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Copying and Copyrights

This capability to very simply create perfect digital copies of TV shows and movies on removable DVD discs brings up an important question: Is it legal? The answer is, predictably, yes and no.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is generally held to give consumers the right to make copies of copyrighted works that they have purchased, for their own personal use. If you are worried about it, consult a lawyer. If you're willing to let common sense be your guide, then as long as you are not making thousands—or even dozens—of copies and distributing them to friends, neighbors, family, or complete strangers, you are probably acting within your rights. If you are distributing someone else's copyrighted works in quantity, without the permission of the copyright holder, you probably should get a lawyer—and of course, you should stop doing it immediately. Not only is it probably illegal, but it also is not fair to the people whose hard work is reflected in the creative works you are copying. (For more discussion of the DMCA and its impact on you, see the section “Ripping CDs” in Chapter 13, “Preparing Your Music Collection for XP Media Center.” )


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