregard for the asinine DMCA) to do it illegally, while your average idiot consumer will continue doing whatever they do, consume I guess.
    • by eln ( 21727 )
      I would argue that the average consumer has an interest in copying a disc. Most people will grumble about the shoddy quality of disks when they get hopelessly scratched just because they were accidentally left shiny side down on a table for a couple of days, but will eventually either buy the movie again or just live without it. The fact that they do this rather than copying the disk doesn't mean they have no interest in copying it, it's just that copying it is a.) too much of a hassle and b.) legally ris
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by delt0r ( 999393 )
        Well I know a few people that are average consumers. When there CD's got scratched they discorved that ripping back to a plain CD fixed the problem. Just googled CD copy or something. With DVD's theres DVD copy, its rips and compresses it so that it will fit on a SL DVD-R. They have know idea that they are "cracking" anything.
  • Until... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Tuoqui ( 1091447 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @10:31AM (#19252983) Journal
    its possible to legally play on Linux I'm not interested.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by neomunk ( 913773 )
      Use your fair use legally defensible position to rip that content and encode it into a more friendly format, like vorbis or theora, plop it all in a nice ogg container and enjoy your media on your favorite (nice choice BTW) OS.

      Just because they tell you it's illegal, it's not. Fair Use is a LEGALLY DEFENSIBLE reason to break the law. IANAL, but I'm pretty sure it's like an asterisk on all laws relating to copyright that says that of course people can protect their copyrights, but copyright doesn't apply a
      • Re: Sharks (Score:2, Funny)

        by andrewd18 ( 989408 )

        Well, simple until armies of law school trained sharks start trying to convince you otherwise.
        I had to forgo my rights! The frickin' law school sharks had frickin' laser beams attached to their heads!
  • Ha.. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Mockylock ( 1087585 )
    Basically stating, "If you can afford to buy a burner and media, knock your fuckin socks off."
  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Thursday May 24, 2007 @10:33AM (#19253037)
    So what? So they let me make a "managed copy" of a disc. What good does that do when the "managed copy" is so locked down and crippled by DRM that only a special player will play it? What good does it do me if I can make a copy for my computer or video player, but it's in a nonstandard DRM'ed format that almost no media player or media extender will play?

    Will they let me make a standard HD-DVD, Blu-ray, or DVD copy? No.

    Will they let me use a standard video format copy for my computer (like mpg, xvid, etc.)? No.

    Worthless. They still think that DRM is the answer, when it's the PROBLEM.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by kenthorvath ( 225950 )
      Not to mention the fact that they're likely to charge a premium to give you the ability to do something that you should have the right to do anyway.

      It's a real racket, almost like selling "protection".
  • Throwing a bone (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Applekid ( 993327 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @10:35AM (#19253087)
    Ahhhh... "legal" as in an exception made in the DMCA, no.
    "Legal" as in the entities that control AACS and MPAA agreeing to 2 copies, yes.

    It's still a scoop of gruel in an orphan's bowl. From TFA, it will allow one backup and one media device.

    What if I have more than one media device? What if I have one and it gets lost or stolen? Now I can't put it on any others?

    One backup? What happens when that backup is too beat up to work anymore. I can't make another backup?

    This is just a trick for getting people to say "ooh, well, DRM isn't so bad after all."

    They're offering a piddling fraction of the rights we as customers SHOULD have and treating it like we should be kissing their butts for the privilage.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Overzeetop ( 214511 )
      Man, if mods could go to 6...

      "The idea is that the content companies could charge a premium according to how many copies are allowed, Ayers said."

      That just rankles. Seriously. This is NOT the way to get the rights to make copies - I predict this will be as popular as DAT.

      What I want is for the numbnuts we elected to stand up to the showers of cash being thrown about by the content comglomerates and say "DRM is illegal - you sell a product, not a license. Don't like it, don't sell it!" Illegal copying for c
    • Not SHOULD have, DO have. Those rights are currently being suppressed by various agencies, but we do still have them. It remains to be seen whether they will be outright stripped from us though as has been happening slowly but surely.
  • how much more? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Joe The Dragon ( 967727 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @10:36AM (#19253109)
    If it is x2 the price or x3 for the ones that can be copied and used on sever then this is point less.
  • by The Ultimate Fartkno ( 756456 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @10:37AM (#19253141)
    "Rights holders might charge more for discs that can be copied for backup or for use on a media server, however."

    Uum, yeah. You just hang on to the $49.95 backup-ready copy of "Finding Nemo" there, and I'll take a "protected" one for $19.95. I don't need to put it on a server or iPod or anything, so I'll just take the cheap, "secure" one.

    What's my credit card number?

    09 F9 11 02 9D...
    • by u-bend ( 1095729 )
      Wait! Don't stop, I was copying that down!
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Just put in 4111 1111 1111 1111, some sites don't explicitly deny that number and it passes on a few sites. The transaction will go through- it's a test number.
  • Tricky (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bdjacobson ( 1094909 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @10:38AM (#19253155)
    This is a sneaky marketing tactic they're using. Everybody feels good about being able to make copies of their disc, but they still maintain control with the DMCA over how we can use those discs. They maintain control by telling us we're buying a license to use the movie we buy in certain ways-- "in the blu-ray player for this disc, but if you want to copy it to your computer, you have to pay extra". Not because there's any extra cost in producing the disc that allows you to copy the data to your harddrive, but simply because they can get away with charging more.

    This DMCA crap is copyright abuse. There's a reason copyright wasn't allowed this power-- it was supposed to control who could distribute the product, not how you could use it.
  • "Managed" copies? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TripMaster Monkey ( 862126 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @10:39AM (#19253179)
    So...if I understand this right, I can make copies now, but my copies will still be as DRM-crippled as the original?

    This helps me how?

    I think I'll just stick to stripping out the DRM. Thanks anyway.
    • You didn't think you could get a copy with as light a protection as the physical discs have, did you? After all, you can loan out a physical disc - not so with the "managed" copies.

      Managed copies are a crock and I have been saying since day 1 that people touting this ability as a "feature" of HD-DVD or Blu-Ray are fools.
    • i say tell the industry to go "manage" itself.
  • by mpapet ( 761907 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @10:40AM (#19253209) Homepage
    First of all, it's a testament to the effectiveness of the media conglomerates that this headline does not outrage ./'ers in general.

    Sadly though, most people have thrown away all of their personal use rights in exchange for little more than a high-def picture and an ipod. These people get what they deserve. Higher prices.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Sobrique ( 543255 )
      The core problem is that the recording industry haven't really caught on to the fact that they're just obselete. When you've got a production cost of 'stuff' e.g. tapes and CDs, and you charge 'some' for the physical object, people buy them. Sometimes they get copied, but a lot have the opinion of 'I bought it, so it's mine, do to what I like with'.

      However in a world where media is digital, and the cost of replication is negligable (at least, to the supplier - it may take me some disk space or bandwidth t

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SilentChris ( 452960 )
      Maybe I've become desensitized to whole thing, but why should I feel "outraged"?

      The powers that be are putting their thumb down on copies of content intended for mass consumption. They're not putting a gun to my head and saying "Buy this Adam Sandler HD-DVD". They're not infringing on my free speech in any way (I'm belittling them right now in front of a potential worldwide audience). They're simply preventing me from making extra copies of content that I had no intention of watching anyway.

      If they start
      • by njchick ( 611256 )
        1) You child wants a movie. Then the disk breaks and you have no backup. You can teach a seven year old top be careful with disks, but you cannot do that to a three year old.

        2) You want to play the disk on your PC. You have to install non-free software on it, perhaps a whole non-free OS.

      • by radtea ( 464814 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @11:44AM (#19254423)
        You can (continue to?) pirate the content.

        What part of, "Fair use is not piracy" do you not understand?

        The OP is pointing out, quite correctly, that we have a legal right to fair use, which may include the right to make backup copies. I neither know nor care what you or anyone else feels about the necessity of backup copies. Your experience, needs, desires and wants are totally irrelevant to the legal fact of fair use rights.

