Info & Answers
Is Your DVD Server Legal? Manufacturers­ Say Yes!
Developers of movie-ripping products insist their products are legal. Here's how the manufacturers address the sticky issue of digital rights management (DRM).
October 01, 2008 by Julie Jacobson

The issues surrounding DVD ripping are downright dumbfounding.

What’s legal and what isn’t? Who is potentially liable for copyright offenses – manufacturers, installers, end users?

Is it better to have a CSS (Content Scramble System) license from the DVD CCA (Copy Control Association), or does that just open you up to litigation as in the case of RealNetworks and Kaleidescape?

If the DVD CCA can’t catch you, can you be prosecuted under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act?

Can manufacturers create DVD-ripping solutions, as long as they keep the copyright “wrapper” intact? What if their solutions prohibit transferring protected content off of their proprietary network? Does that help their cause?

Is “ripping” a DVD the same as “archiving” it?

Realizing the tremendous benefits of disk-less movie libraries, a slew of manufacturers and software providers are testing the legal waters when it comes to storing protecting DVDs on a hard drive.

How do manufacturers justify their DVD servers?
We’ve collected FAQs from a variety of vendors. In their own words, here’s what they have to say about copyright and licensing.

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Julie Jacobson - Editor-at-large, CE Pro
Julie Jacobson is co-founder of EH Publishing and currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro, mostly in the areas of home automation, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. She majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. Julie is a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player with the scars to prove it. Follow her on Twitter @juliejacobson.

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