Small conundrum in copying a movie, or how far do fair use rights go?

A friend gave me a copy of The Tunnel, a German movie with English subtitles. He was just going to throw it away, but knew I play around with videos of various kinds and thought I might be able to do something with it. The reason he was going to toss it is because the disk is physically damaged. There is a small section (approx 2-3mm) where the bottom of the disk is cracked (for lack of a better description). Not possible to repair or rub it out, this crack is deep.

I’ve tried playing it in various drives and my standalone player. It will not get past the bad section.

I’ve tried ripping it with Decrypter. Everything can be ripped except the 5th VOB, which is more than 15% of the movie. That’s a big gap. I even set Decrypter to ignore read errors and dropped the retry setting to 0 just to see if it could get past the bad sectors. 8 hrs later it was still not getting anywhere.

So, is it ethical (notice I didn’t say legal since the laws of different countries vary so much in this area), is it ethical to copy a movie that you legally own off of a different physical disk? Assuming you could somehow procure one without actually having to buy it. My first impulse is to say it is not, that you would have to buy another disk if you have somehow damaged your first one. What say you?

You paid for it. I don’t see why it isn’t ethical, and frankly, I wouldn’t really care either. If I paid for it, and it got damaged, I had better be able to either:

A) Get a new disc sent for free

B) Make a backup copy of the movie

A more relevant question would be: “does anybody care?”

^
Anyone who actually thinks about fair use rights, and their limits.

Sooooo, basically just the RIAA and MPAA and associations of this type of litigous nature.

Don’t you just love getting raped up the bumhole by corporate America? :rolleyes:

You do not own this movie. The owner of the media is licensed to view it in an home environment.

Really people, get this “owning the content” out of your system. You don’t own movies, you don’t own programs, you don’t own games.

It’s not a question of ethical but a question of law. Stop abusing morality and ethical issues to cover yourself from the law.

You can do anything which is not against the law with that media. If it’s not forbidden to circumvent the css copy protection and backup the media, please do.

I have to disagree pyro_dragun. Most of us here at cdfreaks like to back up our game cds, our dvds, sometimes other software just so we don’t have to use the originals and possibly damage them. That much is obvious. So we ARE concerned with the concept of fair use, and see it as a basic right.

But understanding what “fair use” is, what it includes and excludes is something that isn’t discussed much around here. I’m not sure if anyone has a complete definition of fair use in the digital age. The example I gave in the first post falls into a slightly grey area—though as I said before, I’m of the opinion it falls slightly outside our rights under fair use.

What happens when you make a copy, then the original is destroyed? Are you entitled to keep the copy? Or to change the scenario, what if you sell the original? Does that change the picture enough to push you beyond the boundaries of fair use? The first one, I’m not sure. The second is almost certainly beyond the scope of fair use in my opinion. But that’s part of it—that’s just my opinion. There don’t seem to be guidelines beyond the obvious ones of piracy.

Mr Belvedere
When laws begin to intrude on what has been a right for centuries, how do you proceed? Copyright was intended for the benefit of the public, not the content makers or publishers. Today it is being twisted to benefit corporations. Following or not following the law becomes an ethical decision----and backing up legally owned disks is not theft.

I obviously have problems with the whole concept of licensing programs, movies etc., but that is another discussion.

Ethically it’s fine to back-up content you have already paid for - in my opinion. Since your friend gave you this disc, you now own it, so you can repair it. If you buy a item of equipment that is defective and got as a bargain, you can get it repaired; why should that be different for DVDs? That’s ethics for you, it’s where you arrive at a decision based on a set of morals. But those are my morals; yours may be different. Whether it’s ethical or not, you could repair this disc in the privacy of your own home and no-one need ever know. Telling everyone about it beforehand isn’t a good start though.

Regards

TZ

Well while I agree with TigerZai, thats not really what the post is about. I see it like this…lets use ownership of a beater car or used PC as example.

