Tuesday, May 11, 2004

"Movie industry is to 'fair use' what the Boston Strangler was to the woman alone"

From "Good Morning Silicon Valley" newsletter:

"Backing up your digital media is a bad idea. At least according to the Motion Picture Association of America, which on Wednesday will argue against an amendment to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that would allow us to legally make backup copies of our DVDs, CDs, etc. as long we own them and are not infringing upon copyrights. "There is no right in the copyright law to make backup copies of motion pictures, so the whole argument that people should have the right to make backup copies of DVDs has no legal support whatsoever," said Fritz Attaway, executive vice president of the MPAA. "It's against consumers' interests to permit devices that make backup copies, because there is no way that a device can distinguish between a backup copy for personal use and making a copy for friends, family acquaintances or even selling on the street corner."

If the "logic" of Attaway's "Boston Strangler" argument escapes you, you're not alone. Many folks have trouble understanding why they should be held criminally liable for backing up digital media that they own. "Moms and dads shouldn't have to fork over another $20-$30 every time little Johnny or Suzie scratches their DVD. The technology exists to prevent them from having to do that," said Robert Moore, president of 321 Studios, manufacturer of a popular DVD ripper. "We're not talking about free use here and we're not talking about providing consumers the skeleton key to everyone else's property. We're talking about giving people lawful use of the property they lawfully acquired." Link to FoxNews Story

Oh... and here is outgoing MPAA President, Jack Valenti, "the VCR is the Boston Strangler of the entertainment business" testimony (coutesy of the Electronic Frontier Foundation). Link

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