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Old 23-01-2012, 01:45   #61
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Re: Ripping DVD's

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
You may be correct - certainly this is an area ripe for interpretation and bereft of actual guidance and hard fact. But from what I have been researching since being caught out as a digital criminal is that while making a direct copy is an ambiguous area (see Dockhead's posts), altering that media copy to a different type of media or format is definitely not allowed. For that, you must repurchase the content. iTunes/Amazon/etc will be happy to sell you new copies in the correct formats. The iPod is not an alternative media - it is a media player. If you wish to play a full DVD copy on it, that is fine (but not possible). If you wish to rip the DVD using h.264 or similar compression algorithms to render a different file format and content type, then that is not OK - you must repurchase it.

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Don't be confused by propaganda of movie studios. Some of them would like for you to believe that you can't change the format of a movie (rip it to your IPad, for example), or that it is illegal to circumvent copy protection. They have filed dozens of lawsuits trying to enforce such claims. But the courts have not supported them, and your real rights are different from what some movie studios assert.

Another source of confusion is a law known as the DMCA, or Digital Millenium Copyright Act, which tried, among many other things, to limit fair use by prohibiting circumvention of copy protection even when no copyright violation is involved. The courts have not upheld the attempted limitation of fair use, with the result, which was discussed in earlier posts, that it is legal to decrypt for personal use but illegal to distribute decryption tools.

Changing the format of a movie (ripping to your IPad, converting to AVI, etc.) was technically illegal in the UK under one or another aniquated movie-studio lobbied law. However, even in the UK, "format-shifting" is now officially tolerated, and is in the process of being formally legalized: http://www.ipo.gov.uk/ipreview-finalreport.pdf; UK law set to change to allow format shifting...on CDs and DVDs [Archive] - MobileRead Forums


In the U.S., format-shifting has always been considered an aspect of fair use, and thus completely legal if you are doing it for personal use. If it were not so, then every IPod sold would be illegal.


I think the bottom line is common sense -- if you pay for a legal copy of a DVD, what business is it of anyone what you do with that copy as long as you are using it for the purpose for which it was sold? I have not heard of a single case anywhere in the entire world where any consumer was prosecuted or even attempted to be prosecuted for any kind of personal use of digital media, even in the UK during the period when, for example, format-shifting was technically illegal and not yet officially tolerated.




"However, in each of the cases where congress or a court has directly considered whether consumers have the right to copy digital media, they have declined to eliminate the right to make a copy for personal use or backup, and in two relatively recent laws, they've explicitly endorsed that right."

California Copyright Attorney :: Digital Copyright Question: Fair Use of Karaoke CDGs :: San Francisco Intellectual Property Lawyer
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Old 23-01-2012, 01:49   #62
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Re: Ripping DVD's

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
However, as you can see from your own references, it is a catch 22 - legal to make the copy, but not legal to have the software necessary to make the copy. If distribution of the necessary software is illegal, then possessing it is illegal (how would you get it?).
There is no Catch 22. If you will read the case, you will see that it was specifically decided that possessing and using decryption software for fair use is perfectly legal.

Just because distributing something is illegal doesn't mean that possessing it is necessarily illegal. Where did you get such an idea? Distribution is illegal because the tool facilitates piracy. If you download it and use it for piracy, that is also illegal. But if you download it and use it for your protected fair use, that is not illegal.
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Old 23-01-2012, 05:55   #63
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Re: Ripping DVD's

Well, all of that is good news to me. But I still don't understand why there is no catch-22. If it is illegal to distribute something, how does one get it? And if you download it from a torrent site, you are simultaneously distributing it while it is downloading (that's how torrents work). It is illegal to knowingly receive possession of illegal goods - complicity, that's why I have that idea.

And if all of this is so clear, why are these types of court cases brought up constantly?

"Official toleration" is definitely not equivalent to "legal". iPods were designed for music and it has always been clear that it is legal to rip and translate CD's since no DRM was ever put on them and no end-user license had the foresight to forbid it. Even the music industry doesn't contest that.

DVD's are the sticking point. The FBI warnings shown on the DVD media spell out very clearly and in plain language that it is a federal offense to make a copy, any copy, for monetary gain or not, for further distribution or not, whether you retain the physical disc or not. Period. Companies sell legal iPod format content along with the physical media and they expect you to buy it. Look at the packaging of new DVD's now - many of them are offering electronic copies alongside the physical disc as an extra cost add-on or freebie marketing bonus. They obviously consider the two separate media content.

I fully agree about the sentiment of "what business is it of anyone what you do with that copy as long as you are using it for the purpose for which it was sold?". However, we are discussing actual legality here, not what is fair.

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Old 23-01-2012, 07:27   #64
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Re: Ripping DVD's

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Well, all of that is good news to me. But I still don't understand why there is no catch-22. If it is illegal to distribute something, how does one get it? And if you download it from a torrent site, you are simultaneously distributing it while it is downloading (that's how torrents work). It is illegal to knowingly receive possession of illegal goods - complicity, that's why I have that idea.
Well, it doesn't always work that way. For example, in some countries it is legal to be a prostitute, but illegal to patronize one. In the Netherlands, I believe, it is legal to buy, possess and smoke small amounts of pot, but illegal to sell it except in narrowly defined situations. It does exist in the law that only one side of a transaction is criminalized, for whatever reasons.


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And if all of this is so clear, why are these types of court cases brought up constantly?
Well, intellectual property law is still very much in flux. The idea of of digital content is still fairly new and the legal system has not settled down yet. There is still a lot of controversy and a lot of conflict between content owners and civil liberties groups. Some content owners are quite aggressive and are
trying to push the law in one direction, while others are pushing back. So there are a lot of cases and a lot of IP lawyers are getting rich

But note well one thing -- the cases never concern consumers. I am not aware of a single case ever against a consumer doing something for personal use. The cases are all between companies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
"Official toleration" is definitely not equivalent to "legal". iPods were designed for music and it has always been clear that it is legal to rip and translate CD's since no DRM was ever put on them and no end-user license had the foresight to forbid it. Even the music industry doesn't contest that.
Well, there are two issues -- changing formats, and circumventing copy protection. There is no fundamental different being changing formats of CD's and changing formats of DVD's. Put a CD on your IPod; put a DVD on your IPad -- it's both changing format, which in the UK is still technically illegal, although officially tolerated and soon to be changed.

Copy protection existed on software for decades -- it is well established that it is legal to circumvent copy protection to make personal backup copies of your software. The situation with overcoming copy protection on DVD's is more or less the same thing. It is true that the DMCA attempted to criminalize overcoming copy protection even in the absence of copyright violations. The courts have so far not upheld that part of it.

"Official toleration" is quite enough for most people -- it is the state of the law when it is acknowledged that enforcement will not take place, pending reform of the law.

Pretty much like laws against sex on Sunday, or pre-marital sex, which are still on the books in some states. Since sex on Sunday is officially tolerated, I don't think twice about having sex on Sunday (when the opportunity presents itself), although it is technically illegal. I did live in a state where it was technically illegal; also oral sex (condemned as "sodomy").

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
DVD's are the sticking point. The FBI warnings shown on the DVD media spell out very clearly and in plain language that it is a federal offense to make a copy, any copy, for monetary gain or not, for further distribution or not, whether you retain the physical disc or not. Period. Companies sell legal iPod format content along with the physical media and they expect you to buy it. Look at the packaging of new DVD's now - many of them are offering electronic copies alongside the physical disc as an extra cost add-on or freebie marketing bonus. They obviously consider the two separate media content.
Well, just because it is written in a warning printed by the movie studio does not necessarily mean it is so. Everyone should make up his own mind what his legal obligations are, and what his conscience dictates. I do not believe that the FBI has a policy of attempting to prosecute people who copy DVD's in pursuance of their fair use rights -- I am not aware of a single case. And there is considerable legal authority for the idea that they could not, even if they were willing to waste their time doing it. But -- your opinion may be different and you are welcome to it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
I fully agree about the sentiment of "what business is it of anyone what you do with that copy as long as you are using it for the purpose for which it was sold?". However, we are discussing actual legality here, not what is fair.

