I can't make a copy of this DVD because...well, actually, why the fuck can't I make a

OK, I tried this a few nights ago and not only hit return too fast, but had an attempted follow-up post eaten by the damn hamsters. That was closed, let’s try to start over, shall we? :smack:

  1. **Do Not ** post links to sites that have workarounds allowing you to copy a disc. I have them, and it’s not the point of this post.

  2. Do Not post or link to anything that is even questionably illegal. I’ve got at least one warning already for pushing the P2P argument. Again, this isn’t about breaking laws.
    This is about fair use, and I’ll ask that “fair use” be the spirit of debate, under US law. (F***, it’s rediculous how an OP needs this much CYA!)
    Anyway, here’s the buildup for the thread. Last fall I paid $119.99 at Best Buy for DVD XCOPY Gold published by 123Studios. It is a software program designed to copy any DVD (movie or data) so you can have a back-up copy of it. Thanks to whatever happened, 123Studios is no longer available in the US. The nearest support center is in Canada, but the web site and phone number listed won’t help Americans.

Now, this isn’t a rant in any way about 321 Studios. (Actually, I may start one tonight over in the Pit.) They wrote and sold a software product that allowed you to do what you can do with any VHS movie. The piracy aspect isn’t selling in this household.

(deleted 3 big sentences when I realized I wasn’t in the Pit yet)

So now The Caddy and I are sitting here with copies of On Golden Pond, Overboard, Little Nemo and The Lion King so scratched that even a pawn shop wouldn’t buy them. (Yes, I verified it)

Now I’m looking ahead to when we have our own little DVD scratchers running around the house. Or when someone spills cola on it. Or when it’s chewed up by one of the Pugs. Or when it happens to be in direct sunlight.

I bought the frigging movie. It’s on a very delicate medium. (Ever try to sell a CD with a few scratches on it? Good luck)

If I want to make a backup of something I PAID for, why do I have to jump through so many hoops, and even risk banning from a message board, to do so? My criminal empire wherein I get rich won’t involve making knock-off copies of movies that are already sold at Wal-Mart for $7.99.

Three things.

  1. While the law may permit you to make back-up copies, the suppliers would much prefer you go out and buy replacements for your scratched DVDs. On those grounds alone, they will push to make it as awkward as possible to make copies.

  2. The tools for making legal back-up copies for your own use are the same tools as making illegal copies of your favourites to give to friends, neighbours and guys at work. And they may do the same for you. You don’t have to be pirating thousands of discs and sneaking them onto the market to cut into the revenue of legitimate suppliers.

  3. Re the message board angle - lawsuit, lawsuit, lawsuit! If you’re a follower of South Park - when Cartman sues Stan for sexual harassment, he got a bunch of Stan’s stuff and his lawyer got a toy. So his lawyer suggested suing the school instead, because they had lots of money. If you have money, you can become a little sensitive about leaving yourself open to lawsuits.

Yup, I understand the first 2. And allow me to clarify the debate. It now seems slightly vague given your post.

  1. Of course the studios want extra income from buying replacements. But the VHS/Betamax arguments already set a precedent decades ago concerning making back-ups. Congress was called in on this, and allowed for copies of media to be held of licensed material.

  2. I know that the software I use now to, well, I can’t post that here, but it allows me to finally not worry about scratched discs. I don’t do it for any monetary gain, it’s strictly used to make sure I have a usable disc to view. Yes, the software can be (and I’m sure, is) used to commit piracy. I, however, don’t use it as such.

  3. Any Cartman reference is welcomed no matter the circumstance. :wink: But the disclaimer I listed should be enough for the Admins to successfully hand a shitheel his ass in court if it ever got that far. Which I doubt.

The main point is, I bought the movie. It’s on a medium that is easily damaged to the point of not being usable. Regardless of why the disc is damaged, there should be a way to make a backup in case the disc is somehow rendered inoperable.

Even those whom hate Microsoft cede the right to make a backup disc of, say, XP.

$100 OS is legal to copy, but not a $10 DVD?

It’s not my fault a major Hollywood company can’t come up with a key code for copying. Yet I feel like I’m punished for it if I have to go pay* A SECOND TIME* (Yeah, I get the Monty Python reference) for a disc that won’t last as long as my copy of Duel on VHS that I’ve owned for over 15 years.

(Guess how many copies of that one have been distributed? If you guessed none, you won a t-shirt.)

Shoes are made of a medium that is damageable to the point of becoming unusable. This doesn’t mean that we should be supplied with an unlimited number of trade-ins since we paid $100+ for the original pair.
The idea is that you were aware when you chose to purchase a copy of what you were getting into, and if the price wasn’t worth it to you for a damageable medium, then you shouldn’t have bought.

