26 Dec 2005 4:15 PM
|New copyright law approaches -- content to be removed
26 December 2005 7:18 by dRD
[picture]As some of you might remember, Finnish Parliament approved a new copyright legislation in October, 2005 and that new legislation will come into force on 1st of January, 2006. As AfterDawn Ltd is a company based in Finland, we have to play along with the new law, however vague and draconian it is.
We tried to find alternative solutions and have asked our lawyers to evaluate various options that would have allowed us to continue our operations as they used to be. Unfortunately, none of these options were solid enough to escape the new restrictions.
Thus, we've made our own analysis of the law and come to a conclusion that yes, we can continue running our site, but need to make some adjustments to the content. The law is extremely vague and leaves thousands of questions open, mostly leaving media corporations very free hands to sue whoever they wish to. Despite this, we decided to remove the content that most obviously violates the letter of the law, but decided to leave some breathing room for other areas.
The law has phrases like "Offering commercial services that allow circumventing technical copy protections ... is illegal." But doesn't provide any guidelines on what is considered to be "commercial" and what type of service the law is talking about. Our and our lawyers' analysis is that as we're a commercial company, having ads on our site, and providing guides -- written by our paid staff members -- and tools that help breaking protections like extremely weak CSS found on virtually all DVD-Video discs, we can be sued.
Law also makes it illegal to distribute tools, even for free, that allow circumventing copy protections. However, in the reasong that the Ministry of Education submitted alongside the new law text to the Parliament, they stated that only tools whose main function is, or can be considered to be, to break copy protections, are illegal. Again, the text -- and the reasoning -- are extremely vague.
But as a summary, here are the changes that will take effect on 1st of January or shortly after that date:
* No changes. The law states that "organized discussion about breaking copy protections" will be illegal, but as nobody on our forums is planning to develop tools that break copy protections, we don't think it applies. Additionally, as everybody knows, our forums aren't exactly very organized ;-) And moderators aren't our staff members, our admins don't participate in threads discussing about how to break copy protection methods, ever.
* References how to use tools that allow circumventing copy protections will be removed
* This means that guides converting AVIs to DVD, etc will remain intact.
* This means that guides converting copy-protected DVDs to other formats will stay on our site, but the detailed instructions on how to use tools like DVD Decrypter, etc will be removed from those guides
* Guides considering just how to break copy protections, will be removed (AFAIK, only one guide applies here)
3. Software section
* Major changes. All tools meant solely for DVD ripping and/or ripping copy-protected music CDs will be removed.
* This is a major blow to us, as our site has one of the largest DVD ripping software collections on Earth. But the law is very clear with this one, tools like SmartRipper serve really only one main function -- ripping copy-protected DVDs -- and are therefor illegal from 1st of January, 2006.
4. Other site areas
* No changes. Stuff like glossary, FAQ section, etc will continue operating as they do now.
Yes, we know, this sucks. But stuff like relocating to other country doesn't work out, unless all of our staff moves there as well..
Additionally, we've decided to set the guides that need removal under the Creative Commons license that allows free distribution of the guides, providing that they aren't altered. The specific license can be read here. The list of guides that will be removed is:
* Copy DVD to DVD-R using DVD Decrypter (DVDs smaller than 4.36GB)
* Backing up a protected CD - an Alcohol 120% guide (not owned by AfterDawn Ltd, therefor this guide is not under Creative Commons license, but instead will be simply removed)
* Copy DVD-9 to DVD-R using DVD X Copy XPRESS
* Defeating Cactus Data Shield (not owned by AfterDawn Ltd, therefor this guide is not under Creative Commons license, but instead will be simply removed)
* Bypassing DVD copy protections
* Copy DVD to DVD-R using DVD Decrypter (DVDs smaller than 4.36GB) (the Finnish version of the guide)
And the list of guides that will be edited in order to remove specific instructions on how to circumvent copy protections:
* Copy a DVD-9 to DVDR with DVDXGold
* Copy a DVD-9 to DVDR with DVDXPlatinum
* Copy a DVD-9 to DVDR with DVDXPress
* Copy DVD-9 movie to a single DVD-R with DVD2One
* Copy DVD-9 to DVD-R using DVD X Copy XPRESS
* Copy entire DVD-9 movie to a single DVD-R using DVD Shrink
* Copy full DVD movie disc to a DVDR using CloneDVD
* Extract, process and burn a DVD under MacOS X.2.2 or higher
* High quality DVD-9 backups with DVD Rebuilder and CCE Basic
* How to copy multiple DVD movies to 1 DVDR with DVD Shrink
* Split a DVD-9 to 2 DVDRs with DVDXGold
* Split a DVD-9 to 2 DVDRs with DVDXPlatinum
* DVD to SVCD with TMPGEnc
* Convert DVDs to SVCD or CVD using DVD2SVCD
* DVD to VCD with SmartRipper, DVD2AVI and TMPGEnc
* Convert DVD movies to AC3 DivX using Gordian Knot
* Copy your DVD into DivX format - Guide for 4:3 movies
* Copy your DVD into DivX format - Guide for 16:9 anamorphic movies
* Copy your DVD to XviD with AC3 surround sound
* Compressing your DVDs with ratDVD
* Video Vault: Introducing an all-in-one video conversion package
And here are the software tools that will be removed from our site on 1st of January, 2006:
* Alcohol 120%
* Alcohol 52%
* AoA DVD Ripper
* DVD Extractor
* DVD Region Free
* DVD Backup
* DVDFab Decrypter
* DVDFab Express
* DVDFab Gold
* DVDFab Platinum
* DVDIdle Pro
* Easy CDDA Extractor
* Easy DVD Copier
* Exact Audio Copy
* Free DVD
* Gordian Knot System Pack
* Gordian Knot
* ImTOO CD Ripper
* ImTOO DVD Ripper
* Mac DVD Ripping Tutorial
* Streambox VCR Suite
* Streambox VCR
* Streambox VCR plus SMF update
* Topee CD Ripper
* WinAVI DVD Copy
* Xilisoft DVD Ripper
That's it... Seems rather long list, but then again, two alternatives left are either to close the site or face upto 1 year in prison. We're currently supporting several campaigns in Finland that aim to amend the copyright legislation, but don't hold your breath for success, as it seems that the Ministry of Education and main parties have been fully brainwashed by large media corporations who are the only ones gaining something from this law.
Do not PM me,as i do not answer PM'S
This message has been edited since posting. Last time this message was edited on 27 Dec 2005 7:31 PM