Skip to main content

DVD Association says taping DVDs with smartphones is good enough for educational use

DVD Association says taping DVDs with smartphones is good enough for educational use

/

How should schools and universities make copies of DVDs for use in the classroom and scholarship? If you ask the DVD Copy Control Association, educators can just point a smartphone at the TV, or use PC screen-capture utilities — anything except breaking the notoriously weak copy-protection used on DVDs and ripping a digital copy directly.

Share this story

waynes world iphone
waynes world iphone

How should schools and universities make copies of DVDs for use in the classroom and scholarship? If you ask the DVD Copy Control Association, educators can just point a smartphone at the TV, or use PC screen-capture utilities — anything except breaking the notoriously weak copy-protection used on DVDs and ripping a digital copy directly. That's the argument the DVD CCA is making at the Copyright Office as part of the government's triennial copyright rulemaking process, and it demonstrates just how dramatically technology has changed the copyright debate over the past decade: the guardians of DVD copy protection have just filed a brief with the United States government arguing that a copy of Amelie made by pointing a Droid Incredible 2 at a 15-inch Compaq Presario laptop is good enough for most fair use purposes.

A quick review: the modern battle over copyright law essentially began in 1999 with a program called DeCSS, which stripped DVD copy protection and allowed movies to be ripped just like songs from a CD. Under the infamous Digital Millenium Copyright Act, breaking such a digital lock is illegal, and the major movie studios quickly began suing those who would so much as distribute DeCSS on a webpage, fearing that a flood of digital copies would damage the market for DVDs. The most famous of these cases was Universal vs. Reimerdes, in which the publishers of 2600 magazine were found liable for "trafficking in circumvention devices" for merely linking to the code of DeCSS hosted on another server. That ruling was upheld on appeal, and it remains illegal to break DVD copy protection and rip movies under the DMCA.

The modern copyright wars essentially began over DVDs in 1999

The DMCA lock-breaking rules are somewhat relaxed every three years, when the Copyright Office asks for proposed exemptions: in 2010 the Copyright Office made it legal to jailbreak smartphones and also to copy short portions of DVDs for criticism and comment. For 2013, a host of individuals and organizations have asked for those rules to be renewed and extended in a variety of ways, including a laundry list of proposed exemptions that would allow consumers to break DVD copy protection for everything from scholarship to accessibility for the deaf to general backup.

In response, the DVD CCA argues making bypassing DVD copy protection legal is unnecessary because technology exists to acquire content in many other ways — and in addition to new services like iTunes and Hulu that let people pay for content, the industry group specifically calls out smartphone recording and PC screen capture as viable options for making good-enough copies for things like classroom use. Smartphone copies in particular are trumpeted as being high-quality and cost-effective; in 2009 the Copyright Office said regular camcorders were expensive and produced poor-quality results. This year the DVD CCA says it made a test recording of Amelie by pointing a Droid Incredible 2 at a 15.6-inch Compaq Presario CQ60 laptop, and that the resulting 720p video was more than watchable:

...the subtitles are legible, facial expressions and other gestures are discernable, and the sound, particularly when the audio portion is played back through external speakers, is sufficiently precise that nuanced inflections can be distinguished.

That's not necessarily surprising — the Incredible 2's camera does get an 8 rating from Verge readers, after all — but we'll have to see if the Copyright Office buys it. Hearings on the proposed exemptions and the associated comments from groups like the DVD CCA will be starting soon; we'll be tracking this one closely.

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed 38 minutes ago The tablet didn’t call that play by itself

M
The Verge
Mary Beth Griggs38 minutes ago
We’re about an hour away from a space crash.

At 7:14PM ET, a NASA spacecraft is going to smash into an asteroid! Coverage of the collision — called the Double Asteroid Redirection Test — is now live.


E
Twitter
Emma RothTwo hours ago
There’s a surprise in the sky tonight.

Jupiter will be about 367 million miles away from Earth this evening. While that may seem like a long way, it’s the closest it’s been to our home planet since 1963.

During this time, Jupiter will be visible to the naked eye (but binoculars can help). You can check where and when you can get a glimpse of the gas giant from this website.


Asian America learns how to hit back

The desperate, confused, righteous campaign to stop Asian hate

Esther Wang12:00 PM UTC
E
Twitter
Emma Roth7:16 PM UTC
Missing classic Mario?

One fan, who goes by the name Metroid Mike 64 on Twitter, just built a full-on 2D Mario game inside Super Mario Maker 2 complete with 40 levels and eight worlds.

Looking at the gameplay shared on Twitter is enough to make me want to break out my SNES, or at least buy Super Mario Maker 2 so I can play this epic retro revamp.


R
External Link
Russell Brandom7:13 PM UTC
The US might still force TikTok into a data security deal with Oracle.

The New York Times says the White House is still working on TikTok’s Trump-era data security deal, which has been in a weird limbo for nearly two years now. The terms are basically the same: Oracle plays babysitter but the app doesn’t get banned. Maybe it will happen now, though?


R
Youtube
Richard Lawler6:54 PM UTC
Don’t miss this dive into Guillermo del Toro’s stop-motion Pinocchio flick.

Andrew Webster and Charles Pulliam-Moore covered Netflix’s Tudum reveals (yes, it’s going to keep using that brand name) over the weekend as the streamer showed off things that haven’t been canceled yet.

Beyond The Way of the Househusband season two news and timing information about two The Witcher projects, you should make time for this incredible behind-the-scenes video showing the process of making Pinocchio.


R
External Link
Russell Brandom4:29 PM UTC
Edward Snowden has been granted Russian citizenship.

The NSA whistleblower has been living in Russia for the 9 years — first as a refugee, then on a series of temporary residency permits. He applied for Russian citizenship in November 2020, but has said he won’t renounce his status as a U.S. citizen.


E
External Link
Emma Roth4:13 PM UTC
Netflix’s gaming bet gets even bigger.

Even though fewer than one percent of Netflix subscribers have tried its mobile games, Netflix just opened up another studio in Finland after acquiring the Helsinki-based Next Games earlier this year.

The former vice president of Zynga Games, Marko Lastikka, will serve as the studio director. His track record includes working on SimCity BuildIt for EA and FarmVille 3.


A
External Link
Andrew J. Hawkins3:37 PM UTC
Vietnam’s EV aspirant is giving big Potemkin village vibes

Idle equipment, absent workers, deserted villages, an empty swimming pool. VinFast is Vietnam’s answer to Tesla, with the goal of making 1 million EVs in the next 5-6 years to sell to customers US, Canada and Europe. With these lofty goals, the company invited a bunch of social media influencers, as well as some auto journalists, on a “a four-day, multicity extravaganza” that seemed more weird than convincing, according to Bloomberg.


J
James Vincent3:17 PM UTC
Today, 39 years ago, the world didn’t end.

And it’s thanks to one man: Stanislav Petrov, a USSR military officer who, on September 26th, 1983, took the decision not to launch a retaliatory nuclear attack against the US. Petrov correctly guessed that satellite readings showing inbound nukes were faulty, and so likely saved the world from nuclear war. As journalist Tom Chivers put it on Twitter, “Happy Stanislav Petrov Day to those who celebrate!” Read more about Petrov’s life here.


Soviet Colonel who prevented 1983 nuclear response
Photo by Scott Peterson/Getty Images
J
The Verge
James Vincent3:03 PM UTC
Deepfakes were made for Disney.

You might have seen the news this weekend that the voice of James Earl Jones is being cloned using AI so his performance as Darth Vader in Star Wars can live on forever.

Reading the story, it struck me how perfect deepfakes are for Disney — a company that profits from original characters, fans' nostalgia, and an uncanny ability to twist copyright law to its liking. And now, with deepfakes, Disney’s most iconic performances will live on forever, ensuring the magic never dies.


E
External Link
Elizabeth Lopatto2:41 PM UTC
Hurricane Fiona ratcheted up tensions about crypto bros in Puerto Rico.

“An official emergency has been declared, which means in the tax program, your physical presence time is suspended,” a crypto investor posted on TikTok. “So I am headed out of the island.” Perhaps predictably, locals are furious.


R
The Verge
Richard Lawler2:09 PM UTC
Teen hacking suspect linked to GTA 6 leak and Uber security breach charged in London.

City of London police tweeted Saturday that the teenager arrested on suspicion of hacking has been charged with “two counts of breach of bail conditions and two counts of computer misuse.”

They haven’t confirmed any connection with the GTA 6 leak or Uber hack, but the details line up with those incidents, as well as a suspect arrested this spring for the Lapsus$ breaches.