Ripping movies = illegal? or...?

illegalprelude

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Mar 10, 2005
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Ok, here is my thing. I have a very huge DVD collection (all legal, pics welcomed for none believers :p ) but I hate the fact of putting in 1 DVD, taking it out and etc.

So i was thinking of getting another external drive (that makes my 4th lol, 1 PC-backup, 1 Mac backup and 1 for FCP editing) and ripping my movies or start to anyways lol and just have them all stored on their for when I want to access them.

Is this technicly illegal? or am I within my rights? Just curious to the idea.
 

kretzy

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Sep 11, 2004
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I'm not really sure, but it doesn't seem that different from copying music from a CD onto one's hard drive which is legal. As long as you don't copy them on to other disks and distribute them there shouldn't be a problem.
 

iMeowbot

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Aug 30, 2003
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Okay, you're in LA, so you get the US DMCA fun. It's okay to rip for personal backup. It's not okay to write or distribute hardware or software that can do the job, or to explain how. (Don't be alarmed if your brain explodes at this point, it's normal.)

[Adding to the fun, the US copyright office initially had different ideas of what would be an access or copy control, but subsequently courts have picked different interpretations that make for the brain pain.]

There are people in other countries who aren't (yet) stuck with these rules, and easy international transfers over the Internet make enforcing these restrictions pretty near pointless, but them's the technicalities.
 

WildCowboy

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Jan 20, 2005
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And according to the DMCA, you can only use it for backup purposes in case of damage to your media. So if you break your DVD in half, you can use your back up copy. But if you lose the DVD, you can't use your back up because someone else could come into possession of the original disc and use it.
 

illegalprelude

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yea believe me, i would be the last soul to distribute, i moved out here last year to work in the film business (writer/director) so I would never do that, part of the reason prolly why I got a huge legit collection.

One thing ive always been facinated with is the fact of Networking. Right now, I got my Tivo on the network so my 2 pc's and laptop can pick it up and my Mac it networked to my PC's so all the files can go back and forth.

I would love to one day, get a pc that i wont need or a Mac Mini, hook it up to the home theater, and it be on the network and voila! All my music via iTunes, the pictures, and yes, my 400+ movies now for easy access :cool: Of course, im far from that part of it but even my Tivo lets me use my shared music and pictures so its not really far fetched, just dont have a kickin home theater or spare money for a Mac Mini :D
 

Super Macho Man

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Jul 24, 2006
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WildCowboy said:
And according to the DMCA, you can only use it for backup purposes in case of damage to your media. So if you break your DVD in half, you can use your back up copy. But if you lose the DVD, you can't use your back up because someone else could come into possession of the original disc and use it.
I am not sure where this idea came from. Fair use allows an unlimited (maybe..... the law is murky) number of personal backup copies. What it is not legal to do is distribute these copies, either for free or for profit, OR to circumvent the CSS on these copies in a way that is unauthorized by the copyright holder (under the DMCA).

For example, MacTheRipper, Handbrake, and VLC are all illegal in the U.S. because they defeat CSS encryption without a license from the DVD Forum. Yeah, it sounds surprising and ridiculous but it's true, every Mac user's favorite media player includes a U.S.-illegal library called libdvdcss for playing commercial DVDs.

There is no way to legally rip a commercial encrypted DVD into an AVI or MP4 or any other format, at least in the U.S., since in order to convert it, you first have to decrypt it, and there are no authorized decrypters that will write to a hard drive. Could you stick the disc into a DVD player with RGB/DVI out, hook up an expensive RGB/DVI capture device to your computer and capture the uncompressed digital video - yes, because you are using an authorized decoder and are not circumventing the encryption. Sounds silly doesn't it? :)

You could legally copy your DVDs onto dual-layer DVD+Rs or a hard drive or any other media - as long as you don't decrypt them. You must have a licensed player to play them back - such as a real DVD player or authorized computer DVD player software (Apple DVD Player = authorized, VLC = not).

