Illegal download... legal?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Josias, Dec 22, 2006.

  1. Josias macrumors 68000

    Josias

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    #1
    Hey,
    I have season 1 to 7 of the Simpsons on DVD. It's a hell ripping them (yes I tried Handbrake and MTR). A friend just downloaded 16th season with Bittorrent, and it speaks much more to me.

    Simply, would it be illegal for me to download season 1 to 7 via Bittorrent if I have the DVD's?
     
  2. SkyBell macrumors 604

    SkyBell

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    Texas, unfortunately.
    #2
    If you have proof of ownership of the DVD's, like a receit, I don't think it would be illeagal.
     
  3. Josias thread starter macrumors 68000

    Josias

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    #3
    Well, my mom has 4 tons of reciepts, so I guess they'll be in there too.

    If anyone has any comments, please increase your postcount:)
     
  4. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    Jobs' Spare Liver Jar
    #4
    You own the material. You're entitled to fair use.
     
  5. ChrisBrightwell macrumors 68020

    ChrisBrightwell

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    #5
    Legally, I think the fault would lay with the distributor in this case.
     
  6. tobefirst macrumors 68040

    tobefirst

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    Jan 24, 2005
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #6
    I am by no means an expert, and could very easily be wrong. I was under the impression that ripping the DVDs, or bittorrenting them, would be illegal because it breaks the copy protection on the DVD...even if you have the DVD. Am I wrong?
     
  7. clayj macrumors 604

    clayj

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    visiting from downstream
    #7
    From a very strict standpoint, yes, it's technically illegal to rip a DVD. But it's really not costing the copyright holder any money, so it's pretty much a "victimless" crime for you to rip your own DVDs or to download the contents of a DVD that you already own.

    For the other person to Bittorrent the DVDs is most definitely illegal.
     
  8. ChrisBrightwell macrumors 68020

    ChrisBrightwell

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    #8
    Strictly speaking, you're totally correct.

    The problem lies in the fact that, under copyright laws, you're entited to something called "fair use", which allows you to copy the DVDs onto your computer or your iPod or whatever else ... for personal use.

    Under the DMCA, however, you're not allowed to circumvent copy protection to exercise your fair use rights.
     
  9. Felldownthewell macrumors 65816

    Felldownthewell

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    Feb 10, 2006
    Location:
    Portland
    #9
    As others have pointed out, it is both illegal and legal. However, the chance the FBI will catch you ripping DVDs is 0, while the chance that they would catch you bittorenting is substantially higher. However, since you own the DVDs it is not too likely you would be charged with anything, but it is still a much greater risk than just ripping. Plus you get way better quality when you go from DVD to computer than internet to computer.

    Just my .02
     
  10. d wade macrumors 65816

    d wade

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  11. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

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    New England
    #11
    While the FBI and the MPAA/RIAA would like to think their reach extends outside the US, Josias is probably looking at other laws and agencies in Denmark.

    BT in and of itself is not illegal, and has perfectly legal uses. (e.g. distribution of Linux ISOs, http://www.zudeo.com/).

    B
     
  12. psychofreak Retired

    psychofreak

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #12
    No one will come after you (don't hold me to that), the main problem that some have with torrents are morals, if you feel that you have bought the thing, download it.
     
  13. Josias thread starter macrumors 68000

    Josias

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    #13
    It's just difficult getting out just the episodes from the DVD's. I always seem to get some useless thing out, and then I suddenly have one episode taking up 8 GB, since I accidentally set it to someting crazy. If anyone can write me a detailed n00b proof guide for ripping them, please do.:D

    BTW, thanks for your answers.
     
  14. NJuul macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Location:
    Boston
    #14
    The laws are pretty much the same here, fair use is allowed, which means you can copy a CD or DVD or whatever for backup purposes, or to play with another device (iPod, etc.), however, at the same time, there is a law that states that it is not legal to break any copy protection on any digital medium.

    Do whatever you like, you paid for the discs, use their content as you wish. However, I really don't understand how it can possibly be faster bittorenting the files than ripping them off DVDs.
     
  15. ~Shard~ macrumors P6

    ~Shard~

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    #15
    You are incorrect. Many companies use bit torrent technology for completely legal and legitimate uses. :cool:
     
  16. NJuul macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
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    Boston
    #16

    With Handbrake, you can set a target size of the ripped encoded file. If you use MTR, you get the entire DVD as it is, which means a folder with 6-8 GB of data. If you want the episodes, use handbrake multiple times to rip only the chapters that represent one episode each time.
     
