The fact that Disney, Sony and the rest of the media industry (those two irk me the most) don't want me to make copies of my $20 DVDs is incredibly annoying. My kids have been using DVDs for several years and they still don't know how to put them away. I am surprised that none have been broken since they often end up on the floor; we did actually have a CD explode in my daughter's CD-ROM drive once so make sure you don't use any damaged disks in your drive or you might end up replacing that drive at your own expense.
321 Studios had a great product called DVD XCopy. Your first thought might be that it was OK that Sony, et al put them out of business through constant court battles but this was a really good company that actually had everyone's best interests at heart. I purchased the Gold edition of the software and before I could use it I had to register and activate the software online. Through this process, I was given a unique ID number which was imprinted on all copies I made with the software. So, if any illicit copies made it out of my house I could be identified as the culprit. Now, instead of identifiable copies I just make backup copies the old way; a legal DVD copy package teamed up with a DVD decoder. I am surely not about to give up another $20 because a DVD is broken. I didn't pay the money for the physical media; I paid for the right to watch the content in my home.
John is right too, intellectual property is a very confusing topic. The whole concept came about to protect entrepreneurs with new ideas from bigger companies that were already established. With the Microsofts, Oracles, and Suns of the world it's getting harder and harder for the little guy to compete. Add that with the legislation that paid-off politicians put in place to protect companies from competition and you have a complete nightmare. Maybe we should stop allowing lawyers to run for political offices?!
Bryant E. Byrd, BSSE MCDBA MCAD
Business Intelligence AdministratorMSBI Administration Blog