I don’t always rip my DVDs, but when I do I prefer to do it myself
I don’t always rip my DVDs, but when I do I prefer to do it myself
I don’t always rip my DVDs, but when I do I prefer to do it myself

    Get Involved Today

    It looks like the ridiculous “drive-to-the-store-and-pay-to-have-us-rip-your-dvds”
    service that was hinted at last week was not a
    joke. Today Wal-Mart and the major
    movie studios are rolling it out for real.

    As we have already detailed, this program is insulting to the public and embarrassing to
    movie studios, but let’s go a bit deeper. We should be clear about one thing – there is nothing inherently wrong
    with movie studios and Wal-Mart offering people a service that lets them upload
    their movies to a cloud service. Furthermore, there is nothing wrong with charging them for the

    The real problem arises when they use this service as a
    justification for making it illegal for you to rip your own DVDs without using
    the service and paying the fee. As
    luck would have it, the Copyright Office is considering this issue right
    now. Public Knowledge is asking
    the Copyright Office to allow people to circumvent the DRM that protects DVDs in order to
    make copies of movies they own. The MPAA is arguing that allowing this exemption
    would unleash a tide of piracy and destroy the movie industry (set aside, at
    least for the moment, the fact that in every other forum the MPAA argues that
    there is already a tide of piracy destroying the movie industry).

    The MPAA has argued that there is no reason to allow people
    to make copies of DVDs they own because there are so many other alternatives
    available. What they fail to
    is that none of these theoretical alternatives actually provide the
    same easy of use and utility as the simple act of making a copy of a DVD you
    own. There is no reason that copying a DVD you own should be any harder or
    more controversial than copying a CD you own.

    The short term solution here is for the Copyright Office to
    grant the exception that we are requesting that would allow people to copy DVDs
    they own. The longer term solution
    is for Congress to pass a bill (like the one we have drafted for them over on
    the Internet Blueprint
    ) that allows you to
    break digital locks to do otherwise legal activity (like making copies of DVDs
    you own for personal use).

    Until then, any announcement from the movie studios that
    they are doing the public a favor by charging them again to watch DVDs they own
    is going to be met with a hearty degree of skepticism. As they should be, because these
    announcements are ridiculous.