Thursday, September 6, 2012

GVLN - Are Torrents Destroying Hollywood? Part 4

Blu-ray disc front
Blu-ray disc front (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In our last article we left off with the promise that we would explain what is legal and what is not legal in the way of films.  Here is what is legal.  It is legal to make one backup copy of any disk that you own.  Whether that disk is a video, music software or what have you.  Now here is the catch.  Even though you have the right to make one backup copy of any disk you own, you do NOT have the right to break any copyright protection on any disk here in the USA.  That means that when you buy a DVD or a Blu Ray movie, most all of them contain some form of copyright protection.  So you do not have the right to make a copy of those disks by breaking the copyrighted protection on those disks.

  Now, if you can make a copy of those disks while keeping the copyright protection on them, then you are fine.  However, most all of the software out there that allows you to make backup copies of movies or software work by stripping off the copyright encryption that blocks you from making a copy of those disks.  When you backup a copy of say a Hollywood film, you have removed the encryption therefore violating the software owners rights.

  To date we have yet to find one software program that allows you to copy a disk and still maintain the original copyright protection.  We have heard of one, but have not been able to locate it.  So what does one do?  We have recently learned that through Wal Mart and their on line business, VUDU, you can now take a copy of any DVD you own and for a fee, have a digital copy made and stored on line.  The digital copy is good on any device.

  The draw back?  Wal Mart has to have agreements with the studio for that particular DVD title.  If Wal Mart does not have an agreement with that movie studio or for that title?  No copy.  CLICK HERE to see more about the service.
On the bright side?  Wal Mart is the first company to be doing this and your purchase remains in the cloud for many years to come.  The fees are very low starting at $2.00 per copy.

The bottom line is this.  If you purchase a DVD or Blu Ray disk, software or music that contains copy protection and you also buy software to crack that protection to make copies just for your own use and do not distribute any of the copies in any way including lending them to friends, then you will be breaking the law, but no one is going to come after you for it.

Maintaining backup copies is a good idea.  A new Blu Ray title is not cheap.  If you want to take a few disks with you on vacation it is a lot cheaper to have copies stolen than to have your originals stolen.  There isn't much of a market for copies of films already released.  If you are just making a digital version for your PSP, it's up to you to decide which is the best way to go.  If it's in the cloud through VUDU, you still have it in the cloud and can have it on your PSP as well.

Our final article will be on whether or not the disk is dead.

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