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 Post subject: LEGALITY DISCUSSION (US)
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2016 2:26 am 
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I would like to front this by saying I apologize if I have misinterpreted or otherwise broken any rules on these boards. Please remove this thread if it is inappropriate.

Also understand that this discussion is intended for people living in the US. Feel free to make a new thread for your region instead, but let's keep this relatively orderly, shall we? :wink:

Moving on...

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015 ... sonal-use/

Here's an article from late October 2015. From what I understand, the law seems to state:

1. You may not circumvent copy-protection in place on media for any reason.
2. If you do no circumvent copy-protection, you are allowed a single digital backup of your media for personal use.
(please please correct me if I'm wrong)

If my understanding is correct, doesn't this mean that the only things you can "rip" legally are CDs, and older mediums of video and audio like VHS tapes? All commercial DVDs and BDs that have ever been released and will be released will employ copy protection, so doesn't that mean ripping them with programs such as MakeMKV is illegal, and even the software itself illegal?


Last edited by TheGreatNi on Wed Mar 02, 2016 1:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2016 5:39 am 
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TheGreatNi wrote:
If my understanding is correct, doesn't this mean that the only things you can "rip" legally are CDs, and older mediums of video and audio like VHS tapes? All commercial DVDs and BDs that have ever been released and will be released will employ copy protection, so doesn't that mean ripping them with programs such as MakeMKV is illegal, and even the software itself illegal?


This is a major point of contention. The copyright law says that owners of the material are allowed to make personal backups. But the DMCA doesn't allow you to do so. These laws have never been clarified in the courts because no individual has been hauled into court because they circumvented copy protection to make a backup.

Welcome to our crazy laws because Congress has been bought and paid for by Hollygreed.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2016 1:40 pm 
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MrVideo wrote:

This is a major point of contention. The copyright law says that owners of the material are allowed to make personal backups. But the DMCA doesn't allow you to do so. These laws have never been clarified in the courts because no individual has been hauled into court because they circumvented copy protection to make a backup.

Welcome to our crazy laws because Congress has been bought and paid for by Hollygreed.


Haha, so true!

So my understanding wasn't correct? It's two separate ideas/laws that aren't related in any way?

Law A says: You can't circumvent copy-protection.

And a separate, unrelated Law B says: You can make a single digital backup for personal use.(?)


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2016 3:40 pm 
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The "boy scout" answer to how these laws can work without conflicting is simple...you are allowed to make an exact-copy backup to another disc, with all encryption still in place. You would not be allowed to create a personal backup that was in any other format than that of the original disc, especially if doing so involved breaking the encryption or copy protection scheme.

Basically, making an MKV of anything in the US is officially illegal. Thanks to the 4th amendment, who would know you ever did it? What kind of invasion of personal privacy/property would be needed to see if someone made an MKV for personal use if the copy never left their own local, personal storage system in the home? What would be the "probable cause" to allow a warrant for anyone to even look for something like that if the end-user weren't file-sharing?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 2:52 am 
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dingerjunkie wrote:
Basically, making an MKV of anything in the US is officially illegal.


That's not true because it doesn't make sense. Making an mkv format file itself is not illegal. mkv is just a container. I could convert my personal videos to mkv. I could also rip a non copy-protected disc to a mkv container. There's nothing wrong in that.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 1:33 pm 
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dingerjunkie wrote:
The "boy scout" answer to how these laws can work without conflicting is simple...you are allowed to make an exact-copy backup to another disc, with all encryption still in place. You would not be allowed to create a personal backup that was in any other format than that of the original disc, especially if doing so involved breaking the encryption or copy protection scheme.

Basically, making an MKV of anything in the US is officially illegal. Thanks to the 4th amendment, who would know you ever did it? What kind of invasion of personal privacy/property would be needed to see if someone made an MKV for personal use if the copy never left their own local, personal storage system in the home? What would be the "probable cause" to allow a warrant for anyone to even look for something like that if the end-user weren't file-sharing?


Even with 1:1 backup to a disc image, I still think that counts as violating the copy protection. The content creators want to control where and on what you watch their content so they can make money. The copy protection is to allow you to play it only on a licensed player or drive, backing it up would allow you to do otherwise.

electronicsguy wrote:
That's not true because it doesn't make sense. Making an mkv format file itself is not illegal. mkv is just a container. I could convert my personal videos to mkv. I could also rip a non copy-protected disc to a mkv container. There's nothing wrong in that.


I believe he meant, in this context, making an .mkv of a DVD or BD with MakeMKV.
And I don't think DVDs you created are really a concern here. No offense, but I'm far more concerned with my DVD collection than your burnt home movies :wink:


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2016 5:25 am 
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electronicsguy wrote:
That's not true because it doesn't make sense. Making an mkv format file itself is not illegal.

No, but taking copy protected content as the source is.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2016 1:48 am 
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electronicsguy wrote:
That's not true because it doesn't make sense.


It doesn't have to make sense, like someone said, welcome to Crazy Law Town. You have two laws that appear conflicting. On the one hand, you are allowed to make a personal backup copy. On the other, you are not allowed to circumvent copy protection. Until someone gets hauled into court and the case tested, we don't know what the legality is.

In Canada, under the new 2012 copyright act, time shifting (ie taping TV broadcasts) is now officially legal, as is format shifting. Yes, until then, it's been a grey area, despite VCR technology being decades old. However, even these time- and format-shifting exceptions do not apply if access- or copy-control is broken. Yay? So now we can legally move songs purchased on iTunes from computer to iPod.

Nonsensical? Boneheaded? Yes. Even the politicians passing this law themselves said "it is unrealistic a content creator would sue a consumer over this (circumvention for personal use) due to cost and time involved". So they admit this is a stupid law, and people should just go ahead and break this law because one one's likely to be sued for it. It's also legal to possess tools and software that can be used to circumvent protection.

Does this fill you with confidence yet?


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2016 3:43 am 
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Chetwood wrote:
electronicsguy wrote:
That's not true because it doesn't make sense. Making an mkv format file itself is not illegal.

No, but taking copy protected content as the source is.


Sure, agreed, but that has nothing to do with mkv per se. This program could have a clone called makeAVI or makeXYZ and it'd still not be legal as far as US law is concerned.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2016 3:50 am 
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Devore wrote:

Does this fill you with confidence yet?


if you go by the literal wording of the 2 laws, they are not conflicting IMHO. Yes you cannot circumvent copy protection mechanisms. But you can make a backup. So, w.r.t makemkv, the "backup" feature of blu-ray should be perfectly legal, since the m2ts files will not be decrypted (unless you explicitly select the option to do so). So I don't see an inherent conflict in the 2 laws taken together.
It'd only be a format shifting.

Whether the laws should exist, is another matter.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2016 5:36 am 
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electronicsguy wrote:
This program could have a clone called makeAVI or makeXYZ and it'd still not be legal as far as US law is concerned.

Really? And what about the fact that it does circumvent the BD copy protection to get the content from the disc? I'm sure the industry lawyers won't look kindly on your theory that making a backup is somehow different. Nuff said.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2016 1:02 am 
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Chetwood wrote:
Really? And what about the fact that it does circumvent the BD copy protection to get the content from the disc? I'm sure the industry lawyers won't look kindly on your theory that making a backup is somehow different. Nuff said.


ofcourse if a backup circumvents encryption then it's illegal. i was under the impression that the backup created is a bit-to-bit copy, which could not circumvent anything. its simply copying all the bits from the disk including the encryption. Correct me if i'm wrong.


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