According to a blog on Fortune’s site, Real Networks (buffering…………..) has unveiled a new DVD ripping technology that doesn’t hack the encryption on DVDs.  This, so it seems, makes copying DVDs “legal.”  It must work somewhat similarly to VHS dubbing, but I don’t know.  I’ll look into it.

I hesitate to say that all of a sudden, everything’s “legal.”  Indeed, I’m not even sure that it doesn’t run afoul of 17 U.S.C. § 1201.  Section 1201(a)(1)(A) states: “No person shall circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title.”  In turn, under section 1201(a)(3)(A) “circumvent a technological measure” means “to descramble a scrambled work, to decrypt an encrypted work, or otherwise to avoid, bypass, remove, deactivate, or impair a technological measure, without the authority of the copyright owner.”  (Emphasis added.)  I can certainly see the MPAA deciding that Real’s technology somehow avoids or bypasses the encryption process.  And this doesn’t even begin to get into fair use or the whole time- or space-shifting argument.

Anyway, these thoughts are just based on a quick, cursory glance at a blog.  I’m going to follow up on this story and see what else I find.