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

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Tim Neu [mailto:tim@tneu.visi.com]
> Sent: Friday, August 02, 2002 9:00 PM
> To: 'dvd-discuss@eon.law.harvard.edu'
> Subject: RE: [dvd-discuss] Movie Downloads, automatically illegal?
> On Fri, 2 Aug 2002, Richard Hartman wrote:
> > > So, do we have to do the trade/backup dance for our transfer
> > > to be legal?
> >
> > Strictly speaking: yes.  Practically speaking: it could
> > all be "on paper" only.  But again, you are shifting the
> > argument away from the original scenario of downloading
> > your copy from "the internet".  I had presumed that to
> True, but sony vs. betamax says any legal use makes the 
> device legal, so
> unless that case is superceeded, then I only need two people.
> Besides, some CDs sell millions and millions of copies - Even 
> if only one
> million are sold and one in a hundred downloads a song they 
> already own on
> the CD (at work, friends house, etc), that's 10,000 potentially legal
> downloads, and I would venture to speculate that the real 
> percentages are
> higher.

The downloads _aren't_ legal unless the distributor
has the right to distribute, which they don't.  You're
still too focussed on the end result and not the process.

> > mean from the existing sites where movies are being
> > distributed ... usually w/o regard to whether the recipient
> > has a valid token of ownership (the DVD).  _Those_ people
> > are violating the distribution rights of the IP owners.
> > Any transaction you enter into with them -- regardless of
> > your "right" to a media shifted copy -- is tainted by _their_
> > legal (rather, illegal) situation.
> I don't know.  I admit that area of law is unfamiliar to me, 
> but it seems
> to me that isn't always the case.
> I have a ham radio license, which in MN grants me the privlidge of
> receiving police communications in my car - which is illegal 
> without the
> license.  If I buy a scanner at a tailgate swap meet from 
> someone using it
> without the proper license, the scanner is still mine, and 
> the swapfest is
> still legal.  It is true that the seller could be prosecuted for their
> actions, but I don't see how this would make my part of the 
> transaction
> illegal.  His use of the device may not have been legal, but 
> his ownership
> (and thus the transfer) would be legal.

Only because the laws in that particular case make it 
legal for him to own a device that it is not legal for 
him to use.  If it was not a legal ownership, then his 
sale to you would not be valid and you would still be 
in trouble.  For example, instead of focussing on the
license for use, how about if the law required a license
for selling those devices (as they do with liquor or
guns)?  If he didn't have such a license, then whether
_you_ have the "right" to use that device or not becomes
immaterial as _he_ did not have the right to sell it
to you.

> > They have never explained that in court, we're still
> > waiting.  (This, btw, is the argument at the heart of
> > whether or not you can watch your DVD on anything other
> > than a "licensed" player ...)
> That is so darn frusterating that a calculated pre-meditated holiday
> weekend ambush could do so much damage in a case like this 
> (Universal v.
> corley).  I still wonder how the case would have been 
> different if on the
> first day the circumvention of DeCSS was not conceeded.  
> Hearing the MPAA
> defend their authority model would have been interesting, 
> especially if we
> had more than a few hours before presenting our side.   It 
> amazes me that
> such childish methods are allowed to happen.  How the heck 
> anyone expects
> to get justice out of a system like this is beyond me.

Well, you'll get no argument from me there.  The restrictions
on appeal are even more frustrating.

> As far as "Should be" vs "reality", I admit some of my 
> arguments may be
> more of the former.  However, if you are pressed to describe 
> logically how
> the authority flows, there aren't very many possibilities 
> that make sense.

For DVDs?  There are none.  That's kinda the problem.

In summary the MPAA's position is that DVDs can only
be played on licensed players, sanctioned by the DVDCCA.
You can check the archives or the twiki board for more
information on just where the gaps in this model lay.

> Maybe we need a modern day Dred Scott decision _for_ the copyright
> industry in order to piss people off enough to care...  In 
> some ways, I
> think the 2600 appeal might have helped in that department, even if we
> had lost.

Unfortunately since 2600 is "the Hacker's magazine" it might 
not really have had enough public appeal to serve as a 
rallying point.

-Richard M. Hartman

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