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signal-boosting: DMCA exemption proposal

The OTW Legal and Vidding Committees are preparing to propose a renewal of the DMCA exemption we won last time around--the one that makes it okay for vidders to rip DVDs--and we need input from vidders, AMV makers, and other fan video artists.

(For some background on the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, the exemption, and the Motion Picture Association of America's absurd proposal about how vidders should get digital files without ripping DVDs, I recommend this short clip, featuring audio and video from the 2009 exemption hearings.)

From the original post at the OTW blog:
If you vid or make other forms of fan video by ripping DVDs or Blueray discs; if you rip footage from a streaming service like Hulu, iTunes Streaming, or Amazon Unbox, please get in touch! You don't have to use your real name: Depending on your choice, we can describe you using your pseudonym or as "a vidder" or "a fan filmmaker." We are trying to compile stories of how fans work and what they need to make their fanworks.

We are seeking your own words about:
(1) Why vidding is a transformative and creative act;
(2) Why you need to circumvent (rip) DVDs or other sources such as Blu-Ray, Amazon Unbox, Hulu, or YouTube--we are particularly interested in cases where you were only able to find a copy of the source at one of the online services because the source wasn't available on DVD;
(3) Whether you've tried screen capture software and how it worked for you;
(4) Whether you could make use of the "alternative" proposed by the MPAA, which is that you set up a separate camera to record your screen as it plays the source;
(5) Why high-quality source is important to you, whether your reasons are technical or aesthetic or something else;
(6) Anything else you think we ought to know as we work with the EFF to put together our request!

So please contact Francesca Coppa directly (fcoppa at transformativeworks dot org) or use the Vidding committee webform.

We've already gotten some terrific responses--some blunt, some eloquent, all smart and valuable--and we would love more! I'm working on a formal statement that will be submitted along with the exemption, and the fan responses I've seen have a) inspired me and b) reminded me of some issues I might otherwise have neglected to mention, so, in addition to contacting the Vidding Committee, feel free to comment to this post if there's a point you'd like made or an issue you'd like raised.

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