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Holywood vs. Dvd copying software

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In much a similar battle as file sharing servers have gone through, several major DVD manufacturers are bringing up a lawsuit against manufacturers of software that allows people to copy DVDs to their computer. At stake is the definition of copyright and whether providing the means to potentially infringe on it is illegal, at least in the case of DVDs. I wonder when publishers are going to bring up the same thing with photocopiers?


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It's especially funny to watch Sony right now -- I swear they're on the edge of a psychotic episode. One division wants to protect its works and copyrights while another division produces DVD/CD burners, MP3 players and more. Left hand knows what the right hand is doing in this case, too, and it's not happy...

"We use them for divine retribution."

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Copiers are not *DESIGNED* to defeat exceptional means employed by the author to defeat copying. If you try to copy "Fraud-alert" paper, the copy is obviously marked as such.

DVD Burners are not under attack. DVD-Rom duplication software is not under attack.

What *is* under attack are programs like "DVD XCopy" that intentionally *DEFEAT* the copy protection schemes employed by the author to protect their works.

Get it straight... I, for one, am on the side of not being able to copy something that the author took extreme measures to protect from copying.

ConFurence will again be at the Burbank Hilton, April 25-27, 2003.  Visit for more details on this and other events being hosted by The ConFurence Group.

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And I, for one, am on the side of being able to copy a DVD that I own and am entitled, by law, to make backup copies of.

P.S. I don't know if I'd characterize DVD copy protection as an "extreme measure" if it can be defeated with a few lines of computer code.

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Could you write those lines of code if you weren't able to purchase a package that contained it? ...No?

Well, then, that would mean that the author of the DVD took measures that reasonably seemed extreme enough to prevent unauthorized duplication, and if you knew anything about copyrights, you'd know that you do not have a right to make backup copies.

It is illegal to copy anything that you do not have the right to copy. Period.

The author of most commercial DVD videos place copy protection on their discs specifically to prevent duplication, which means that they are actively taking measures to retain their duplication copyright.

Defeating that measure is illegal. It even says so on the package of the duplication software itself, in a pitifully weak attempt by the authors of that software to avoid liability.

"Oh, it's not *US* that is copying illegal discs, we're just making it easier for others to do it."

The copying is illegal. End of argument. That's not a point of contention in this case.

What is still left for the courts to decide is whether providing the *means* to defeat copyright protection measures is in itself illegal.

If you got a hold of your company's passwords and sold them to a thief, does that make you an accessory to whatever crime that thief pulls off? Damn-straight it does, even if you didnt' profit directly from or have knowledge of the particular crime, you still enabled the thief to do their job, and you profited from it.

Programs like DVD XCopy are no different. "Give us $39 for this duplication tool that defeats DVD copy protection schemes, and we'll happily be ignorant of your illegal copying behavior."

--Darrel (who doesn't cowardly make anonymous posts) Exline.

ConFurence will again be at the Burbank Hilton, April 25-27, 2003.  Visit for more details on this and other events being hosted by The ConFurence Group.

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i could make points for both sides
but instead i'll just note in passing
that publishers DID object to copy machines
went through the courts and all that
the copy machines prevailed
and all this took place some 20, 30 years ago
whenever it was

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About the author

MelSkunk (Melissa Drake)read storiescontact (login required)

a student and Skunk from Toronto, ON, interested in writting, art, classic cars and animals