Different EULAs. You knew what you were getting into when you purchased the CD/DVD, and yet you chose to pay.

Dunno about you, but I’ve seen a lot more people fighting against DRM methods for music and movies than I have seen fighting for.

Yeah, it is a bit of a shame that they didn’t put the disk in some sort of a case like a 3.5’ floppy or a MiniDisc. But…you knew that when you chose to fork over the money regardless. (I would also note that you could have created a VHS copy by rerouting the video out of your TV into a VCR, and kept the DVD in a safe to refresh your VHS every once in a while. Which is what MiniDisc allowed for CDs and yet never caught on in the US)

I think you’re missing the point of the OP. Should I or shouldn’t I be allowed to make a back-up copy of a licensed disc that has already been deemed worthy of back-up-edness( yeah, new word) by the US Congress?

Anyone able to find the House Resolution pertaining to making copies of movies? It had to do with recording over-the-air broadcasts, but I suck at finding stuff like that.

Just to nitpick, um, no. I didn’t know that. And neither did 321 Studios. They built a pretty profitable company that took in many US dollars based on making copies of DVD’s and software discs for legal backups.

I get the angle of piracy, OK? Can you read? I said it earlier. I’m going for the angle of making back-ups of stuff already bought.

Somehow I have the feeling you’re not getting the point of the question.

Well, 1) I am specifically playing devil’s advocate, 2) I am not talking about piracy either.
A company, making a product, is not required to provide any services beyond what it specifically said it would when it offered the product–if you purchased the product from them, then you were accepting that the price they charged is worth the services they promised. That you might have felt the price was worth it because you knew of the services of some third party has no bearing. Similarly, that no company has come forth with a similar product that allows you to do what is legally your right to do has no bearing to the original maker–as it isn’t a service they guaranteed when they sold you the product.

So to give an example from a different realm:

Car maker makes a car, telling you that it will only work so long as you can put gas in it.
All of the oil fields in the world go dry.

In my view, in no way is the car maker liable for having provided a product that was only worth it to you at the price it was offered at a time when gasoline existed in the world. That the world ran out of gas is just bad luck on your part (and probably the car maker’s as well), but does not mean that the car maker has failed to deliver the product it promised nor cheated your expectations.

You don’t pay for a licence for shoes. You pay for a licence for games, movies and music. The two are not analogous.

They were not meant to be analogous in terms of business model. I offered shoe sales (and later cars) as these solid-products are a case where purchasers’ expectations and the actual limitations of the product received match up. When I purchase shoes, I know exactly what I am getting and do not expect more (for whatever random reason.) But in the case of products that consist only of data–particularly since the popularization of the internet and file-sharing–the expectations of purchasers has become divorced from what was actually offered by the maker.
This does indeed mean that the makers are failing to create a product that will please their customers, but legally they are not at fault for this failure nor do I think they should be blamed for it. Given enough inventiveness and time for trial and error, eventually we will get data-based products that fulfil purchasers expectations and still allow the maker to make a buck–we just aren’t there yet and that’s just bad luck on everyones part.

Yes, but when I buy a film, I’m not purchasing the disc, per se, I’m purchasing a license to allow me to view the film. The license that I hold does not cease to be legitimate even if the disc is scratched. In the UK, you are allowed to make a single backup copy (despite what any EULA states, IIRC) for precisely this reason. Is it not the case that that is true of the USA?

I think that you are missing the point that the company who sells the product doesn’t have to do anything. If they let people copy a backup of a movie it costs them nothing (obviously, if it is not distributed and actually made as a backup). Nobody is asking the company to replace the DVD but if we can’t protect ourselves by making copies of the data then maybe they should.

I know this is somewhat beside the point, but what the hell are you doing with your DVDs that causes them to become “so scratched that even a pawn shop wouldn’t buy them?”

When I watch a DVD, it goes from its case into the player. It’s exposed to the rest of the world for about 2 seconds. When I’ve finished watching it, it goes from the player back to the case. Another 2 seconds. No scratching need occur.

If you’re careful with them, your DVDs should last longer and retain their quality better than a VHS tape. Is it so hard to keep them away from the cola, kids, and pugs?

I’m not against having the right to make back-up copies, but it really shouldn’t be necessary.

According to duffer, this is allowed:

Personally I am just accepting this is true.

But just because congress gives us the “right” to make a backup, doesn’t mean that the publisher has to make sure we can make a backup, simply that if we do make a backup they can’t complain.

