Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

MPAA Makes Unauthorized Copies of DVD

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the pot-i-would-like-you-to-meet-kettle dept.

Movies 424

An anonymous reader writes "There's a story on ArsTechnica about how the MPAA has admitted that they made unauthorized copies of a movie. That in itself is a bit of tasty hypocrisy, but if it turns out that they ripped a DVD, then the MPAA could find themselves in violation of the DMCA." From the article: "According to Mark Lemley, a professor at the Stanford Law School, the MPAA may have been within its rights to make copies of the film. Given that the MPAA's intent isn't financial gain and that the whole situation may rise above the level of trading barbs through the media into legal action, making a copy may be justified. Personally, I can't see any justification for an organization such as the MPAA ignoring a directive from a copyright owner, but IANAL." Update: 01/24 19:52 GMT by Z : Made title more accurate.

cancel ×

424 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Does that mean that..... (4, Funny)

8127972 (73495) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550455)

.... The MPAA will have to sue themselves?

Re:Does that mean that..... (2, Funny)

IAAP (937607) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550503)

...The MPAA will have to sue themselves?

Why not? They like Fucking everyone.

So then... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14550754)

....does that mean the MPAA will have to fuck themselves?

Re:Does that mean that..... (5, Insightful)

iSeal (854481) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550534)

.... The MPAA will have to sue themselves?

Nah, they'll just sue the company they got to make copies for them. They'll call it a "mega piracy bust" or something, and say that they found 30 DVD replicators inside and some pirated goods... namely this one "This Film is Not Yet Rated" documentary.

Conflict of interest. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14550568)

They probably wouldn't be able to sue themselves, as any lawyer would know that it is a conflict of interest to be representing both the plantiff and the defendant of the litigation.

Re:Does that mean that..... (1, Redundant)

dotpavan (829804) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550612)

it is a win-win for their attorneys :)

Re:Does that mean that..... (2, Funny)

Hogwash McFly (678207) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550628)

This is forbidden by Directive 2:

Must not sue self

Also related is Directive 2.i:

Must not sue any RIAA member or any third party of political influence and/or monetary support

Any attempts to violate these hard-wired directives will result in immediate self-destruction.

s/RIAA/MPAA (1)

Hogwash McFly (678207) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550647)

Oops.

Not that they are particularly distinguishable, anyway...

Re:Does that mean that..... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Monkey (795756) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550670)

First, sir your sig makes me smile.

Second, INAL but, you bring up a good point, and it's bigger than just the MPAA. New laws often have gaps, situations they don't expect, and therefore aren't covered. (At work I'm dealing with a situation not covered in ERISA) The DMAC was meant to be omnibus, but it isn't, partly due to the fact that it's new, partly due to the fact that the technology is so new. Also we have conflicting laws and judicial president, DMAC vs. Betamax for example. Then add in another few levels of conflicting interests like, say the MPAA, Blockbuster, Internet users, time shifters, Independent film producers, and suddenly the water gets very murky from a legal standpoint.

Right now media experiencing so much flux that it would be imposable to draft any sort of license that will last, unless it takes into account how the market and technology will adapt. I imagine a media policy that dose allow for such adaptations would end up looking like the GPL.

Re:Or will it be that... (1)

yorugua (697900) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550781)

dvdshrink might get endorsement as an MPAA certified DVD copy program !!!

First illegal copy (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14550459)

An anonymous reader writes "There's a story on ArsTechnica about how the MPAA has admitted that they made unauthorized copies of a movie. That in itself is a bit of tasty hypocrisy, but if it turns out that they ripped a DVD, then the MPAA could find themselves in violation of the DMCA." From the article: "According to Mark Lemley, a professor at the Stanford Law School, the MPAA may have been within its rights to make copies of the film. Given that the MPAA's intent isn't financial gain and that the whole situation may rise above the level of trading barbs through the media into legal action, making a copy may be justified. Personally, I can't see any justification for an organization such as the MPAA ignoring a directive from a copyright owner, but IANAL."

Hello pot... (0, Redundant)

soulctcher (581951) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550462)

...I'd like you to meet kettle.

Uh Oh... (5, Interesting)

dancpsu (822623) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550466)

The "no profit" loophole was closed by the DMCA. Now the MPAA is fleeing to a locked door. This is going to be fun.

Re:Uh Oh... (5, Interesting)

faloi (738831) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550556)

The "no profit" loophole was closed by the DMCA. Now the MPAA is fleeing to a locked door. This is going to be fun.