        DRM is a failed attempt to prevent me from exercising my fair use rights. Again, whether or not you think I'm a moron for wanting to do so is irrelevant. It is not piracy to do so. It is a matter of legal fact that I have those rights. [] Even the RIAA once admitted that, in front of the Supreme Court no less.

      • by jedidiah ( 1196 )
        You should be outraged because they bought off your elected representatives to make the entire scheme work.

        This isn't just EA putting bad sectors on a floppy. This is EA paying off Senator McCain to throw anyone in jail that tells you how to get around those bad sectors.

        You should be mad at both.
      • Don't buy the content

        That's what I do now. But the point is not what you or I do. The point is how influential the media conglomerates are.

        Here's another way to get a sense of how pervasive the media conglomerates and their messages are: Try going one week without, watching any tv, going to any movie distributed by the media conglomerates, watching a movie _not_ distributed by a media conglomerates, playing a game that the media conglomerates have _not_ produced or funded, reading a magazine not owned o
      • "300" is an excellent example of why you should be outraged. So here we've got a movie... based on a comic book... strongly derived from an earlier movie ("The 300 Spartans", 1962)... based on two millenia of written and oral history... based on an actual event.

        "Good artists borrow; great artists steal." Picasso said that.

        The truth is, all works of art--which, for the purposes of discussion, we'll count "300" as--are inspired from earlier works. Without access to those works, creativity would be set ba

    • by Apotsy ( 84148 )
      most people have thrown away all of their personal use rights in exchange for little more than a high-def picture and an ipod

      Uh, I think it happened a lot less recently than that. How about DVDs and the original DMCA? It happened around 10 years ago. Yes, DRM existed before that, but DVDs were the first medium to really catch on with the mainstream that had DMCA-backed copy protection.

      I'm surprised people pick on HD formats so much, when it goes back a lot further than that. Sticking with DVDs is just a

  • What about DVDs? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by javacowboy ( 222023 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @10:42AM (#19253223)
    It's kind of disigenuous that they didn't mention allowing people to legally copy their DVDs. People (especially parents with young children) have been screaming about this for years.

    Also, since CSS was cracked years ago, there's absolutely no reason they shouldn't have allowed DVD copying already, other than to use as a means of sending otherwise law-abiding citizens to jail. With the advent of Apple TV (along with similar products) and the possibility of ripping one's entire DVD collection and making it available in an easily browsable interface (like an MP3 collection), the outcry is probably getting louder.

    Since I live in Canada, there's no DMCA, and I'm already paying taxes on blank DVDs, so this is not yet a problem. Still, I figure Stephen Harper and his cronies will bless us with a DMCA-like law soon.

    And, yeah, the timing of this announcement is just a little too coincidental, what with the latest AACS crack.
    • Re:What about DVDs? (Score:4, Informative)

      by rikkards ( 98006 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @11:17AM (#19253961) Journal
      Since I live in Canada, there's no DMCA, and I'm already paying taxes on blank DVDs, so this is not yet a problem. Still, I figure Stephen Harper and his cronies will bless us with a DMCA-like law soon.

      I believe the levy is not on DVDs but on CDs and media playing devices as it DVDs are not considered Audio recording media (see table in link []). And don't blame Harper, well at least not for the copyright law that the govt is trying get through as this was introduced by the previous residents of parliament.
  • Central Server? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by doormat ( 63648 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @10:43AM (#19253273) Homepage Journal
    I do like managed copy (even though I think its useless because AACS is busted anyways), but the idea of a central server that would register and track these copies is a bad idea for consumers. It assumes you have internet access at the same place you want to watch the managed copy, as well as providing a mechanism for the movie industry to come in and see the volume of managed copies being used and say, "Well, we need to monitize this activity," and then now you have your pay-per-view system that the industry longs for. $2.99 for every time you create or possibly even watch a managed copy sounds good to them I'm sure.
  • by edbob ( 960004 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @10:48AM (#19253385)
    You are going to charge me more to exercise rights I already have. Then, on top of that you are going to "manage" (i.e. restrict) those rights with this so-called "managed copy". I am sorry, but I am perfectly capable of managing my own rights. Until AACS is permanently cracked a la DeCSS, I won't be buying either Blu-ray or HD-DVD.
    • by suv4x4 ( 956391 )
      You are going to charge me more to exercise rights I already have. Then, on top of that you are going to "manage" (i.e. restrict) those rights with this so-called "managed copy". I am sorry, but I am perfectly capable of managing my own rights. Until AACS is permanently cracked a la DeCSS, I won't be buying either Blu-ray or HD-DVD.

      What's a right. It's something given to you in a law.

      Of course, people believe they have some intrinsic rights they have "by default", like right of life, right of free speech an
  • by MikeRT ( 947531 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @10:51AM (#19253461)
    Movies fly off the shelf at places like Wal-Mart where you can pick up a lot of movies for $10 or under. Economies of scale work at beating back the effects of piracy. If they would charge $15 for regular new releases, they would make plenty of money off of them, and be at a price range where most people would just buy the real thing even if there were no DRM to make them have to buy them.
  • by ruiner13 ( 527499 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @10:59AM (#19253607) Homepage
    Funny, the last time I bought a DVD, I didn't have to sign anything that gave them any rights to my purchase. There was no EULA, there weren't even any signs at best buy saying what rights I had versus them. If it isn't explicitly listed BEFORE I buy it, I assume that I have full rights to do whatever I want with it, even make a frisbee out of it and throw it at the MPAA members.
    • by guruevi ( 827432 )
      Really! You know there is this Windows CD I bought and it had this EULA.txt on, so I copied it, did "cat ~/MyEula > EULA.txt" and burnt it to a blank CD. Well, I never read the EULA, but apparently it is still in effect... hmm... as soon as you open the packaging, the EULA starts taking effect in the US apparently (and if I remember, there have been lawsuits around it).

      By the way, if you make a frisbee out of it and throw it at MPAA members, they would arrest you and charge you with assault on (incapable
  • I'm pretty sure I read a while ago that one of the differences between HD DVD and BluRay is that this managed copy stuff is mandatory for HD DVD and optional for BluRay. If it's mandatory for HD DVD, and HD DVDs are already shipping, why are licensing agreements still being worked on? Shouldn't that all have been sorted out by now?
    • I'm pretty sure I read a while ago that one of the differences between HD DVD and BluRay is that this managed copy stuff is mandatory for HD DVD and optional for BluRay. If it's mandatory for HD DVD, and HD DVDs are already shipping, why are licensing agreements still being worked on?

      Good question, but the situation is like this:
      HD-DVD - theoretical support for managed copy, but it has yet to be implemented. I don't think "mandatory" is the correct word, it's more like a "supported option".
      BluRay - ZERO
  • by jeti ( 105266 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @11:21AM (#19254019) Homepage
    Over in Germany, we're paying an extra fee on blank media
    as a compensation for fair use rights. Also, we were told
    that CDs cost a lot, but that the extra charge covers the
    private copies we have an explicit right to create.

    Then came the copy protection.

    Then came a law that makes it illegal to copy 'protected'

    We're still paying the fees.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by koma77 ( 930091 )
      It's exactly the same in Sweden, and probably in many places in the EU. It's also impossible to buy blank media for use not related to private copying; say to make a backup of your HD. UNLESS you are a company. They can buy blank media without this "tax". It's time to do something about this paradoxial law.
  • I think I hate these new offerings even more.
    Way I see it is that a new 'standard' gets pushed upon us, crippled with DRM (DRM which is ultimately paid for by us the consumer).
    People hack away at the flakey DRM to produce something that works better, whether it be for dvds, games, m4p, wma, blu-ray, hd-dvd etc.
    Suddenly the media companies seem to have realized that the DRM they're forcing on us is causing problems and not working in the wonderfully transparent fashion their PR spiel banged on about. What
  • This move also introduces Viewing Vouchers, an enhanced feature of DRM. The user will be provided not only with a disc containing the movie, but two vouchers for viewing the movie itself. Each movie comes with a Solo Voucher, for a single, non pausable, private viewing of the movie.

    As a bonus, the package includes one Party Voucher (tm), allowing the viewer, and up to three approved friends, to view the movie simultaneously from one screen. If the user has no friends, the Party Voucher may be converted t
  • A license to say it's 'legal' is a misdiretion to make people think it is only legal if they say so, nothing more.

    The only 'legality' is whether or not I can bypass encryption to make a copy, as opposed to a straight bit by bit copy.

  • in germany we pay "GEMA" charges for the content - that's 9% of the price
    we also pay extra for CD-R, DVD+-R, Harddiscs, mp3 players, flashdiscs, CD Recorders, DVD Recorders, VCRs...
    still the MAFIAA keeps telling us we were criminals

    they even pay for TV spots that say "copy piracy is a crime"
    just to scare people (that don't know about their fair use right, which is a right here), away from making LEGAL copies... so that they don't legally give copies to their friends, so that their friends have to pay
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 24, 2007 @11:45AM (#19254445)
    This is not a concession, we always had this right. The DMCA created a catch 22 by making it illegal to decrypt the item in order to exercise this right. Now they want to make this a for pay privilege. What is worse, being able to copy once DOES NOT = fair use by any means. Fair use means being able to work with the content in any number of ways in addition to being able to copy it. For example, taking clips and making presentation for a class, copying the sound tracks and mixing them for you own entertainment, creating a parody, and editing out objectionable content.

    What they are trying to do is turn a fundamental right into much weakened for pay privilege so they can have control and power over it. They want is to have their cake and eat it to. It should not be up to them to determine what is and is not fair use is. Fair use should be any use that our populace finds to be on average fair to both the consumer and rights holder. Yep that is as nebulous as it sounds and it does change from time to time. That is what they have to accept living in a free society, not this managed copy crap MS is trying to use to keep their walking corpse moving.
  • You know, now that I think of it, the fact that there are these two standards fighting to win dominance and singular acceptance, there is one aspect of this that makes me a little optimistic.

    Since the SCOTUS ruled that copying for the purpose of changing format is legal, acceptable and protected use, this whole HD-DVD vs BlueRay thing will likely raise the same issues as the matter begins to come to a head.

    Now I know that it's not completely on topic since the offering is to sell you the right to copy at a
  • by dpbsmith ( 263124 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @12:27PM (#19255209) Homepage
    We've been here before.

    The Audio Home Recording Act of 1991 gave consumers the right to copy CDs as long as they were copied onto specially-encoded blank media ("Music CD-Rs" or "Audio CD-Rs") whose price included a fee paid to the music industry.

    I owned a home audio recorder (computerless CD copier) that fell within the scope of that act. I bought the prescribed media. It worked quite well for a number of years. It used a technical mechanism called SCCS which sounds very similar to this "managed copying." It allowed first-generation copies from original media, but would not copy the copies.

    Then the music publishers came out with copy-protected CDs. My home audio recorder would not copy these CDs. Basically, the SCCS mechanism cut in, insisting that the copy limit had already been reached and that further copying was prohibited.

    It was all well and good that the law gave me the right to copy them, and that I paid for every copy I ever made (in the form of the extra costs of the "music CD-Rs"). But there was basically no way I could take advantage of this right.

    I made numerous calls, send emails, and letters to the CD publisher (UMI) and the recorder vendor (TEAC) trying to resolve the issue. I was never able to get satisfaction, beyond returning the CD for a refund.

    It's the usual consumer problem. These guys were breaking the law, but it's awfully hard to stop a big company from cheating consumers if they only cheat each individual consumer by a small amount.

    What's to stop the DVD publishers from making this "managed copying" available for a while, then using technical means to renege on the terms a few years later?

    What's the good of a reasonably fair-sounding deal if David has no way to hold Goliath to the terms of the deal?

BLISS is ignorance.