Just because I think my core point has gotten lost: I am not really talking about making copies of products nor product pricing nor shoes and cars, but rather of the meaning of the word “right” in a legal sense.

For instance, the US government guarantees also the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This doesn’t mean that they have to insure that you are alive, liberated, and are pursuing happiness–just that if you have achieved those, they can’t punish you for it.

In vernacular, the “right” to do something means that “you can do it”, but legally it appears to mean that “if you can do it, then no one can stop you.”

Er, this analogy is only applicable if the car maker caused all the oil fields in the world to go dry (just as the DVD publisher caused obstacles to the creation of legal backups).

Ah, but one of the things that the MPAA (and the RIAA) have been feeding us is that we’re not actually buying the content, we’re buying a lifetime license to view or listen to the content. Not the case with shoes. You purchase a pair of shoes, not a lifetime license to have your feet covered with fashionable leather.

Not necessarily. It’s not as though the DVDs you can’t make a backup copy of come with some kind of sticker on the front that says what copy protection is on them so that I have the option of not buying it if I can’t back it up.

None of them employed by the MPAA or the RIAA.

Most of the DVDs that I had for a while before getting my DVD burner are pretty scratched up just from normal wear and tear of use. It happens that they get scratches, and those scratches can render a disc unplayable, especially if it’s one that you watch often.

You don’t see something wrong with a company going out of their way to make it impossible for me to exercise a right that the Congress has recognized me as having so that they can try to make another 10$?

There’re scratch protectors you can buy for cds and dvds. There’re disposable, snap-on film thingis. I know that at least Best Buy has them in their video game dept.

And if GM decided to specifically start destroying gasoline just for the pleasure of it, would this mean that their products were defective or that they did not fulfill all things they guaranteed? I doubt you will find the place where GM guarantees the continued existence of fuel, nor any guarantee that they will not actively work to decrease the amount of fuel in the world. Indeed, GM does not make cars as fuel efficient as Honda even though–given research that GM has undertaken with hybrid vehicles–they could certainly build cars that are more fuel-efficient than they are today.
GM does this because they find it to be cheaper for themselves in the short term. DVD makers do it because they are afraid of piracy. Certainly these practices might not be as kind to the consumer as one might ever hope but 1) they are still legally in their rights to screw over the customers so long as they do not practice false advertsing or create faulty products, and 2) if they do “bad things” and the consumers continue to hand over their money, then I don’t see that we have much right to complain.

And I am sure that we do have the right to the content of our DVDs and CDs for a lifetime. But, success in getting the most out of this right, they seem to have left to us to figure out.

But, legally you can make a backup. If you do succeed in figuring out what kind of copy-protection is on it, and do succeed in getting around that copy-protection to make a lawful backup for your personal lifetime of enjoyment–then the RIAA cannot bring any legal action against you: Since it is entirely your right to make a personal backup for your own lifetime enjoyment, as guaranteed by congress.

I’m just about to go to sleep, and am currently not certain which way you mean this.

I view it as being a shortsighted method to prevent piracy that could cause the downfall of the MPAA and RIAA companies. But it is their legal right to be stupid and ruin their own future every bit as much as it appears to be their right to fight against everything they have not personally guaranteed you can do with their products.

More importantly, if anyone ever starts a thread where the discussion is “How to release data-based products in a way that allows reasonable reuse of the medium, while still restricting reuse to a level that allows for the publisher to make a buck?” then I think you will find me a lot more against the status quo than this thread would make it appear. I just think that before we can get to productive conversation, all of the random complaining about RIAA and MPAA not having the right to be silly have to be shot down as invalid or else the “productive” thread will get overrun with such complaints.*

  • Apologies, I get grumpy when I am sleepy

Well, not exactly. They aren’t required to maintain that right - they’re expected to do nothing. But, they’re doing things that actively trying to curtail that right.

For example, I have the right to life. The government doesn’t have to do all in it’s power to ensure I keep my life; they’re expected to sit around and do nothing until someone tries to kill me. Then they step in and uphold my rights.

Similarly, they’re supposed to step in and uphold my rights if a company tries to sue me for piracy when I try to make a legal backup copy. Assuming we have that right!

The problem is that their efforts to stop piracy also infringe on such a right. Figure out how to fix that effectively, and there’s the end of the debate.

They have a good reason to put in the copy portection: Many people will and have in fact made illegal copies for illegal distribution. It’s unfortunate for those who wish to make legal copies, but unfortunately society is chock full of examples that make it harder (and more expensive) for the law-abiding due to the actions of the few law breakers.