Feds considering allowing DVD-encryption cracking

19 05 2012

LOS ANGELES—Federal regulators considered testimony Wednesday here at UCLA Law School on whether to allow citizens and filmmakers to legally crack DVD encryption meant to protect the discs from being copied.

Filmmakers, video mixers and others have petitioned the U.S. Copyright Office for the ability to continue to use DVD decryption tools to copy short clips of DVDs from motion pictures to put into their own films. The issue isn’t whether they have a fair-use right to the material, but whether they can utilize decrypting tools to make the best reproduction for film-making purposes.

Another proposal for the first time calls for the public at large to be authorized to make copies of their own DVDs without breaching the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, which makes it unlawful to circumvent encryption technologies in items that you buy.

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