If I buy cheap or am just gifted a damaged product, knowing it up front, and have the skills to repair it with my own hands and tools, then I got a heck of a deal and happy. But if after getting into it, I find it’s beyond my skill level, or even possible to properly repair the product, do have the right to “steal or rent” a comperable product, to cannibalize parts from the new to make the old complete? And then return said product like it never happened?

That said, I’d find another copy, rip the fucker, and say I’m all good because I am in personal posession of a licsenced factory copy…cracked or not…lol :slight_smile:

Well, that is kind of the point of a backup.

That much is obvious. So we ARE concerned with the concept of fair use, and see it as a basic right.

You sure about that? I don’t really care if it is “illegal” to circumvent copy write protections. If I want to back up something I bought with my own money, I sure as hell don’t care if the law says I can’t. I am sure that I am not the only one that feels this way too. Plus sometimes, just because something is legal doesn’t mean it is ethical, as is vice versa.

But understanding what “fair use” is, what it includes and excludes is something that isn’t discussed much around here. I’m not sure if anyone has a complete definition of fair use in the digital age. The example I gave in the first post falls into a slightly grey area—though as I said before, I’m of the opinion it falls slightly outside our rights under fair use.

What happens when you make a copy, then the original is destroyed? Are you entitled to keep the copy? Or to change the scenario, what if you sell the original? Does that change the picture enough to push you beyond the boundaries of fair use? The first one, I’m not sure. The second is almost certainly beyond the scope of fair use in my opinion. But that’s part of it—that’s just my opinion. There don’t seem to be guidelines beyond the obvious ones of piracy.

The first scenario, in my opinion, is that you are allowed to keep the backup. After all, you have not tried to transfer that property to another person. The second case, is of course not ethical. It’s just like borrowing your friend’s game and copying it, then giving it back to him.

So, do I understand the differance between what is ethical/moral and what isn’t? Most certainly.

Will I always do what I know is considered “ethical/moral”? Ha, that’s laughable.

goto google…find another copy of the same movie…and buy it…conundrum over!

as humans (and most animals) we learn by copying or mimicing i think it is a basic human right :iagree: copyrights and patents just make the rich richer and the poor poorer and rarely the inventor or the original author !!!
i guess you know what i would do :bigsmile:

I say if you find another original, copy it. It most liklly is not legal to do so but here is the way I see it. You do not own the material (in this case a movie), but you have paid for the right to use it (with restrictions on its use, for instance you probably cannot have public screenings with it and charge). If it were software, it would be the same thing. You do not own it, you only have licience to use it with restrictions. If it were software and the disk became damaged, in many cases you could order a replacment disk for substantially less than the cost of the software. In plenty of cases you could also download the software and just use your original serial number. While these softwares are not from the same source, they are the same intelectual property, the same content which you have been licienced to use, and with software, the companies that sell it will usally help you obtain another copy.
I don’t see movies or music as being any diffrent. Some studios will replace damaged disks for a nominal fee for larger video stores (I read somewhere that net flix pays as little as a dollar to replace some movies).

I say the same morally applies. If you buy a movie (or someone else buys it and gives the original to you, thus transfering ownership of the physical item, and purchased rights of use to you), you have the right to use it (within the normal limitations). If the movie companies had their way, you wouldn’t even be able to make a backup copy. They want you to have to buy another copy if it gets damaged as it makes them more money. I say you own an original copy as proof that you have the right to use the contents within limits. The disk probably cost much more than the actual physical item is worth. Part of that money paid was for the right of use. You still morally have that right of use. I say make another copy and enjoy the benifits of rights of use that has been payed for. You are not stealing anything, the rights of use have been paid for, and if the movie companies were moral, they would let you back up the disk or at least allow replacement of the disk for a price that is more in line with the actual value of the physical product (the disk and or package or whatever), as the right to use the content has already been paid for.

That just my opinion though, and you know what they say about opinions?

copying is legal in USA so long as you dont circumvent any copy protection in doing so. copying a dvd with the css intact is legal - decrypting it and then copying the unprotected movie -> isnt.

DMCA’d!