Is this particular law really of any consequence in light of the fact that millions of people (not me sir, I would never do such heinous things! :eek: ) are breaking it every day - your call. :)
 

Scarlet Fever

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Jul 22, 2005
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illegalprelude said:
I would love to one day, get a pc that i wont need or a Mac Mini, hook it up to the home theater, and it be on the network and voila! All my music via iTunes, the pictures, and yes, my 400+ movies now for easy access :cool: Of course, im far from that part of it but even my Tivo lets me use my shared music and pictures so its not really far fetched, just dont have a kickin home theater or spare money for a Mac Mini :D
MacPro+ 4 30" displays can do that for you!
I reckon ripping them for yourself is fine, but distributing them is bad.
In Australia, i think its still illegal to load your music onto your computer or portable music player. Considering just about everyone, government officials included, copies music to their computers, it ok to "bend" the law in this case.
 

someguy

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Dec 4, 2005
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Scarlet Fever said:
MacPro+ 4 30" displays can do that for you!
I reckon ripping them for yourself is fine, but distributing them is bad.
In Australia, i think its still illegal to load your music onto your computer or portable music player. Considering just about everyone, government officials included, copies music to their computers, it ok to "bend" the law in this case.
If only it were alright to bend all the laws the government does... :rolleyes:
 

ChrisBrightwell

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Apr 5, 2004
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illegalprelude said:
Ok, here is my thing. [...]
Welcome to the tried-and-true "Fair Use vs DMCA" debate.

Fair Use (under US Copyright Law) says you can do that. The DMCA says you can't.

I doubt the DMCA will ever defeat Fair Use in the court of law, but I don't think it's ever been tested. Keep that drive off the 'net and you're fine.
 

LethalWolfe

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Jan 11, 2002
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Super Macho Man said:
I am not sure where this idea came from. Fair use allows an unlimited (maybe..... the law is murky) number of personal backup copies. What it is not legal to do is distribute these copies, either for free or for profit, OR to circumvent the CSS on these copies in a way that is unauthorized by the copyright holder (under the DMCA).

For example, MacTheRipper, Handbrake, and VLC are all illegal in the U.S. because they defeat CSS encryption without a license from the DVD Forum. Yeah, it sounds surprising and ridiculous but it's true, every Mac user's favorite media player includes a U.S.-illegal library called libdvdcss for playing commercial DVDs.

There is no way to legally rip a commercial encrypted DVD into an AVI or MP4 or any other format, at least in the U.S., since in order to convert it, you first have to decrypt it, and there are no authorized decrypters that will write to a hard drive. Could you stick the disc into a DVD player with RGB/DVI out, hook up an expensive RGB/DVI capture device to your computer and capture the uncompressed digital video - yes, because you are using an authorized decoder and are not circumventing the encryption. Sounds silly doesn't it? :)

You could legally copy your DVDs onto dual-layer DVD+Rs or a hard drive or any other media - as long as you don't decrypt them. You must have a licensed player to play them back - such as a real DVD player or authorized computer DVD player software (Apple DVD Player = authorized, VLC = not).

Is this particular law really of any consequence in light of the fact that millions of people (not me sir, I would never do such heinous things! :eek: ) are breaking it every day - your call. :)
Pretty spot on expect Fair Use doesn't really address making back-up copies. Fair Use basically says that you can use a portion of copyrighted worked for academic, news, or criticism/review w/o having to get permission from the copyright holder. The Audio Home Recording Act of 1992 and the Sony v. Universal case (aka the Betamax case) established the precedent of people being able to make personal back-up copies of their movies and music.

Of course, as stated, the DMCA effectively killed 20yrs of consumer-friendly precedent and the DMCA has help up in court so, whatever.


Lethal
 

LethalWolfe

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ChrisBrightwell said:
I doubt the DMCA will ever defeat Fair Use in the court of law, but I don't think it's ever been tested. Keep that drive off the 'net and you're fine.
321 Studios, makers of DVD copying software, lost to the DMCA in court.

