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Ruling States DVD Backups Are Legal, Software That Backs Them Up Isn’t

Ruling States DVD Backups Are Legal, Software That Backs Them Up Isn’t


By Chris Scott Barr

I live in the US and I love my country, but I’ll be damned if we don’t have some stupid laws. We live in a country where you can get fined millions of dollars by a record industry for sharing a few songs and you can serve in the military for two years and still not have a drink when you get back home. Also, according to a ruling against Real yesterday, we still can’t buy software to make backups of DVDs that we own.

In case you hadn’t heard, last year Real released one of the only half-decent pieces of software ever (yes, I still hate you RealPlayer) called RealDVD. This allowed you to make a copy of your DVDs that could be played only on the computer which it was created. Not particularly useful in my eyes, since you couldn’t play the discs in a regular DVD player, but apparently it’s still plenty illegal under the DMCA.

The irony here is that the judge specified that it is perfectly legal for individuals to store backup copies of a DVD on their computer. It just isn’t legal for anyone to manufacture software that allows you to do that. This ruling isn’t really going to change the game much. Everyone that really wants to copy their DVDs knows exactly how to do it, and there’s really nothing that’s going to stop them.

VIA [ CrunchGear ]