A recently released study, by the NPD Group revealed: approximately 2% of people, who own a computer and have internet access ever engage in DVD ripping. It�s a surprising statistic, given the fact that ripping software, like Isofter and many others is widely available. Many steer clear of the practice because they fear it is illegal. In fact, ripping DVDs is only illegal when done so with the intent of resale. The movie executives have the jitters, in part, due to the billions of dollars lost by the music industry.
Music isn�t being �ripped�, though; it is being shared on peer-to-peer file sharing sites like Kaza and Limewire. It�s an interesting phenomenon, actually, the original music file-sharing site, Napster, was shut down and the owner was fined a great deal of money. Napster is now a pay site, where you must put out money for your music.
Legislators have gone round and round trying to shut-down the new music sharing sites; so far, they have not been successful. No one has developed a motion picture peer-to-peer sharing site and there is no evidence that one is planned. So, why hasn�t DVD ripping become wildly popular? The NPD study reveals there are two main reasons: the amount of time it takes to �rip� a DVD and the limitations which have been imposed by Digital Rights Management (more on that later). According to Russ Crupnick, Senior Analyst for NPD there is a misconception about the amount of time it actually takes to perform ripping.
Per Crupnick, �In my brief experimentation with these applications, they seem to work fine. It seems to come down to consumers saying �If I can�t have the ripping completed in a minute, I�m not going to do it at all�. The fact of the matter is, with a quick internet connection, ripping takes about fifteen minutes- at most. The rapidity in which this can be accomplished is aided through new technology offered by Isofter and others. The role of the DRM (Management of Digital Rights) is often misunderstood by many people who might otherwise rip a DVD for personal use. People think that protecting copyright laws is the main focus of the DRM; that is simply not true.
The measures that DRM has put in place are aimed at helping movie content owners to protect how digital data and/or hardware is obtained and distributed. Some measures are in place to protect these same owners with regard to a single or precise digital work or machine. They are not largely focused on the illegal use of DVD ripping because it is being done minimally. Even though the software and necessary equipment have been widely available for purchase for some time now, the masses have not swarmed computer stores to buy it. Since it has not happened thus far, there is nothing to lead us to believe that it ever will. What the movie execs might find to be better use of their time is trying to prevent movie peer-to-peer sharing sites.
Though no such site exists now, it is a real possibility. It is far more likely that the movie industry will lose money through P2P sites than by DVD ripping.
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