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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Quality of video disqualifies VCR as a copy rights infringement...

DVD recording without menus (Thru S-Video or RCA) will record with less quality and will not be considered a violation...

Any of the above are OK as long as you don't pass them on (gift) or sell them...

DVD copy via ISO (electronic or hard copy) will retain identical quality, menus and features and is considered illegal
 

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Quality of video disqualifies VCR as a copy rights infringement...

DVD recording without menus (Thru S-Video or RCA) will record with less quality and will not be considered a violation...

Any of the above are OK as long as you don't pass them on (gift) or sell them...

DVD copy via ISO (electronic or hard copy) will retain identical quality, menus and features and is considered illegal
Whoa, hold on. Are you saying this is what you believe the laws say or what they should say?

Quality has nothing to do with whether something is considered copyright infringement. Case in point Sony/betamax vs. universal, youtube pull downs, video taping first run movies, distributing mp3s. All lesser quality, all considered illegal (currently or at one point) by the many courts.

To add to the debate, these folks are pretty much the best defense for sensible copyright law: http://w2.eff.org/legal/cases/betamax/
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 · (Edited)
Copyrights violations are not only the copies themselves, the use or intended use of the material can also be a violation and there may be more; I am referring exclusively to what is "Technically" a copy in the eyes of the courts/laws according to court rulings in several lawsuits...I may be missing some other rulings that have been changing according to technology...

You mention "videotaping first run movies"....Absolutely. While these actions were not (at one time) considered "Technically" a copy because of quality of the copy, it becomes a violation because of the intent (distributing or selling it) and carries very high punitive damages and/or time. The fact that these kinds of taping are not common practice and are not at the reach of the market added to the intent of later distribution is what makes it illegal...

In general terms, a recent ruling about this issue states that any kind of taping, filming or recording of movies in theaters, screening rooms, etc. is illegal. Someone inside a theater was filming with a video camera for later making DVD copies and selling them in 3rd world countries, the DVDS were out there before the movie was inaugurated; the person who was doing the filming successfully won the "Not a copy" argument because of a technicality (Degraded quality) but he was nailed bad because of the intent and damages; after the courts revised the case it was later ruled that filming, taping, recording or any other means of capturing the video or audio in a theater is considered a violation. I believe that there is jurisprudence regarding this matter...

In another case a movie screener who was making copies of the material was caught because of a number imbedded in the film itself, this number showed up in the copies that reached the market; each screener has a different number. His copies were made in commercial grade tape that is used as a master for producing DVD's.
 

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Really, that's wrong. Look, I think we're both out of our element here as the laws and judgments are contradictory many times (fair-use is legal but the means by which to create a fair-use copy are not?), and this will be the last I say on the matter (as once again, I'm admitting that I'm quickly getting out of my depth), but an argument based on copy-quality is just wrong.

What it all boils down to is the breaking of copy protection as described in the DMCA. VCR is legal because of fair use statues described in the link I provided in post 22. Those statutes were effectively thrown out the door with the introduction of the DMCA and digital encryption. As I understand, it was still illegal to create devices to macrovision copy protection in VHS, despite the quality degradation.

DVD recording through the analog hole is legal not because of quality, but because it does not break any copy protection. And even then, "legal" is fuzzy depending upon who you ask, where you got the original source material, and what you do with it.

Not distributing is a primary tenant of not getting caught, but not of legality. The RIAA had been hard at work as early as last year trying to make it illegal to copy a CD/DVD you own for your own personal use (Atlantic vs. Howell) irregardless of distribution. Fortunately, though the case was found in favor of the plaintiffs, it was on the basis of default judgment for Howells destruction of evidence as opposed to affirmation of Atlantic's claims. Moral of the story, though Howell got caught because he copied and distributed, those copies were not at the core of the charges, the making available/distributing was. (Edited for clarity)



You can make ISO copies of non CSS dvds for your own use, not post or distribute, and they will be legal. Cracking CSS is what get's you into trouble, and everything I've read makes it unclear of the use of tools to crack CSS is illegal, or simply the creation of those tools. I would love to see a court case that shows a judgment against the simple use of CSS cracking tools.

Would following all 3 of your tenant constitute creating a legal copy: Recording a DVD via s-video to a VHS recorder and not distributing it to anyone? I'd have to read the DMCA more closely but yes, I think it would. However, that has everything to do with digital copy-protection and nothing to do with the quality of the copy. I could capture video via component, reauthor that video into a DVD menu structure, and have a copy with negligible quality loss that would be no more legal/illegal than the s-video VHS example.

