Report DVD Ripping Questions as TOS Violations on Apple Forums

Apple is about to release a new product, the AppleTV, that lets you watch movies and TV shows purchased from the iTunes Store on your television.

Just like the iPod and CDs, most people already have a number of movies on DVD that they won’t want to buy again through the Apple Store. What they’d like is a way to rip the DVDs into iTunes, just like they can with their CDs.

Most of the songs on an iPod come from people’s CDs, not from music they bought through the iTunes Store. Similarly, I expect that most of the value of the Apple TV for most people will be to watch the DVDs they’ve already purchased.

And, in fact, many threads on the newly create Apple Discussion [Forum for the Apple TV](http://discussions.apple.com/forum.jspa?forumID=1133) are people asking for help in doing exactly that.

Now, two things to note:

1. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act makes ripping DVDs **illegal**.
2. Apple’s Terms of Service for the discussion forum state:

>3. Keep within the Law
>No material may be submitted that is intended to promote or commit an illegal act.

Now follow along with me:

* Apple wants people to perceive the Apple TV as a worthwhile purchase.
* The Apple TV becomes much more valuable if people can rip their DVDs
* Ripping DVDs is illegal
* Asking about illegal acts are a violation of Apple’s Terms of Use for the discussion forum.

The solution? On every post is a handy link to report a post as a violation. Use it to report any DVD ripping posts you find.

Why? Because maybe it will make the average Joe more aware of the flaws in the DMCA. Or, perhaps it will push Apple into spending more money lobbying for copyright reform.

OK, I’m mostly joking. But really, go join [EFF](http://www.eff.org) or [The Open Rights Group](http://www.openrightsgroup.org).

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