Some things are priceless: Photos of a smiling college graduate or a homemade video of a tiny kitten, an enormous dog and a parrot with an attitude that collects a million hits on YouTube. Some things stored as digital data that would never go viral may actually be much more valuable than many people realize. Digital copies of important documents – such as financial records and family milestones – are not typically considered premium content in the same way that blockbuster movies are. Yet, if those digital family heirlooms are damaged in a fire or flood, the loss may be irreplaceable. A DVD has a life span between 20 and 100 years, and that’s one good reason to store copies of your important records on DVDs.
If you copy DVDs using one of the many DVD copy software applications, storing archived backups of that precious content is a good idea. Once duplicated, you can place the discs in a safety deposit box. Although this may not be the most popular reason to use DVD copying software, it is a compelling one. DVDs can outlast their owners, but the physical material will still deteriorate over a period of many years, even if it's stowed safely away. When you do copy DVDs to backup your content, dry and cool storage conditions will lessen the likelihood of deterioration.
Another enduringly popular reason to copy DVDs is to back up the treasured movies you own in case the neighbor’s dog mistakes the original DVD for a Frisbee when you prepare to insert it into a laptop to view it on the backyard patio. Still another reason to copy DVDs is the wonderful portability DVDs offer. Copying a movie onto a DVD allows you the freedom to view it on your laptop, at a friend’s house or anywhere else you can use a DVD player. If you are a frequent traveler, winding down in a hotel room after a business meeting is the perfect time to watch a much-loved movie classic for the umpteenth time on a portable DVD player.
A fourth reason to copy DVDs is that it allows you to extract content such as screenshots to use in your creative projects. The Fair Use provision in copyright laws allows limited use of others' work created for the purpose of commentary. This brings up an important point: the issue of copyright infringement. Taking a snippet of video and combining that with other artistic expression and original content within a newly produced video is part of the richness of a community’s artistic expression. Movie-studio executives, however, sometimes view Fair Use differently.
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act passed in 1996 may have brought the U.S. into compliance with international treaties, but it also created an ongoing controversy regarding DVD copy software. The law brought the right of property holders to protect their private property into conflict with the right to exercise free expression in public commentary. So, a fifth compelling reason to copy DVDs is to exercise that right because we can lose rights we do not exercise.
When many people copy DVDs that contain premium content, it leads to an escalation between encryption techniques and CSS decryption solutions that unlock encrypted premium content. The issue continues to impact the industry and will likely be the subject of public debate for some time to come.
One reason for the ongoing controversy surrounding DVD encryption is that the owners of the rights to premium content and DVD ripper software manufacturers continue to engage in a DVD encryption arms race. Content owners devise new encryption techniques and software programmers respond by devising new decryption solutions. These solutions will continue to emerge in response to better encryption techniques as more people continue to copy DVDs.
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