The moral of the story is that, depending on who you ask and what the courts do in the coming years, any copy of any copyrighted work for any use could potentially be illegal under the current laws. Informing yourself in the hopes of finding "legal" ways to create copies is an exercise in futility.

Once again, IMHO, if you really want copyright reform, educate everyone around you at the benefits of fair use copies, show them the application in media servers and portable entertainment, show them the cost savings of not having to replace damaged discs, and get the majority of people on board. Then, when a fair-use throttling case make illegal what a vast majority of the poeple are doing, you will see a ground swell that creates meaningful change, copyright reform, and the demise of the DMCA.

BTW, for any RIAA/MPAA snoops, feel free to email me. I will literally have you over for a beer, you can look through my collection, and we can talk about this like civil adults.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 · (Edited)
I agree with your statements...

You say: "DVD recording through the analog hole is legal not because of quality, but because it does not break any copy protection"...

Yes, absolutely...The term "Lesser or lower quality" has been used in court to simplify the language because one of the main arguments of the industry for not allowing full resolution "fair copies" has been that high quality copies (where the copy protection is) can and are used as master sources for making further copies.

The quality issue has been latent since the Betamax years; the way VCR's, DVR's, etc. were excluded from the violations table was by quality/resolution differentiation. But of course, the intent of use of these copies remained alive.

About the ISO's...You are correct, I meant to say an ISO protected with Macrovision or other (most commercial DVD's).

I must clarify that a fair copy (whatever that means and assuming no violations) may be legal but can also become illegal depending on the use of the copy.

Court files regarding any of these copy violation issues are 1000's of pages long and are hard to explain in a few paragraphs...

I agree with you, we need to educate courts, consumers and movie industry about the benefits and convenience of video servers/fair copies, etc. I just don't know how to educate people who are stubborn-greedy with enough power to impose their agenda.

Fair copies are OK?
Maybe, but then why is it that there are no commercial servers (other than Kaleidescape) for making and storing fair copies of copy protected DVD's?

This thread was not intended to create controversy...It meant to discover where the industry is regarding video servers capable of making "fair copies" of protected DVD's, to discover where our legal system is regarding this matter, to discover where technology is and where is heading; and in a way, to do some brain storming for generating ideas that can help and be implemented...

Note: Other that a DirecTV HD DVR-receiver, I don't make fair copies of anything and I do not tolerate piracy of any kind from anyone, including from a government...Overtime I have purchased a couple of hundred DVD'S that are a problem to handle, I have been looking for a legal video server for convenience and maybe somebody in this forum has resolved a similar issue.

I have asked the movie industry to push for available technology that contemplates a 1 time use DVD, the copy protection is transferred to the HD and this DVD is exclusively used in HD servers (protected digital copy is inside the server), network players with ISO playing capability will be used for reproducing material. A downloading site will simplify things and will reduce costs. End result will be a high quality copy protected movie in our video servers equivalent to having an original plastic DVD on hand. The movie industry will be happy, we will be happy...
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Some links that support all said in this thread about making fair copies, these links demonstrate that legal actions and lawsuits taken by the movie industry and AACS are very serious and not "Stupid lawsuits" as someone stated in this thread:

"MPAA Says Making Even “One Copy” of a DVD is Illegal"
http://www.zeropaid.com/news/86356/mpaa-says-making-even-one-copy-of-a-dvd-is-illegal/


"DVD Copying Case Focuses on ‘Fair Use’"
http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/04/dvd-copying-cas/


"US NEWS Is It Legal to Copy a DVD?"
http://www.usnews.com/money/business-economy/technology/articles/2009/09/30/is-it-legal-to-copy-a-dvd.html#read_more


"RealNetworks court loss a reminder about limits of "fair use""
http://www.arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2009/08/realdvd-barred-from-market-while-judge-opines-about-fair-use.ars
 

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Some links that support all said in this thread about making fair copies, these links demonstrate that legal actions and lawsuits taken by the movie industry and AACS are very serious and not "Stupid lawsuits" as someone stated in this thread:

"MPAA Says Making Even “One Copy” of a DVD is Illegal"
http://www.zeropaid.com/news/86356/mpaa-says-making-even-one-copy-of-a-dvd-is-illegal/


"DVD Copying Case Focuses on ‘Fair Use’"
http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/04/dvd-copying-cas/


"US NEWS Is It Legal to Copy a DVD?"
http://www.usnews.com/money/business-economy/technology/articles/2009/09/30/is-it-legal-to-copy-a-dvd.html#read_more


"RealNetworks court loss a reminder about limits of "fair use""
http://www.arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2009/08/realdvd-barred-from-market-while-judge-opines-about-fair-use.ars
Could only find one usage of the term "stupid" in this thread (besides yours) and it came from me. Here's the actual quote:

I like many other law abiding citizens in this country are not willing to break the law by principle no matter how dumb or how stupid the law may be...By the same token, I and many other people will like to participate in getting organized for making conscience among the community and for changing the laws that are threating [sic] to infringe [sic again] our rights and freedom.

Though I did unnecessarily use two adjectives with virtually the same meaning.

EDIT (attribution): Whoops, that was your quote, not mine. Sorry.

But, I'll say it here: Just because the lawsuits are real, it doesn't mean that they are not stupid lawsuits.

Here's the problem I'm having with your argument: while you claim to be simply motivated to educate, your posts have a tone of Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt...the same currency that the MPAA trades in to enforce the unenforceable: an overreaching interpretation of the DMCA.

Case in point: The first link you provided is in regards to the MPAA vs. Real. While the judgment affirmed that RealDVD software broke it's license agreement with CSS and violated the DMCA by circumventing technological measures used to limit access to copyrighted content, the judge did not affirm the MPAA's assertion that making one copy of a DVD was illegal (similar to the claim that making one copy of a CD is illegal as I previously noted when I brought up Atlantic vs Howell). In fact, U.S. District Court Judge Marilyn Hall Patel acknowledged that consumers have a right to make "Fair Use" copies, but not at the expense of breaking CSS in violation of the current interpretation of the DMCA.

Here is the actual judgement if you would like to read all 58 pages (I have): http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/threatlevel/2009/08/patel.pdf

Section 115 onward should be quite interesting, and prove the inherent contradiction of content protection and fair use that is the DMCA.

Also note the 2nd paragraph of section 116 that stops far short of your previous assertion that: The use of illegal software breaks the law by definition...There is no way that you could use something illegal or banned for producing something legal.

In fact, section 117 seems to instead support my supposition that: Now, the production and distribution of the software the I may have to use to make that copy could be illegal, but is my use of it illegal? I don't think that's been made clear.

The other 3 links you provide are all similar articles dealing with the same case, so we're talking a single lawsuit, not multiple lawsuits (not that there won't be more, perhaps with a different outcome).

Maybe I am also guilty of seeing only what I would like to see, because what I see is ZERO lawsuits brought against individuals using software to backup DVDs and CDs that they own and do not distribute. Additionally, legality and morality are not as closely intertwined as many believe. There are many actions taken around the world that are/were legal that were not moral. Conversely, many actions taken that are/were moral are not legal. It is fallacious to use the terms interchangeably or synonymously, and a discussion into the relationship of the two has not adequately occurred in this thread, nor are either of us equipped to have that discussion in general terms, only on the terms related to copying DVDs and CDs for Fair Use.

Promoting fear, not understanding, is exactly the intent of these lawsuits and the MPAA/RIAA's long-term plan for preserving an antiquated business model in a digital age, while stifling innovation and fair use. I would encourage everyone to look beyond that fear in protection of Fair Use, and to understand their real rights. As of now, I haven't found any judgments against individuals using any software to crack copyright protections for the purpose of fair use. If one exists, please inform me.

NOTE: The legality/morality section was not directed at anyone in particular, just an illumination on many RIAA/MPAA "wrong to copy" statements.
 

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I think I'm coming off harsh here. I apologize. I'm not trying to attack you, I just don't like fear over understanding. You seem like someone who's really interested in taking this video server thing to the next level, so if you read up on some of these judgments, I think you'll find that as long as you're copying your own DVDs, not distributing the copies or selling the originals, you'll be within the law, within your rights according to fair use, and won't have to lose any sleep at night about wronging the copyright holders.
 

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I think you are right on target, Marshall. We don't need to make more of the issue than there is, and I believe that the posts that you were responding to very much created a sense of fear and suggested a much more dire future than is justified by a reading of the judgements to date.

The fact is that people will continue to make copies for their own purposes and there will never be anything that will be done about it in a practical way. It will never be cost effective to pursue those who are distributing copies, and publishers really don't want to go down that public relations road. KScape was a target because they are successful and making a profit, even though they did not violate the terms of the contracts and have been completely cooperative and supportive of copyright holders and their right to control distribution. If there is unreasonable success in the courts rejecting fair use, you can be sure that there will be legislation to reel it back in. For now, the courts have mainly concerned themselves with technical matters of specific cases and not done anything to restrict fair use.
 

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If there is unreasonable success in the courts rejecting fair use, you can be sure that there will be legislation to reel it back in.
That's the part I'm actually NOT sure about because so much fear mongering has been going on that the vast public hasn't dared to explore how fair use copies can enrich their experience (much less consider the ability to make a copy the "right" that it is). I think our crowd gets it, but we're far from the majority of the public, and that public interest is the only thing that will make me sure (nothing like good ol' public outcry to provide checks and balances).
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
I agree, we are not a big percentage of the consumers and overall we have very little representation...

Our company is in the technology/software business, our intents of "Amicus curiae" for supporting defendants in courts were unsuccessful. The movie industry is a very powerful "Demolishing Machine" that will wipe out anything and anybody who gets in their way.

The answer is not fighting the movie industry, the answer relies is in finding a way of making them happy while we can make and operate our servers 100% legally and without skyrocketing inherent costs.

The technology industry (us included) have been holding on major leaps because of this very single issue about copying protected material. The volumes of non commercial unprotected DVDS and other material are not attractive and do not justify researching or developing any kind of high volume copy/storage units (servers) and software.

Generating positive inertia and ideas for resolving these problems is what I am pursuing, I am not an attorney I am an Engineer with over 35 years of experience looking for the right idea that will serve as a spear point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
The company is pretty big and dedicated to digital projection technologies (hardware and software) among other technologies.

Mass storage of video-audio material is a very attractive and viable idea for further R&D because we already have technology used for the Cinema industry (Commercial Theaters) that could be downsized and applied for home use, but again, the limitation is the main issue discussed in this thread.

Going outside of the country for manufacturing/selling a product that is going to be in the gray area of the law in the US is not contemplated within the company's objectives. We serve the movie industry among others and while we don't have to agree with them, we just can't be against this industry...
Note This statement expresses my personal opinion and not necessarily the opinion of the company.

True, some software companies have relocated abroad after being sued, threatened or banned from operating in the US; we don't anticipate relocation of any of the areas of our corporation.

Regards,

AZUARO
 

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Why not do what other media servers such as the popcorn hour have done: focus on serving files irrespective of their type and not worry about ripping DVDs. Consumers will find a way to rip their own DVDs without you doing it for them.

Really, if you make a popcorn hour with a better indexing service and more attractive GUI, you'll have a winner.
 

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From the legal update page on the Kaleidescape website:

In the 2007 trial, the DVD CCA claimed that Kaleidescape breached the CSS License Agreement and in particular, that Kaleidescape did not comply with a document called the "General Specifications." Kaleidescape successfully argued at trial that the General Specifications document was not a part of the original contract since it was never referenced in the CSS License and was not provided to Kaleidescape until after the contract had been entered into. In addition, Kaleidescape presented evidence at trial that its products fully comply with the General Specifications anyway. In 2007, the trial court agreed with Kaleidescape that the General Specifications are not a part of the original contract. Because of this, the trial court did not clearly rule on whether Kaleidescape complies with the General Specifications. The Court of Appeal has now ruled that the General Specifications are a part of the contract, but did not decide whether or not Kaleidescape complies with them. The Court of Appeal has sent this back to the trial court to decide.

The new proceedings by the trial court will likely take place in a year or two, unless the California Supreme Court agrees to review the Court of Appeal's decision. Kaleidescape will continue to fight, and we expect to prevail. However, it may take many years for this issue to be fully and finally resolved.

In the meantime, Kaleidescape Systems remain 100% licensed and legal. We will continue selling Kaleidescape Systems, developing innovative products and technologies, and providing excellent service to our customers, including the Movie Guide, the Music Guide, automatic software updates, and automatic service alerts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Yes, Kaleidescape are the only ones alive and are fighting alone, their system is going to be legal until the courts decide the contrary if this ever happens (most likely it will but hopefully not).

If Kaleidescape loses the battle, it will affect us consumers to a great extent and it will be somewhat difficult to reverse the damage...Technology will suffer a major set-back because a lot of the products and technologies that we have read about it and seen at the CES, CEDIA, etc. will not reach the market.

I don't waste my time nor want to waste anybody else's in fruitless controversies, I am interested as a citizen in getting ideas and support from this Forum, this is why I keep on insisting in creating conscience about what is going on; somehow I feel that someone out there might have a great idea that can be implemented as mentioned before...
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Marshal,

We all will be seeing some amazing products in the next few months and coming years, there are many software companies actually working in your suggestion (indexing improvement for video-audio servers) but the R&D goes way beyond this...

Pretty soon we will be using technologies that would allow us to watch full 1080 P movies directly from a rental place (like a blockbuster at home) in each HD TV set with the convenience of not having to have a player...

You would be able to stop the movie that you are watching in your bedroom and finish it a week later in your living room or in your office or from pretty much anywhere where there is Internet and you will be able to watch it in anything from a TV to a lap top....

We are going to be able to watch Premiere movies one week after their release to theaters and later down the road at par with movie theaters (the timing is being negotiated as we speak)...

We are currently monitoring how the market responds to a new line of network players released a few weeks ago that will be able to read and play ISO files without having to mount a DVD player via software, these network players will be compatible with Video on demand from Netflix and others and will play pretty much any other audio, picture or movie format. The bandwidth was somewhat improved and can handle Blue Ray material over a network easily...

These players have been on stand by for a little over 2 years because of pending legal technicalities that were finally resolved.

To make the story short, the future for video-audio looks very promising but it could advance faster and be a lot better if we consumers, software developers and hardware manufacturers could work hand by hand with the movie industry.
 

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I hope it's more like netflix at home than blockbuster at home, the last place I would want Blockbuster is in my home.

As for netflix, "HD" is already in home with Xbox. As for 1080p, I don't image it's too far behind once the DVD model starts to dry up (Reed Hastings is predicting a peak in 5 years).

As for convenience of having a "smart tv", I personally don't want it. Sure it's an extra box, but I would rather have ultimate choice in the display that I choose without having to based on what media connection functionality is built in. Especially for Front Projection systems, which are quite unlikely to get Netflix built in (nor would you want it).

If both built-in and boxes were options, no skin off my nose.

The ISO player you mention is the popcorn hour and has been on the market for over a year (no legal difficulties that I heard of). It's the current horse to beat, though the new WDs will be giving it a run for the money given their lower price point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 · (Edited)
You seem to be one of those "know it all" HT gurus...You argue everything and seem to be unsatisfied and hard to please no matter what but that is OK as long as you are comfortable and as long as other people's ideas and criteria are respected...

You and I know that any high school kid can make a server for streaming video, audio, pictures, etc. over a network; the same applies to setting up the most complicated of home theaters. Front projectors nowadays are as cheap as TV's and are so easy to adjust and calibrate that anyone can do it...Knowledge about certain technology or issues is a matter of information, the one who knows the most is the one who has more information. You seem to be well informed; I only wish that you could process all that you know in order to generate ideas, solutions and to add some value to this thread.

People like I and many other technology researchers and developers have made easy for consumers like you and others (I am also a consumer) to understand, learn and know what you all know, we don't brag about it. We try to be humble of our knowledge and we don't ever underestimate who is on the other side...I am a Engineer with an MBA, an MS in engineering and a PHD and I am still learning, and I am close to 60...

My focus in this thread has been to generating ideas for consolidating efforts from consumers, manufacturers, developers and the movie industry so technology can advance without delays. Keeping the costs down while assuring consumers that they are not breaking the law or standing over a gray area while at the same time making the movie industry happy is what all is about... Any kind of questions or ideas is always welcome, negative statements are not because are destructive and a waste of time for everyone...

The concept of having a very high quality movie service at home with similar or lower prices than current rentals is the target and what matters; who runs the service or its name is unimportant...I don't care much for Blockbuster either but we have to concede that at one time Blockbuster was a leading service oriented company.

I mentioned that there are new technologies available that have not been considered, fully adopted or developed because of gray areas and innumerable disparities and disputes in between the software/hardware and the movie industries...We are looking for a common denominator and we need solutions...

I also mentioned an integral network system available for HD TV sets...Nevertheless, be assured that if you ever want it, our company and others have the same technology available for projection systems. You may not find it useful as you said but we think that many consumers will like having access for browsing the internet and other neat options like access to movie services, HVAC, lighting, home audio, home wireless security cameras, etc. all coming from a special component integrated to their HD TVs...This technology can be controlled with a blue tooth wireless keyboard, with your remote control or with other...

Finally, I was referring to the Dune BD prime series of network players that were released a few weeks ago, Popcorn components and players were indeed introduced to the market some time ago. Dune players are a close relative to the Popcorn system that you mention and both use some similar components. Both systems also use similar technology in part developed by the company where I work...I am the VP of R&D currently on vacations and this is why I have time for following this thread.

These mentioned Dune players reached the market at a fractional cost of their competition, and yes, they needed to resolve non technology issues for 2+ years; the wait was so long that they needed to be technology updated before going out.

I wish that we all can engage in generating positive and fruitful ideas, I will not be responding to negative replies...I thank all of you for your participation...

Best regards for all members,

AZUARO
 
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