To me, and many other folks, owning something means that I can do what I want with it. If I go to the store and buy a DVD, I should be able to take it home, and watch it on any of my devices that have a DVD drive in them right?
Nope. At least not legally.
Ever since the DMCA passed, a group from the federal government gets together every couple years to agree upon what is an isn’t a breach of the DMCA. They’ve once again decided that jail breaking/rooting your phone is permissible, but oddly enough not tablets that are essentially the same thing except bigger. Also, apparently modifying your gaming console? Also illegal. Which, oddly enough, means that the DoD is in violation of the DMCA for buying a boat load of PS3’s and using them for cluster computing.
Oh, and those DVDs that I mentioned? Yeah… you can only watch those on approved devices with approved software. If you were unaware, most DVDs that come from Hollywood are actually encrypted (CSS encryption). Of course, this encryption was broken years ago by people that wanted to watch their DVDs on non-approved players, but it’s still encryption.
This becomes important to me because most of the computers in my household are running Linux on them. There is no Hollywood approved player for Linux out there. The reason? because that would cost money. There’s a paid license attached to every encrypted DVD, DVD player, and commercial copy of DVD playback software that goes to the owner of the encryption scheme (the DVD CCA).
So… just to be clear, I were to:
Buy a legal copy of… say… the Avangers, a bit of my purchase goes to the DVD CCA
I pop it in to the DVD-ROM in one of my Linux computers that came with a Windows only DVD playback program (so, a little of that purchase went to the DVD CCA).
I use one of the handful of free DVD playback programs for Linux to watch my *legal copy* of the movie.
I’m breaking the law, and am an evil, evil pirate.
Oh, and those nifty new Blu-Ray discs? Just as bad, if not worse.
One of the definitions of ownership is being able to do what you want with the item. Legally speaking, I am not allowed to consume DVDs and Blu-Ray discs in the fashion that I desire, therefor I can not say that I own them.
Oh, and by the way, those commercials and PSAs that you can’t skip through on DVDs? Yeah… using non-authorized software means that you can. Doing the illegal thing is actually a better user experience than walking the straight and narrow and you have coughed up the money to the right people.
*EDIT – Corrected the typo pointed out by Chris Byrne*