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Proposed Amendment Would Ban All DVD Copying 354

Posted by kdawson
from the not-your-bits dept.
Ynefel writes in with a PC Magazine article reporting that the DVD Copy Control Association is considering an amendment to the agreement equipment vendors must abide by, which would completely ban all DVD backups, whether fair use or not, and prevent DVDs from playing without the DVD disk being present in the drive. The amendment is being voted on imminently and if approved would go into effect within 18 months. Quoting: "The proposed amendment was made public in a letter sent by Michael Malcolm, the chief executive of Kaleidescape, a DVD jukebox company which successfully defeated a suit by the DVD CCA this past March."
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Proposed Amendment Would Ban All DVD Copying

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  • If I can read it, (Score:5, Interesting)

    by grasshoppa (657393) <skennedy AT tpno-co DOT org> on Thursday June 21, 2007 @11:16AM (#19595107) Homepage
    If I can read the disk, I can back it up. It's as simple as that.
  • Actually 2.

    1. How will that prevent the 99% of existing computer users with DVD-R/Ws from using their compies to backup their dvd's?

    And 2. How will that prevent the 10% of existing computer users with Divx software from ripping their dvd's?
  • Who cares? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by stratjakt (596332) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @11:18AM (#19595165) Journal
    Would you care if someone posthumously added more copy protection or licensing terms to your VHS machine? You know, that black box you use as a stand for your Xbox 360/wii/whatever?

    With on-demand download services like vongo, on-demand video via cable/satellite/whatever, XBox live marketplace, moviebeam, and so on, how much longer do you plan to buy and sell these stupid plastic discs anyways?

    I mean, I suddenly have 2 good "built in" options for movies - in high def no less, 360 marketplace, and comcast on-demand. I have way more options you want to consider all the online Vongo-type services.

    So whatever rights blah blah blah they can put whatever restrictions on those stupid f*cking plastic discs all they want.

    They're just hurting themselves. I'll never burn a video DVD again in my life.

    Similarly, I could give two shits how many root kits Sony is putting on CDs these days. What is this, 1992, when I gave a fuck about paying 20 bucks for 10 songs on a 6 inch plastic disc? Gimmeabreakpal.
  • Is DVD tech dying. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jshriverWVU (810740) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @11:31AM (#19595413)
    With Blu-ray and HDDVD out, is DVD a dying technology? Granted I still like DVD and see no reason to dump it. I'm guessing there will be a time when you go to the store or blockbuster and all they have is Blu-Ray with a few DVD's in the bargain bin. Just like DVD's are to VHS now.

    My biggest concern is how long till this will happen. With DVD's VHS was obsoleted quickly. But with Blu-Ray/HDDVD it really doesn't negate DVD as a good media.

    So maybe this is just a way for them to try and squeeze even more dollars before DVD's go away.

  • by 192939495969798999 (58312) <info AT devinmoore DOT com> on Thursday June 21, 2007 @11:40AM (#19595547) Homepage Journal
    all of this stems from a broken business model. The only license sold to watch movies is a movie ticket. If you sell someone the content of the movie on a disc, how in the hell is that equivalent to only selling a license to watch the disc's content? It's their own fault for not realizing this. DVD's are not priced appropriately, and their content cannot be protected appropriately for what people want. Therefore, either abandon the media completely, or realize that you've been selling people the content for years, and that trying to enforce a 'one-viewer-per-purchase, no copying' type licensing scheme on DVD's is ridiculous when movie tickets exist for that very purpose.
  • by AKAImBatman (238306) * <> on Thursday June 21, 2007 @11:44AM (#19595635) Homepage Journal

    If you don't get to do it (DRM, DMCA etc.) you complain, they ignore you, you lose. There's nothing to sue the DVD CCA over in the fair use paragraph, it only says that some things that otherwise might be copyright infringement aren't.

    Actually, there's a LOT to sue over here. According to the fair-use laws (including the DMCA), you can make a backup, but you can't break the encryption to do it. It needs to be an exact backup. Thus the only way to make a legal backup is to use a licensed device like Kaleidescape's. The device complies with both the DMCA and DVD license requirements by backing up the disc with its CSS protection intact. So copying the data out of the device won't gain you much. (At least according to TFA.)

    By changing their licensing agreement, the DVD CCA would be demonstrating anti-trust behavior that is damaging to consumers and market competitors. Ergo, they could be brought up on a variety of contract disputes AND anti-trust charges.

    Standard Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV. But I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express once!
  • by dpbsmith (263124) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @11:55AM (#19595827) Homepage
    Media companies have always worried about how many eyeballs will be watching that screen. That's why the videos you buy are "licensed for home use only."

    Sometime before home video turned off (and turned out not to be the "strangler" of movies that Jack Valenti testified it was), RCA developed a system intended for video rental that they thought would overcome studios' objection to putting their content on home video. It was a cartridge with a mechanical design that would not rewind; the tape locked in place when viewing was complete, and required a special tool to release it. You could only watch it once, then you'd have to take it back to the video rental store where they would unlock it, rewind it, and charge another rental fee for another viewing.

    RCA brought studio executives in for a demo, sure they had a winner. The executives said "We have no interest in this whatsover. You've given us absolutely no way to know how many people were watching it."

