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RE: [dvd-discuss] Movie Downloads, automatically illegal?

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Tim Neu [mailto:tim@tneu.visi.com]
> On Thu, 1 Aug 2002, Richard Hartman wrote:
> > Well, that's different.   Your DVD, your laptop.  That's
> > standard space-shifting & has been previously acknowledged
> > as a fair use for other media (e.g. CD->cassette).
> >
> > Downloading over the internet, you're probably _not_ copying
> > from your own DVD.
> So if I give someone two identical DVDs (one from a friend, 
> one that is my
> own) to convert to VCD for me, and they pick the source DVD at random,
> you would argue that the legality of the copy would depend on 
> which they
> picked?

Aside from space shifting, certain low levels of copying
have been accepted in the past.  Whether this is at the
level of actual fair use or merely something "overlooked"
by the long arm of the law I can't say.  However, it was
the basis of a legal difference between Napster and AIMster.
one was a peer-to-peer system connecting people essentially
unknown to each other an enabling them to distribute music
files while the other worked through AOL's IM system, so 
(presumably) you knew the people you were distributing
to (they were your friends) and the scale of the activity
would be below the threshold that the law would become
concerned with.  (They got AIMster for trademark violation
... the use of "AIM" ... not for copyright violations)

> What is the difference?  In either case, you're using the 
> collection of
> bits which you were authorized to use.  Why should where I 
> get the bits
> matter?

Again, it's not where you _get_ them so much as where
you _send_ them.  Or more to the point, where the guy
you are getting them from is sending them.  

You keep focussing on the object being transferred, 
and the end result (you have a copy of something
to which you arguably have a right to have a copy
of).  The problem is that the law is concerned
with the means as well as the ends.  Like it or not, 
agree with it or not ... that's the way it is.

-Richard M. Hartman

186,000 mi./sec ... not just a good idea, it's the LAW!