This post is the second in a series of blog posts examining Public Knowledge’s concerns with the proposed copyright provisions of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Yesterday we discussed copyright presumptions that favor copyright owners in litigation, and today we examine the parts of the TPP that use copyright law to prohibit users from circumventing digital locks over works.
Today, we followed up our request urging the Copyright Office to allow consumers to break the digital locks on their DVDs so they can play them on their phones, tablets, and other digital devices. Along with the reply comments we filed today, we included the statements of nearly 400 users (warning: massive pdf) who stated for the record that they own lawfully made DVDs and would like to be able to space shift their movies exactly the way they can shift music from CDs to their iPods.
Quick – what’s the legal difference between ripping a CD and ripping a DVD? Ripping a DVD is a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and could get you sued. Unlike CDs, DVDs are protected by a digital lock. The mere act of breaking that lock – even for a legitimate purpose – is a violation of the DMCA.
Fortunately, the DMCA also has a built-in mechanism to deal with situations where it prevents people from doing legitimate things. And that's why we need your help to make sure that DVD ripping is granted an exemption from the DMCA.
Monday afternoon, the House Judiciary Committee released its planned manager’s amendment to SOPA, claiming that it eliminated significant concerns with the bill. While it does fix some of the current version’s outrageous proposals, it leaves some of the most dangerous provisions largely intact. Here’s a brief rundown of our concerns with the manager’s amendment.