Is this wrong

  jagx400 18:49 08 Jan 2006

I might get hanged for this but it is speakers corner, so here goes. I recentley purchased Long Way Round on DVD (Ewan McGregor). I backed it up as it is a superb DVD and I didnt want to get it scratched. A friend came round and borrowed the backed up version, he watched it and went straight out and bought it. 2 more people have borrowed the backed up DVD and have since purchased it. These people probabley would not have purchased it without seeing the backed up dvd first.

Yes I know it's illegal but in this case it has actually made the owners money in additional sales. By the way the back up got scratched and damaged and ended up in the dustbin, good job I didn't loan out the original.

  stalion 18:55 08 Jan 2006

There have been quite a few threads on this and by the tone of your post you already know the answer.I would suggest inviting your friends round to watch if you have another good dvd it will probably achieve the same result

  SG Atlantis® 18:59 08 Jan 2006

legally you know it's wrong.

But it does make sense, except if you told them "hey this is excellent" they then went to a video shop and rented it. That way the copyright owners are being paid for them watching the movie, which they are not entitled to do with your illegal backup !

You were in fact doing someting worse than making a back up for yourself, you where distributing it!

  jagx400 19:10 08 Jan 2006

I am not asking if its wrong as such.....I am stating that in this case all benefitted

  SG Atlantis® 19:12 08 Jan 2006


  Forum Editor 19:22 08 Jan 2006

lending a DVD to other people is a breach of the copyright laws, unless (like rental companies) you have a distribution licence.

It may well be true that on this occasion the copyright holders mades sales they might not otherwise have made, but suppose they hadn't? Suppose your friends had just watched the DVD and left it at that? You have no way of knowing what will happen if you lend films to others. Imagine someone inviting an audience of 500 people to watch a DVD at a function - would they legally be able to justify it by saying "Ah, but probably 100 of those people went out and bought the film afterwards". That would not be a legal defence, any more than it's a vaild argument to say that it's OK to download films and music because lots of people buy the products, once they've seen/heard them. It may be true, but it may not.

  jagx400 19:37 08 Jan 2006

Good point F.E put like that and one can see the wrong in it.

  DieSse 21:07 08 Jan 2006


lending a DVD to other people is a breach of the copyright laws"

Then "technically" the law should be ammended, as that is not only unenforceable and unpoliceable (bad law) - but it's against *natural justice* - and IMHO simply outrageous.

  freaky 21:28 08 Jan 2006

This is a 'grey area' apart from a situation where you lent your back-up copy - then sold it to the people who borrowed it !

  DieSse 22:10 08 Jan 2006

*This is a 'grey area'*

It's either legal or illegal - how is it a grey area?

  Forum Editor 07:54 09 Jan 2006

Try to undertsnd the difference between a bad law, and one that is difficult to enforce.

Rape is a crime, and there's a law against it, but large numbers of rapists get away with their crime because the law is difficult to enforce - that doesn't mean the law is 'bad'.

As for 'natural justice' - what on earth are you talking about? Surely you aren't suggesting that distributing copyright-protected freely is 'naturally just'? If you are, you're in a very small minority, and there can be no validity in the argument. What you're doing is making the mistake of thinking that it's OK to break a law, provided you only break it in a small way - and that always takes you out onto thin ice.

So much for the strict letter of the law. You'll notice that I used the word 'technically' in my answer to jagx400, because of course nobody is going to prosecute you for lending a DVD to a couple of friends - people do it all the time. The law could indeed be amended to say 'it's OK to lend a copyright-protected movie to a couple of friends', but no experienced legislator would dream of such a thing. Amend a law in that way and you simply raise the bar a little. Then, you would have people saying 'well, I'm allowed to lend to a couple of friends, and I only lent it to six, so surely I shouldn't be prosecuted - it's natural justice".

It's a minefield, DieSse, as I'm sure you'll appreciate, and as we debate the subject here there are many very experienced legal minds doing the self-same thing. It might be that changes are made to the copyright laws in the future, but that hasn't happened yet, and when a forum member asks for clarification I intend to tell it how it is, rather than how some people think it should be.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

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