Mark
Indeed. Certainly the law is not always fair, and one ignores an unfair but valid and enforceable law at his peril. No argument from me on that. My point, however, was different -- that common sense, as described in that sentence, also plays a large role in how the law is evolving, and how the laws are practically enforced.
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Old 23-01-2012, 07:54   #65
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Re: Ripping DVD's

Rebel_Heart,

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Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
If you want to get really geeky you can build a micro computer that does nothing but run a stripped down web server that serves up your media files over wireless. ....
You can already by these, they are NAS (network attached storage) devices. They typically run a stripped down linux and have various media servers. I have a small Linksys DNS-321 with a single 1TB drive for my media files. About the size of 1/2 shoe-box. As I recall, the DNS-321 was about $140. My Sony TV sees the network DLNA server. Unfortunately, Sony limits what you can play over the network. Pictures yes, music, no. Not sure about video. I'm sure this technology has evolved further since we bought our TV.

The DNS-321 is a bit slow. At some point, I plan on upgrading to a better/faster NAS. QNAP seems to have the most capability.
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Old 23-01-2012, 08:08   #66
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Re: Ripping DVD's

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Rebel_Heart,



You can already by these, they are NAS (network attached storage) devices. They typically run a stripped down linux and have various media servers. I have a small Linksys DNS-321 with a single 1TB drive for my media files. About the size of 1/2 shoe-box. As I recall, the DNS-321 was about $140. My Sony TV sees the network DLNA server. Unfortunately, Sony limits what you can play over the network. Pictures yes, music, no. Not sure about video. I'm sure this technology has evolved further since we bought our TV.

The DNS-321 is a bit slow. At some point, I plan on upgrading to a better/faster NAS. QNAP seems to have the most capability.
Don
It's probably simpler to just play videos on a computer. My last two laptops have had HDMI outputs on them.

At home, I have used for years a Sony media computer instead of a DVD player. I having been using the disks rather than ripping to the large (and empty) hard drive on the media computer only because I've got no problem with storage at home (unlike on the boat). I do keep my entire photo collection on the hard drive of that computer, which is very handy indeed.

If you were getting really elaborate with your installation on the boat, you could install a tiny 12v media computer with a large hard drive and keep all your content on that, and play it from that. Connect it to your LCD or plasma screen with HDMI, and control it all from one of those RF keyboards. Then, connect it all to a good built-in sound system.

Maybe some day, but for now I'm happy taking the TV out of the TV locker and setting it up on the salon table with my laptop, when we watch movies.
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Old 23-01-2012, 08:12   #67
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Re: Ripping DVD's

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Well, it doesn't always work that way. For example, in some countries it is legal to be a prostitute, but illegal to patronize one. In the Netherlands, I believe, it is legal to buy, possess and smoke small amounts of pot, but illegal to sell it except in narrowly defined situations. It does exist in the law that only one side of a transaction is criminalized, for whatever reasons.




Well, intellectual property law is still very much in flux. The idea of of digital content is still fairly new and the legal system has not settled down yet. There is still a lot of controversy and a lot of conflict between content owners and civil liberties groups. Some content owners are quite aggressive and are
trying to push the law in one direction, while others are pushing back. So there are a lot of cases and a lot of IP lawyers are getting rich

But note well one thing -- the cases never concern consumers. I am not aware of a single case ever against a consumer doing something for personal use. The cases are all between companies.



Well, there are two issues -- changing formats, and circumventing copy protection. There is no fundamental different being changing formats of CD's and changing formats of DVD's. Put a CD on your IPod; put a DVD on your IPad -- it's both changing format, which in the UK is still technically illegal, although officially tolerated and soon to be changed.

Copy protection existed on software for decades -- it is well established that it is legal to circumvent copy protection to make personal backup copies of your software. The situation with overcoming copy protection on DVD's is more or less the same thing. It is true that the DMCA attempted to criminalize overcoming copy protection even in the absence of copyright violations. The courts have so far not upheld that part of it.

"Official toleration" is quite enough for most people -- it is the state of the law when it is acknowledged that enforcement will not take place, pending reform of the law.

Pretty much like laws against sex on Sunday, or pre-marital sex, which are still on the books in some states. Since sex on Sunday is officially tolerated, I don't think twice about having sex on Sunday (when the opportunity presents itself), although it is technically illegal. I did live in a state where it was technically illegal; also oral sex (condemned as "sodomy").



Well, just because it is written in a warning printed by the movie studio does not necessarily mean it is so. Everyone should make up his own mind what his legal obligations are, and what his conscience dictates. I do not believe that the FBI has a policy of attempting to prosecute people who copy DVD's in pursuance of their fair use rights -- I am not aware of a single case. And there is considerable legal authority for the idea that they could not, even if they were willing to waste their time doing it. But -- your opinion may be different and you are welcome to it.



Indeed. Certainly the law is not always fair, and one ignores an unfair but valid and enforceable law at his peril. No argument from me on that. My point, however, was different -- that common sense, as described in that sentence, also plays a large role in how the law is evolving, and how the laws are practically enforced.
Yes, again I agree in principle with everything you say. And I think we have reached an agreement that your argument has been about the practicality and pragmatism of working within current laws and mine has been about the letter of those laws.

So it is technically illegal to both break DVD encryption and change the format of the content, but it is practical and pragmatic to go ahead and do so with no criminal intent toward distribution or monetary gain.

I make this point clear, because there are some who are pedantic about the letter of the law, even when no criminal intent is present.

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Old 23-01-2012, 08:20   #68
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Re: Ripping DVD's

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Yes, again I agree in principle with everything you say. And I think we have reached an agreement that your argument has been about the practicality and pragmatism of working within current laws and mine has been about the letter of those laws.

So it is technically illegal to both break DVD encryption and change the format of the content, but it is practical and pragmatic to go ahead and do so with no criminal intent toward distribution or monetary gain.

I make this point clear, because there are some who are pedantic about the letter of the law, even when no criminal intent is present.

Mark
To be quite clear -- it depends on what country you are in.

In the U.S., it is apparently both technically and practically legal to both change format and circumvent copy protection as long as you are doing nothing outside of your fair use rights. With regard to circumventing copy protection, technical legality might depend on the particular state you are in, because for the "technical" legality of that, you might be relying on case law, which does not apply outside of the jurisdiction where the case was decided. But I think in every state there is no "practical" problem.

In the U.K., there is apparently a law still on the books, soon to be reformed, which prohibits changing the form of digital media. As to circumventing copy protection, I don't know -- didn't read that far. But practically speaking, there is no policy in the UK, either, to harrass consumers who decrypt and rip DVD's for private use.

In other countries, YMMV.

None of what I have written in this forum should be interpreted as legal advice. Everyone should does his own research and make up his own mind. Anyone seriously concerned should consult a qualified intellectual property lawyer.
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Old 23-01-2012, 08:31   #69
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Re: Ripping DVD's

I would not think the FBI would allow its name, symbols and language to be used in such an ominous warning about law breaking if the activity was legal. I think they would jump ugly on misappropriation of their identity and representation.

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Old 23-01-2012, 08:51   #70
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Re: Ripping DVD's

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
I would not think the FBI would allow its name, symbols and language to be used in such an ominous warning about law breaking if the activity was legal. I think they would jump ugly on misappropriation of their identity and representation.

Mark
The FBI warning does not say that you can't copy the disk. It says that "unauthorized reproduction is illegal". Fair use copying is not "unauthorized". The FBI also warns about copyright infringement. Fair use is not a copyright infringement.

The text, again:

"The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to five years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000."

