With the expansion of online video outlets like YouTube, and parody videos like the famous ‘Hitler reacts to’/Downfall videos, the U.S. Copyright Office has taken it upon themselves to change the game as far as the legality of ripping DVDs goes.
This week saw six new exemptions published by the U.S.C.O. to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s (DMCA) anti-circumvention clause, which for all intents and purposes now makes it legal for filmmakers to rip DVD footage, for their own projects. As long as you are a filmmaker or using the clips as part of a noncommercial video, you can now legally take a clip from a DVD, and use it how you deem fit.
Now, while these exemptions have been championed amongst web users, other people, such as the MPAA, have vastly different thoughts.
‘The Librarian’s decision unnecessarily blurs the bright line established in the DMCA against circumvention of technical protection measures and undermines the DMCA, which has fostered greater access to more works by more people than at any time in our history,’ said MPAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Kaltman.
Personally, while I see the point made by the MPAA, and do believe that this could breed unwarranted things piracy wise, I do believe that this will foster a lot of good, particularly for those filmmakers who this may open doors for. I do believe that this could breed a lot of misuse and abuse of the new exemptions, particularly with the distinction of what is actually fair use as seen under the headline of Fair Use, which itself is inherently a starkly similar piece of legislation. I don’t know if this was necessary, particularly along with Fair Use, but this will be a very interesting piece of news to keep the keenest of eyes on.