UK legalising 'dvd-ripping'

'Not very good law'

Millions of people regularly convert movies on DVDs and music on CDs into a format that they can move around more easily, although most do not realise that it is technically illegal.
"The review pointed out that if you have a situation where 90% of your population is doing something, then it's not really a very good law," said Simon Levine, head of the intellectual property and technology group at DLA Piper.

Business Secretary, Vince Cable: "We've got to bring law in line with reality"

Legalising non-commercial copying for private use would bring the UK into line with many other nations and also meet the "reasonable expectations" of consumers, said the government.
- bbc

The UK government is now in the process of legalising 'format shifting'. To date, whilst people might be allowed to 'backup' their Dvd collection, it is illegal to get around Dvd copy protection that prevents one from doing so. If you think about it, if it is legal to 'rip' one's collection, than it is those who put in place Dvd copy protection in Dvds whom are engaging in an illegal act as it prevents one from doing what's legally acceptable.

It seems that the 'digital age' has been most beneficial to the profiteers as it enables them to maintain or/and increase their profit-levels by selling us music and films via CDs and DVDs instead of the comparatively more expensive cassette tapes, records, and video tapes of the past - compare the price of blank videotapes and cassette tapes to blank CDs and DVDs.

The digital age is, to some degree, enables a greater check on the profiteering impulses of the capitalists.
And this is even more so the case where we are forced by the thievery of Apple, amongst others, to download these at high prices, and lower quality, without it being accompanied by a 'hard copy'. If this isn't enough, they are relying on the perishable nature of DVDs and CDs to generate further profits, and also by the release of 'remastered' music, 'director's cut' movies, etc, etc, etc. There are many other instances, if you care to think about it.

The digital age is, to some degree, enables a greater check on the profitteering impulses of the capitalists. Legalising 'format shifting' of course opens the door to ‘sharing’. But this ought not to serve as an argument against ‘format-shifting’, but against the high prices for DVDs and CDs.

I think when people wake up to the fact that they are making millionaires out of mere singers and actors, whilst allowing millions of people across the world to starve to death, or children to die from drinking unclean water, or activists across the globe attempting to make the world a better place on a pittance, they might began to appreciate this point. The issue of 'dvd ripping' is not just about 'entertainment', it is about exploitation, social responsibility, and a sense of justice. This is just one opportunity to practice an appreciation of these. Much can be learnt from the little instances where we practice that which can be applied across all experiences.



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