It'll only get fun if the film maker decides to try to take it somewhere. Right now it looks like the film wasn't harmed financially, and I don't think the film maker has a major studio backing him with financial and legal muscle. He'll probably milk it for publicity, and it'll all go away. Or at most be something we point to for the next five years or until the MPAA does something else stupid, whichever comes first.

Re:Uh Oh... (4, Insightful)

dancpsu (822623) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550598)

For this case yes, but it will be an interesting day in court when a defendants lawyer brings this up when the MPAA sues someone else for copyright infringement.

Statutory damages!!!! =Profit! (4, Interesting)

Tsu Dho Nimh (663417) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550618)

If the copyright was registetred, he can sak for statutory damages ($50K or so) and not have to prove financial losses from the copying.

It could be profitable :0

Re:Uh Oh... (4, Interesting)

HaeMaker (221642) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550720)

Not harmed financially? If he was harmed as much as $1, he can sue and get into punitive damage territory. If copies were given to MPAA staffers, those staffers will not need to see the movie in the theater or buy it on DVD, since they already have a copy, that is all it takes. IANAL.

Re:Uh Oh... (4, Informative)

FellowConspirator (882908) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550750)

For what it's worth, if the film had been encrypted using CSS (like a normal CD), then the DMCA applies. If the DMCA applies, the act was criminal (copyright infringement is a tort, while a DMCA violation is a crime).

In this sense, the copyright owner need not complain at all. Anyone may report the crime to law enforcement (it being a federal law, that would probably be the FBI), and it is their duty to investigate and then prosecute if the evidence supports it.

Nothing in copyright law nor the DMCA implies that profit need be a motive or that the copyright holder was financially harmed by the act. Look it up.

Re:Uh Oh... (4, Insightful)

AndersOSU (873247) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550771)

The way it reads to me the filmmaker was itching to stir something up to begin with, I mean why else would you specify that the MPAA not make any copies of the film - have any films actually been leaked by the ratings board?

I obviously don't know the background but when a guy makes an incidiary movie about the MPAA, makes specific requests of the MPAA, and pays attention to whether or not his instructions were followed it seems to be like he is trying to get a law suit.

I am torn between not liking the film maker for trying to find something to sue for and not liking the MPAA because they're cockroaches - I think I'll just settle on liking neither and hoping that the MPAA loses.

Re:Uh Oh... (1)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550586)

1. There is no mention that the movie was encypted in any fashion. It's possible, but I suspect unlikely.

2. The lawyer who is quoted states that the MPAA may have a justification that the MPAA was making a copy that they could use in evidence (presumably in a lawsuit against the director/author).

So, it might come down to what the MPAA actually did with those copies.

The article mentions that the email exchanges don't fully support the director's assertion that the MPAA agreed not to copy the movie, but this would seem to be irrelevent -- I would have thought that unless the "evidence" justification is valid, the MPAA would have to show that the director affirmatively gave his consent. The final question might then be if the submission process involves a consent to copy.

Re:Uh Oh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14550675)

IANAL, but it seems to me that you don't get to make those copies in anticipation of legal action. You file the lawsuit, and then during discovery, the other party is compelled to supply any information of relevance.

I think he may have them by the short & curlies...

Re:Uh Oh... (1)

DGregory (74435) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550776)

My brother is in the indy film business and basically they submit a copy of the movie burned on a standard dvd burner to the MPAA for review. Once the movie gets its rating, then they get the movie published with the anti-copying encryption.

It's possible the big budget films might do more but considering this was a documentary and not big budget, I bet that it was done the way typical indy films are submitted.

Re:Uh Oh... (3, Insightful)

murphyslawyer (534449) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550650)

The DMCA says nothing about fair use (except for the reverse engineering clause if I recall).

The DMCA makes it illegal to break copyright protection mechanisms. If the movie was NOT protected, and it probably wasn't, then the DMCA does not come into play in any way.

The copyright infringment bit is still possible, but fair use does come into play there.

That's really the perversion of the DMCA - any copyright protection mechanism, pretty much regardless of how poorly implemented, trumps fair use rights.

Re:Uh Oh... (3, Insightful)

ewhac (5844) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550686)

The "no profit" loophole was closed by the DMCA.

Actually, that loophole was closed by the No Electronic Theft ("NET") Act [ucla.edu] , not the DMCA.

Funnily enough, like the DMCA, the NET Act was also signed into law by the Clinton Administration. I only point that out to illustrate that selling out your rights to further rapacious corporate profits is not, and never has been, exclusively a Republican trait.

Schwab

Re:Uh Oh... (1)

Kelson (129150) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550743)

It's amusing, but the MPAA would first have to decide it was worth suing itself. You can't have a lawsuit without a plaintiff, after all. Though they do seem to like making examples out of people.

Nobody move or the monopoly gets it!

Financial gain? (4, Insightful)

los furtive (232491) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550468)

Those movies you can download or share on torrent sites? They aren't copied for financial gain either.

Re:Financial gain? (5, Funny)

stinerman (812158) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550584)

More precisely, they are often copied not for financial gain but to curb financial loss.

Re:Financial gain? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14550595)

+4 interesting? Try +5 insightful!!

Re:Financial gain? (4, Funny)

Chops (168851) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550666)

Those movies you can download or share on torrent sites? They aren't copied for financial gain either.

Didn't you get the memo? The movies on file sharing sites all have stegonographically encrypted bomb making instructions in them to give to the terrorists in Al Qaeda in exchange for the money which is used to buy the drugs which are given to the school children for posing in the child pornography which is stored on the computers of the innocent after they're broken into with the hacking tools that come with Linux. It should have all been explained in the Evil People's Ten Steps to Victory flier that came with your Debian installation. Didn't you get one?

Re:Financial gain? (1)

Jhon (241832) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550709)

True! But I'm sure the MPAA didn't go out and give away copies to hundreds or perhaps thousands of strangers.

Perhaps the title should've been rephrased... (4, Funny)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550470)

"Not even MPAA employees give a **** about DMCA".

There :)

the sad part is the movie copied was......... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14550475)

Mary-Kate and Ashley in " New York Minute"

Re:the sad part is the movie copied was......... (1)

level_headed_midwest (888889) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550525)

No. The movie was "This Film is Not Yet Rated," which is supposed to be a scathing documentary making fun of the MPAA.

Wrong... (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550531)

It was Kirby Dick's documentary entitled "This Film is not yet rated". The thing is that he had EXPLICITELY asked them NOT to make copies of the movie.

Re:Wrong... (1)

boldtbanan (905468) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550574)

It was Kirby Dick's documentary entitled "This Film is not yet rated". The thing is that he had EXPLICITELY asked them NOT to make copies of the movie.

If they had some formal agreement to that effect, the film maker would probably have a better case under contract law, which is less ambiguous than copyright law. This is especially true if the 'digital format' used wasn't encrypted.

Re:the sad part is the movie copied was......... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14550691)

Judging by the replies to this post, everyone's humor detection just got Slashdotted.

Wow, that's really hypocritical (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14550476)

Personally, I can't see any justification for an organization such as the MPAA ignoring a directive from a copyright owner, but IANAL. A "digital version" of the movie was submitted for screening, according to Dick's attorney, Michael Donaldson. If that digital version turns out to be a DVD, the MPAA could also find itself in hot water for violating the DMCA. Oh, the irony! Either way, the MPAA can't be happy about being put into a position where they are forced to justify the same actions they decry when undertaken by a consumer.

This is why we need strong DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14550488)

If we want to protect against this kind of illegal behavior, clearly we need technology like Palladium/TCPA to protect ourselves from these criminals in the MPAA!

intent!! (3, Insightful)

wardk (3037) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550489)

Given that the MPAA's intent isn't financial gain

so I can rip a few thousand copies of the latest sucky movie and as long as I don't gain financially, I can distribute at my discretion.

Statutory Damages (3, Insightful)

EvilMagnus (32878) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550533)

What makes it even sweeter is that the MPAA was one of the organisations pushing for Statutory damages for copyright infringement; which they got as part of the Sonny Bono Copyright Act. Which basically says even if the copying resulted in no financial loss for the rights holder, you must pay a basic amount of damages. I believe it's something like several thousand dollars per unauthorised copy.

Re:intent!! (1)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550553)

This is only true if this gets into a court of law, and the MPAA uses this in their argument. A company or organization cannot use a legal argument in one case, then in another case claim the argument is invalid. (Well, they can try, but that is a good way to get a judicial smackdown.)

This will only happen if the content owner wants to keep pressing the point through a lawsuit. If he can't find a lawyer willing to take the case, or if he considers any settlement the MPAA might offer, it has little to no effect on the rest of us, sadly.