    Now, in recent years there has been quite a lot of activity in biometrics and eyetracking. It is not at all inconceivable that someone could design a relatively low-cost device that could be built into a DVD player, PVR, whatever, that could tell how many eyes were watching. (And might even be able to discount cats' eyes, although dogs' eyes would be harder). And charge you accordingly. And maybe even charge extra if it detected that nobody had been watching the ads and coming attractions at the beginning.
  • Re:dear execs (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tomstdenis (446163) < minus cat> on Thursday June 21, 2007 @11:57AM (#19595849) Homepage
    Yup you caught me. I has a low educations, and are trying to learns to read. That or it could be a TYPO IN A WORD that I rarely type. No, it must be because I'm an imbecile. How amazing perceptive, I want to subscribe to your newsletter. Where do I find the Anonymous Cowards weekly? Is it at my local newsstand?

  • by GeckoX (259575) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @12:18PM (#19596127)
    That is not true at all, not even close.

    Contracts are merely written accounts of agreements between parties. As such, they can be changed. I have a contract right here that is a legal representation of an agreement between me and my former employer, which has been manually edited by both parties numerous times, and notarized thereafter.

    Here's a hint the lawyers don't want you to know: Contracts aren't actually worth the paper they are written on. They can ALWAYS be contested. They can also always very easily be changed, in whole or in part. They can't be invalidated because they are never validated in the first place per se.

    There is a reason that contract law is basically a profession in and of itself.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 21, 2007 @12:34PM (#19596405)
    If you own an HDTV and you've watched HD channels... DVD looks like crap in comparison. It doesn't have nearly the resolution. The problem is, this only affects people with HDTVs. This is different than DVD vs VHS where *everyone* could immediately see and enjoy all of the benefits (better image quality, digital sound, no rewinding, etc).

    Between the format war, the increased price, and the decreased difference in perceived value - it'll be a while before DVDs go away.
  • by StrongAxe (713301) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @12:57PM (#19596679)
    Fair use is not a right. It's a defence to copyright infringement

    The only reason that copyright conventions got passed in the first place was that they EXPLICITLY made provisions for fair use.

    If you buy a book, can you lend it to a friend? Can you invite you friends over to watch a DVD? Can you donate your unwanted books to a library? Can you even play a music CD with others in the room? Without Fair Use, the answer to all of these would be NO.
  • by Keith_Beef (166050) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @01:05PM (#19596809)

    Like TheRecklessWanderer mentioned.

    So if fair use is legislated, then not allowing fair use would violate that law, and make the contract (agreement) or perhaps that one segment of the agreement unenforcable within the courts.

    Which means that if the CCA adds a clause to the contract that the Kaleidoscope signs, and that clause forbids something that is considered "Fair Use", then that single clause is null though other clauses remain in force.

    But Kaleidoscope has a very strong claim, that this clause has been drafted with the clear intent of attempting to prevent it from carrying on its business, as is pointed out in the article.,1895,2148802, p []


  • by weber (36246) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @01:22PM (#19597055)
    Since the DVD encryption (CSS) has been cracked, is there any need for software or hardware makers to license the technology? I mean, they can make a product that'll play DVD's without access to any information for which they would need to sign a license agreement, or am I missing something here?!?

    And if they sign nothing then they're off the hook, right?
  • by zippthorne (748122) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @01:23PM (#19597061) Journal
    I've got some friends who do that, too. (well not coin collecting. That's the height of boring. But at least the coins have some value)

    Have you ever thought about asking him, why bother? I mean, if he's got Netflix, he can go through more movies in a week than he's got time to watch. Logically, it makes no sense to horde them, especially since you can always re-queue a movie if you ever want to see it again, and doubly especially since if you use Netflix, the HD transition happens transparently: you don't have to re-buy all your disks as they come out again, you can just rent the most advanced version there is.

    Later when digital-download is prevalent, there will be even less reason to maintain a huge movie-library.

    Irrespective of the backup-copy aspects, I can't see making yourself a criminal just because to satisfy some pointless urge to collect all the mostly mediocre films you watch..
  • A note to DVDCA... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by vidarh (309115) <> on Thursday June 21, 2007 @01:33PM (#19597217) Homepage Journal
    I have about 400 legally bought DVD's. If they prevent me from playing them from my new file server rather than from the original disk, I will stop buying more and instead download ripped movies, as they'd have taken away an essential feature.

    I doubt I'm alone - people who buy large volumes of legal DVD's are the ones who'll be the most affected by this. Actual pirates will easily work around it.

  • by Lockejaw (955650) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @02:48PM (#19598311)

    With this, it'll be bad enough that consumers will start to get offended.
    Unless they can convince people that making backup DVDs has always been illegal -- then people won't think anything is being taken from them.
    You can't protest an upcoming invasion of Eastasia if the soldiers have always been there.
  • by TheWanderingHermit (513872) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @03:17PM (#19598693)
    Read the more recently posted articles here. It turns out EMI is doing so well that even the paranoid companies, like Sony, are considering releasing DRM free music.

    Yes, it'll always be around, but at some point the producers realize that it's an unending expense and realize it's better to just drop it and make what money they can. Look at digital media over the past 25 years. In the long run companies tend to drop it.

    The AACS will be a good example of consumers getting fed up when they find the players they've paid good money for won't play their HD-DVDs, they'll get upset. Many don't even know what the issue is and haven't heard of AACS. All they'll know is that some discs don't play and they got ripped off. After that goes on for a while, companies will realize they're losing as much in good will as they might be saving in cost.

    I am thinking along the same lines as you when you talk about it being in-your-face. When it gets to the point where people can't copy the media they buy for backups or to their own storage, it'll start angering them. It seems that the producers are blind and all they see is their content and the need to control it. They have no respect for their customers and treat them as thieves. The sooner they get high on their own egos and overstep the line, like Sony did with their rootkit, the sooner they'll have to back off.

"I have just one word for you, my boy...plastics." - from "The Graduate"