Copy Protection may be illegal?

If I am correct, and based on what I have read quoted here, I am allowed under Federal Law to make a back-up copy of my movies/games (“Fair use”) for my own personal use. Yes?

I would argue that by putting a copy protection on say a DVD which defeats the right I have under Federal Law, the mfg. is violating my right.

I know there are many pieces of software which can only be used for either a specific number of days or for so many uses. I would seem easy (from a lay point of view) for the DVDs to be made to allow one copy to be made and then no more. This would give me my “Fair use” back-up and still prevent more copies being made.

Maybe this has been covered before but if not, it seems a good thought. I would also think this is a good defense to using a program which beats the copy protection for the purpose of allowing me my legal back-up copy.


I sorta agree with you, but you need to realize that the company has rights as well. They have the right to protect their product, which can include disallowing you to make a proper backup. I feel like it should be my right to back my games up, and it should be allowed by game/software companies. The problem is, you buy the product, not just the CD, and the CD fails within 5 years (or so), which means that you lose all your product. If you back an item up, you get to actually keep what you paid for. Because of this, I rarely buy a game that can’t be backed up. I passed up PoP TTT because of their malicious SF protection, and will pass up other games that do the same.

In short, I think it should be illegal to stop users form backing up games, and instead of preventing customers from backing items up, the companies should be concerned with better CD key activation, etc. I hope it will sometime get ruled that it is illegal to have companies prevent user backups, but it won’t ever happen anytime soon.


Also, another point to be noted is that it isn’t the “regular” everyday user that will know how to get around the protections. It is the hackers or people who read these forums that know how to back up their games. For hackers, it is probably fun that companies keep coming out with new protections because:
a) It costs them money
b) They enjoy breaking the protections.

Yes, it is their right to set limits, however when someone is granted a right under Federal Law, any restriction on someone involing that right is void as against public policy. Federal Law prevails. So putting a product out and then saying you can not do something with the product which you are specifically allowed to do is against public policy and void. I think if someone challenged it, they would win provided however they did it only once per item and not for sale or other commercial use.

I doubt that. :iagree:

This argument really comes down to two differing ideas. One idea is that the record companies (or the movie companies) have the right to deny consumers the ability to change or remove their product from the specified parameters. Basically, this means that there is a law saying that this product (say a DVD) is licensed to the creator, and therefor cannot be altered legally by anyone else.

At the same time there exists another law. This law says that we as consumers have the right to do what we want with anything we buy, given that we aren’t making money/ hurting the company.

As we have seen before, comapanies wield a lot of power, especially initially. But as time goes on, courts realize the importance of freedom for consumers. Not only does this freedom usually end up creating more money for the economy (consumers won’t be affraid of buying a DVD, for example), but this also gives the consumer the benefit of the doubt.

I believe it is the consumers right to rip a DVD onto their computer, back it up, or code it into a portable DVD viewer (like a PSP, or Ipod Video). The reason companies don’t go after people for things like this, is that they will lose. I’m no lawyer, but I’d say we are safe continuing to do this, since I am only suggesting doing this with DVD’s we purchased ourselves…

The DMCA flies in the face of established Fair Use policy and court precedents. IMO, Clinton did the country a great disservice by signing that bill.

That said, some say it was an over-reaction to offshore piracy and had less to do with the American consumer and more to do with the impact on the balance of trade.

So far, it appears all legal challenges to the DMCA have failed, which is a bit depressing. With all the special interest money being funnelled to Senators and Reps, it’s unlikely that any substantial changes will be made.

I’ve contacted my state reps and senators and none of them seem willing to take up the cause. It is incredibly frustrating for those who simply want to have Fair Use of the products that they pay for.

Nobody seems willing to act on this. Even the EFF has balked lately. :frowning: