January 25, 2006

The Maze of IP [8:45 am]

Note that Mr. Glickman has phrased his position in such a way that the goal is “reasonable cost” rather than rethinking the notion that maybe one ought to be allowed to make a copy of one’s own DVD — the developing rhetoric of “licensed” content in the entertainment business: Seeking Ways to Fill All Those Tiny Screens

But like the digital-audio boom in the late 1990’s, this new video territory raises old questions of copyright infringement and users’ rights. For example, to “rip” a commercial DVD you must bypass copyright protection that may be in place.

Circumventing the encryption on a copyrighted disc violates the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998. The Motion Picture Association of America is among the industry groups that have sued software developers for creating programs that can decrypt and make unauthorized copies of DVD’s. But DVD conversion programs are still on the Internet - some are stored on international file servers - and consumers freely trade tips online about how to convert DVD movies into portable video files.

The Motion Picture Association has said it is looking for legal ways to deliver content for new types of devices.

“As an industry we recognize the need for more innovation in the area of portability and copyright protection,” said Dan Glickman, the chairman and chief executive of the association. “We want people to be able to enjoy movies on various home entertainment devices without infringing on copyright laws, and we will continue to look for ways to marry those concepts so people can get movies hassle free at a reasonable cost.”

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