Friday, June 8, 2012

Discussion: Is it legal to make backup copies of my purchased eBooks?

When I check my emails today, I found an interesting mail from, the topic is: Is it legal to make backup copies of my purchased DVDs and Blu-rays?

Here I offer you some interesting opinions:

#1. Here's the scenario, you purchase a DVD or Blu-ray disc, and you'd like to back it up. Just in case something happens to it, you'll still have your backed-up copy to use. So is it legal to do? Some people tell you it's OK as long as it's for personal use and you are not distributing it. Some people say it's illegal even if it is for personal use. So dang it, which is it?

#2. Fair Use Trademark law in the U.S. allows you to make a copy of the media that you bought for personal use. But under the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act), if the media has copyright protection built in, the act of using any software to circumvent or crack that protection to make a backup copy is illegal.

#3. In short, it IS legal to make an "archival" copy of any DVD/CD content that you've legally purchased/acquired the rights to.

The terms of use of the subject content is what you must adhere to. 

Take a look at a Microsoft Office or Win 7 DVD. It states: "Do NOT lend or make "ILLEGAL" copies of this disc". It does NOT state that you cannot make a copy (a legal one~ as a rightful license owner)

The key, is that a user adhere to the user license for/to the software/content that he/she purchases the right(s) to, and protecting it from illegal distribution/use.

Make a copy, and keep (archive) it safely stored away, and not only are you insuring your continued rights to the content but making a prudent decision in protecting your right long-term.

#4. In a word, Yes; you can legally make a backup copy of the movie you purchased. As long as it is for personal use. As in, making a copy to use, for yourself, and storing the original disc away. As you mentioned with records. Where it becomes illegal is if you were to sell, or even give away, the copy of the movie.

There is software available and everyone has their favorite program and/or method. The best thing to do is do a search and see what's available, test some, and see what works for you. Most software has a 15 or 30 day trial available. I don't think CNET would like it if I gave you links to any copying software.

I think when we purchase eBooks, we have the same question. 
In my private point of view: if I purchased a paper book, when I finish reading it, I can lend it to my friends or family, this is normal and no problem.

Why it comes to be illegal when what I purchased is an eBook? 
I strip the DRM not for distributing to the public or piracy it to make me benefit. I just want to read the eBook on any device I want, for instance, I always purchased eBooks in Amazon, and I have a Kindle Touch, it read pretty comfortable at daytime, but when I want to read the books on my bed before I sleep, I have to light a lamp, but the light will make my brother hard to fall asleep. You can not imagine how deeply the desire is if I can read the Kindle books on my iPad which can let me read some pages before I fall asleep without disturb anyone!

So folks please join in the discussion. I love to hear your thoughts, but please keep the discussion civil. Thanks for your contributions and have a great weekend! 


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