Re:intent!! (2, Insightful)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550587)

No, but they can only claim the amount they lost because of your distribution. If you aimed to make a profit they can claim that as well, and then possibly claim punitive damages on top of everything else.

In the first case it may not even be worth going to trial (since they'll still have to pay the lawyer fees which may well be more than they could get), in the second it is much more likely to be worth it, on a 'normal' case.

(Standard disclaimer: IANAL, but I have studied this some. Got good grades too.)

Re:intent!! (3, Insightful)

joeface (182928) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550626)

exactly

If the point to all of the *AAs' huffing and puffing is the financial gain of the people doing any sort of copying, and the MPAA can get away with making copies of this guy's movie, then we should all be able to breathe a sigh of relief, right?

(Well, in an ideal world, yes, but in our current bizarro-world where big corporations want to control every thought in your head and dollar in your pocket, no).

It also amuses me that they claim the copying was justified because their employees' privacy may have been voilated. Two wrongs don't make a right. Just because they believe laws were broken, doesn't mean they can break them as well.

Then again, these days, they make the laws, so yeah, I guess they can break them...

HAHAHA (3, Interesting)

ZeonMan0079 (926241) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550502)

" MPAA Makes Illegal Copies of DVD "

Let me laugh a little longer...

From TFA: "The Motion Picture Association of America was caught with its pants down, admitting to making unauthorized copies of the documentary This Film Is Not Yet Rated in advance of this week's Sundance Film Festival."

"MPAA made copies of the film to distribute them to its employees"

It doesn't get any more ironic than this...

CSS? (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550505)

Was the copy of the DVD that was submitted to the MPAA encoded with CSS? They haven't violated the DMCA if it wasn't encoded with CSS.

Re:CSS? (5, Insightful)

OneSeventeen (867010) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550582)

I unfortunately agree. The MPAA does have a case, considering the police were already called about potential stalking, and with this serving as evidence in that potential lawsuit, I can't help but agree this should be possible, to protect the innocent in this situation .

That said, I hope and pray that the author was smart enough to encode it with CSS, so we can actually have an example of using Fair Use policy to circumvent CSS encryption.

I'm tired of being told it is illegal to play DVDs on my linux-based laptop even though I own the DVD and have no DVD ripping libraries on my computer. Hopefully this publicity will force the MPAA to admit that there are cases that backup copies should be legal.

And to all the DVD ripping/sharing individuals, thanks for making it hard on the rest of us. Abuse of the system is what caused such strict policies and laws in the first place.

Re:CSS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14550639)

We Abuse?
No no, we all know, the only abuse on this topic is the RIAA/MPAA abusing our legal system.

Re:CSS? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14550701)

And to all the DVD ripping/sharing individuals, thanks for making it hard on the rest of us. Abuse of the system is what caused such strict policies and laws in the first place.

That's total crap. It was hard on "the rest of us" from the moment that the DVD standard included CSS to deny users' access to the content they'd bought. The MPAA et al. has been at war with consumers from day one -- not movie piracy.

Re:CSS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14550742)

Let me get this straight:

Abuse of the system is the cause of policies and laws that do nothing to mitigate abuse of the system and everything to do with restricting consumers rights and forcing consumers to pay several times for the same content?

Um, no. Abuse of the system is the excuse, not the cause.

Re:CSS? (5, Insightful)

Armchair Dissident (557503) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550779)

I unfortunately agree. The MPAA does have a case, considering the police were already called about potential stalking, and with this serving as evidence in that potential lawsuit, I can't help but agree this should be possible, to protect the innocent in this situation .

Even if the police were called regarding stalking and even if there was evidence on the DVD that could be used as evidence, the correct thing (IANAL etc) would be for the police to seize the original DVD, NOT for the MPAA to arbitrarialy decide what could and could not be used as evidence in a potential criminal case.

Which raises another interesting question. Given that these were copies made without the agreement of the copyright holder, and without - presumably - proper forensic procedures having taken place; would they be admissible anyway? My guess would be "no" because you can't prove you've not tampered with them.

Re:CSS? (2, Insightful)

galimore (461274) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550780)

I agree that there may not be a DMCA case (if there was no CSS), but I don't agree that they were within their rights. The author and copyright holder EXPLICITLY requested the MPAA not to make copies, and they did it anyway. He's got that in writing...

They had no right to distribute it, IMO.

Re:CSS? (1)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550787)

"And to all the DVD ripping/sharing individuals, thanks for making it hard on the rest of us. Abuse of the system is what caused such strict policies and laws in the first place."

That is the nature of digital bits, they get copied. Deal with it. Copyright will go away, because instantly accessible information (~ Internet) is stronger.

Good luck trying to make bits not being able to be copied. The time will come when people pay for the _creation_ of information, and not for the ability to _copy_ that information. Until such time, fight that 18th century antique piece of legislation called copyright with tooth and nail.

More info in the original unspun article (3, Informative)

MaceyHW (832021) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550509)

Not to rain on the *AA hatefest, but the original article [latimes.com] offers a more complete and less biased account of what happened.

Depending on how many copies they made and who they gave them to, there does seem to be some grounds for a fair use defense.

Re:More info in the original unspun article (4, Informative)

walt-sjc (145127) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550583)

... But the MPAA's opinion is that there is no such thing as "Fair Use". They don't even allow you to make a backup copy of your DVD's (which, especially if you have children, is important.)

There used to be a company called "321 Studios" that sold backup software. Guess what happened to them?

Re:More info in the original unspun article (1)

MaceyHW (832021) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550633)

I agree that their position is hypocritical, but if the "digital version" of the film that they copied (the article doesn't specify) wasn't a DVD, then it may not be a DMCA violation. They're legally protected by fair use even if they don't believe in it.

Re:More info in the original unspun article (1)

MaceyHW (832021) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550667)

*CSS protected DVD that is.

Does anyone know the typical/standard format for submitting a movie to be rated?

Re:More info in the original unspun article (1)

miu (626917) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550621)

The original unspun article may have a little more detail, but hardly offers any more reason that this is acceptable for them.

If anything the latimes article contains more spin and excuse making from MPAA lawyers and reps than additional factual information.

Re:More info in the original unspun article (4, Insightful)

PatHMV (701344) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550656)

But fair use is not grounds for circumventing DRM under the DMCA.

Fuel to Challenge DMCA!! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14550683)

from the La Times article:

The MPAA's Bernards, who said Glickman was unavailable for comment, said the organization was operating lawfully when it copied Dick's movie without his or his producer's authorization. "The courts recognize that parties are entitled to make a copy of a work for use as evidence in possible future proceedings," she said.

So any law that restricts your ability to make a copy of a work or forbids the access to tools make those copies, violates your right to due process, since it prevents you from making such a copy for evidence purposes.

Where's those constitutional lawyers?

Hmm (1)

Kranfer (620510) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550516)

Being that the MPAA isn;t making copies of movies for monetary gain, I can see why it would not break the DMCA. However, does that mean that if I download a movie and not sell it, I am fine? Personally, I will always pay for all the movies I get, but this brings up a good point. Why are they able to make copies of movies, but if I want to make a backup DVD of scratched DVDs or DVDs that have seen better days, it would be considered breaking the law?

Perfect (4, Interesting)

XMilkProject (935232) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550519)

So a movie comes along that the MPAA doesn't like and suddenly all their gripes about destroying the industry with copyright violations doesn't matter?

I would propose that indeed the creators of this film have lost money, and that all of those employees who received copies were almost absolutely going to have purchased the movie (since it is about them).

I would hope that both criminal and civil suits are filed. As they potentially broke criminal law by cracking any protection in making the copy.

I hope this is widely publicized, as it is clear evidence that this group does not care about the law or moral implications of the piracy, but rather is only concerned in doing what serves them best.

I for one will be sending emails to the producers of my favorite news shows urging them to cover the story, hopefully all of you will do the same.

Not popular, but here's the truth (0)

Alcimedes (398213) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550536)

Since the movie had parts in it about the employees it was copied and given to, there's a good chance it was legal. The DMCA is another matter, but who's going to prosecute them?

Re:Not popular, but here's the truth (4, Insightful)

EvilMagnus (32878) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550601)

Since the movie had parts in it about the employees it was copied and given to, there's a good chance it was legal. The DMCA is another matter, but who's going to prosecute them?

What? No.

Show me the bit in the Copyright Act that says "If a copyrighted work mentions you, you get a free copy."

Re:Not popular, but here's the truth (0, Flamebait)

Alcimedes (398213) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550634)

They (people in the ratings group) had been stalked by the documentary maker and had called the police on several occasions. The movie (which contains parts of him following them around) can be used as evidence. It's legal to make copies under those conditions.

