As you may have guessed, we’re not big fans of certain copyright laws here at UPROXX. One big problem is the DMCA, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which you probably know as a law that takes down your favorite YouTube video because a five-second clip of “Happy Birthday” ran in it. But it also technically prevents you from making copies of DVDs.
One of the stupidest provisions of the DMCA is that it is against the law to circumvent DRM (Digital Rights Management), and also against the law to sell tools to circumvent DRM. This means that you, as a consumer, aren’t allowed to exercise your right to back up anything you own if it has a digital lock on it. Want to put all your DVDs on a hard drive to watch on the road? You’ll become a criminal.
Fortunately, sanity is starting to prevail: a judge has ruled that it’s not illegal to make a copy of a disc and stream it if you actually own the disc. UCLA got sued over streaming a DVD and has argued, successfully, that because they own a disc, they’re allowed to stream it to their students.
Unfortunately, the case was dismissed without prejudice, meaning the losers can try again, but it’s still nice to see the occasional grown-up in the courts.