Link


Lethal
 

zap2

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Mar 8, 2005
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Washington D.C
I do it.. i don't think its going to hurt anyone if you do, assuming you don't rent the DVDs, rip them, then said them back.. thats likly illegal(and should be)
 

illegalprelude

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zap2 said:
I do it.. i don't think its going to hurt anyone if you do, assuming you don't rent the DVDs, rip them, then said them back.. thats likly illegal(and should be)

ohh Im completly agree. Im A. a huge collection freak :D :D and B. I really do look at downloading movies as stealing. its no different downloading then going to best buy and putting a dvd in your purse. Either way, you end up owning something you didnt pay for.
 

tedrjr03

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Feb 9, 2006
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I think pretty much what everyone is trying to say is just do it. You will be fine as long as your not burning and selling and giving them away or are putting them on the internet. For your use, you will be ok.

Oh bye the way have fun ripping all those dvds:D
 

ChrisBrightwell

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Apr 5, 2004
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LethalWolfe said:
321 Studios, makers of DVD copying software, lost to the DMCA in court.

Link
They weren't exercising any sort of Fair Use privileges, either. They were simply distributing a CSS circumvention device which, by the DMCA, is clearly a violation of the law.

To make your own copies is the grey area. Not to sell software.
 

AtHomeBoy_2000

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Feb 3, 2005
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illegalprelude said:
Ok, here is my thing. I have a very huge DVD collection (all legal, pics welcomed for none believers :p ) but I hate the fact of putting in 1 DVD, taking it out and etc.

Is this technicly illegal? or am I within my rights? Just curious to the idea.
I believe copying material from its original distribution method is indeed illegal. However, most non-lawyers and non-RIAA/MPAA people will tell you that as long as you are not redistributing it to others, it's ok.
 

Xeem

macrumors 6502a
Feb 2, 2005
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Minnesota
If you aren't going to distribute the movies than it doesn't really matter if it's technically illegal or not. No one is getting hurt by you backing up your DVD collection for personal use, and no one would find out anyway as long as you don't share them.
 

bousozoku

Moderator emeritus
Jun 25, 2002
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LethalWolfe said:
Pretty spot on expect Fair Use doesn't really address making back-up copies. Fair Use basically says that you can use a portion of copyrighted worked for academic, news, or criticism/review w/o having to get permission from the copyright holder. The Audio Home Recording Act of 1992 and the Sony v. Universal case (aka the Betamax case) established the precedent of people being able to make personal back-up copies of their movies and music.

Of course, as stated, the DMCA effectively killed 20yrs of consumer-friendly precedent and the DMCA has help up in court so, whatever.


Lethal
CDs are different and don't restrict copying the content, as long as they follow Philips guidelines. DVDs are encrypted for a reason and have warnings on them for a reason--they've never been legal to copy.
 

LethalWolfe

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ChrisBrightwell said:
They weren't exercising any sort of Fair Use privileges, either. They were simply distributing a CSS circumvention device which, by the DMCA, is clearly a violation of the law.

To make your own copies is the grey area. Not to sell software.
Thats a good point. But if the tools allowing you to make back-ups are illegal then that has pretty much the same effect as saying backing-up is illegal? Aspects of the DMCA was an end run around existing laws & precedents that protected consumer rights and when the two met up in court the DMCA won, sadly.

I don't think a person making a back-up is ever going to be tested in court because the MPAA have no way to know if I made a back-up of my Spider-man DVD or not. The only way for them to know is if you distribute it and then it's no longer a personal back-up anyway.

AtHomeBoy_2000 said:
I believe copying material from its original distribution method is indeed illegal. However, most non-lawyers and non-RIAA/MPAA people will tell you that as long as you are not redistributing it to others, it's ok.
What you are talking about is typically called "space-shifting" and it is not illegal.


Lethal
 

KingYaba

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Aug 7, 2005
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I don't see what any harm would come of backing up your data :) We are always told to back up. Apple tells us to back up data. So backing up your DVDs incase of theft, damage would only be natural.
 

LethalWolfe

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Jan 11, 2002
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bousozoku said:
CDs are different and don't restrict copying the content, as long as they follow Philips guidelines. DVDs are encrypted for a reason and have warnings on them for a reason--they've never been legal to copy.
Between actual laws and precedents set in court cases people have been awarded the legal the right to "time-shift" and "space-shift" for personal use. AFAIK the DMCA is the first legislation that goes head-to-head w/those rights, but I'm far from an expert so if I'm wrong please point me to where I can educate myself. What warnings on the DVDs are you referring to, the FBI warning?


Lethal