Sorry, still haven't had enough coffee today, not explaing myself fully.

Re:Not popular, but here's the truth (2, Informative)

SilverJets (131916) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550752)

He wasn't stalking them, he was filming them. He is a legitimate film maker.
IANAL but I believe that it has been held up in the courts many times that you have no expectations of privacy in a public place.

Re:Not popular, but here's the truth (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550665)

How is it legal? They copied and distributed a copyrighted AND copy protected work without the copyright holder's express written consent.

They ought to have waited until the DVD hit the shelves to buy those 30 copies they wanted to distributed.

In the meantime, I will start downloading movies from Bittorrent. If the MPAA cries foul all I need to do is point at this story. :)

Double Standard (2, Insightful)

MasterPoof (876056) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550546)

Typical, this just furthers the opinion that the MPAA can get away with everything: IP or personal rights be damned.

Re:Double Standard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14550682)

In Soviet America MPA sues YOU

Did i get that right?

Pot and kettle are the wrong analogy... (2, Funny)

Caspian (99221) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550549)

Meself, I'm thinking more of Priests telling their congregations not to have illicit sex... ;)

Director request No Copies. (5, Funny)

IAAP (937607) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550551)

Dick had specifically requested in an e-mail that the MPAA not make copies of the movie.

Ahem, wouldn't that be considered a verbal contract? He submits the DVD and says "Do not copy, please." Or does he have to explicitly say, "DON'T FUCKING COPY THIS MOVIE YOU FUCKS!" and have them sign it for it to be a contract?

Signature __________________,
by MPAA FUCK

Opps! it should be... (1)

IAAP (937607) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550575)

MPAA FUCKER,
by .

Morons (1)

eander315 (448340) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550557)

"Dick had specifically requested in an e-mail that the MPAA not make copies of the movie. The MPAA responded by saying that "the confidentiality of your film is our first priority."

They then proceed to illegally copy it and hand it out to their employees. How stupid do you have to be?

Bah, that's nothing. (5, Informative)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550559)

In Europe, there was a police raid on a couple of "Release Groups" today, supported by the the GVU (Geman leg of the MPA). Funny thing is, one of the places searched was the GVU's office, becasue they were actively involved in swapping the movies. Two stories about it (in German) one [heise.de] and two [onlinekosten.de]

In Germany police raided the GVU, take server (4, Informative)

daniel23 (605413) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550564)

Apparently this day has some positive karma towards that kind of news. In Germany a similar thing happened, when the police raided about 20 FTP sites allegedly serving pirated movies. One of the sites taken down during that action was the office and servers of the GVU Gesellschaft zur Verfolgung von Urheberrechtsverletzungen, an office funded by the German content industry to investigate "pirating". Their website was down for half the day, too (GVU [www.gvu.de] . More info to this, in German at heise [heise.de] . -- was ich selber denk und tu, das traue ich den andern zu

C'mon Man! (2, Interesting)

carrier lost (222597) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550572)


When you're a giant corproration with a ton of lawyers, lobbyists and a congressperson or two, laws are for other people!

Sheesh!

MjM

Re:C'mon Man! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14550715)

True Dat,
Offtopic,

A prime example here in the last 6 months of Kentucky,
A frat boy, got drunk, sped down a dirt road, hit and killed a 60 year old lady, kept on going, 'claims' he didn't notice the blood and broken windows, took the vehicle for a 'car wash' the next day because it was 'dirty'.

Did he go to jail? atleast get his drivers license taken away?

Nope, his father is a representative for kentucky in the house, simply he got a a few fines and some community service.

Ahhh... America has such a nice strong tradition of Lies, Injustice, and Abuse of Power.

Reviewer's Agreement (1)

JBHarris (890771) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550581)

The article didn't say, but certainly the MPAA would have a stipulation in any service agreements between themselves and any film-makers. I bet in that agreement there is a clause that states copies may be created for internal review purposes.

this is, however, just speculation.

