Downloading Movies...a changing environment on the net

Here at cdfreaks there is a longstanding policy of not helping people with illegally downloaded movies. Laws on this subject vary according to which country you live in, but moderation here generally shuts down discussions that openly admit downloading copyrighted material. I don’t have much problem with this, but it may be time to review implementation of this policy.

Downloading services, legal ones, are beginning to show up on the internet. Two have been in existence for almost two years now. Movielink and Cinemanow offer full movies for download, some can even be burned to dvd. Most are still in .wmv format with Microsoft’s drm applied.

Since we help with breaking encryption and converting formats for personal use, I don’t see a conflict helping with these types of downloads. The problem will be keeping up with the types of video available for download, the various sites that are actually legal to obtain these videos and differentiating between purchased video and rentals.

Perhaps we should simply ask that people posting in the forum specify exactly what type of video they have and their source? Right now it is “don’t ask don’t tell” for most of the video discussions around here. But on something that is obviously copyrighted, is it possible to ask for a source before automatically shutting down the thread?

I believe we are just at the beginning of downloading video over the net. The situation is going to get more complicated.


Is it even “legal” in the USA to break copy protection on a DVD movie…even if you own the DVD?


Is it even “legal” in the USA to break copy protection on a DVD movie…even if you own the DVD?[/QUOTE]
By digital means, no.

Fair use rights are extremely complicated, and even copying entire works are not always seen as violating copyright.

Breaking encryption is specifically prohibited by the DMCA, but fair rights use predate it, and there are laws and court cases that allow certain types of copying for personal use in the US. Look up the Betamax time shifting case and the Home Audio Recording Act.

There is one section (1201) of the DMCA which disallows circumvention, but Section 1201c also states: I Other Rights, Etc., Not Affected.—

(1) Nothing in this section shall affect rights, remedies, limitations, or defenses to copyright infringement, including fair use, under this title[/I]

The anti-circumvention section of the DMCA has not been challenged on the basis of individual, non-commercial use, either for making backups or for format shifting. The media companies don’t seem eager to bring this sort of thing to court either.
I’m not sure how the courts would rule on it.

Owning the physical media shouldn’t really matter. This isn’t just a discussion of dvds. If you buy the video online, you should still have the right to view it as you see fit, even if that means breaking the drm that is added so you can change the format to play on all your media players.

What’s your comment about Amazon Unbox, Kerry56. Especially when you purchase the digital download (not Rent to watch), where the Terms of Use stated that:

b. [B]Purchased Digital Content[/B]. Upon your payment of the license fee, Amazon grants you a non-exclusive, non-transferable, limited right and license to retain a permanent copy of Purchased Digital Content and to view, use, and privately display the Purchased Digital Content for Non-Commercial, Private Use as specified on the detail pages of the Purchased Digital Content or other help or informational pages of the Service at the time of your payment. You may exercise these rights on up to 2 (two) non-portable Authorized Devices (e.g. laptop or desktop computers, TiVo® DVRs) and two (2) portable Authorized Devices as specifically designated by Amazon from time to time. There can only be 1 (one) account for the Service on an Authorized Device. [B]You may make a back-up copy of Purchased Digital Content on removable media (e.g. recordable DVD)[/B] or on an external hard drive in the same format as the original downloaded file to play on your permitted Authorized Devices. [B]Any back-up copy of the Purchased Digital Content on a DVD will not be playable on a traditional DVD player, but only on a permitted Authorized Device[/B].

It seems to me that Unbox is trying to find a solution that allows you to back up your purchases safely and still control the use of the product. I personally don’t agree with the idea that the company that sells me the content should tell me how to use it. The manner in which the material is delivered is immaterial. If I buy a book and decide I want to scan it all into my computer to read it there, or on a portable device of some sort, I have that ability. The same should apply to digital media.

If there is a circumvention program for Unbox material, I would see no problem talking about it or using it myself. Though I would never actually buy into this service knowing the restrictions they are trying to place on the content.

Ok now since you know about amazon unbox and the US law, do you think if people asking help how to backup amazon unbox movie, it will be legal or allowable here @cdfreaks?

I’m not a mod or administrator here zaina. That’s a question only they can answer.

The forum, being based in the Netherlands, is required to comply with Dutch law not US law.

And for us Dutchies, bypassing the copyright is illegal, but downloading all kinds of stuff in the internet is legal.