CDs and DVDs to feature a new FBI warning label - AfterDawn

It's called the federal anti-piracy warning. And indeed, it is piracy -- that is stealing and distributing content (even distributing for free) -- which is what the FBI cares about and pursues. As they should -- no argument from me. But decrypting and ripping for personal use is (a) not piracy; (b) not copyright infringement; and (c) not distribution. It's not covered by the FBI warning.
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Old 23-01-2012, 09:12   #71
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Re: Ripping DVD's

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We use Magic DVD Ripper and convert all of ours to AVI (over 500 movies and tv shows). We store them on 1tg drives with a backup 1.5tb. We use a media player to play the moves on to our tv instead of using our laptop.
Thatís exactly what i do (see post #7), in fact most of the people i work with do the same, firing up the laptop every time you want to watch a movie is a PITA when you can just plug into a full size TV so everyone can watch, it also leaves the laptop free should i need it for something else....

I wouldn't do it any other way now....
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Old 23-01-2012, 09:35   #72
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Re: Ripping DVD's

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Thatís exactly what i do (see post #7), in fact most of the people i work with do the same, firing up the laptop every time you want to watch a movie is a PITA when you can just plug into a full size TV so everyone can watch, it also leaves the laptop free should i need it for something else....

I wouldn't do it any other way now....

Im a little late to the game here but Hopper are you saying rip the DVD's to an external hard drive and connect that directly to the TV? Would be via USB I guess?

We are moving aboard in a few months and I want to get all our DVD's onto an external drive. Was thinking of some software to get the DVD's onto the external drive, Magic DVD ripper maybe? I was thinking I would connect the laptop to the TV via HDMI cable and the external hard drive to the laptop via USB. Im not a techie at all so give it to me slowly.
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Old 23-01-2012, 11:02   #73
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Re: Ripping DVD's

We also have a media player (Western Digital) hooked to the tv via HDMI cable and with two 1TB drives attached by USB. The media player is the size of one of the drives and the three together take up just 4"x3"x3". Also agree that we wouldn't do it any other way - just turn on the tv and have 2TB of tv shows, movies, documentaries, etc to choose from. The thing connects to our router by ethernet, so I can actually wirelessly stream to the computer and put new movies on to it.

All legally obtained, of course.

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Old 23-01-2012, 11:12   #74
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Re: Ripping DVD's

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We also have a media player (Western Digital) hooked to the tv via HDMI cable and with two 1TB drives attached by USB. The media player is the size of one of the drives and the three together take up just 4"x3"x3". Also agree that we wouldn't do it any other way - just turn on the tv and have 2TB of tv shows, movies, documentaries, etc to choose from. The thing connects to our router by ethernet, so I can actually wirelessly stream to the computer and put new movies on to it.

All legally obtained, of course.

Mark

Ok I think I understand now. I need a media player between the TV and external drives. Googling western digital media player now...
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Old 23-01-2012, 11:18   #75
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Re: Ripping DVD's

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Im a little late to the game here but Hopper are you saying rip the DVD's to an external hard drive and connect that directly to the TV? Would be via USB I guess?

We are moving aboard in a few months and I want to get all our DVD's onto an external drive. Was thinking of some software to get the DVD's onto the external drive, Magic DVD ripper maybe? I was thinking I would connect the laptop to the TV via HDMI cable and the external hard drive to the laptop via USB. Im not a techie at all so give it to me slowly.
Trust me i am no techie, i would not know if what you propose above would work , i just know what works for me....

At home i have a 1.5TB hard drive that lives in the Tv cabinet which plugs into a media player (about the size of a cigarette packet) which plugs into the TV, no need to fire up any computers, the same when i go back to work (at sea), i take a 250 gig USB powered hard drive + media player in a small toilet bag and plug these into the TV in my cabin, again no need for computers.....

I have found using this the easiest, i don't have to worry about bloody formats, file types or decryipting (no idea what it all means anyhow), just rip to the hard drive then plug into the media player/flat screen TV and play, it's that easy...and did i say no computer need for playback....

So to summarise, i use Magic DVD ripper onto Western Digital hard drive, then playback through a Western Digital media player to the TV....

Below is my original post on the subject.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by IslandHopper View Post
I use Download Magic DVD Ripper and Magic DVD Copier onto Western Digital external hard drives and playback through a Western Digital Media Player to the TV.....

External Storage Overview

Home Entertainment Overview

Very easy, even for me....
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