There are four lights. (2, Funny)

Orrin Bloquy (898571) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550588)

Can we then reserve the right to consider our next action "accelerated oxidation of their physical resources coincident with carbon reclamation," rather than "burning their fucking headquarters to the ground with everyone locked inside"?

notable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14550589)

notable points:

Their stand: "We made a copy of Kirby's movie because it had implications for our employees," said Kori Bernards, the MPAA's vice president for corporate communications. "We were concerned about the raters and their families," Bernards said. She said the MPAA's copy of "This Film Is Not Yet Rated" is "locked away," and is not being copied or distributed

Now implications/perspectives:

(*)"The courts recognize that parties are entitled to make a copy of a work for use as evidence in possible future proceedings,"
They have no prob with me keeping a personal copy, to defend myself if, in future, they sue me so that I could say that this copy proves I had watched the original print?

(*)Fair use policy [wikipedia.org] means I could have a copy (provided it is not protected, hence no DMCA?), as I am not distributing for any gain whatsoever? And hence it isnt piracy? so ripping is okay?
(*)

Consumers CAN'T Encrypt (2, Informative)

ematic (217513) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550592)

Let's not forget that consumer DVD burners were never given the capability to encrypt, since they can't burn to the area of the disk where the CSS key is stored. So even if the MPAA made a copy, it's likely to have been a clear copy.

Difficult to see? (5, Interesting)

RingDev (879105) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550597)

"It's difficult to see how This Film Is Not Yet Rated--which ended up with an NC-17 rating for graphic sexual content--is being harmed."

Call me sceptical, but if I were a ratings association and wanted a film exposing my practices burried, I would slap an NC-17 label on it and make sure it was tucked far away from public sight. But now that this article has surfaced, I want to see it, to see if it really does have graphic secual content, or if the MPAA was just trying to hush a movie.

-Rick

Re:Difficult to see? (1)

Tsiangkun (746511) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550703)

I don't think you are the only one thinking that.
This movie just made my must see list

What's this? (4, Funny)

east coast (590680) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550600)

Title: MPAA Makes Illegal Copies of DVD

Hey, I make illegal copies too! Maybe they'd like to get together so we can trade. I wonder if they have Land of the Dead yet...

IANAL TINLA Revised (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550606)

Personally, I can't see any justification for an organization such as the MPAA ignoring a directive from a copyright owner, but IANAL."

Did you mean:

Personally, I can't see any justification for an organization such as the MPAA ignoring a directive from a copyright owner, but I am a bit ANAL."

Anyway, I think that the MPAA should sue the RIAA, and vice-versa. This will tie them up in court for years and let everyone get back to the Prime Directive of copying every Ashley Simpson album known to exist.

Nothing new here, but milk that publicity! (5, Interesting)

Bill_Royle (639563) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550608)

I've had a bit of experience in this area, as the RIAA violated my copyright a couple of years ago by reprinting an article I wrote on intellectual property. Had it not been cited by the Washington Post I wouldn't have even been aware of it! Still they ended up distributing that material in a press packet, and of course it was all without permission. They ended up apologizing, but there wasn't really anything that I could do about it at that point.

I suspect it'll be the same with this guy. His case is better than mine, I'd think, as he's got legal resources to some degree I'd think. However, my bet is that in terms of an overall payoff, all this is going to produce for him is perhaps some free press.

I wish him the best, regardless! Way to expose these folks :)

This sort of thing is common (4, Interesting)

edremy (36408) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550610)

Back a couple of EDUCAUSEs ago, I went to a talk by a RIAA laywer about legal downloading vs. illegal. He was happily showing off iTunes and downloading some Rolling Stones tunes to play for the 200+ people in attendance. (The talk actually wasn't all that bad- he was trying to get the idea across that legal ways to get and share digital music now existed.)

After the talk, I went up with a single question- "Did you clear public performance rights for that? iTunes downloads are for personal use only."

He instantly answered that he had, but given that he was a RIAA laywer, who knows? I'd put money that he formally hadn't, but had just assumed either being from RIAA or fair use covered it. My faculty use stuff from iTunes commonly in their classes- technically they can't except under some strict conditions, but my counsel has been to go ahead provided they take reasonable steps to make sure it stays inside the class.

wtfff (2, Interesting)

usernotfound (831691) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550625)

Legitimate use would be getting all those who have a right to see it together to watch it at once. Or even over multiple viewings??

As I understand it, fair use copying is basically for backup purposes only. If any one of those copies left the office place, and strict domain of the "Job" giving them the right to access one of these copies...sounds pretty clear cut violation to me.

