Recent Developments in Fair Use of DVD Ripping

From Inside Higher Ed:

“One change in particular is making waves in academe: an exemption that allows professors in all fields and “film and media studies students” to hack encrypted DVD content and clip “short portions” into documentary films and “non-commercial videos.” (The agency does not define “short portions.”) This means that any professors can legally extract movie clips and incorporate them into lectures, as long as they are willing to decrypt them — a task made relatively easy by widely available programs known as “DVD rippers.” The exemption also permits professors to use ripped content in non-classroom settings that are similarly protected under “fair use” — such as presentations at academic conferences. “

From Center for Social Media:

“The rules are broader than many expected, but still involve strict restrictions. The exemption for use of motion pictures on DVD—which lumps together doc filmmakers, college teachers and film/media studies students and noncommercial video creators such as remixers–is limited only to criticism and commentary, not to all potential fair uses; the excerpt must be “relatively short”; a new work must be created; and the maker must have a reason why an inferior quality (such as one shot off a screen or from a VHS) is not good enough. The rule only applies to DVDs, not to all audio-visual material–for instance to video games or slideshows. But the Librarian made no quantitative restrictions, in fact refusing to define “relatively short,” which means that makers can judge the length according to their critical or commentary needs; and the decision about whether high quality is necessary is left to the user.”

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