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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)
    ...is that we weren't waiting for anyone's permission.
  • 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.
  • Ha.. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Mockylock ( 1087585 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @10:31AM (#19253003) Homepage
    Basically stating, "If you can afford to buy a burner and media, knock your fuckin socks off."
  • Exactly (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fishdan ( 569872 ) * on Thursday May 24, 2007 @10:32AM (#19253021) Homepage Journal
    ...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 "giving" us something, but in fact what they are doing is saying "please use the item you've purchased from us in an appropriate mannner."

  • 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.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • by jhutch2000 ( 801707 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @10:43AM (#19253281)
    Have some kids. Turn them loose on their favorite DVDs. See how many still play without skipping after about 2 months.

    I have a movie server in the basement cobbled together from old parts that plays movies to the main TV through an XBOX. No need to go looking for the DVD (which NEVER seems to get put back in the right container!) ... just select it from the list and BAM! it's playing.
  • 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.
  • 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 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 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?

  • And didn't need to (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mateo_LeFou ( 859634 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @10:53AM (#19253493) Homepage
    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.
  • 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 Sobrique ( 543255 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @10:56AM (#19253545) Homepage
    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 to download whatever) then ... well, then the unit cost clearly has to skew. Piracy is much like smuggling. It's always going to happen, but it happens a hell of a lot more when the profit margin is present. If you 'tax' the end user for their product, then they'll consider going to an illegitimate source for a significantly cheaper one.

    I don't know of an easy solution, but what I do know is that the genie is well out of the bottle. The RIAA and friends are fighting a losing battle, for territory they just can't reclaim. They need to diversify and 'reinvent' the purpose of the recording industry, in a way that means they can continue to function, rather than trying to stop the tide coming in.

  • by pluther ( 647209 ) <pluther@us a . net> on Thursday May 24, 2007 @11:03AM (#19253679) Homepage
    It's not just backups.

    I currently occasionally watch movies on any of:
    My DVD player, connected to a standard TV set
    My Linux desktop machine, when I'm in my home office
    My Windows laptop machine, while I'm traveling (sitting around in airports)
    My PDA, while I'm riding the train to work

    My music-playing choices are even more varied. According to ??AA, every time I watch a movie on my PDA, I'm breaking the law, if I bought that movie on DVD.

  • 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.
  • by kenthorvath ( 225950 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @11:06AM (#19253741)
    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".
  • 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.


  • by SilentChris ( 452960 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @11:08AM (#19253781) Homepage
    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 started *requiring* DRM on HD-DVD/Blu-ray players so that indie companies couldn't publish content freely I'd be concerned. Or if non-DRM content produced by those publishers was degraded in any way. Or if they somehow infected media I do care about with DRM (such as paper books).

    But if you're honestly asking saying I should be "outraged" for not being able to copy "300" or any other drek for the masses -- I'd venture to argue you need better things to be angry about.

    In short, if you really care this deeply about it, you have a couple ways to fight this. You can (continue to?) pirate the content. Doesn't really help the argument. Or, you could do things the old-fashioned way: with your wallet. Don't buy the content. Don't buy the players. There *are* alternatives out there if you simply look.
  • Re:Pay more? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jridley ( 9305 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @11:22AM (#19254043)
    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 probably not.
  • Re:Throwing a bone (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Overzeetop ( 214511 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @11:24AM (#19254075) Journal
    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 commercial distribution is still a no-no. Copying for personal use is fine and dandy. (and, for the record, no - I don't know how to deal with P2P in an equitable way from a legal standpoint. From a market standpoint, some people will always copy - if most people are copying, then the media is seen by the consumer as too expensive. For $7, I probably would never bother even looking on line.)
  • Viewing Vouchers (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dekkerdreyer ( 1007957 ) <dekkerdreyerNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday May 24, 2007 @11:24AM (#19254081)
    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 to a Solo Voucher for a small fee. This allows the user to get two viewings from one disc, essentially buying one movie and getting the second viewing free.

    This offer is for a limited time only.
  • by Coco Lopez ( 886067 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @11:28AM (#19254143)

    different media should have some cost associated with it otherwise why bother making new technology?

    Why bother making new technology??? Are you serious???

    Let's just say I happen to be a large corporate entity with holdings in both the production of 'media platforms' and a large back catalog of 'media content' --- let's call me Sony. Now what would be the benefit to me to produce an new format that would require consumers to purchase new technology and new media to go with it? What's the economic incentive for me, Sony, to do that?

    Let me spell it out for you: If I come up with a new media format, I can re-sell you the same shit you already bought. Better on me if I can somehow *prevent* you from carrying over the shit you've already got so that it plays on your new and improved technology platform. That way I, Sony, don't even have to make the new format that much better, because you've got to rebuy the shit anyway if you want to use it. Oh, and I forgot to mention that pretty soon I, Sony, won't be releasing any new media I might happen to produce on that old busted format I invented. Sure, you can keep the old players around, but for how long?

  • by Belial6 ( 794905 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @11:36AM (#19254273)
    Um, the parent poster was saying 'What would be the point of creating new technology if you got all your old media upgraded for free.' They were making the point that the new formats were primarily for the purpose of getting consumers to repay for the content they already purchased.
  • 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. [arstechnica.com] Even the RIAA once admitted that, in front of the Supreme Court no less.

  • 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:Heh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by morgan_greywolf ( 835522 ) * on Thursday May 24, 2007 @01:36PM (#19256473) Homepage Journal
    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' means is that the burden is on the defendant to raise and prove that his use was fair and not infringement.

    Fair use is a limitation on copyright protection contained in the statute. It could easily be argued that most instances of fair use are an exercise of the First Amendment right of free speech.

  • 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.

Love may laugh at locksmiths, but he has a profound respect for money bags. -- Sidney Paternoster, "The Folly of the Wise"