Digital Copyright Laws in US, UK, Japan, Australia, Norway…

Diana Joan

Apr 23, 2015 12:42 am / Posted by Diana Joan

Consumers are accustomed to copying music disks to their computers, making it easy to transfer them to portable MP3 players like the iPod. Many wonder why they can’t do the same with movies on DVD. Here’s a quick guide about DVD Copyright Laws in different countries/regions all over the world, explaining what DVD Copyright law is means to consumers and how we can access a legal DVD copy for personal use.

DVD Copyright Laws

Part I. What are DVD Ripper and DVD Copyright Laws?

Part II. DVD Ripping Legality in the world

Part III. How to Treat DVD Copyright Laws?

Part IV: Access a legal DVD Copy

Part I. What stops a DVD from being copied?

A DVD ripper is a software program that facilitates copying the video or audio content of a DVD into digital video formats onto a hard drive. They are mainly used to transfer video on DVDs to different formats, to edit or back up DVD content, and to convert DVD video for playback on media players and mobile devices.

Therefore, digital copyright laws or more specifically DVD copyright laws are enacted against copyright infringement. When movie studios were preparing to release movies in a digital format for distribution on disks, they learned from the mistakes of the music industry. Hollywood insisted the disks include a layer of copy protection that music CDs don’t contain. But the technology that protects DVDs was cracked within a few years of the disks going on sale. (Actually copying a DVD would require extensive technical know-how that’s well beyond most consumers.)

Anyway, it is necessary to know the DVD Copyright Infringement Laws in your countries before you rip/copy a DVD to watch on smartphone, tablet, game console, HD media player, TV set, Windows or Mac. Is it legal to rip/copy/decrypt our own DVDs? Let’s break this down into different parts according to the different DVD regions.

Part II. DVD Ripping Legality in the world

1. United Kingdom -legal for personal use

In the United Kingdom, it’s now legal to rip/copy DVDs, CDs and ebooks for your own personal use. It was illegal to break the DRM (Digital Rights Management) or TPM (Technical Protection Measures) used on DVD to protect the content from ripping. However, it has been formally permitted to be legal if one makes DVD copies for personal use since 2012. Even more, the UK government has finally changed the law after inspecting DVD/CD copyright legislation and public consultation. It means that since October 2014, all people in UK are allowed to make copies of DVDs and other media freely as long as the copy is for personal use, such as DVD backup, or formats shifting.

2. Germany – illegal

Germany is a country with very restrict copyrighted content. According to German law, it dictates that it is illegal to circumvent mechanisms that prevent copying, but it allows the manufacture of copies of copyrighted digital material for personal, non-commercial use.

3. Norway – not a crime

It’s not a crime in Norway to make copy of DVD’s as long as it’s one’s own DVD.

4. Netherlands -legal for personal use

In Netherlands, all legally bought audio and video including DVD and Blu-Ray are allowed to make copies, which are also called “home copies”. However, those ripped files are only used personally.

5. Spain – legal

In Spain, anyone is allowed to make a private copy of a copyrighted DVD for oneself, providing that the copier has accessed the original DVD legally.

6. USA -require the consent of copyright owner

In the United States, copyright law has been extended many times over and copyright infringement is sometimes confronted via lawsuits in civil court, against alleged infringers directly, or against providers of services and software that support unauthorized copying. U.S. copyright law (Title 17 of the United States Code) generally says that making a copy of an original work, if conducted without the consent of the copyright owner, is infringement. The law makes no explicit grant or denial of a right to make a “personal use” copy of another’s copyrighted content on one’s own digital media and devices.

7. Australia or New Zealand -legal

In Australia and New Zealand, a copy of any legally purchased music may be made by its owner, as long as it is not distributed to others and its use remains personal. In Australia this was extended in 2006 to also include photographs and films.

8. Japan – illegal

DVD copy has been outlawed with corresponding amendments on copyright laws being coming out in Japan since October 1, 2012.

9. China -not clear

In China, the issue of digital piracy is not merely legal, but social. In most cases, the breach of digital copyright laws might not inquire into the cause.

Part III: How to Treat DVD Copyright Laws?

There have been countless opposed cases to the existing CD/DVD copyright laws.

A consumers’ association in Belgium sued the world’s biggest four record companies for improper use of technologies, which was claimed to impede the free use of consumers’ own purchased CDs, for example on home sound equipment, automobile, etc. The companies were asked to take out the anti-copy technologies on CDs. Same situations happened on the judgments of “CD copy”, “DVD decryption” and “P2P services” cases in differed countries. Simultaneously, they are partial to the “intended copyright infringers” who were announced legal eventually.

About 60% British polled consumers deemed that ripping a DVD should be legal, and 55% admitted to doing it according to a survey in 2009. Besides, the application of DRM has been considered as a controversial practice for always.

Copyright infringement is defined to be associated with piracy and theft, but most people copy DVD only for reasonable uses, for instance, instead of waiting months after the debut of a movie to release it on DVD or video-on-demand. In fact, it’s one of the ways most of us are breaking the law every day without even knowing it. Most people believe that the motivation comes first when judging whether it is legal to copy a DVD. As ripping becomes more common practice, we’re hopeful that we could see some positive change in the future.

Part IV: Access a legal DVD Copy

If you are clear with the DVD copyright laws in your countries, please feel free to download the best and fastest tools to bypass the DVD copy protections for fair use.

Pavtube DVDAid: It provides the best solution to rip DVD and convert DVD to video and audio in popular file formats for many devices. Along with multiple practical bonus features like video editor, DVDAid is capable of improving your DVD movie experience without location or time limitations. It could backup DVD and convert DVD to various video and audio formats including MP4, MKV, MOV, AVI, WMV, MP3, AAC, etc to let you enjoy DVD movies on any mobile device like iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge, Kindle Fire HDX, PS3, PSP, Surface, and more. Surprisingly it adds support of DVD to H.265/HEVC for higher video quality.

Pavtube BDMagic: With Pavtube BDMagic, now you can convert common DVDs and also Blu-rays into High-Definition formats or even create 3D videos with excellent video/audio quality in fast conversion speed. This BD/DVD to video workaround could output various video and audio formats, like H.265/HEVC, MKV, MP4, MOV, DivX, AVI, MP3, FLAC, etc so you can make a duplicate copy for your video collection, or share movies on numbers of popular media players,like Apple media devices, Android smartphones and tablets, Windows media players, various smartphones and more. Now download the program sto rip the hot and new copy protected DVDs/Blu-rays like Froze, Disney movies, Steven Spielberg’s film, 27th European Film Awards, Pixar’s, Christmas movies.

Further reading:

How to rip The Legacy DVD to MP4 video on Mac

Rip Family DVD Movies to MP4 for Editing and Publishing

How to Watch Instructional DVDs on iPhone/iPad/iPod?