I can copy a DVD and let it sit on my shelf while i watch the original, i can watch the copy and let the original sit on the shelf, i can watch the original in one room while a friend watches the copy in another room, but as soon as original leaves my possession, i must destroy the copies, and as soon as i let my friend borrow just he copy, i get sued. So basically, the "copies" of the dvd must have been used strictly in the same manner that the original could have been used. I.E. employees cannot take them home.

Okay... (4, Funny)

Eightyford (893696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550632)

but IANAL

Good for you, but I don't see how your sexual leanings have anything to do with copyright violations.

Re:Okay... (1)

daddyrief (910385) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550717)

Come on man. 2 seconds on Google.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IANAL [wikipedia.org]

Re:Okay... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14550773)

Its a joke, retard.

2 separate issues (1)

Peter Simpson (112887) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550635)

1. Bypassing CSS (which it appears they did *not* do). If you intentionally bypass a "content protection mechanism", you're guilty of a crime. Doesn't matter who you are or why you did it.

2. Copying materials in direct violation of the content owner's expressed wishes. This would be copyright infringement, plain and simple. According to the FBI Warning that shows up on every DVD I rent, the FBI investigates all cases of infringement, including those where there is no monetary gain.

Silly, huh?

Break out the Guillotine! (1)

TheHawke (237817) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550637)

Let the blade fall again, again, and agian! IF MPAA wants to fall on their own blade, fine, but at least let us crucify the bastards that DARE break their own rules that they consider set in stone.

C'est la Vie sweetheart, now get into the guillotine!

geese and ganders (2, Insightful)

Stumbles (602007) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550661)

Well lets see if I understand this right. The copyright owner, specifically asked the MPAA not to make copies and the MPAA violated that request by making copies anyway. So the MPAA feels they are justified how?

Sounds a whole lot like pot, kettle and black. The copyright owner should sue their pants off.

MPAA Web Site (1)

lordcat (949055) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550681)

I tried to go on the MPAA web site and report them to themselves for piracy... but their reporting tool seems to be crashing with a SQL error... anybody else try this and have any luck?

classic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14550704)

I love this situation that the MPAA just put themselves into. By making the copies after being told not to by the copyright holder, they have indeed violated the very laws which they wave in everyone else's faces during their rants about movie copying...

And their whole "well it's about us" thing is specious at best. I could claim that The Breakfast Club was about me, so I deserve a copy for myself, my family, and all my friends... Hell, why not my employees and co-workers too?

If they had some *LEGAL* issue where they want to use the movie in the lawsuit, they could ask a judge for the right to make duplicates of the information pursuant to a pending legal action, and if given the right, they could then do it. Of course they'd have to then return those copies to the rightful holder at the conclusion of the legal action(s)...

My best advice to the MPAA goons would be to simply send the guy a check for the price * number of copies they made, and say it was a mistake...

The MPAA is screwed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14550705)

I know a lot of people might agree that copying the DVD for legal purposes, that being of evidence in a POSSIBLE lawsuit, is perfectly legal. I have to counter with the fact that if the MPAA really wanted to do something, they could have just as easily used the *original* DVD instead of having to make a copy of it, and should have done it by now - not after the story breaks. Also, since there is no lawsuit filed by the MPAA, the reason for using a copy as evidence should be ruled out, along with the fact that the copy could have been altered in some way. Of course now that this story has gone public, the MPAA may be the first to file a lawsuit, but it could end in disasterous consequences for both parties.

Sweet, time to make buddies with Jack (1)

Facekhan (445017) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550749)

Heh, I work in the MPAA's DC building (not for them) across the hall from Valenti's office, I wonder if he could hook me up, I've been dying to see that movie.

He asked, but wasn't told that they wouldn't copy (1)

Coopjust (872796) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550756)

When Dick submitted his film for a rating, he asked in an e-mail for assurances that "no copies would be made of any part or all of the film," according to a copy of the e-mail exchange.

In a reply e-mail, an MPAA representative did not specifically say the organization wouldn't copy the film, but did say "the confidentiality of your film ... is our first priority. Please feel assure (sic) that your film is in good hands."
------

So, technically, they did not say that they wouldn't copy it.

However, it is STILL a violation of the DCMA, and one that the author should sue for.

Wait wait wait!!! (3, Funny)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 8 years ago | (#14550777)

According to Mark Lemley, a professor at the Stanford Law School, the MPAA may have been within its rights to make copies of the film. Given that the MPAA's intent isn't financial gain...

So, that's okay then? Please, please, please...say that's ok. Just once. We won't hold you to it in the future. Honest!

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>