  17. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #17
    There are conflicts between laws and court decisions that have not been fully fleshed out.

    I hope that in the coming years we can see some definitive legislation that clears consumers to enjoy commonplace space-shifting practices without being made to feel like a pirate.
     
  18. AmbitiousLemon Moderator emeritus

    AmbitiousLemon

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    Nov 28, 2001
    Location:
    down in Fraggle Rock
    #18
    The fact that most people are missing here is that when you use bittorrent you are not just downloading but uploading as well. Regardless of the legal mess involved in fair use in your ripping your dvds, bittorrenting the episodes is obviously illegal since you are distributing the files. When the MPAA comes after you this is the argument they use, they completely ignore the downloading aspect and focus on the fact that you were illegally distributing copyright material to others.

    You should also be aware that if the MPAA, RIAA or similar entity becomes interested in you, they are more than willing to break the law to go after you to obtain (or fabricate) evidence and obtain your personal information.

    The legal questions involved really don't matter, what matters more is whether you want to open yourself up to attack by these government sanctioned extortion groups.

    That said when you first pop up on their radar their first action will usually (though not always) be to report you to your ISP and request that your internet connection be closed. In most cases this is where the situation ends. The RIAA has occasionally gone straight to extortion, but I haven't heard of the MPAA doing this.
     
  19. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #19
    If you want to move your DVDs on your computer, without wasting too much space, you need two programs: Mac The Ripper and Handbrake.

    Use Mac The Ripper to load the DVDs on your harddisk. And yes, each DVD will take about 8 GB. Takes maybe 20 minutes per DVD. Load DVDs until you have maybe 10 GB free on your harddisk. Then start Handbrake. Set "Enable Queue" so it can encode more than one DVD. Switch it to H.264 encoder, two pass encoding, leave everything else unchanged. That will give you best possible quality using the smallest possible amount of space. Add each episode from each DVD to the queue (Handbrake doesn't know what are episodes on the DVD, but something that is 30 minutes is probably one episode, and something that is 2 minutes isn't). Make sure Handbrake doesn't forget the H.264 settings. Once you have added all the episodes from all the DVDs, start encoding.

    Be warned: It takes ages. On a Macbook, maybe twice the time of the DVDs. Once you are done, delete the DVD images (make sure you know where the compressed movies are and that they work). That's it. You can add the movies to iTunes if you like; iTunes can play them in full screen mode.
     
  20. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #20
    Let's also not lose sight of Shard's point. Bittorrent can be used to upload data that is in the public domain.
     
  21. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

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    Location:
    New Zealand
    #21
    Yes, but in this case it's being used to upload Simpsons episodes, which I'd wager is illegal in most countries.
     
  22. AmbitiousLemon Moderator emeritus

    AmbitiousLemon

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    Nov 28, 2001
    Location:
    down in Fraggle Rock
    #22
    Which is irrelevant since this thread is about downloading copyrighted material.

    And if you plan to use that as a defense you should be aware that its is a simple task to check to see what you are downloading, even if you use some of the recent encrypted BT clients.
     
  23. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #23
    Legal/illegal is just one aspect. There are three questions: Is it morally right or wrong? Is it legal or illegal? Can you get into trouble or not?

    Morally it is fine with me if you own the DVDs.

    Legal or illegal: I am not a lawyer.

    Can you get into trouble? Absolutely. Chances are low, but not zero. If you live in the USA, the MPAA can take you to court. Doesn't matter whether you have done something illegal or not. Being taken to court will cost you time and money. Even if you win a court case, that time and money is gone and nobody will give it back to you. But the way courts work, you can lose, even if you haven't done anything that is illegal, and I'm not sure it is legal, even if you own the DVDs. So the best strategy is usually an out-of-court settlement. You think that sucks? You are right.

    Now if you rip from DVDs: Is it morally right? Yes if you own the DVD. Is it legal or illegal? I am not a lawyer. I'm sure it is illegal if you don't own the DVD. Can you get into trouble? Highly unlikely.
     
  24. clayj macrumors 604

    clayj

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    visiting from downstream
    #24
    BTW, if you haven't already, check out Handbrake Lite. It has a "one-click" DVD-to-iPod / DVD-to-PSP rip that eliminates the need for Mac the Ripper.
     
  25. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

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    New England
    #25
    Or even data that is copyrighted, but free to distribute.

    See for example the zudeo link I provided above which many content providers, including the BBC are working with to distribute video content. (From the people behind azureus).

    B
     

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