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Public Knowledge today submitted close to 400 comments to the U.S. Copyright Office in support of PK’s petition that consumers be able to copy DVDs they lawfully own onto devices they also own.
The comments were submitted in the reply round of comments the Copyright Office seeks every three years on whether there should be exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Content Control Association (CCA) opposed PK’s recommended exemption, saying that a new policy would confuse consumers and lead to “total breakdown of the marketplace for digital goods.” PK disagreed, telling the Copyright Office that: “The public makes the distinction between authorized and unauthorized copying on a regular basis. To cite an obvious example, the public recognizes the difference between copying a song from a CD to an iPod and illegally downloading a song from the Internet. Copying a motion picture from a DVD to an iPod is not so fundamentally different as to completely upend that distinction.”
Public Knowledge added that while the content groups proposed alternatives, “every alternative to circumvention proposed by MPAA and DVD CCA requires an individual to pay an additional fee to access a motion picture they already lawfully own a copy of.” Another option the content business suggested was that consumers record their movies onto another device. PK said that option wasn’t feasible, either: “The example of transferring music from CD to other devices is instructive. The process of making an exact digital copy is almost instantaneous. No one proposes that individuals play their CD on a stereo and set up microphones to re-record the sound. Similarly, no one should be required to do the equivalent in order to make a legitimate copy of a motion picture.”
PK’s reply comments by themselves:
Reply comments with the appendix containing the 395 public comments in response to our Action Alert: