This is one of those questions that has bothered me ever since the DeCSS thing went down way back in 2001. The crux of the problem is this: the movie industry wants to sell you a DVD like it’s a physical object, and then use technology to restrict your use as though you have taken a license to the content.
If they are selling you the physical object, they can’t complain when you decide to make a backup of the content- it’s classic fair use.
If they are selling you a license, they either need to (a) give you the option to negotiate the license, or put it on the outside of the product packaging, or (b) replace the physical media at cost (a few cents) when it becomes damaged, because your license has nothing to do with the physical media.
Right now, the industry is trying to claim that it gets to work the deal both ways, depending on which context is more favorable to them in any given situation. The facts of this case make it sound like it’s ripe to really treat the issue properly.
SAN FRANCISCO – Hollywood studios told a federal judge here Friday consumers have no right to make copies of their DVDs.
The U.S. courts, however, have never squarely answered whether that was true, a legal vacuum that might be answered in the Motion Picture Association of America’s lawsuit against RealNetworks.
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